Guest blogger Philipp Krenn is one of SilverStripe's Google Summer of Code students from 2007. More recently, he has written the latest book on SilverStripe. For the upcoming 3.0 release, he will contribute to the official documentation — an area which can always do with some additional love. You can stay in touch by following @xeraa on Twitter.
I hope you all had some time off and enjoyed the holidays. I surely did - it was skiing time in the northern hemisphere as you can see from my photo. Now that the holidays are over, it is time time to get back to business. With all the heavy work on SilverStripe 3.0, an important part will be the documentation. Stating the obvious, I will try to elaborate a little further.
It's Friday the 13th, time for some excitingly scary stuff, like an #SS3 design competition!
The last step before beta; SilverStripe CMS 3.0 alpha 2 is ready to download and test.
We have come a long way and we are half way there!
Here is what’s new in alpha 2:
My first calendar year with SilverStripe is almost over and I find it hard to believe that I've been living in New Zealand for 10 months now. This year was pretty adventurous and it was great to meet quite a few of you and to get the excitement and passion that you have about working with SilverStripe.
I learned a lot about what it means to be a developer or a designer and to work with the SilverStripe tools. I learned that good code is art and beautiful architecture is poetry. And I learned that an MVC is a Model-View-Controller and therefore has a sweet framework.
If you frequent any of the usual promotional channels such as Twitter, Facebook, the SilverStripe Development mailing list, or LeftAndMain, you may have caught some buzz about SilverSmith; the elusive product from Uncle Cheese that promises to enhance development of SilverStripe projects. Though SilverSmith is not released yet, it is scheduled to be in early 2012. This post will discuss what to expect from the release and why you should care about SilverSmith.
SilverSmith is a visual project editor with a suite of tools that streamline SilverStripe development. Because the application is aware of the SilverStripe framework and understands SilverStripe design patterns, it can accomplish tasks much faster, more easily, and with less human error than a SilverStripe agnostic text editor.
One of our focuses in SS3 has been to improve on performance. All frameworks have to maintain a balance between features and performance, and generally SilverStripe has done that pretty well. In SS3 we haven't looked to adjust that balance, but instead looked at the features that cause the biggest performance issues, and see what we can do to refactor them so that we provide the same functionality in a more efficient manner.
Since I'm working on the configuration system this week to do just that, I thought it would be appropriate to talk a bit about it, to give you an idea about how we tackle the task of keeping or improving the feature set while still improving performance. Hold on, because this is likely to get a little technical.
Colin Burns is a digital nomad and respected SilverStripe community member, who travels the world while making a living out of building websites and web projects using SilverStripe. Colin is originally from Australia and now travels the world with his wife and two children.
You'll have to let me indulge a little in this blog post to first explain how SilverStripe has changed my family's life. I would like to provide you with some background before I get to the crux of the story.
A lot of people use the SilverStripe suite to build awesome web solutions for themselves or their clients. SilverStripe is very proud of the many beautiful websites, applications, modules and themes that you build with the CMS and the Framework. We know that you put a lot of hard work and passion into building these things, so I guess it is just a natural transgression to turn this effort into a business and to actually start making money from it.
The SilverStripe suite is running under a BSD licence, which means that every developer/designer owns the right to their code and can sell it if they wish to. That makes setting up a business much easier for SilverStripe users.
SilverStripe has always regarded the CMS as a natural extension of its framework, enabling developers to tailor it to the needs of website authors. You can add form fields, customise the behaviour of the WYSIWYG editor, add custom icons for the page tree, as well as create completely new sections via the ModelAdmin class. On the other hand, deeper interface customisations were hard to achieve due to the complexity of the code behind it. The 3.0 release provides us with a rare opportunity to consolidate and simplify here.
Today I virtually met with 29-year-old German Senior Developer Ingo Schommer, who is an icon in the SilverStripe community. He is the person that bundles a lot of the community’s contributions and feeds it back into the core. @Brooke Penny says; every time she hears his name she thinks of David Schwimmer from Friends. (Apparently Ingo even resembles him, except for the fact that Ingo hasn’t had a nose job).
In his free time Ingo loves to work on documentation for SilverStripe which eventually resulted in a book. He also has the most impressive 80’s pop music collection in his iTunes library. Going back in time also meant moving to Germany a few months ago. Due to the time difference between NZ and DE, he now works crazy hours remotely for SilverStripe. Please send this poor guy some ‘Flat Whites’ if you can. (‘Flat Whites’ are the NZ coffee specialty. Caution: Addiction guaranteed!)