So, I am writing a blog post triumphantly announcing Sitefinity 3.6 beta this week, as if we have not promised to release the official release tomorrow. Yeah, among other things, I am in charge of spin here at Sitefinity team. Play along with me on this and leave few of those “Great!”, “Awsome!” comments below.
Now seriously, we have promised to ship Sitefinity 3.6 official release tomorrow, but unfortunately we won’t be able to do so. The reason for the delay is a rather cool improvement that we have decided to include in this release (and didn’t plan on it when we’ve announced the date). We thought that we will be able to compensate for additional improvement with several weekends in the office; alas our calculations didn’t work out. Nevertheless, the improvement that Sitefinity 3.6 brings is of such a magnitude that we think you will turn your blind eye on this one.
What are the improvements?
There are four major improvements that we are introducing in Sitefinity 3.6:
- All templates are now embedded as resources in assemblies, which means that we will not override your templates anymore with new releases. There is a simple configuration file (GUI coming in 4.0) which allows you to map certain controls to use external templates (your modified templates). So, you still have all the flexibility of controlling every single aspect of Sitefinity, while we solved the problem with overwriting with every new release.
- Completely reworked backend architecture - With our preliminary estimations we have managed to simplify creation of new modules to the extent that you should be able to develop a new module now in less than half of time it used to take. This improvement is the “big one” and it is the major cause of this small delay. Namely, we have to really make sure that Sitefinity is 100% backward compatible with modules built on previous architecture and we need to document this new architecture (kind of useless if we don’t). There was an idea to release without this and do it on time, but it would break our developer hearts to do so, so we kind of fought the management and squeeze this one in.
- Dynamic links - The lack of this feature generated some genuine anger (deservedly so, I’d say) with the community and we simply couldn’t make another release without taking care of this. Some of you probably know where our office is :).
- Hierarchical categories – the smallest of all improvements, but yet the one which lack of caused a lot of pain to our community.
Well, as I have outlined only the major improvements of 3.6 you can see that there are “some changes”. We really do not want to repeat some of the mistakes we’ve done in the past and we want to make sure that this release is 100% backward compatible, in respect to some rather tectonic changes.
While we know that you are paying for Sitefinity and it is really not your job to test our software, I can hardly emphasize enough how much it would mean to us if you give us your feedback on the beta (once out) and report any issues you may run into. We’ll give our best and most to provide you with a tool that will truly allow you to “deliver more than expected”.
I hope that we have not interfered too much with your plans. We are all looking forward to make your life yet simpler with the new release of Sitefinity.