Development on Textpattern CMS version 4.9 is underway. Textpattern 4.9 is the next milestone Textpattern release after the planned patch releases on the current version 4.8 series. This year also marks Textpattern’s 15th birthday, and as with any teenager there are some things you should know to ensure you remain good friends with your beloved CMS.
Please note: the development path for Textpattern 4.9 is at an early stage. There will be additional changes to those outlined below. We aim to keep you updated on new features, functionality and any notable differences as work on Textpattern continues.
System requirements – PHP 5.6 or newer
Textpattern 4.9’s minimum system requirements will increase to PHP 5.6 or newer, a change to the current minimum of PHP 5.5 for Textpattern 4.8. Although Textpattern 4.9 will run on PHP 5.6, it is notably faster and more secure on a newer, supported version of PHP.
Vendor support for the legacy PHP 5.6 series reached End Of Life in 2018. Any security issues arising will no longer be addressed by The PHP Group. An important part of the Textpattern development cycle includes updating and removing code for old, unsupported PHP versions. This has a benefit of further improving performance for sites running on newer PHP.
Team Textpattern recommends a supported version of PHP as a foundation for your Textpattern sites. At the time of writing, PHP 7.3 and 7.4 are actively supported and best for performance and security.
We are also taking steps to ensure Textpattern will run on PHP 8, expected to be released in late 2020. We are following the PHP development process closely and we will make any necessary changes to Textpattern, so you can be assured of full support for PHP 8 in due course.
Browser support – no more Internet Explorer 11
Internet Explorer browser support is being removed in Textpattern 4.9. Microsoft have replaced Internet Explorer 11 with Edge as their flagship browser, with a recommendation for Internet Explorer 11 to be used only for legacy websites.
Textpattern is developed and maintained to balance the need for some backwards compatibility, without adversely affecting the experience for the vast majority of administrators and contributors using modern browsers. Textpattern 4.8 includes a variety of workarounds for Internet Explorer and its well-known limitations and quirks. Textpattern 4.9 will remove these workarounds, further optimising the experience for most people using modern browsers.
Team Textpattern recommends your site visitors, administrators and contributors use a supported browser from a well-known, trusted vendor.
If your organization actively uses Internet Explorer, perhaps in conjunction with Textpattern as an intranet platform, we advise you not to upgrade to Textpattern 4.9.
We are making some changes in Textpattern 4.9 that will affect a minority of Textpattern sites using old PHP and old Internet Explorer. New PHP is much faster, safer, and actively supported. The removal of Internet Explorer support will also improve performance.
We are keen to share our Textpattern 4.9 intentions with you. We aim to publish more articles with additional information as discussions happen and plans are confirmed so you can prepare for the arrival of Textpattern 4.9 appropriately.