SilverStripe Blog

What does the SilverStripe community have in common with ancient civilisations of the Andes? Beer and reciprocity!

Posted by Carlos Cordero on 12 March 2014

Reciprocity
noun [ mass noun ] the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organisation to another.

We have a ritual in the Andean countries of Latin America which is quite similar in form and purpose to something that happens at our SilverStripe meetups; the partaking of fermented beverages (beer, wine, something stronger). In the Andes our fermented beverage of choice is "chicha".

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SilverStripe 3.1.3 release candidates

Posted by Cam Findlay on 28 February 2014

UPDATE (3/3/2014): SilverStripe 3.1.3 and 3.0.9 stable are out now!

We are heading ever closer to an official SilverStripe 3.1.3 stable release. Yay!
As the release process goes we have recently rolled out release candidates rc1 and rc2 for you to download and try out. The release candidate process gives us a change to stablise the codebase, fix any obvious (or not so obvious) bugs and generally ensure that by the time the next stable version is available you can be sure that deploying it on your websites is a painless as possible.

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Quick Tips: Allowing extra tags and attributes in the rich text editor

Posted by Cam Findlay on 14 February 2014

Sometimes you just need to embed something quickly in SilverStripe CMS's rich text content (depending on what you are trying to do a shortcode might be a better option!). By default SilverStripe makes a valiant effort to ensure content in this field in the CMS is cleaned up and does not contain any nasties that might break your page or even worse, allow chunks of javascript to be pasted and executed where they shouldn't be (they are better off being dealt with via the Requirements functionality - javascript is not content!).

Certain tags are stripped out when saving in the rich text field, this can pose a problem in some cases. For example embedding a video in the rich text editor that has markup containing VideoObject schema meta data to help search engines better index videos content.

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Improving SilverStripe performance

Posted by Simon Welsh on 4 February 2014

It's well known that out of the box Content Management Systems (CMS) are often not the most high performance of systems. A vanilla installation of SilverStripe is no exception. Luckily, there are some useful tactics you can use to improve performance of your SilverStripe websites. This involves some built in features of SilverStripe itself, along with some infrastructural considerations. It all depends on your customer needs and the level of performance you require.

Move off shared hosting

Make your SilverStripe website fasterVery few shared hosting providers are able to cope with the requirements of a high performing SilverStripe site (or any standard CMS usually). This is because they can have hundreds if not thousands of other websites all running on the same server. This leaves very few resources and will affect your site performance once the traffic builds up. Simply moving to a Virtual Private Server (VPS) will greatly benefit your site. Personally, I tend to use RimuHosting (for New Zealand sites) though pretty much any decent host will do.

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FocusPoint: Smarter Image Cropping for SilverStripe

Posted by Jonathon Menz on 31 January 2014

Image cropping in SilverStripe is pretty minimalistic. You don't crop images at all inside the CMS, you can however crop images in the SilverStripe template engine. As a SilverStripe template designer you can use the $CroppedImage(width,height) tag (among other image resizing methods) to ensure that your beautiful design isn't ruined by an image that is too tall or wide for a particular purpose or UI.

That's great, but the challenge is that content authors have no control over how these images are cropped. When they select an image in the CMS, $CroppedImage trims it evenly starting from the centre of the image outwards, and the subject of the image can often be clipped or lost completely if your image composition is off-centre as you can see below.

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Auckland January office warming meetup - SwipeStripe ecommerce and getting involved in open source

Posted by Cam Findlay on 22 January 2014

SilverStripe Auckland MeetupAnother successful SilverStripe Meetup was held at the new SilverStripe Auckland, New Zealand offices last week (15th Jan 2014). An office warming party! There was a great turn out with SilverStripe developer regulars, new faces and those interested to learn more about our SilverStripe open-source project. Following the usual format we had a couple of speakers share their SilverStripe knowledge (including myself) and as always we captured the knowledge in full audio-visual awesomeness.

So if you didn't end up making it along, or you are perhaps based overseas... fear not, we have you covered, read on.

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Backbone Unit Tests and Continuous Integration

Posted by David Craig and Robert Curry on 13 January 2014

Backbone unit testing
Recent advances in technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript mean complex applications can now be delivered via the Web. Building interaction-rich web applications can create new and engaging experiences for users. For developers, managing the growth of these applications can be challenging. Fortunately there's a great range of open source solutions to help us out. Some of the more popular JavaScript frameworks are Backbone, Angular, and Ember.

We recently completed the first phase of a large application using Backbone. Part of our testing requirements was to create unit tests for the front-end application. Unit testing is a great way of ensuring individual units of code work as expected. Input values are passed into a unit of code and the output value is verified to be correct. Unit tests help find problems early in development and protect against regression issues as the project grows in size and complexity.

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Hack your brain with gratitude

Posted by Diana Hennessy on 8 January 2014

The SilverStripe Gratitude Wall
I have been reading a lot about 'Brain Science' (not the official term FYI) as brains are cool, and complex. And squishy.

There have been several scientific studies about creativity, and what encourages it, and there are some things that we can do for ourselves to make our brains more creative. One of the findings is that happy thoughts (and therefore dopamine that is flushed through the brain as a result of happy feelings) tend to also flush the areas that creativity is thought to be based. Thus, making us more inspired, creative and productive.

I decided to do an experiment with our ‘SilverStriper’s’ as the 'subjects' (otherwise known as guinea pigs) to see if we could proactively change our thought processes. Although already an amazing place to work, I wanted to see just how far we could go. It has been proven that with 21 days of positive thoughts and actions you can actually re-programme your synapsis to be permanently more positive.

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Merry Xmas and Happy Hacking Holidays

Posted by Cam Findlay on 25 December 2013

hackfest - last one 2013

A big merry xmas and a happy hacking holidays to all the SilverStripe CMS developers around the world.

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Refactoring of staticpublishqueue module

Posted by Mateusz Uzdowski on 24 December 2013

This module provides the ability to generate a static HTML cache of your websites pages to enhance security and performance (by serving just HTML). The module has been heavily refactored recently on the master branch (switch to 2.0 if you do not wish to upgrade). Main changes include:

  • Architectural overhaul (see below).
  • Removal of the legacy code which introduced dead execution paths and caused extension clashes.
  • Removal of some global state - URLArrayObject is now injected.
  • New pattern for subsite support: generation of multiple copies of cache into directories, one per configured domain.

Architecturally, the module is now split into two logical parts: implementers and engines. Implementers are extensions or objects which describe the desired caching behaviour via two new interfaces: StaticallyPublishable objects provide URLs to refresh, and StaticPublishingTrigger objects cause other objects to be refreshed during the engine run. Engines inspect arbitrary objects through these interfaces to find out which URLs should be refreshed.

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