TYPO3 CMS 6.1 Release Notes

by Benni Mack, TYPO3 CMS 6.1 Release Manager

This is the second release of TYPO3 CMS in the version 6 branch. TYPO3 CMS 6.1 continues the path that the previous milestone - version 6.0 - has set by polishing the ground-breaking features introduced there. The slogan "Improve!" is the subline for the most important changes for TYPO3 CMS below.

For a detailed explanation of what has changed including new settings and options please refer to the Technical Release Notes or the "What's new" slides created by Patrick Lobacher and Michael Schams.

Improving the File Abstraction Layer

The newly File Abstraction Layer (FAL), introduced with TYPO3 CMS 6.0, that removes the restriction to put assets exclusively under uploads/ and fileadmin/, brings new possibilities like editing meta-data for any kind of files directly by the TYPO3 Core. Additionally it creates the base for the DAM-successor, a separate project called "Media Management", which is available via Forge and soon released to the TYPO3 Extension Repository (TER).

Small but important details were added and changed, like the unified deletion of files that are in use, the handling of indexing and better ways to hook in this newly API to extend the base functionality.

In addition, some external drivers - ways to work with files that are on remote servers - like the WebDAV driver (fal_webdav) and a Dropbox driver that is still in the works, were developed further.

UI Improvements for the Extension Manager

The extension manager, the heart of the TYPO3 extensibility within the Core, has become a major overhaul with TYPO3 CMS 6.0, as it cleanly separates the visual parts from the functionality. This allows for further, and separate development in the connection to the TER, but also for the UI parts. The latter has been greatly improved for a more streamlined integration in the existing TYPO3 Backend interface.

Through the clean abstraction - the extension manager module is based on Extbase / Fluid since 6.0 - clean and proper styling helped to get a better overview of installed extensions and to look into different versions of available extensions in the TER.

Previous connection problems to the TER via the extension manager have been solved as well.


Use for PHP mysqli instead of "mysql" module

The main database connection class (formerly known as TYPO3_DB) now uses "mysqli" instead of the old "mysql" extension. mysqli was introduced with PHP 5.0 and ships with all supported PHP versions by default. The original extension "mysql" is deprecated with the upcoming PHP 5.5 version, is only optimized for MySQL 4.1.3 or earlier, and lacks support for some newer features of MySQL Server.

As TYPO3 CMS requires MySQL 5+ for some versions now, it is only natural to exchange the mysql library as well. As the mysql calls are encapsulated entirely in the main database connection class, there are only slight API changes -- all extension code using the API should run as before.

"mysqli" is now a hard requirement in the PHP environment and must be loaded for TYPO3 to run.

Further Changes

The following noteworthy changes have been introduced as well

  • Removed extension statictemplates
    Static templates is an extension that delivers ready to use frontend templates like the "Green" template. The extension is outdated for years and currently unmaintained. It is now removed from the TYPO3 core - if it is still in use for certain installations, an upgrade wizard is in place to fetch it from the TER.
    The HMENU types GMENU_LAYERS, TMENU_LAYERS and GMENU_FOLDOUT are also not delivered with the core anymore but with that extension.
  • Improved TCA load mechanism
    The initialization of the central $GLOBAL['TCA'] array was refactored, accelerated and simplified. Frontend code can now rely on a fully loaded array at any time. The requirement to call t3lib_div::loadTCA() in ext_tables.php if manipulating TCA is not needed anymore.
  • Install Tool: Environment Checks
    The install tool now provides an additional feature called "Environment Checks" to analyze the system TYPO3 runs on in order to provide the best experience. The unified checking API is also used in the reports module.
  • Extbase: The rewritten property mapper is now the default mapper
    Property mapping is the process to create method parameters or objects from incoming form or ajax data. With TYPO3 CMS version 4.6 a new property mapper was included as a backport from FLOW. It is now used as the default property mapper.
  • Fluid: Allow Fluid arrays only in ViewHelper arguments
    The Fluid parser struggled with JavaScript content within a Fluid template, as the { } characters are used for both Fluid variables and JavaScript objects. Thus, the restriction is set to only allow Fluid arrays within an argument of a Fluid view helper.
  • Extbase: Object persistence behaviour changed from implicit to explicit save
    Previously, every modification to a database driven object was persisted automatically at the end of a controller action with a call to persistAll(). In order to improve performannce and to further narrow the behavior from TYPO3 Extbase to TYPO3 Flow, this implicit saving has been removed.

Find detailed information about these changes in the delivered NEWS.txt of the every TYPO3 CMS 6.1 package.

Big Thanks to Every Contribution

Personally, I am astouned by so many contributors world-wide to make TYPO3 6.1 what it is, a major improvement over all existing TYPO3 versions. That's why the credit has to go to all code contributors,  sponsors, TYPO3 teams and related parties to bring TYPO3 forward with this small but important step.

Special thanks go to Kasper Skårhøj for creating such a great tool, sharing it with the world and bringing so many wonderful people together.