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ImpressCMS Blog > ImpressCMS from 2012 to 2013 - part 2

ImpressCMS from 2012 to 2013 - part 2

 

In this second part of the series, we continue to look at several key elements from 2012 for the ImpressCMS project, and see for those elements what's planned for the new year. If you want to start wiith the first part, it is available here.

Project website improvements


During 2012, some small improvements have been done on the websites, but the structure is essentially the one from the beginning. The project has changed, the web has changed, our users now use the site more and more from mobile devices. Content wise, we’ll need to review the content of the site to see what is still accurate, and what needs to be revised. Site wise, we need to review the organisation and structure of the site to be more according to what our users are expecting nowadays.


CMSExpo


Skenow and I represented ImpressCMS at CMSExpo in Chicago in May 2012. It wasn’t the first time ImpressCMS attended the event, skenow and marcan participated 2 years earlier as well. CMSExpo was very interesting to attend, as it gave us the opportunity to meet up in person, and we could meet with several people from different organisations and companies in the web world.


It wasn’t all good news though : we felt afterwards that the conference didn’t yield enough in terms of website traffic, new site members or contacts to justify the considerable cost. We'll have to see how we can improve that, and how we can maximize the gains we get out of attending conferences.


In 2013, we want to focus more on being present locally, both online and on local events. The German community has shown that it is a technique that works well, and ImpressCMS does have a point in favor with its Multi-lingual features to make an impact in non-English web communities.


ImpressCMS Release strategy


In 2012, we released a new version of ImpressCMS roughly every quarter. In the current situation, without automatic update, that is an acceptable frequency. Those 4 releases were maintenance releases of the 1.3 branch, although some significant features were added in those maintenance releases, like the upgrade of the password security in 1.3.3.


Progress in the development of ImpressCMS 2.0 hasn’t been as fast as we would have liked, but there is has also been a discussion about the scope of the first release in the ImpressCMS 2.0 series. One extreme would be to just drop the code that takes care of making ‘old’ modules backwards compatible with the old system.


Another extreme would be to include all the feature requests that have been filed since ImpressCMS 1.1. As always, the right answer will be somewhere in the middle : a release that drops the legacy code, and that includes a number of significant improvements.


ImpressCMS 2.0 final will be an improvement on ImpressCMS 1.3.4, but it needs to be more than that : it also needs to be the foundation of our next generation of ImpressCMS releases. That next generation will have shorter release cycles, with a focus on one or two features to add or improve. This will also require us to improve our install and upgrade routines to make them easier to use.


Theme design and structure


In 2012 themes were created that took advantage of Twitter Bootstrap 2, and we saw the first developments on the boiler theme framework. Both are alike that they promise responsive design themes for mobile users, more consistency in the structure of the elements, and HTML5/CSS3 pages.


While the HTML5/CSS3 is just a technical change, the ability to create responsive designs easier will be a significant boost to using smartphones and tablets on ImpressCMS-baed sites.


This year, we expect the finalisation of a huge refactor of the Javascript/CSS layout structure in ImpressCMS. This has been going on for months, and it is a huge undertaking. It's not just changing everthing to the latest version, there is also a major cleanup of legacy elements from the theme system, which makes it faster, more consistent and more flexible.


It will be worth waiting for, as MrTheme is promising features that aren’t yet available in other open source CMS's.


Conclusion


2013 will be an exciting year for ImpressCMS. We are celebrating our 5th anniversary with a milestone release coming up, we will reach out locally and we have a number of cool features cooking right now.


With Stefan joining the core team, we have someone that will help improve our communication. Knowing him, he already has some more ideas to make this 5th anniversary year one to remember.
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debianus
Posted: 2013/1/25 10:14  Updated: 2013/1/25 10:14
Home away from home
Joined: 2007/12/4
From: Spain
Posts: 1281
 Re: ImpressCMS from 2012 to 2013 - part 2
Thanks for the report.
About 2.0 release, the next Alpha will include the Will´s and Mekdrop´s work?
fiammybe
Posted: 2013/1/25 11:27  Updated: 2013/1/25 11:27
Home away from home
Joined: 2009/3/3
From: Belgium
Posts: 1952
 Re: ImpressCMS from 2012 to 2013 - part 2
It's highly unlikely that the next Alpha will contain that work yet.
The inclusion of the work in ImpressCMS 2.0 Final will depend on whether those parts are finished and tested before they can be merged into the main development branch.

If imControls or the js refactor isn't finished by the time we plan to release 2.0, those parts will be included in 2.1 giving them more time to get finalised. We will try not to push back the release of 2.0 in such cases.

This is the reason why separate tickets or tasks should be developed in separate branches. If you put everything in one branch, and the branch isn't ready on the moment of decision, none of your changes will go in the new version and that would be a shame