Liferay 3.5.0 just came out today. The installation experience was much smoother this time around than last time. Since I am not running a production site, all I did was blow away both the database and the existing expanded war direcotry, unzip the new war file, execute the database init scripts, and restart tomcat – and there we go. Obviously I didn’t get a chance to execute the update-3.2.0-3.5.0.sql, so YMMV if you have some serious data to carry over.
I still need more time to look deeper into the new features this version bring to us, but on the surface, it looks like the already elegant UI has undergone another round of improvements. A few cool themes and color schemes were added. My favorite is the Genesis Theme, which features auto-hide portlet window controls, i.e., those buttons and screen customization links only show up when your mouse hovers over the corresponding window (and for you browser compatibility freaks out there, yes, it runs well in both Firefox and IE).
So far my only whining is the same old issue coming back and haunting – Liferay still by default deploys to the root context ‘/’. There is an FAQ item describing how to change the root context to something like ‘/testPortal’, but I haven’t been able to get it to working. Besides, the deployment structure of Liferay is still a little bit, well, unorthodox – while it’s distributed as a war, it insists on being expanded to and reside outside the normal ‘webapps’ directory in tomcat.
Sometimes this week I’ll try to deploy some JSR 168 compliant portlets to Liferay 3.5, and see how it goes. That’s something I didn’t get a chance to try out with Liferay 3.2. Will keep you posted.