We’ve been working hard to refine SilverStripe 4 since the release of Alpha1. The second alpha release gives you a better preview of the new features that will be coming to SilverStripe 4.0. We have added more features, squashed bugs and extended our libraries to support more functions.
As with any alpha releases, this is not a standard release and we would not recommend using this build for any production websites. You are, however, welcome to give this release a try, tell us what goes wrong, what breaks, and... how spectacularly it breaks. With your assistance, we will be able to release our code as bug-free as possible.
So if you’re keen to try it out, check out our downloads section to get a head start!
Cascadable admin themes
Conflicting/Overriding templates across different modules can be a thing of the (recent) past!
It used to be that in order to remove or extend a theme styling, you needed to recreate or copy every template, which is counter productive with any updates that may come.
We welcome the Cascadable themes feature. With this feature, you’re able to define an ordered list of themes to use at once, so themes only need to worry about a small number of templates.
Any module could act as a theme with this feature.
Bootstrap and BEM themed admin area
There have been whispers that our admin area will be powered by Bootstrap. Now it’s official.
We’ve created a “cms-forms” theme, which provides Bootstrap4 compatible form templates for the CMS. While we were at it, we refactored a lot of the Admin CSS to be based on BEM and Bootstrap4.
For developers who have been itching to use React in our framework, we have improved the API for our React components and FormBuilder, making it more robust and capable of handling complex situations than before.
This is entirely optional—if you’re a developer who is more comfortable with PHP, you can leave the React work to our FormBuilder to handle many things.
We’ve integrated React router to our Admin URL handling. This has improved stability drastically from Alpha1.
Improved Files and Images admin section
We’ve been working to make this section fully functional with File and Folder editing features. It has worked so well that we’ve ended up removing the old Files admin section that was brought over from SS3.
This section is responsive and works with mobiles and desktop computers alike, allowing you to edit Files, Images or Folders with a quick click.
Other significant changes made
Namespaces are here
All classes have been namespaced, which will allow SilverStripe and SilverStripe modules to work together and use external libraries without the worry of clashes in class names.
Class files have also been renamed so they are loadable by PSR-4 auto-loader.
Once the modules have been updated with namespaces as well, you could potentially have two different Blog modules installed for fun. (Fun only, we do not recommend it.)
Webpack are go!
We’ve switched our bundler from Browserify to Webpack, which means faster development build times and easier to execute all the builds. More improvements to come in this area— we’ve only just begun.
We have upgraded our upgrade tool to help with all those class renames.
Admin URL is now customisable
You no longer have to be stuck with the `/admin` in the URL when accessing the admin area. You can customise it to something else if you’d like.
The release of SilverStripe 4.0 Alpha2 presents many features and updates. There are many smaller changes that we have not included in this article. If you would like more juicy details about everything that has happened, jump to our change logs.
This release brings us one step closer to a beta and then a stable release for SilverStripe 4.0, which will be a massive achievement, thanks to all contributors involved.