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26 March 2012

Although this is a minor release following 2.2.5, there are a large number of breaking changes that developers must be aware of. The core team, along with the wonderful contributors, have been fixing, improving and tidying. The codebase is now neater, so that your extensions will be neater too.

Brendan has written a Migration Guide for 2.3 for Extension Developers which should list every core that that might affect your extensions. However this list is pretty long, so here is my summary. These are the steps I have followed for each extension to quickly fix the most common bugs.

extension.meta.xml files replace the about() function

Although not mandatory in 2.3, they are highly recommended. Add this file to the repo and remove the about() function from your extension.driver.php. Be sure that your XML file has the correct namespace!

<extension id="..." status="released" xmlns="http://www.getsymphony.com/schemas/extension/1.0">

Delete delegate is no more

Search your source for Delete (note the case) to see if you subscribe to this delegate. It has changed to EntryPreDelete.

Accessing sym_pages or sym_sections directly?

If your extension queries these tables directly, then please stop. There is a good chance they will not exist in the future, in favour of other storage means. You must use the new PageManager class or existing SectionManager class as accessors. If you are modifying these tables by adding new columns, then this is very risky and you should store these in the config file instead. Don't say I didn't warn you.

displayDatasourceFilterPanel markup change

If your field provides a displayDatasourceFilterPanel method, the markup it provides has changed. It should now be:


So you can replace your code with:

$header = new XMLElement('header');
$header->appendChild(new XMLElement('h4', $this->get('label')));
$header->appendChild(new XMLElement('span', $this->name()));

processRawFieldData arguments changed

The third argument for this method in your fields is now a $message string and not $simulate boolean. Be sure to add this new third argument (now five arguments, not four).

public function processRawFieldData($data, &$status, &$message=null, $simulate=false, $entry_id=null) {

buildDSRetrivalSQL is deprecated

Spot the typo? The buildDSRetrivalSQL method in your fields is deprecated and should be renamed buildDSRetrievalSQL.

Delegate $context no longer contains parent

In delegate callbacks, especially those that add CSS/JavaScript from the InitaliseAdminPageHead delegate, the chances are you access the current page and check its context. Search for:


This no longer exists and you should use:


Equally, you should not request the _context method on a page. Instead use the new getContext() method:

// old
$page = $context['parent']->page;
$page_context = $page->_context['...'];

// new
$page = Administration::instance()->Page;
$context = $page->getContext();
$page_context = $context['...'];

Navigation groups can be aligned left or right

Symphony's navigation is now split left (content) and right (structure). If your extension adds a group to the navigation, be sure to specify which type. For example:

    'name' => __('...'),
    'type' => 'content',
    'children' => array(...)

Managers are now static, _Parent is no more

All managers are now static. You can leave them as they are, but we recommend using the new syntax since sharing the same manager instance can improve performance. Look familiar?

$sm = new SectionManager(Administration::instance());
$section = $sm->fetch(1);

Rewrite as:

$section = SectionManager::fetch(1);

This applies to SectionManager, FieldManager, EntryManager as well as the others. You should search your code for _Parent or _engine for really old legacy code.

Database and Configuration accessors

The best way to get to the database and configuration objects is directly through the Symphony class:


No need to pass $parent to constructors

Most fields seem to have this passed in their constructors.

public function __construct(&$parent) {

It's unnecessary and will throw an error:

Missing argument 1 for YourClass::__construct()

They can be removed.

Widget values must be strings

Symphony is now more strict when it comes to building HTML form elements using the Widget class. If your widget shows numbers, be sure to cast these as strings first:

$my_cache_value = 10;
Widget::Input('cache', (string)$my_cache_value);

Otherwise you'll get:

Symphony Fatal Error: Argument $value is not of type string, given integer.

Created tables must set charset and collate

This is really important for multilingual compatibility. When creating new tables you must explicitly set the charset and collate, otherwise incorrect values might be inherited from MySQL's poor defaults. Search your code for create table, and be sure you have something like:


Don't hard code /symphony in URLs

Future versions of Symphony will allow developers to change the backend URL from /symphony to their own choosing. When constructing URLs use the SYMPHONY_URL constant:

$url = URL . '/symphony/...'; # bad
$url = SYMPHONY_URL . '/...'; # good

My own process

I rarely keep a single set of my extensions locally, since they all live remotely on Github. So to test them all against a new release I perform a mass-clone:

  1. Visit http://symphonyextensions.com/export/ssh/:username and copy the list of clone commands (replace ssh with git for read-only clone URLs, or submodule for submodule commands instead)
  2. Navigate to your extensions directory e.g. cd ~/Sites/symphony-2/extensions
  3. Paste the clone commands and wait for all extensions to download

I then run through my list above performing a search across all files for various known terms (e.g. _Parent to remove old accessors, new SectionManager to find non-static SectionManager instances etc.)

This short term pain will have long term benefits for the whole community. So please, join me in updating our extensions for the best Symphony yet.

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  • Apache's mod_rewrite module or equivalent

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