TYPO3 CMS 6.2 LTS Release Notes
by Ernesto Baschny, TYPO3 CMS 6.2 Release Manager
This is the second LTS (long term support) release of TYPO3 CMS. TYPO3 CMS 6.2 was released on March 25th, 2014 and will be supported for at least three years by the CMS team. The new release focuses on stability and modernization, making the product competitive for the next few years. The development also concentrated on the motto "smooth migration" to provide best possible support for users upgrading from 4.5 LTS to 6.2 LTS. You will find the most important additions for our favorite CMS below.
For a detailed, technical explanation of what has changed including new settings and descriptions please refer to the Technical Release Notes or the "What's new" slides created by a dedicated team of editors and translators.
Upgraders from previous TYPO3 versions are very welcome. Upgrading from 4.5 LTS, 4.6, 4.7, 6.0 or 6.1 could not be smoother.
The LTS release is here to stay!
First time users will be delighted with the new Install Tool and the new Distribution Management concept.
Get creative, create your own distribution.
Editors, Integrators, Administrators and Developers alike: Everybody is getting solid and useful new features.
TYPO3 CMS continues to be a mature yet modern enterprise level CMS.
Long Term Support
This is the second Long Term Support (LTS) release in the history of TYPO3 CMS. It will be supported by the CMS team for at least three years (until 2017). The focus is on enterprises and the huge TYPO3 4.5 user base which will be migrating to this new LTS release during 2014. This large user base will then finally be able to adopt the newest technologies introduced since 6.0. TYPO3 6.2 provides a sound base for future development of the product.
Smooth migration from TYPO3 4.5 LTS
Many existing TYPO3 installations still run TYPO3 4.5, the first LTS release of TYPO3 back in 2011. The CMS team has made an effort to make migrating from 4.5 to 6.2 as easy as possible. The newly created Install Tool provides several new Upgrade Wizards. A compatibility check extension (EXT:smoothmigration) was created to allow integrators to check their existing installations for compatibility issues and fix the most common problems prior to upgrading. On top of that, the included backwards compatibility layer provides smooth migration for extension developers. Extensions which were built to work with 4.5 need little to no adaptation to work with both 4.5 and 6.2.
File Abstraction Layer 2.0
The File Abstraction Layer (FAL) which was introduced with TYPO3 6.0 provides a unified interface for the core and extensions to handle files, regardless of where they are stored (locally or in the cloud, i.e. on Amazon S3 or Dropbox). FAL was improved for the latest release providing the missing features and stability. Note that the extension DAM (digital asset management) is not compatible with TYPO3 6.2, but all required API should be available in a more generic way in the TYPO3 core with FAL, allowing a migration of DAM based extensions to the new concepts.
- Working with files in the backend was also improved for editors: a new drag & drop upload functionality makes it easy to upload files to the file list or attach them directly to content elements.
- A new system extension EXT:filemetadata adds common meta data fields to file records, allowing the editors to work with DAM like assets. The whole meta data is also translatable, meaning that the files can have different titles and descriptions in each language. The content rendering in the frontend will respect these translations when switching languages.
- Also new and important for administrators is an improved missing files handling. Files that were deleted "under the hood" (through FTP or Shell) are now properly recognized and marked (in content elements and in the reports module), instead of crashing the system.
- File records are now categorizable throught the core categorization API by default. A new feature allows the creation of collection of files based on categories.
- A new FAL Indexer was introduced which works with separate storages. In order to benefit from it, the administrator needs to adapt the currently configured Scheduler tasks.
- FAL Driver API Changes: The Drivers API was enhanced to cope with the new features and changes. These slight modifications make the API incompatible with the previous releases, so extensions providing FAL drivers will need to adapt to the new changes, and provide a separate layer for FAL in 6.0 and 6.1.
Install Tool Rewritten
The Install Tool was rewritten from scratch to improve usability while providing a solid code base for the future. It is built with the concept of never crashing, thus it is not vulnerable to crash if broken extensions are installed or if the cache contains damaged entries.
When first installing TYPO3, the user will be guided by a "1-2-3" step installer through the process of installing the system. The new concept will now automatically create the required directory structure, and also auto-detect most convenient settings for the new user (like ImageMagic settings, caching configuration) and will leave the system in a so called "Production Ready" mode (optimized for speed). Using the Install Tool the user can then later tweak these settings through the newly introduced "Configuration Presets".
All Important Actions are now grouped together in the "Important Actions" menu: Migrating the database structure, creating an admin user, cleaning the cache.
Newly introduced is also the feature of a "Core Updater". This will allow a one-click upgrade of the TYPO3 installation when patchlevel releases are available. No more excuses for a non up-to-date TYPO3 installation!
After first time installation the user has the choice to download and install a so called "Distribution". A distribution is a specially crafted extension which can provide a whole ready-to-use experience for new or existing installations. It can include a working page tree, a complete TypoScript setup, third party extensions, files and assets - a whole site structure.
What used to be separate "Introduction" and "Government" packages provided by the release team are now shipped as extensions through TER (TYPO3 Extension Repository). And the nice part of this: Everybody is free to create their own "Distribution" and make them available through TER.
Create Mobile Ready Webpages
Responsive Image Rendering
HTML5 support is nothing new to TYPO3. TYPO3 6.2 adds support to render "responsive images" in the frontend. This powerful feature can be enabled with a single checkbox. But there are still plenty of configuration options to fully customize the rendering experience.
It starts with the choice of the rendering mode (srcset, picture, through data attributes) going through a customizable set of breakpoints up to a complete custom rendering mode. This flexibility allows full control of the rendering, so it is prepared to cope with whatever standard wins the battle in the near future.
Read more about this feature in this article.
Mobile Device Preview
In the Backend, editors can now view the frontend using the Web>View module to preview the webpage in different device widths. This allows easy simulation of smartphone and tablets. The list of available preview widths is fully customizable by the integrator.
Editors will never want to look back
The Backend now comes with a smoother style, more spacing and less distraction. It uses our beloved Share font as a headline font and provides consistent styling for most widgets. Introducing a styleguide for backend rendering allows future extensions to better integrate with the product.
More robust Workspaces with improved usability and several "under the hood" fixes in regard of versioning inline relational records (IRRE) and Many to Many (MM) relation records. Using Workspaces with file abstraction layer is now fully supported. Many long standing bugs are fixed: Workspaces and versioning has never been that stable before!
Integrators will love it
Site integrators and TypoScript gurus have plenty of new features to get the most out of the latest release.
- Backend Layout Data Providers: With this, backend layouts are no longer limited to live in the database table "backend_layout" but can also be stored in files (making them easier to deploy and share). Extensions that provide "Theming" to TYPO3 (i.e. EXT:themes) will make very good use of it soon!
- Users of the categorization system (introduced in 6.0) can now easily create menus of pages or content elements from the category tree. Either through TypoScript (in HMENU) or simply by allowing the editor to create this new menu type directly.
- Several new conditions were added and improved to make the templates more flexible (i.e. applicationContext, IP=devIP).
- TypoScript with FAL (files) also got plenty of improvements: File metadata are accessible through registers in file links, some improvements in the FILES cObject, rendering of the translations of meta data in frontend and more.
- TYPO3 now only sets a frontend user cookie (fe_session) if there is session data or the user is logged in. This minimizes traffic, allows better optimization of reverse proxies (i.e. varnish). It also makes the setting "dontSetCookie" obsolete.
Administrators will work with pleasure
- Install Tool: new features like "Check for broken Extensions", "Core Updater", "Clear all caches".
- Documentation: A shiny new Documentation Module brings a whole new era of TYPO3 documentation in a central place. The whole core is now documented using the reStructured syntax, and all Core Documents were already converted to this new format. Extension authors are encouraged to migrate existing OpenOffice manuals to this new and more flexible format.
- Scheduler: Better organization in the Scheduler with task groups and task descriptions
- Translations: Support for custom translation servers. See documentation.
- Permissions: Admins can now restrict the visibility categories for a backend users, a feature known from tt_news. The admin can also control the visibility of modules in the backend. Part of FAL, fine grained file permission which were previously only available through UserTS configuration can be configured directly in the BE users and groups.
- OpenID: A new wizard to add OpenID to backend user was created.
- Caching Groups: Introduced the concept of "caching groups". The reworked cache menu (the yellow flash on top of your backend) now has clearer names and permissions. The most used flush option is "Flush frontend caches", which will remove all page related caches (thus making TYPO3 re-render the content). Second is the newly introduced "Flush general caches" which includes the frontend caches, but also extension specific caches. Now there is (by default) no way to clear the "System (core) caches". These core caches usually don't need to be cleared on a production system, because their content only changes when installing or removing extensions - where they are automatically flushed. In order to still be able to flush these caches through the backend (i.e. on a development instance), you can use this TSconfig for your user: options.clearCache.system = 1.
Developers will be beaming with joy
The TYPO3 CMS is a vivid eco-system which is already embedded in a multitude of scenarios. With 6.2 we wanted to make sure that developers could use the most modern in PHP development. TYPO3 CMS is now part of a larger PHP eco-system by introducing the Package Management from TYPO3 Flow.
Introducing the concept of Package Management brings interoperability with the whole world of Composer based PHP libraries and TYPO3 Flow packages to the TYPO3 CMS eco-system. The Package Management implements PSR-0 auto-loading, supports Vendor Namespaces and allows TYPO3 CMS installations to load and make use of native TYPO3 Flow packages. On top of that, it is now possible to natively load Composer based libraries. This means that TYPO3 CMS 6.2 provides a base for creating PHP applications of the future. The feature-set of the Package Management will be further improved in the next releases of TYPO3 CMS.
Other notable developer changes:
- Our Logger is now fully PSR-3 compliant
- Backported ApplicationContext from TYPO3 Flow. See documentation.
- Native support for prepared statements through mysqli and the TYPO3_DB API
- The category system allows multiple category fields per table
- now has recursive validation, just like in Flow
- Template path fallback support
- Extbase's persistence got much faster by introducing a query buildingcache layerand support for prepared statements
- Support for the @inject syntax in Extbase classes
Updated third party components
- jQuery updated to 1.11.0
- RequireJS updated to 2.10
- SwiftMailer updated to 5.0.3
- ExtJS upgraded from 3.4.0 to 188.8.131.52
- normalize.css updated to 3.0.0
Security specialists will nod with satisfaction
For the TYPO3 developers, security has a very high value. Our Security Team consists of specialists who are constantly advocating about best practices amongst the Team. This high awareness of Security is reflected by TYPO3 being one of the most secure CMS around.
We enhanced security in this latest release: saltedpassword is now used by default for the Install Tool and all backend users. No more insecure hashes in the database! Also using it for frontend users is highly encouraged and possible since TYPO3 4.3. We've implemented CSRF protection throughout the whole TYPO3 Backend, even in Ajax calls. A new click-jacking protection minimizes the risk of users being lured into performing backend actions which they are not wanting to do. cookieHttpOnly is now enabled by default.
Core enthusiasts will scream in delight
The core is now cleaner and more stable than ever before. Of course we did plenty of code cleanups, removing obsolete code, refactoring difficult to fix areas, improving inline documentation and helping getting the most out of today's IDEs (i.e code completion). To improve code stability, we created a new framework for functional tests, to complete our already available unit tests. We now have over 6.400 unit tests and 600 functional tests to cover a huge portion of the core code. As we add new features and fixes, more tests will be created, ensuring that a once fixed bug will never show up again. These tests are run after every change merged (through the amazing service provided by Travis CI), so that the whole team is always aware if something is broken to quickly work on a fix.
Thank you to all contributors
The TYPO3 CMS team and the release manager would like to take this opportunity to thank all collaborators of this great new release of TYPO3. We are marking TYPO3 history together, thanks for being part of it: All coders, reviewers, testers, documentation writers, infrastructure maintainers, dev-food sponsors, code sprint location sponsors, involved agencies, freelancers, individuals. All of this great community which worked together to achieve this common and important goal.