TYPO3 v8.1 - Tightening the screws
May 03, 2016
Today, the TYPO3 community published the second sprint release of the v8 series of TYPO3, the enterprise content management.
With a tight development schedule of only six weeks since v8.0 and despite a batch of security releases that had to be handled in parallel, the core team is proud to announce this release as planned.
Two on location sprints were arranged to push the product forward, namely the user experience oriented T3UXW16 and the code sprint at MaxServ in Waalwijk which predominantly focused on the development. We'd like to thank all sponsors, organizers and participants for their passionate dedication, trust and motivation they put into the product and the community we all love. And by the way - the results are impressive!
UX: Revamped workspace module
UX: Unified color picker
TYPO3 now comes with a unified color picker instead of three different solutions that were spread throughout the system over time. This change is one of the visible changes from T3UXW16 that was implemented completely during that week in Festenburg. The old popup is gone and has been substituted with more concise solution. We are convinced that users will love this more intuitive approach, which will also save time on editing content.
UX: Inlined backend layout wizard
The "backend layout" wizard - well known to most integrators - is now directly integrated within the backend editing forms and no longer a standalone view. Next to the integration of the form wizard in 8.0 and the new color picker in 8.1, this is the third change that makes use of the new form rendering engine that was prepared last year. In general the user experience handling even complex components in these form views becomes easier than ever before. We're looking forward to much more awesome solutions in this area.
UX: Guided tours
This is yet another result from T3UXW16: The extension "guide" has been released on the TYPO3 Extension Repository. It provides an extensible system for "guided tours" throughout the TYPO3 backend to help editors getting accustomed to the system. Extension authors can hook into this toolset and create interactive tours for their own extensions. The core team is in close contact with the authors and is looking forward to further developments. Watch the screencast.
Doctrine DBAL integration
In contrast to other systems TYPO3 always provided a database abstraction layer before anybody else in the industry even thought about it. Every TYPO3 developer knows $GLOBALS['TYPO3_DB'] by heart and keeps a steady love/hate relationship with it. This programming interface allows the CMS to run on database engines besides the native MySQL server, but it always came with a price tag: It was complex to run TYPO3 on anything beside MySQL under certain conditions and lots of time and money had to be put into it, especially for non-standard scenarios.
This now changes with TYPO3 CMS version 8.1: The de-facto industry standard Doctrine DBAL has been integrated into the system together with a slim access API that adds necessary TYPO3 specific flavors into the mix. This solution is much more powerful and reliable than good-old TYPO3_DB, and the barrier for new developers is lower since many know Doctrine DBAL from other PHP applications already. The database abstraction is now built-in and always loaded - not "one more thing to think about" anymore. This makes it much easier to run on different DBMS like Oracle, PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQLServer.
A concept to carefully phase out the old API has been established and currently both programming interfaces run in parallel. More than a thousand calls need to be replaced to make full use of the new layer in TYPO3’s core in upcoming releases. Therefore help is welcome and a great opportunity for agencies giving developers some free time to step in and educate themselves towards cloud hosting challenges in the near future: Helping now will reduce the time to upgrade own projects later since devs already know the bells and whistles and were trained by the quality-loving core developers.
The 8.1 release is the next step of many important sprint releases on the road to TYPO3 CMS 8 LTS which is planned to be ready in spring 2017. The next version 8.2 is already planned and works are in full swing for a release in early July 2016.