We have a special holiday present for you this year: Neos 2.1 and Flow 3.1! In addition to all the things that the Neos Team has been working on in the past months, we were able to put a lot of time and energy into the next feature releases of Neos and Flow.
With the help of sponsors we bring collaborative editing to Neos 2.1. We call this feature “nested workspaces” and it enables editorial teams to jointly work on multiple content releases at the same time. By restricting read or publishing access for specific workspaces, administrators can design a review workflow and by that enforce publishing policies of their company.
Neos 2.1 comes with many performance enhancements in the backend, including asynchronous thumbnail generation for files and images and an up to three times faster media browser. Those of you managing large numbers of media assets will really enjoy the faster load times! In addition to the languages added for Neos 2.0 another set of backend languages is now available. Thanks a lot to our community for providing these translations!
This release is the product of a great community. Join the conversation at discuss.neos.io or on Slack and be part of this great community and help us build the next release of Neos! We are delighted to see that more and more major organisations are introducing Neos (read more in the article below) – if you are considering Neos as well, but have some unanswered questions, just get in touch with the Neos Team!
A special thanks to the release management team of Neos 2.1 – Team Minions and especially Karsten Dambekalns.
Major features of Neos 2.1
Neos 2.1 major features
Workspaces for Editorial Teams
A major focus for Neos 2.1 have been “nested workspaces”. Workspaces allow editors to collect and review content before publishing it to the live website. Now, with nested workspaces, it is possible to stack one workspace on another and prepare larger content changes in a team. Previously it was only possible for editors to make changes in their personal workspace which would only become visible to other editors once published to the live website.
1&1, a leading internet provider, recently introduced Neos to deliver content to their own corporate website, 1und1.de. “This new feature allows our editors to jointly work on content for multiple campaigns in parallel, and let all content be reviewed by our editors in charge before they are published to our website.”, says Robert Kozul, Head of Customer Interaction Access. Since the feature did not exist yet at project start, the project leads at 1&1 decided to sponsor its development. “It just matches the spirit of 1&1 to use and support Free and Open Source Software. So by asking Flownative to develop the feature for us, we gave something back to the Neos community and at the same time got the feature delivered right as we needed it.”, says André Becker, Head of Sales Frontends / Online Sales.
The foundation for nested workspaces was laid by project requirements of h-hotels.com, the main website of Germany-based hotel chain H-Hotels AG, and lrasbk.de, the Neos-based service website of the district office of Schwarzwald-Baar. Both, H-Hotels and Landratsamt Schwarzwald-Baar, were easily convinced to sponsor parts of the development for a review workflow when they heard of the possibility. “We loved Neos at first sight”, says Steffen Sauerteig, Director of IT Development at H-Hotels. “When we realized that there was no review workflow yet, we were glad to learn that we could make such a feature reality by becoming a sponsor.”
Side-by-side comparison of changes in Workspace Management
This change adds a side-by-side view of changes of a given workspace to the “Review” view of the Workspace Management module. It highlights inline text changes and displays thumbnails of changed assets.
This new feature relies on a third party diff library which has been modernized and comes packaged with the Neos distribution from now on. Further details are available on Github.
Asynchronous thumbnail generation
We are introducing asynchronous thumbnail generation to Neos 2.1! This can help to avoid long backend request times when many thumbnails need to be generated and potentially allows scaling of the rendering process to multiple servers. At the same time we have reduced the number of thumbnails that need to be generated by implementing presets. This also allows thumbnails to be generated by a server-job ahead of time improving the editor experience.
Developers have numerous options to control the behaviour thumbnail generation to optimize server load and backend user experience. See the pull request on Github for all details.
Thumbnail generator strategy for advanced thumbnails
The number of thumbnails that can be generate for Neos has been greatly increased. We implemented the possibility to create thumbnails for documents such as PDF, EPS or AI files, for fonts (TTF and OTF) and for lots of image formats.
If you are a developer you get a number of methods to control how and when thumbnails are generated, shown and refreshed. Check out the pull request on Github for all the details.
Additional user interface languages
Thanks to a lot of help from our community the Neos backend is now also available in the following languages:
- Portuguese (Brazilian)
- Chinese Simplified
Head over to translate.neos.io if you can help with any translations and have a look at the information for the translation process!
In addition to the larger features, lots of small improvements and bugfixes have been included in Neos 2.1:
- Allow “uriSegment” to be empty for default presets
- Contextual help messages for node types and node properties
- Allow property editors to listen to changes
- Make “SelectBoxEditor” search configurable
- “node:repair” sub command for removing broken entity references
Read the full release notes on Jira.
To make use of the great speed improvements of PHP7 we made Flow compatible to the newly released major version of PHP. The new version speeds up Flow up to 2,5 times and provides a solid basis for further performance improvements. Since Neos is based on Flow, these speed improvements apply to Neos 2.1 as well: we measured request times of Neos pages as low as 38ms on a MacBook Pro running PHP 7.0.0.
Be sure to test Flow on PHP7 and experience first hand what the combination is capable of!