CB 1.2 Status Report

The first beta of version 1.2 of the Community Builder suite was released to the CB test team on January 1st, 2008. Yes, it was a new year’s surprise for the test team members. Since then a lot of things have happened.

CB 1.2 beta 2 (Jan. 19, 2008), CB 1.2 beta 3 (Jan. 30, 2008), CB 1.2 beta 4 (Feb. 2, 2008) and currently at CB 1.2 beta 5 (since Feb. 9, 2008).

The CMS environments have also been rapidly changing. After the release of Mambo 4.6.3 (by the Mambo team) in December 2007 the Joomla team released version 1.5 of its CMS (Jan. 22, 2008), followed by 1.5.1 (Feb. 9, 2008), Joomla 1.0.14 (Feb. 11, 2008) and Joomla 1.0.15 (Feb. 22, 2008).

These multiple consecutive releases of practically 3 different CMS environments really challenged the CB teams (developers and testers). The strategy of the CB team has been to support all flavors of the Joomla and Mambo releases for as long as possible. This simple statement has been the CB Team’s commitment to its community.

The CB team has just released beta 6 of CB 1.2 to its test team. Beta 6 has over 3.000 changes compared to beta 5. As Beat mentioned in his test-team address regarding this beta release: “Well, this is the biggest changes release since probably CB 1.0 RC”. These changes have been made to allow CB 1.2 to operate in native Joomla 1.5.1 mode. This means that when CB 1.2 is finally released, it will operate on all three CMS code bases,  Joomla 1.0.X series (tested up to 1.0.15), Joomla 1.5.X series (tested on 1.5.1), Mambo 4.5.X series and Mambo 4.6.X series (tested up to 4.6.3). CB 1.2 will give the community a great deal of freedom to choose which CMS environment to use with Community Builder.

Regarding Joomla 1.5.1 native support, it must be noted that just because CB is running in native mode, it doesn’t mean that all third party CB plugins are automatically Joomla native enabled. Unfortunately, these plugins must also undergo a thorough revamping to operate with Joomla 1.5 in native mode (of course, they should work with Joomla legacy plugin enabled). Also, people rushing to install or migrate existing Joomla 1.0.X websites to Jooma 1.5.1 should really do their homework first. Joomla 1.5.1 is performance-wise significantly slower than Joomla 1.0.X series and coupled by the fact that the “legacy plugin” will most likely be needed, things will get even slower. 

CB 1.2, besides Joomla 1.5 native support has some new features and of course a lot of bug fixes. The new features include: cb item tags in titles, descriptions, delimiter fields and cb list filtering, default values for fields, Ajax email checker for registration, random ordering for user lists.

Also, a lot of extra functionality has been added to the CB plugin API. This will create many opportunities for nice developments in the future. One such example is the upcoming CB subscriptions system (see thread). Another cool feature is the ability to create field-type plugins thus extending the current field-type set. Field plugins can be written to add integer field-types, decimal field types, image field-types, file field-types, skype username field-types, etc. The CB Team is preparing a birth-date field type that captures a date (month, day, year) but only displays a day, month representation (or just an age).

The CB Team (with help from the community) has already incorporated uddeIM 1.0 support and Fireboard 1.0.4 support in its core plugins. However, at present, these 2 additional components (Fireboard and uddeIM) need the legacy plugin to install and operate. Also, the CB Team is currently making its CB Team released plugins independent of CM version.

The CB Team must acknowledge the contributions made by the Joomlapolitans. Besides the financial supporters (aka Documentation subscribers), the test team, the forum helpers (few but very much appreciated) and the language translators, there have been a number of individuals that must also be properly acknowledged.

These individuals are:

Mikko – for his proof of concept contribution leading to the CB field type plugins, as well as for improvements in CB user lists donated to CB team.

Viames – for his fireboard plugin work (and also for his ajax username checker already present in CB 1.1) and his testing.

Slabbi – for his work on uddeIM and CB integration.

Gregg – for his work on CB connector and help in testing.

Mati Kochen for a fix contribution in calendar css.

There are a few other contributors and donators, and the discussion, suggestions and bug reports in our forums and within CB test-team have also been very helpful in making this upcoming CB 1.2 release solid and flexible.

CB 1.2 is planned for release in April 2008. Initially, all our CB doc subscribers and our active testers will be invited to participate in a private courtesy release. This will give the CB team the opportunity to thank these financial supporters and hopefully will also allow them to learn enough about CB 1.2 to actively help out on the forums.


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