17 Aug 2011
Development Notes

The release of Symphony 2.2.3 marks the end of development on the 2.2 branch, and the Working Groups are already hard at work on the next release, Symphony 2.3. I thought I'd take some time to outline a couple of the changes that we're working towards in this next release.

It almost goes without saying, but as with any Symphony release, we are aiming to make the system faster, leaner and easier to understand and use for all.

Symphony 2.3 will bring a complete refresh of the backend user experience, from the design to the widgets you interact with every day. The UX Working Group has been working really hard over the last couple of months meeting to discuss new concepts and ideas that will make Symphony 2.3 one of the best releases yet (you can see a full overview on the Working Group wiki). Interface widgets—such as the Duplicator, Collapsible and Tags—will become easier to create with additions to the Widget class, and newcomers—Drawer and Tabs—will allow developers to create richer, more intuitive interfaces in their own extensions. We also hope to release a style guide to complement our Javascript documentation that will help developers make their extensions look and feel as if they're native to Symphony.

Many will be happy to know that the popular EDUI extension (or at least its core ideas) will replace the current 'Components' pages for better management of Events, Datasources and Utilities.

It's not all bells and whistles either; 2.3 will see a number of core improvements under the hood that will make sites easier to create and manage. Dynamic XML datasources (Remote DS is a working title) will see a number of improvements—the most notable being JSON support but it will also include tweaks to allow you to manage the caching of the remote data. Datasources will also be able to output multiple parameters (finally!) and we are working to improve the Datasource Filter builder to allow for more powerful and intuitive filtering.

Developers will be happy to know that significant changes are planned to the Datasource and Field classes, with the goal of exposing common functionality so you don't have to repeat yourself. The Core Email API is also getting some love, with tweaks to provide better performance, flexibility and documentation.

"Wait, when is this awesomeness coming?" I hear you say. Well it's in the early stages so far, and anyone who's has ever built anything knows that means that the scope will probably change, but our target is to deliver a beta at the Symposium. We're hoping to run with the momentum and release a final in December/January.

But it's still not too late to make a difference to the 2.3 release yourself. You can always add your idea/suggestion/bug to our issue tracker on Github.

We're really excited about Symphony 2.3 and about the next couple of months in general, with the upcoming Symposium (are you going?) and a new website (and forum) in the works. So stay tuned for more updates in the near future!

Happy developing :)


So the Symphony 3 "concept release" from last year's Symposium will actually become Symphony 2.3?

Looking forward to it. Thanks again to the team.

  • Nils
  • 17 Aug 11, 7:42 pm

@jensscherbl: Yes, certain ideas will be introduced in Symphony 2.3.

So the Symphony 3 "concept release" from last year's Symposium will actually become Symphony 2.3?

Not exactly, but a lot of the lessons and improvements learned from the Symphony 3 concept (UI refresh, multiple data source output parameters etc) are being implemented into Symphony 2 :-)

Looking forward to it too! :D

Are there any improvements planned for how static content pages are created dealt with?

@moonoo2 No, not at this stage. If there's something we can do to make this easier for extensions trying to achieve this, let us know.

@jensscherbl No, the realign is a different interface to that concept release. As Nick/Nils said, certain ideas and features are being brought back to the 2.x branch so we can make use of them today.

Wow! Thanks for all y'alls amazing work!

@brendo, adding a textarea to blueprints > page by default and make it optional would in all honesty make a world of difference.. but that's for another discussion I guess.

Any plans on making the admin interface easier to skin? Perhaps building a way to create back-end themes?

@moonoo2 This delegate can be used to do exactly that. Admittedly you would need a custom datasource to retrieve this value, but that's not out of the question for an extension to do both.

@mlathrom You mean something more fully fledged than Admin CSS Override? Not at this point, no.

  • into
  • 23 Aug 11, 10:13 am

Wow, just plain wow.

  • ChriZ
  • 01 Sep 11, 11:04 pm


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