Superdesk 2.4: A Focus on Fast
For journalists working from the road, the quality of their internet connection is an essential piece of their toolkit. When researching story elements and filing copy to editors back in the newsroom, network performance can be the difference between meeting a deadline, or not.
To ensure that Superdesk, our open-source headless CMS for news organisations, is as nimble from the road as it is from the office, we’ve made some key backend changes to optimise for low bandwidth situations.
Some of these changes are cosmetic. For instance, with Superdesk 2.4, all content pages in the Monitoring View have been fitted with “loading indicators,” grey bars that expand and shrink to show users that content is loading. Visual cues like these are important when bandwidth is less than optimal to remind users that the system is working, and not taking a nap.
Other updates are meatier. In partnership with Belga, the Belgian news agency, we’ve sped up Superdesk’s remote functionality by changing how data is loaded. Previously, monitoring data – like information on ingest feeds and story updates – was constantly churning, which put a drag on servers. Now, monitoring data can be turned off, making the operation of tasks like editing and uploading faster than ever.
In the coming months we will be updating the CMS even further to make it possible to work with no internet connection at all; data would be pushed only when a connection is restored. This enhancement, which will enable journalists to work from anywhere, will be rolled out later this year.
Other upgrades in Superdesk 2.4 include:
- Smarter Gmail ingests. Editors can apply labels to news items sent to Gmail, and this content can be ingested into Superdesk based on the labels applied. This handy update means that news organisations can keep just one Gmail address for reporters to file to from the road, but that content that arrives to the inbox can be routed to numerous desks in Superdesk.
- Enhanced performance monitoring. To keep Superdesk nimble and fast under heavy loads, we’ve added support for Elastic Application Performance Monitoring so that admins can continuously monitor the system and make necessary adjustments.
- Planning Component templates. To give admins more control over content elements in the Superdesk planning tool, we’ve made it easy to create templates for planning items, events, and coverages. In 2.4, users with admin rights can create customised templates with elements like slugline, location, and event type. With these new metadata fields, new organisations and their clients will be able to target content to audiences with more granularity and precision.
“With every new release, we bring together newsroom partners and technological experts to build the best CMS the news industry has ever seen,” said Gideon Lehmann, Superdesk project manager. “Superdesk 2.4 is another step in that direction.”