So what has been updated in K4 in the past 2 years?

Here is a list of the new features that matter to my office:

  • Independent Tasks can be linked to specific status. In K4 6.6 an independent task can be used no matter what the status. Being able to prohibit a given independent task from being used in a given status enhances security and makes me more willing to allow someone to conduct an independent task.
  • Facebook and Twitter integration might be useful. I've let the editor responsible for postings to these services know that we can set up a simple workflow to ensure that postings to the company accounts are first reviewed by editors.
  • Fewer notifications. Staff will only be notified of assignments if they are new assignments, and not every time that someone edits an object that is in their cue. This requires the administrator to make some changes to publication settings.
  • Show the expander arrow in a K4 Query window only if that object has sub-objects.
  • Date and Time fields can be empty when originally set.
  • Hide deleted K4 user accounts.
  • The K4 Web Editor is now Java free. I'm looking forward to experimenting with the Web Editor on an iPad.
  • A K4 5.9 feature has returned. The default assignment for an object can be set to the current user.
  • InCopy users have the option to open every article in a separate window.
  • The administrator can define the folders for K4 clients to use for local files. Revoked files can be sent to a separate folder. This also eliminates the need to create folders or directories on client computers manually. If you set the folder locations on the K4 server then the K4 client will automatically create the folders.

Moving on to K4 6.10r2 this weekend

It's been almost 2 years since my last entry. Sorry about that, I've been busy on other projects and haven't been making any K4 changes. That changes this weekend.

I've been putting off upgrading K4 for too long. We should be running a version certified for Mac OS X 10.10 on both server and client side. Some of my feature requests have been implemented over the past 2 years.

I've been practicing installing an upgrade for the past few weeks. We are running MySQL and no optional modules so it is a plane Jane setup. The upgrade is pretty straight forward but since I have not done an upgrade in 2 years I had a few question for MEI.

The initial steps have been completed. I cloned the K4 Server's boot-up drive (necessary for setting up the test server). After successfully upgrading the test server from Mac OS X 10.6.8 to 10.8.5 I did the same with the production server.

Sunday I will backup the production server database and start upgrading K4. This means upgrading MySQL, installing a newer Java, and then upgrading K4. Then testing the server. If all goes well then updating InDesign and Incopy in the office to 8.1  and installing the K4 client software. Last is modifying K4 Admin to take advantage of some of the new K4 features.

I recommend working taking the MySQL and K4 configuration files provided by vjoon and modifying them for you use. Much easier than taking your current config files and adapting those for this newer version of K4.

K4 v6, InDesign CS5 and Adobe Digital Publishing Platform

I just viewed a webinar about using InDesign CS5, Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite and the K4 workflow solution. While I am impressed by DPS I wouldn’t consider creating an iPad version of The Washingtonian without upgrading to K4 v6. The latest version of K4 has many tools that ease the conversion of print layouts into the iPad format and allows for simultaneous work on the print and digital versions. The alternative would be to complete the print version and then work on converting it to a digital format. This makes me very happy that we just committed to upgrading to v6.x of K4 early in 2011. 

This doesn’t mean that K4 magically converts a paper edition to a digital one. It provides tools that makes it easier, especially for larger workgroups. While it would be possible to do the work in K4 v5.9 and then convert the layouts in InDesign CS5 with DPS, it would require more work and not allow for concurrent writing and editing of both the print and digital editions.