Saturday 20 September 2014 by

Happy tenth birthday, Textpattern. Version 4.5.7 of our favourite CMS is released. #Happy10Txp

Ten years ago this weekend Textpattern’s very first commit to a public repository was made by Dean Allen. To mark this occasion, Textpattern CMS 4.5.7 is released.

This version includes important security fixes and further enhances PHP 5.5 compatibility with an update to the Textile markup language. The setup routine has also been improved to make it friendlier (less re-typing) when hopping back and forth through the setup wizard.

We strongly urge you to upgrade to this version as soon as practical.

In addition, the following issues have been fixed:

  • <txp:link_to_prev>, <txp:link_to_next>, <txp:prev_title>, and <txp:next_title> tags now work better with certain attribute combinations in <txp:article_custom>.
  • Bugs in set_pref() were causing headaches for plugin authors in particular.
  • Articles can now be assigned to sections with names longer than 64 characters.
  • Comment emails of any valid length are now saved properly.
  • Visitor logs support IPv6.
  • Setup script is more robust, and compatible with MySQL 5.6.
  • Warnings when writing image thumbnails have been eradicated.
  • Files no longer trash author names under certain conditions.
  • Empty files can no longer be created.
  • Percent encoding of spaces in site URLs now works reliably.

Note: Textpattern 4.5.6 was skipped due to an administrative oversight.

Download

Installation and upgrade

Refer to the README.txt file in the download archives for detailed instructions.

Looking into the crystal ball

Although the gap between the release of this maintenance version and the previous version was fairly lengthy, a lot of development has gone on behind the scenes in preparation for the next major version. The rate of commits to the codebase in the last couple of years is orders of magnitude higher than ever before in the history of the project. But we admit it’s slow, and appreciate everyone’s patience as we retool to help bring more features to Textpattern.

As well as the thousands of “invisible” changes behind the scenes which are shaping the code for the future, there have been plenty of visible alterations, including:

  • Moving the Languages sub-tab from Preferences to its own panel.
  • Consolidating all Preferences into more logical, collapsible groups on a single page. Plugins also benefit through a simplified preference management process, allowing authors to re-use and extend core mechanisms instead of duplicating core code.
  • Tonnes of new callback hooks for plugins and themes to interact with and tweak the admin side.
  • UI/UX improvements, from moving the article Publish/Save button to the top of the panel, to much improved markup across the admin side, including the tag builder. Lots of work has been done on improving the experience for international audiences too (RTL languages in particular).
  • Vastly improved methods for language translation efforts co-ordinated via Github, with the eventual aim of probably phasing out or at least reducing reliance on the RPC server.

On the horizon are some other cool things:

  • Improved, more granular search facility.
  • Custom fields across content types. These are being referred to as the Meta Store, but a catchier name may yet surface. Meta data of many types other than plain text boxes are planned for articles, images, files, links, authors, categories and even sections to allow you to make more expressive and leaner sites. Lots of work still to be done (for example, allowing the Write panel to be customised to improve the workflow), but it’s taking shape. The exact split between what core offers and what plugins can offer is being worked out.
  • Hundreds of other UI/UX improvements, including more complex grids for better layout of things like images, and moves towards including more intuitive, mobile friendly jQuery UI functionality as a core component.
  • A mechanism for more easily associating images to articles is planned, though your favourite plugins will still continue to work.
  • Better plugin management, including tools to help developers seamlessly register plugins with the Textpattern repository (perhaps via Composer) are being considered. This impacted the original improvements to textpattern.org, which (still) remains a bit of a mess.

We’re also in the process of finally upping sticks from Google Code (SVN) to Github which will make our lives — and hopefully those of other developers and contributors — a lot easier. Using git brings far easier code branch management to the project, so features and fixes can be rolled in easier, as well as accepting and folding in community patches far faster. Please bear with us as we make the transition, migrate the issues list and check everything is tip top.

And plans for changing this site are underway, so keep your eyes peeled for alterations over the coming months.

All in all, it’s an exciting time for Textpattern. It wouldn’t be a fraction of what it is without the amazing community support, so a big thank you to everyone who uses and contributes to Textpattern. Your tireless support and belief in what we all do as a community is hugely appreciated.

Digital hugs to you all. #Happy10Txp

You can discuss this announcement here.