Just around the corner... (updated)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 Tags: preview

(Updated Aug 22nd) As we begin heading toward the next scheduled release near the end of September (v2.0.9), there are already several big features which have been implemented in the pre-release code.  In addition to the previously mentioned '2-column form display style' option (see this post), we've converted two of the remaining old-school modules into 2.0 style controllers...Simple Polls and Navigation.  This was no simple conversion (pun intended)...and though we've retained as much backwards compatibility as possible, you can begin preparing your custom themes and views for this valuable update.

  1. Most custom themes and views should continue to work as expected, as far as our testing shows, but there may be issues down the road as we leave behind deprecated features.
  2. You SHOULD run an upgrade to keep your site running!  Both the Navigation and SimplePoll upgrades are optional because they delete old files, nevertheless we recommend you select those upgrades to run since most of the site is based on 'navigation'.
  3. There is ONLY ONE approved function to embed (hard-code) a module within a theme template (index.php in theme folder), namely the 'expTheme::module())' method (see this doc).  So, if you are using any of the other methods, please update your theme or subtheme (in subthemes folder) templates.  As a hint, the module method only accepts ONE parameter which is an array of named items.  We'll have an blog article posted soon with some more detailed instructions on how to convert the deprecated calls/theme templates.

Some other changes which are already present in the pre-release code are:

  • RSS feeds are now SEF urls, which makes them easier to locate, and selection of feeds to advertise is now optional (instead of all or none)
  • There are now page-type indicators displayed in the Manage Pages view
  • Since Navigation is now a 'controller', you can add custom view configurations to add greater flexibility to a view.  In fact, we hope to have a single standard generic navigation view which can mimic most of the common navigation views by its configuration settings.
    • (New Aug 22nd) This upgrade also includes a new 'universal' default navigation view which can be adjusted to mimic most of the old views by selecting various user settings.
  • The calendar is more forgiving of timezone differences (events created for or in another time zone used to be invisible) and it will include a new user-selectable Weekly List view.
  • (New Aug 22nd) We've also added a default system fallback theme template so pages will displayed even if the entire themes folder is missing.  Previously, there was NO fallback if the selected theme was missing and in v2.0.8 we began using 'basetheme' as a fallback which couldn't always be guaranteed to be present.

As always, the pre-release code is available on the 'develop' branch of the git repo.  HOWEVER it is NOT always guaranteed to work, and may be completely broken for short periods of time.  We always recommend you never upgrade a production site using pre-release code.  And even with the release code, it's recommended to wait until after you test the upgrade with your custom theme.