Site Blog - Development (v2.0)

02
Mar ’13

e107 v2 Development Updates

As the last blog post originates from three months ago I would like to inform you about the numerous changes that have taken place up to now and changes that will take place over the coming months. I will be recapping what has happened over the last (say, three) months and more importantly, we are now able to give more information on what’s coming up next.
Take a comfortable position and grab another cup of coffee (if you please so) as you are now up for, what should be, a long and extensive but incredibly satisfying read.

Recap: what has happened over the past months?
The past three months consisted of many preparations and behind the scene changes. e107 Inc. has been working on re-organizing their teams in such a way that they are now able to answer your questions and inquiries more efficiently and effectively. As an example, the e107 security team is now looking after all security reports that are handed to us, in a very effective and efficient way. This is incredibly important for both you and us. Providing a secure system is one of our main goals, it is a shared responsibility to keep the internet secure. Also, it will help reducing the amount of time the support team needs to assist in recovering hacked installations, which is also a big plus

V1.x development
Even though the focus of our development process lies on version 2.x, the e107 team has definitely not abandoned the 1.x branch. In fact, over the past months it has been preparing a maintenance release named 1.0.3. This release includes feature enhancements, several bug fixes and some security fixes that were reported to us over the past weeks. Currently the translation team is working on their, at least to me, valuable task of updating the language packs.

V2.x development
In addition to our behind-the-scene changes, the entire e107 team has been involved in the development of the upcoming version 2 release. Over the past months the teams have had regular meetings to brainstorm about the e107 support and development processes which resulted in several changes. One of them is the move to Github on the 24th of November 2012. The introduction of Github makes it possible for anyone who wishes to contribute to e107 to do so. It offers more flexibility and insight into the development process. More details on the Github move can be found in a previous blog post as well as the wiki pages on Github: [-link-]
I personally have been working on LAN and UI enhancements; basically I’ve been trying to clean up old code and making it look shiny again

Let’s take a look at the future: what about the development of version 2.x?
The development of 2.x has been stretched over a long period of several years. Something that I personally regret but that can be explained by a couple of factors. The main reason for the period of time it took to near the upcoming stages, is that roughly 75% of the core code has been rewritten and updated to new standards. On top of that, all of these changes had to be backwards compatible with previous versions of e107 to make sure that all installations can be upgraded to v2 without major issues. Otherwise you would be forced to freshly install v2 without being able to upgrade from v1, something that is just plain wrong in my opinion Last but definitely not least, all of the people involved in e107 Inc. are volunteers with plenty of daily activities and full-time jobs. This means that all the time they spend on e107 is done aside from the large portion of time spent on their primary activities. As shown in the contributor graph here: [-link-], development has taken place at a steady pace with moments of increased availability and time.

e107 is now finally nearing the alpha stages. This means that the development team is now ready to show you the tremendous amount of work and effort that has been put into the development over the past years. Something I've been proud of - especially of Cameron and SecretR who put so much time and effort in the development: staying up late, working well past midnight is not uncommon for them!.

Let’s take a look at some of the new features that e107 2.x will introduce (and that I personally have been anticipating):
- To start off with, version 2.x integrates the jQuery and Bootstrap frameworks. Both frameworks can be described as collections of up-to-date website technologies that are now used in the core of e107 and that can be used by developers in their themes and plugins. This is a huge step forward as these frameworks have opened e107 up to awesome possibilities and stunning enhancements. For more information on both frameworks, we recommend checking out their websites: [-link-] and [-link-]. Over time, all core code will be adjusted to use Bootstrap CSS styling.

- An example of the above mentioned possibilities is the Featurebox plugin. The Featurebox plugins displays any content that you like to 'feature', in a given area on your website. You know those fancy tabbed areas on websites which highlight news items? That’s an example of what you can do with the Featurebox plugin!


Another major enhancements is the ability of the so-called “inline editing” where it is no longer needed to browse to a new page to make a simple change (e.g. quickly editing the title of your news item).

See the screenshot to the left for more clarification. This will come in real handy if you are in rush and you want to make some quick changes.






- The Media Manager is a new area within e107. All media is now collected in one place. It holds core media such as icons but also download media, news media, and also gallery media. The latter is another new plugin in e107 which can be used to display a simple gallery on your website. In addition to the collection of media, the media-manager als holds functionalities to resize your images in realtime - you will never have to manually resize an image again, or upload a separate thumbnail for that matter. You will be able to use a single image which the media manager can convert into multiple sizes to use in different parts of your website.

- For those familiar with the content management plugin in the 1.x series of e107, this plugin has been removed from 2.x. This is due to the introduction of the powerful Pages/Menus feature. This feature allows you to place your content on your website. It covers both a simplification of the functionalities present in the v1.x content management plugin as well as new functionalities which are based on new features introduced in v2 (Search Engine Friendly URLs for example).

- Speaking about Search Engine Friendly (SEF) URLs. This is another feature that many of you have been anticipating. We are working hard on integrating SEF URLs into the core of e107. Most areas are finished whereas a couple of other areas are being finished up. Progress will be made during the upcoming development releases.

- The 'Schedule tasks' feature (often referred to as "crons" by nerds.. yep, guilty) will allow you to set specific tasks that will be automatically performed.

- Finally but definitely not the least important, version 2.x also offers the ability to remotely install themes and plugins. This means that you will not have to go through the process of downloading, uploading and installing the plugin manually anymore. With a few simple clicks you can install any plugin or theme right from the admin area.


We would like to have some more feedback on this area so we can improve it even further.
To ensure that plugins and themes match the updated standards, a Theme and Plugin builder has been introduced. This is a tool that will help plugin and theme authors to build and update their contributions while matching the new standards. This is needed to to take advantage of all the awesome features that v2 offers.


The above mentioned new features are definitely not all the new features that e107 2.x introduces. There are many features and functionalities included that will be enhanced over time. There are too many new features and functionalities to mention now, but over the coming months they will be introduced to you. Social logins is an example of such a feature.


Testing required!
As already mentioned, multiple areas, features and functionalities in the 2.x release of e107 have had limited testing in live website environments. Once we are releasing the first alpha version (which will be very soon now!) we need your help. Be aware! The alpha release is a development release. We take great care in providing a stable system so we don't expect anything to break. Having said that, there are likely to be bugs but that's exactly what the alpha is for!

These are some of the areas that we would like to receive feedback on:
- The upgrading process from v1.x to v2.x. This should be a matter of uploading the alpha release files onto the latest v1.x installation. The admin area will then provide help on updating the database. Your data will be retained but please always backup your data first, as with any update, just in case

- Backwards Compatibility (BC). This includes the ability to use plugins and themes (that were originally created for 1.x) on 2.x installations. Anything that worked on a 1.x installation should work on 2.x. (In some cases minimal adjustments may be required).

- Functionality on mobile devices. Being able to use e107 on your mobile device (be it a smartphone, tablet or another device) is becoming more and more important. If you own a mobile device, please feel free to test your 2.x installations on them. When reporting issues, be sure to mention the device you are using as well as the software and its version (e.g. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Android 4.x or Apple Ipad, iOS 6.x, Safari, etc.)

Final notes
All this information must have made you anxious to try it all out, right? Great! So am I (even though I've been actively working on developing as well as of last November ). As already said, we are nearing the alpha stages. It will not take long before we will be able to offer you our first alpha release. Here are some final notes:

- Up to the first stable release, you will be able to use e107 in the English language only. The reason for this is that we are working hard on rewriting all old code into up-to-date code. This rewrite also includes major changes to the language files. Once the changes to the languages file are stabilized (probably during the first stable release), the translation team will be working on creating language packs for your language. It would be a tremendous waste of their time if we would ask them to create a language pack on every development version.

- The screenshots embedded in this blog post are only snapshots: the screenshots do not represent the final state of 2.x and may be subject to change over the coming weeks and months as development progresses. Just because I am so anxious, here are some more screenshots that I would like to share with you:










The e107 team hopes that by means of this blog post, it has informed you of the development process. I'd like to say that we have entered a new phase in the e107 development process. It is our goal to inform you more frequently of any updates and changes and I'll do my best to achieve that goal. Please let us know what you think by using the comments section on this Blog post and the forums for feedback.

Thank you, for your continuous support and faith in e107!
Moc

Comments

02 Mar 2013
"the content management plugin in the 1.x series of e107 has been removed from 2.x. due to the introduction of the powerful Pages/Menus feature"

Do you mean that the pages have been updated to the same standards as the content pages?
Is there an unlimited numbers of categories and sub categories?
Do they have custom data fields?
Are the pages.php even printable?
Is there a content category specific search box?
What about bread crumbs?
Can you assign a specific user class to a specific content category?
Can pictures be saved in specific folders?
When you split a page into parts, is there an automatic list of available parts?
Are there different layouts to select from, individually for every single page, and can you create new layouts?
Etc, etc. The list goes on.
If not, there is no viable option for the content manager plugin.

[ edited 02 Mar 2013 ]
Moc
02 Mar 2013
Thank you for your comments. Let me first state that any plugin in the v1 series should work in v2. This also includes the content management plugin. Unfortunately I don't have enough information at this very moment to answer your question but I will get back to you to give you the answers. As always, new features are expanded and further developed so I am confident that the new pages/menus feature will be able to do what the content management plugin does.

Also I am interested to hear about your thoughts on all the other information that was given by means of this blog post. Would you like to share them?
Moc
03 Mar 2013
@Knutars:

The new pages/menus feature is not a replacement for the content management plugin present in v1.x. As stated before, the content management plugin still works in v2 (just like any other plugin) but has been removed from the set of core plugins that the e107 development team supports in v2. Some of the features you mentioned are already included in the pages/menus functionality, others are not and may or may not be included depending on the feedback we receive.

Personally, I think that the pages/menus feature offers a very powerful way to manage the content (especially in combination with everything else that is introduced in v2). I personally do not have that much experience with the content management plugin but I found it to be overly complex (both in usability but definitely coding-wise).

(Note: during the alpha and beta stages testing is needed to ensure that the content management plugin works properly, this should not be a major problem as the developers have taken great care in backwards compatibility.)
03 Mar 2013
Wow this are really great news.

Hopefully the e107 Familiy will find a solution, maybe convert all Content Management plugin entries, because i have more than 1000 Pages in this plugin.

Im very glad to the see the progress.

e107 V2.0 i think this would be the greatest easter Present for all e107 Users

My best Regards

03 Mar 2013
  • e107 Support Team Leader
A conversion tool is planned (has been posted previously), but it won't be until V2 has gone through Alpha and Beta testing stages to iron out any bugs first.
04 Mar 2013
Has there been any discussion of moving toward the usage of PDO? I'm sure you're aware that the mysql_* functions have been deprecated and PDO is much safer to use.
04 Mar 2013
Now there is a name ive not seen pop up for a while! Hope your keeping well McFly
04 Mar 2013
  • e107 Main site administrator
  • e107 Core developer
  • e107 Design Team
@McFly - not yet, but should be easy enough to add. Or you could always send us a pull-request on Github.
14 Mar 2013
Do you want updates tested from alpha, or is it something that we can already start with?
I have my own server, so I can easily set up a copy of my current site and copy a git-hub clone over it. Or would you rather wait until alpha?
Moc
14 Mar 2013
You can already start, especially since you can easily update from Github. Please do! All feedback is welcome (especially bug reports). Just remember to keep it updated, as there are fixes on daily basis.

For most users though it would be more practical to wait for the first alpha release as there will be many changes on daily basis. The alpha releases encompass a proper and more or less stable 'state' of the code.

Thank you for your comment


[ edited 14 Mar 2013 ]
15 Mar 2013
Glad to see bootstrap will be used for look and feel.
This will bring e107 back to 21st century.

good work.

p.s.- I will not ask for release dates
17 Mar 2013
Please tell me that the new pages menu will display items that are currently in Contents. l my site has a tremendous amount of content in the onld v1 contents plugin and i would hate to loose them. Is there an upgrade path for contents.
Moc
17 Mar 2013
@Gary: Dave answered this a couple of replies up "A conversion tool is planned (has been posted previously), but it won't be until V2 has gone through Alpha and Beta testing stages to iron out any bugs first."
Though, the content management plugin in v1 will continue to work in v2. The difference is: the plugin has been removed from the core plugins as it will no longer be supported (maintained/developed) by the development team. Instead more work is put into expanding the pages/menus functionality.
[ edited 24 Mar 2013 ]
17 Mar 2013
Direction HTML 5. This is a very big step forward. Thanks for the great job guys! This may be one of the best CMS, but... html 5 SEO
What about plugins and schema.org?
Ratings stars (news, download, linkspage, content), article (news), breadcrumbs (links), localization (contact form), connection to google plus profile (photo in google results), rss (hatom). Part of the plugins can be customized to rich snippets html5 standards... Let's make a step forward!
Moc
17 Mar 2013
v2 is (will be / strives to be) HTML5 and CSS3 compliant. Also for SEO, there have been enhancements to the meta tags (for news and custom pages for example) and also SEF URLs. Anything else you have in mind?

Currently we're working hard on getting the core code fully updated but plugins will get their well-deserved overhaul as well. Feel free to join in on Github and contribute using pull-requests. More info on contributing can be found in the Github wiki here: [-link-]. Check out v2 as RSS feeds are there, as well as more social integration (in the works).
[ edited 17 Mar 2013 ]
24 Mar 2013
Looks pretty good.
However, let me a bit of criticism and wishes.

Criticism: Content Manager fell victim to the SEF - a pity. Decent replacement for him is not yet evident. Is that to write a separate plug-in. And then comes the question of the documentation of the facilities and architecture. Let's see what will be.
Himself SEF under the current architecture I personally have doubts. This is very time consuming and everything manually.

Comments and suggestions: a small digression: "a long time ago I asked a question here about the auto-watermark at the level of upload_handler but they sent me, and for a long time already a standard - processing of the photo when loading on site. For the convenience and security. Then write plug-ins can be quickly and qualitatively. The more standard(standard) procedures will be in the engine, the less will be the bad plug-ins with vulnerabilities."
OK, distracted. I am about Media Manager - is wonderful. However, a few things I worry about:
- sewn up whether it tough in the structure of the engine?
- will it be possible to instead of the original MediaManager use for example KCFinder - very decent file Manager - he has very useful features: auto-translit file/folder, auto-watermark, etc.
- if Yes, how it will be convenient connection of such external tools (including FileManager, WISIWIG, etc.)

In General, a great work, well done guys.
All IMHO.
[ edited 24 Mar 2013 ]
Moc
24 Mar 2013
Hi real, thanks for your feedback.

Some of your comments were hard for me to understand but here's some response

- The content management plugin has loads of features, of which a lot are included in the current pages/menus functionality. Enhancements can be made over time to include most wanted functionalities that may not be present at this point. Could you further explain what features that are present in the content management plugin are currently lacking from the pages/menus functionality in v2? This feedback will help e107 to enhance the functionality in v2

- SEF is thoroughly integrated into the core, and is easy-to-use on core functions. I'm not sure about integration with plugins but this should also be possible.
Can you please explain what you mean by time consuming and manually? I'm not sure what you are referring to.

- The media manager encompasses many and again many features, including the watermarking that you mentioned but also creating of thumbnails. The current file manager is supposed to be integrated into the media manger but that's work in progress.
As for some fo the KCFinder features; what is auto-translit file/folder?

- TinmyMCE (wysiwyg) editor is integrated as a core plugin but one can very easily switch between bbcode and TinmyMCE with a button that is located under every textfield.

I encourage you to try the current development version by downloading it from Github and try it out
Thank you for your comments!

[ edited 24 Mar 2013 ]
24 Mar 2013
  • e107 Support Team Leader
The content manager plugin here on e107 is different to the one in v1.0.x and is much more functional. If the one in v2.0 is similar then it's great news.

Take a look at a few of the pages on site aka [-link-] [-link-] [-link-] and look at the layout and URL's
Moc
24 Mar 2013
The one in v2 is not the same as on e107.org but it definitely has the same features (layouts and urls). It's far more flexible

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