TYPO3 Association releases Version 4.2: Focus on Usability and Performance Improvements

April 23, 2008

Category: Development
Author: Sander Vogels

BAAR - The TYPO3 Association 4.x Development Team has released a new version of their very successful open source project. TYPO3 has been downloaded over 3.000.000 times from Sourceforge.org which makes it one of the World's leading enterprise Open Source products. The main focus of the new 4.2 version is improving usability, but there are also many enhancements for system administrators and developers. Including bug fixes, there are nearly 650 enhancements in TYPO3 4.2.

In addition, the new TYPO3 version now requires at least PHP 5.2.0 in order to run. PHP 4 has served the web developer community for over seven years, but its time has passed. PHP 5 was released three years ago and offers many improvements. In partnership with other popular open source projects, TYPO3 joined the “goPHP5” initiative and agreed to move to PHP 5 and to formally stop supporting PHP 4.

This release incorporated substantial changes to the TYPO3 backend interface aiming to improve the usability for end users. Major new features include a top stationary icon and option bar called a “document header,” tabbed forms for editing page properties and content elements, page-type dropdown menu items grouped by categories, currently open documents accessible via the document header bar, and page tree and file tree can be collapsed or expanded as desired.

The "Cleaner Backend Project" which began with TYPO3 4.0 has now completed its task to restructure the TYPO3 backend. This included enhancements to the included t3skin extension, which improves the overall appearance as well.
TYPO3 uses “htmlArea” as the default Rich Text Editor (RTE) for content editing. The RTE has been updated with several enhancements including support for Apple’s Safari browser and many bug fixes. In addition, for developers, a new plug-in API enables TYPO3 extensions to extend the RTE.

The Template Module now includes an improved TypoScript editor with syntax highlighting, code snippets, and more. Also, the Constant Editor incorporates a more intuitive interface that eliminates the need for a checkbox next to each field.
TYPO3 4.2. has a new login-box system extension called "felogin". This is an enhanced version of the "newloginbox" extension, and is now integrated into the TYPO3 core software. When installed, the new extension will replace the old login content element. The new extension comes with a new redirection framework and many configuration options, but runs well using only the default settings.

The Workspaces module with its workflow features was introduced in TYPO3 4.0 and has been improved in TYPO3 4.2. Kasper Skårhøj implemented the long-desired feature to more-easily move elements in a workspace. In addition, workspace element "swapping" is now possible for new and deleted elements just as it has been for changed elements. Also, workspace updates can now be previewed by users who do not have a backend user account. A special link enables access and that link can be sent via e-mail.
Several performance improvements have been included in TYPO3 4.2 as well. Speed enhancements have been made to indexed search, local caches, caching of language files, and internal caching of the character set. Also, the "Page is being generated" message has been eliminated using a new locking mechanism.

Core Team Leader, Michael Stucki, states, "I'm really proud of the new version and what we have accomplished. There have been so many changes and improvements that it's really difficult to focus on just one aspect. TYPO3 4.2 is the result of a combined team effort resulting in a wide range of new functions."
The TYPO3 Association is sure both developers and end-users will appreciate this new version which will contribute to the continued growth of this already highly successful open source project.

TYPO3 version 4.2 can be downloaded directly from www.typo3.org/download/. Technical documentation and the release notes can be found at typo3.org/development/articles/release-notes-42.

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