CMSMS 2.2 Update
Well... since it is near the end of the year, and because of late a lot of great work has been happening, we thought we would take this time to let you know what's happening with your favorite Content Management System.
CMSMS continues to be a thriving, continually developed Content Management System—written, maintained, and supported by people who use it each and every day. We are a growing, and enthusiastic team of a dozen or so volunteers who communicate frequently via IRC, support each other, and our favorite package. That being said, we're always looking for extra hands. If you would like to contribute some of your free time to working and growing with CMSMS while developing your skills, we would love to hear from you.
Now, on to the details.
CMSMS 2.2 is still in progress and has some exciting new features. There is functionality here for everybody; nobody is being left out of the process. On top of the usual list of minor tweaks and improvements, there are also some major updates:
- New database abstraction engine
To allow for growth, and to improve performance, we've written a completely new database abstraction layer that is both compatible with our existing code, and lighter and faster.
- Protocol relative URI's.
One of the major problems people have had with configuring CMSMS for https over the years has been mixed content. Now, by default all URL's generated by the system will be protocol relative unless your configuration specifies a different root or admin path that explicitly specifies the URL schema.
- New asynchronous job processing
For application development and general system cleanup sometimes tasks need to be run in the background. We have a new asynchronous job manager for use in modules, and by the core, that allows both one-time background tasks, and recurring cron type tasks. The core uses this to gather alerts, to clear old files, and clear the admin log, amongst other things. Module developers and solution providers will also find this to be a valuable tool.
- Improved admin interface
The CMSMS admin theme has had some usability problems. We have undertaken significant effort to address most of these. We've cleaned up the left navigation functionality and made it behave properly, and moved some things around. We also use our own internal alert and confirm functions, and have a new popup alerts system.
- Support for file-based design and development workflows
Developers like to work with files. There are numerous reasons for this, including the ability to use their favorite editor, and the ability to take advantage of source code control. To this end, we've introduced a new core directory which we've entitled 'assets', this will hold all of your file-based design and application customizations, including custom templates, CSS, images, plugins, and Smarty config files.
You can now work with templates (and soon CSS) using your favorite editor, and all of your customizations (with the exception of modules you download or write yourself) are located within a single directory.
- Improvements to the Design Manager
The Design manager has received numerous improvements to make development just that much faster. This includes moving some tabs and controls around, implementing keyboard shortcuts, and adding the ability to work with files. Additionally, you can now display reference information for most template types when editing a template, so you can know what variables are available, and their type, and how to use them. Developing applications with CMSMS will be much faster in CMSMS 2.2
- New "hooks" API, and more events
Our events API was getting a bit long in the tooth and didn't allow us to do all of the things we needed to do. To that end, we've written a new synchronous "hooks" API allowing third party code to tie into many more places in the CMSMS core, and to do all kinds of useful things. And, it also handles the older events system. CMSMS is now more customizable than ever.
- Cleaned up admin log
For maintenance, troubleshooting, and management purposes the CMSMS admin log is a valuable tool—so we've made it work better. This includes a regular task that will go through the admin log and clean up multiple repeated, similar entries in a row.
- New alerts mechanism
For module developers the alerts mechanism in previous versions of CMSMS was difficult to use and unreliable, so we've scrapped it and written a whole new set of tools to allow module developers to create popup alerts.
- Better permission management
CMSMS has always had flexible permissions model allowing fine-grained control over who can do what within CMSMS. However, it can become difficult to use on international and/or large and complex sites with many modules. We have addressed those problems by providing improved organization of the permission editing forms, and allowing permissions to be localized.
Additionally, there are lots of other minor improvements and fixes to generally make your life easier. Whether your primary role is in programming, design, and development, or content editing, CMSMS 2.2 has improvements for everybody.
So, the next question you have is 'when?' Well, because of all of the dramatic changes in 2.2, we will need to go through an extensive public beta period. Our aim is to begin that process in the first quarter of 2017.
If you are interested in participating in the beta program or would like to become more involved with CMSMS, please feel free to contact Matt Hornsby, our Project Manager.
Stay tuned, enjoy the holiday season, and have fun with CMSMS
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