We are happy to announce that the Beta testing phase for October will soon be coming to an end as we are preparing to enter the next phase of development. We have also added some features to this website that will be described in more detail below.
Upcoming Release Candidate
Many of you have shared your concerns about running a live production website using a Beta platform, or have even wondered if October will be stuck in beta forever? Rest assured, work on the first Release Candidate (RC) version of OctoberCMS has begun!
You might be thinking, "what does this mean exactly?" The short answer is: you'll soon be able to start using OctoberCMS for your production sites.
To elaborate, this represents the first attempt at a stable version of October. Let's say you installed a Beta copy in the early days, we can't be sure that the website will work today because the programming interfaces may have changed. However, on the other hand, once we reach the final stable release and you install the first RC version of October, you can feel confident that your website will operate like a well oiled machine and that we will have solidified the foundation of the platform and won't be making any breaking changes to the code base.
As part of our goal to deliver a stable release we will be upgrading our foundation framework from Laravel 4 to Laravel 5. If you're keen to jump ahead with us you can enable bleeding edge updates.
Bleeding edge updates
The OctoberCMS platform has a new testing feature called edge updates. This adds some cushioning in case some buggy code somehow makes it in to a build. This feature is optional and should only be enabled by developers who are confident enough to debug PHP errors and inspect git history. Just 10% of users choosing to enable this feature will help to secure the stability of future updates. Those who choose not to enable will get less frequent updates but will have fewer bugs.
To enable the edge updates feature, change the config value
cms.edgeUpdates to true, this will tell the platform to prefer developmental updates, then simply perform a system update via the back-end Settings > Updates page. More information can be found by reading the documentation.
Test updates for plugins
Plugin authors can also take advantage of the edge update feature by using the new testing process which is not enabled by default. Each plugin requires the feature to be enabled by opening the Settings page of a Plugin and placing a tick in the Test updates checkbox. This will create a Test build for the plugin in addition to the Stable build that is currently used.
When you publish changes to a plugin with test updates enabled, the updates are held in a Pending state and are only available to users with edge updates enabled. It is a good idea to enable edge updates yourself so you can test your plugin. A new Commit pending changes button will appear on the plugin updates management page.
The pending changes are public so everyone will have some idea of what is due to arrive in the next update. Once you have finished testing and are happy with the outstanding changes you can commit them to the Stable build (it is a good idea to wait until others have tested too). The plugin changes will now be available for all to enjoy when they update.
New support options
Authors now have more control for handling support of their Plugins and Themes. At the moment the Support tab on the listing page shows a forum where customers can ask questions and report problems. We realise this may not be everyone's favorite idea so we've added some extra options to let you decide what should be displayed in the Support tab. This can be changed on the Edit contents screen of your product management page.
As shown in the image above, there are three choices available:
- Forum - this is the default setting, it shows a dedicated support forum where users can post topics and replies. This is the best choice for free products because it is low maintenance and allows users to assist each other.
- External link - when selected, a URL link to another website can be specified. Clicking the Support tab will open the link in a new window. For example, this could link to the Github issues section, or some other 3rd party bug management system.
- Content - when selected, a content area appears and instructions can be specified. This content should provide details on how to get support. For example, it could specify support hours and provide a Skype address or phone number.
There are more and more paid products added to the marketplace every week, we hope this feature will help with providing more professional support.
Removing plugins from Projects
This feature has been requested many times... we are listening! It may seem like a simple task to delete projects or remove specific items from a project and while that is true, we want to be careful when allowing this as there is the potential for a paid plugin or theme to be lost in the process. Notice there is a new list of plugins via the Project management page.
You can now remove unwanted Plugins from your Projects by clicking the Remove button next to a plugin name. Plugins that have been purchased on the marketplace cannot be removed yet.
Thanks for your help
Thank you for your patience during the Beta phase. Due to your help and feedback, the road test is almost complete and we hope see a RC version in the coming months.