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Introducing Known 0.8, named for Giotto Di Bondone

4 min read

Giotto - The Expulsion of Joachim from the Temple.jpg
"Giotto - The Expulsion of Joachim from the Temple" by Giotto - Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

We’re happy to announce the release of Known 0.8, the latest version of our open source platform.

At the end of 2006, I had the opportunity to go back to Italy for the holidays and do some of the more touristy things the country has to offer. The trip was perfectly timed, as I’d just finished up a course in Italian Renaissance art history, and I was primed to see a lot of the art and architecture I’d missed on previous trips.

Today we’re releasing the latest version of Known - 0.8 Giotto – named after Florentine artist Giotto di Bondone. Giotto was a painter and an architect, and though he worked in the late Middle Ages in Italy, he is considered an influential pre-Renaissance figure. Unlike his peers at the time, Giotto moved beyond characteristics of the Byzantine style and painted figures and settings that appeared more realistic and lifelike. His work often used forced perspective to bring viewers in to the scene. These stylistic changes set the stage for the coming Renaissance.

I chose Giotto for this Known release because the new package includes an upgrade from an older version of Bootstrap to Bootstrap 3. Bootstrap is the front-end framework that we use for responsive interfaces, but previously Known was using an older version that was no longer supported. This update doesn’t bring about many visual changes, but behind the scenes it will be easier for us moving forward to create new themes, templates, and plugins.

If you get a chance to visit Italy, I recommend a stop in Padua to view the Giotto murals in Scrovegni Chapel. These are considered by many to be Giotto’s masterpiece. The 37 scenes circle the inside of the chapel and show stories from the life of the virgin Mary and the life of Christ, as well as depict scenes from the Old Testament. The frescos are done in immense detail and with rich colors. Completed in 1305, the art here is considered one of the great masterpieces of the Western world. Padua is a short train ride from Venice, and I recommend reserving your tickets for the chapel online ahead of time.

Giotto - Scrovegni - -06- - Meeting at the Golden Gate.jpg
"Giotto - Scrovegni - -06- - Meeting at the Golden Gate" by Giotto - Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

A lot of things have changed in version 0.8 of Known. Here are a few:

  • Per-post access permissions: Want to keep just one post private or share it with members of your site? Now you can.
  • Accessibility improvements: Known now has much better accessibility for screen readers and mobility-impaired users.
  • Better bookmarks: The bookmark tool handles page titles more intelligently.
  • Internationalized hashtags: Support for non-Latin characters in hashtags is important.
  • A better bookmarklet: For example, you can reply to multiple Twitter accounts more easily.
  • Subdirectory installations: You can now install Known in a subdirectory as well as at the root of your domain.

Server administrators, web hosts, and developers may be interested in the following changes:   

  • A new interface framework: Known now has an upgraded interface framework using Bootstrap 3 and the latest version of Font Awesome.
  • Better checking for rewrite rules: The installer now does more checking to make sure you have the right server configuration.
  • Diagnostics: Known now contains a handy diagnostics tool to give you more information if something is wrong with your installation.
  • A better test framework: Developers have access to more tests, and writing new tests should be much easier than ever before.

As always, there are a ton of additional fixes, small changes and improvements. We're proud of this release.

You can download Known from our open source page or from GitHub. Of course, you can also get a free, hosted Known site at