Releasing TYPO3 v8.3

Categories: Development Created by TYPO3 CMS Core Team
We are happy to announce the next sprint release of TYPO3 v8, another great step of improvements for TYPO3 v8 LTS, expected to be served in April 2017 to you. Read more for details.
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Doctrine DBAL migration

The major plans for having built-in and true database abstraction have turned into reality very fast in the last weeks, and now, 95% of the TYPO3 Core run with the industry-standard Doctrine DBAL - the last parts will follow in the next weeks. The system extensions "dbal" and "adodb" will be moved to the TYPO3 Extension Repository on once the migration is through. We will also provide a backwards-compatible layer for all extensions that still need the database connections based on $GLOBALS['TYPO3_DB']. With this change, there have been some performance improvements within Extbase persistence already, and more will follow for the next sprint release, as a lot of the logic for Query Parsing can be taken over by Doctrine DBAL and the database implementations directly. A number of opportunities have opened up already with the Doctrine DBAL move - direct support for Extbase on MSSQL and PostgreSQL will allow TYPO3 to run smoothly on Cloud-based hosters like Microsoft Azure and, as well as Heroku. There are still some flaky corners, but the target for a complete cloud-readiness in v8 LTS is in near reach. It should be made clear that this major refactoring is implementing Doctrine DBAL (Database Abstraction Layer) and should not be mixed up with Doctrine ORM (Object Relational Mapping).
As major part for bringing our technology stack forward we are striving for the complete removal of ExtJS in the TYPO3 Core. One major change for example was replacing the tree within the Form Editing part with a tree rendering based on SVGs. As a major improvement, this new and native browser technology is blazingly fast. The FormEngine tree is the first tree to be replaced with SVGs, the mighty page tree will follow next.
A heavily inflexible and hard to understand syntax within TYPO3 is the so-called "typolink" syntax. The first parameter here decides where to link to - a page, a file, an external link or an email address. This syntax was extended over the years and the several changes, also with the introduction of FAL, made it quite difficult to move forward in a lot of areas, especially when it comes to implementing a new Rich Text Editor (RTE). The new linking syntax sets some proper defaults by prefixing "t3://page" when linking to a page within the TYPO3 instance, and "t3://file" for files. The old syntax, which is still used in all places of the TYPO3 Core, and in existing installations can still be used without any drawbacks. The infrastructure under the hood however is streamlined so further work on the linking logic can continue. The next step will be to remove the <link 123> tag which TYPO3 stored in the database in RTE fields, and replace it with a regular <a href="t3://page?uid=123"> tag inside the database. This also removes a lot of RTE parsing when editing or saving content and opens the door for simpler integration of Frontend Editing.

PHP 7.1 support

The next PHP version 7.1. is already in alpha phase, and the TYPO3 Core runs smoothly on this version already, we straightened out a few bumps and TYPO3 8 is now ready for the next PHP generation.

Further changes

During the Doctrine DBAL migration, a lot of long standing bug fixes could be resolved. Additionally, it is now possible to put Extension Icons not just into ext_icon.png (or .gif or .svg) but in Resources/Public/Icons/ExtensionIcon.png (or .svg or .gif) as well. This helps to restrict server access permissions of extensions only to Resources/Public/ and be more restrictive in a simple way. The current RTE rtehtmlarea was freed of any ExtJS dependency, and migrated to native JavaScript and jQuery in order to move forward with our JavaScript stack. The major task of Andreas Fernandez over the last months is finally included and rock-solid. The "backend" extension now allows to set a custom favicon for the TYPO3 Backend via the Extension Manager.

Download TYPO3 v8.3

You can find TYPO3 v8.3 on our <link>downloads page, get it via <link https: composer>Composer or try out the <link https: tuurlijk typo3.homestead>virtual machine to play around with the latest development version. Please make sure you have PHP7 running on your target system, as this is the base requirement for TYPO3 v8.

What's next

Work on the next sprint release, scheduled for October 18th, has already started. Next to the Doctrine DBAL finalization, the ExtJS removal works will continue, and once removed, it will show a significant performance improvement in the TYPO3 Backend. Swedish TYPO3 pioneer <link http: crowdfunding>pixelant and people from the TYPO3 Core team are coding on the integration of CKeditor as the new default Rich Text Editor - the basis for the new frontend editing mode, still also scheduled for v8 LTS.