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Last active Aug 29, 2015

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Managing background jobs in Newscoop 4.3

In Newscoop 4.3 we have introduced a new way to manage cron jobs, those background processes which perform janitorial tasks on your web server. Newscoop has eight cron jobs by default, which help organize content and keep your news website running smoothly:

  • Autopublish - Automatically publishes pending issues and articles
  • Indexer - Collects data from articles for the search feature
  • Subscriptions notifications - Sends email to new subscribers
  • Events notifications - Sends email about events to users
  • Statistics clean - Removes old statistics from the Newscoop database
  • Send statistics - Sends Newscoop statistics to Sourcefabric, for support purposes
  • Users garbage - Removes obsolete pending users data
  • Log rotation - Limits the size of the audit log to the last seven days

Before version 4.3, users couldn't manage these jobs from the Newscoop administration interface, and it required some GNU/Linux knowledge to modify these jobs manually. The new way of managing background jobs gives users more flexibility, and more options to control scheduled tasks. From now on, one master cron job is added to the crontab during the Newscoop installation process, and all other jobs are run from this master job. Without any knowledge of system administration, the news publisher now has the ability to manage all of these jobs in the Background Jobs Settings panel, found on the System Preferences page.

Figure 1: Panel for managing background jobs in Newscoop

As shown in the picture above, there are now several options for controlling background jobs. Tasks can be activated or deactivated, along with the email notification messages about any errors generated for each job. There are also Next run date and Previous run date fields which inform the user when the background job will run again, and when it ran last time.

In the Advanced tab, users can set the email addresses which will receive notifications about any errors, or change the name and email address from which notifications will be sent.

Fig. 2. Advanced Settings tab in Background Jobs Settings

We have also introduced a way to configure background jobs in Newscoop 4.3 plugins, which will be useful for developers who want to extend the functionality of Newscoop. These new features add up to more power for journalists and media organisations to have their news website running the way they want it to.

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