Our roadmap to Neos 9
Neos 9 is special and very different from a normal major release, where we allow ourselves a few breaking changes. At the core of Neos 9 is the completely re-thought Content Repository which is the foundation for what we call 'Git for Content'.
After 7 years of development we are now in the quality assurance phase for the new event sourced Content Repository. We formed a release team consisting of Anke, Bernhard, Christian and Marc Henry and they are organizing the remaining issues and help the whole development team to stay focused. At our last sprint in Frankfurt many team members tested the current state of Neos 9, fixed discovered issues and we released the first beta Release of Neos 9.
We will release Neos 9 when it fulfills our own quality expectations. This means that
- a fresh Neos 9 project start works as smooth as one with Neos 8,
- an upgrade of a normal complexity project from Neos 8 to Neos 9 can follow standard instructions - although they will be longer and more complex - as any other major Neos upgrade, and
- at least ten production websites run on Neos 9.
Stay tuned for further beta releases and read on to help us with this huge milestone!
Help us release Neos 9 sooner
Yes, you can help us to release Neos 9 sooner!
- You or your agency are not a Neos Supporter yet? Become a Neos Supporter and help fund our work as most of Neos and Flow work is still voluntary.
- You are a developer?
Neos 9 development status deep dive
The first version of Neos was released in December 2013, almost exactly 10 years ago.
In the meantime, our favorite CMS has come a long way, with 24 feature releases and an ever-growing team, providing the backbone to many many websites of all sizes.
We are proud of our willingness to reinvent content management in Neos – think of the editing-UI rewrite with version 3.0 or the CKEditor integration with version 4.1 – while maintaining Neos' editor friendliness and ease of upgrading.
The Content Repository
One area that has seen a lot of improvement over the years is the "brain" of Neos: the Content Repository. It received many innovative features like workspaces, content dimensions or access control and it does a great job. Most of the time.
The complexity of the inner workings has grown into a state that makes it more and more difficult to maintain. To a point, where a seemingly simple bug fix takes hours and hours so that we don't break the system.
And adding new features, like an improved conflict resolution for concurrent changes, is just not possible with the current architecture.
As a result, we decided to rebuild the Content Repository and we kickstarted this venture in 2016 in a workshop with Mathias Verraes.
A seven year rewrite?
When we conceptualized this rewrite in 2016 we did not think that it would take over 7 years to complete. Having it almost completed, we can point to some areas that were more work than we had thought:
- Something like "Git for content" has never been done before and it requires completely new approaches and concepts. It is noteworthy, though, that we never really deviated from the initial ideas we came up with at mentioned workshop, but, as always, the devil is in the detail
- The Content Repository is a central part of the system and to allow the many future innovations we envision, we need a really powerful core. This major overhaul of Neos' Content Repository is much much more than a drop-in replacement.
- To work efficiently on the new Content Repository required us to learn and understand a lot of new concepts, which made the initial development slower. Especially in the early architectural phase tight coordination was required between the involved team members to make time and brain power available
- Neos has to work with limited resources, especially compared to other projects. As a result, most of the work on Neos 9 has been done in the free time of a couple of team members so far
Features - some new, some not yet included
Feature-wise we aim for parity with Neos 8 and the new version already contains some very exciting new features (some of which we presented at Neos Con 2023).
However, the initial 9.0 release will also lack a couple of previous features, for example:
- The never officially announced and by default disabled History module – this can be re-built based on the event-sourced architecture of the Content Repository and potentially even include Undo/Redo functionality
- Content Security – the previous implementation, introduced with Neos 2.0, is capable but very hard to get right. Neos 9.0 probably won't have a fully-fledged ACL out of the box. Instead, we are working on an API that is much easier to work with and that allows you to hook into the permission system in order to achieve a much more fine-grained, dedicated control
- Timed node visibility – the option to define a "Hide before/after" date is widely used but it leads to some severe issues. Therefor this feature won't be built into the core of Neos 9.0. There are, however, plans on how to achieve the same functionality.
Full focus on Neos 9
The Neos team is very focused on Neos 9. The sprint in Frankfurt helped us a lot and all involved team members spent most of their working time of the last month on the finishing touches.
We are making great progress and together as a community we will create a great Neos 9 release that satisfies our quality standard.