[TYPO3-announce] Announcing TYPO3 4.2 Beta 1a

Ingo Renner ingo at typo3.org
Fri Feb 8 01:18:01 CET 2008

Dear TYPO3 users,

The core team is proud to announce the first Beta of TYPO3 version 4.2.

Unfortunately after having the first beta packaged three days ago we  
noticed that a patch submitted just before caused some trouble which  
is why we kept this announcement back and are now releasing Beta1a.

So what's new?

More polishing on the Cleaner Backend Project

The Cleaner Backend Project has seen some important changes since  
TYPO3 4.2alpha3 was released only three weeks ago. The most obvious  
improvement is the document header, which is now present across all  
Web modules. Many changes also went into the new toolbar at top of the  
backend. Items in the new shortcut menu now reflect their type by  
showing the correct icon instead of a default pencil icon. Another new  
menu in the toolbar collects recently used and open documents,  
replacing the old Documents module. The current backend user's real  
name is shown in the toolbar, too and is linked to the user's  
preferences settings.
Another very prominent change is the new eye-pleasing style of the  
module menu. The menu now collapses and expands without the reload  
required by the old backend’s module menu. When you install an  
extension that comes with a new backend module or you set a new  
language in your user preferences the menu also refreshes to reflect  
these changes. Other than that many rendering issues have been fixed  
in Internet Explorer 6 and Safari.

User settings revamped

Also related to the Cleaner Backend Project is the reworking of the  
user preferences settings. These have now been divided into groups to  
make it easier to find the settings you need to adjust.
The user preferences also come with an option to set a module you want  
to start in after you log in to the backend.

Tree can be collapsed now

The page tree can now be collapsed so that the right content area  
resizes to fit the whole space from the right of the module menu. To  
make this even more useful, the tables in the list module are now set  
to expand to the entire available width. This means that if you have a  
table and want to see many columns you do not have to scroll  
horizontally anymore. Instead you can just hide the tree and gain more  
space to look at your data.

Improved Constants Editor

The Constants Editor has also been improved to save you even more time  
when working with it. Until now you had to check which fields you  
wanted to change, save and finally edit your settings. Now you only  
need to click an icon in front of the settings you want to change and  
you are immediately presented with an input field.

Page is being generated message eliminated

You most likely have seen the message that the page is being  
generated. This message is caused when a page gets accessed from two  
clients with only a minor time difference. TYPO3 4.2beta1a comes with  
a change that should fix this behavior so that it does not appear  

New Installer not shipping with TYPO3 4.2 final

The release of this beta version also means that we now have a feature  
freeze for TYPO3 4.2 so it was time to review the big projects that  
were targeted for TYPO3 4.2. These projects included a new form  
wizard, the cleaner backend, the TypoScript editor with code  
highlighting and the new installer. A commit policy for these projects  
existed that allowed the developers to bypass the strict commit rules  
for the TYPO3 core to get faster results. The developers did not have  
to wait for a complete review of their changes in the core list, but  
were allowed to directly commit them as long as they would not change  
other parts of the core that were not related to their project. After  
they committed their changes they had to send a "For Your Information"  
message to the core list explaining what they changed.

TYPO3 is still of course an Open Source project and although we all  
would like to devote our time to the project, this is not possible in  
all cases. It might happen that we have very limited time or no time  
at all to work on the things we would like to work on. There may be  
many reasons for this; from an extended work load at a job, to  
personal problems, needing some general time off, or in some cases  
missing financial support to work on such projects.

The commit policy described above also specified that we would have a  
review of the projects prior to releasing Beta 1. Quite early after  
the work on TYPO3 4.2 started it became clear that we would not be  
able to ship the promised form wizard due to Patrick’s availability.  
The version of the form wizard that Patrick showed during T3CON07 was  
very promising and therefore we hope to see Patrick and other  
developers complete this great feature for TYPO3 4.3.

An exciting feature for all administrators and developers is the new  
TypoScript editor with syntax highlighting. This editor will make it  
easier to get a quick overview of your code and support your work with  
TypoScript. Tobias Liebig was responsible of developing that editor  
and succeeded in delivering that very welcomed feature for TYPO3 4.2.

I myself was responsible to give the backend the new shape that it has  
now. At the beginning it was a quite tough job as many parts had to be  
rewritten or completely new created to fit our high demands on code  
quality and extensibility. Luckily other developers also were  
interested in supporting this effort and creating the new backend as  
you have seen it since TYPO3 4.2 Alpha 3.

The last of these projects - the new installer - was lead by Thomas.  
The idea for a new installer actually is not that new as the first  
efforts were made during the work on TYPO3 4.1. That timeframe shows  
that recreating such an important part of TYPO3 is not as easy as one  
might believe. At times it was lots of fun seeing Thomas and the  
installer making good progress while other times there was a long  
silence about the installer before Thomas returned with a whole load  
of new things. Late in the development of TYPO3 4.2 Thomas also got  
support from other developers. However, in the end all the support was  
not enough to get the installer finished according to the commit  
policy and in time for Beta 1 and the feature freeze. Therefore the  
new installer will not ship with TYPO3 4.2. Nevertheless this does not  
mean that Thomas' invaluable work was for nothing; we will just  
continue with the development of the new installer, get it even more  
polished and then ship it with TYPO3 4.3.

On behalf of the whole core team I'd like to thank Patrick, Tobias,  
and especially Thomas for the things you do. Keep on rocking!

Developer related changes

There is an important change that might affect many extensions. The  
methods in the common library t3lib_div have been equipped with PHP5  
member visibility declarations and parameter type hints. This may  
result in many errors turning up if, for example, a string or integer  
was supplied as a method parameter where an array was expected. Please  
watch the core also, as there may be places where this happens that we  
haven't found yet. Please see further down on how to report a bug.  
Also test your extensions to make sure that they aren't affected by  
these changes or that any issues that do appear get fixed.

The versions of prototype and script.acolo.us that ship with TYPO3 are  
again updated to their most recent bugfix releases. A hook has been  
introduced that makes it possible to manipulate the list of variables  
that are taken into account when creating a cHash for cached pages.  
Please be careful when using this hook as it may affect the  
performance and caching behavior of your site. Concerning this you may  
also want to read the article "The mysteries of &cHash" [1] before  
tampering with TYPO3's caching system. The performance of the caching  
system should also improve on large site as a change was implemented  
that allows making better use of MySQL's query cache. The problem was  
that when rendering a page in TYPO3 the timestamp was included in  
database queries. Since those timestamps changed with each request the  
queries also differed each time and thus MySQL's query cache could not  
be used. Now the timestamps are rounded on a per minute basis, which  
produces the same queries for a whole minute, and MySQL can thus use  
results from the query cache instead of having to execute the whole  
query again.

Bugs related to workspaces and MM-relations were fixed so that  
relations do not break anymore when publishing records with such  
relations. The user admin module is now available in draft workspaces,  
too and custom messages can be sent when raising changes from one  
stage to another.

Reminder: Raised minimum PHP version requirement

To run TYPO3 4.2beta1 you need to have at least PHP 5.2 [2]. This move  
was necessary to use language features introduced since PHP 5.0.

As always

Other then the highlighted features we also packed tons of bug fixes,  
performance improvements, enthusiasm, and love into this release. A  
special thanks for the help in making this release what it is goes to  
the core team and all engaged community developers.

Next steps to 4.2

Please test this beta version as much as possible, especially the new  
features from the previous alpha releases and those described above!  
If you're using one of the new features in a project of yours already  
and discover bugs, please report them immediately to http://bugs.typo3.org/ 

The next release - if necessary - will be TYPO3 4.2 Beta2, or  
otherwise Release Candidate 1. If everything goes well and the beta  
proves to be mostly bug-free  we will be able to stick with our  
schedule of releasing the final version of TYPO3 4.2 at the end of  

For a detailed overview of the features planned for 4.2 and their  
progress, have a look at the 4.2 Development wiki page [3], the  
bugtracker [4], and the ChangeLog [5].

You can download the packages at http://typo3.org/download/packages/.

MD5 Sums:
571fc693636bb499d130618c45d78bb7  dummy-4.2.0beta1a.tar.gz
44af7c228bae0e94119142aff2dc600b  dummy-4.2.0beta1a.zip
1f57735a08a1d717e52e261faa6ab847  typo3_src-4.2.0beta1a.tar.gz
7dc115c1a59f1835a77ac5d5c7d99220  typo3_src-4.2.0beta1a.zip
8547b7ef458b85fb7eade425e6eea2b8  typo3_src+dummy-4.2.0beta1a.zip


[1] http://typo3.org/development/articles/the-mysteries-of-chash/
[2] http://buzz.typo3.org/people/stucki/article/leaving-php4-behind/
[3] http://wiki.typo3.org/index.php/4.2_Development
[4] http://bugs.typo3.org/
[5] http://typo3.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/typo3/TYPO3core/branches/TYPO3_4-2/ChangeLog?view=markup&pathrev=3094

Ingo Renner
TYPO3 Core Developer, Release Manager TYPO3 4.2

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