Developer note: The “mysterious” next major release Jul 09, 2018
For quite some time now there is mention of a "next major release" and the recent release version 1.5 of course was not it yet. We feel that we owe an update on this and are sorry you have to wait this long but rest assured that we are working on it and that it is coming.
Since Zenphoto is primarily a non profit, more or less spare time project and "real life" often gets in the way, things take longer than we want.
Why not public?
You cannot preview this next version anywhere as it is not ready for testing yet and we also choose to develop in private to experiment a bit.
Open source by definition does not mean everything needs to happen in public, just that the code of the product is made publicly available. We figure this may be not optimal for everyone but that is how we choose to do it for now. Once we are finished it will be all public again as before.
A quick glimpse of what will happen
- New responsive backend: This includes a major HTML and CSS overhaul and some JS cleanup. Anyone who ever created a proper website theme knows how much work it can be to try to clean up 10+ years of accumulated and aged HTML/CSS. Third party plugins adding items to the backend will probably require an update. There will be a general style guide about that.
- Some new features like multilingual tags, extra field management, built-in responsive images and image lazy loading
- A number of plugins will be abandoned, replaced, incorporated and/or restructured. Some we already removed in Zenphoto 1.5. There are some plugins we basically never use ourselves so we have to limit our resources on those we do use. It might include your favorite plugin but we will always store unsupported plugins on our unsuppported repositories on GitHub and although we don’t maintain them ourselves we welcome pull requests from those who do.
- Probably all currently supported themes will become unsupported. First to limit resources once again and second because they are so old that it doesn’t make sense to rework them at all. Most likely we will only add one (or maybe two) – yet to be made – new responsive, general purpose theme.
- The release will probably be mostly compatible with the latest 1.5.x. but we are also doing some internal restructuring so we cannot promise that it will not cause work on your end. Especially on themes some template functions may generate different HTML output.
- We are also working on a new responsive website including a newly structured user guide.
We can't and won't do everything we or you would like as we need to focus pragmatically. And before you ask, we sadly still cannot tell any release date yet. We like to release it when we can approve of it ourselves. But we hope you will like the changes.
Limited support for 1.5.x from now on
Please understand that because of all this, we have to further limit our work on the current 1.5.x version to actual important bugfixes as we otherwise have a lot of double work delaying everything even more.
Thanks for your understanding and patience!
Your ZenphotoCMS team