All entries filed under “EllisLab”
Back in October, EllisLab reminded us that EE 1 support ends tomorrow, December 7th.
This is 3 years after the EE2 public beta came out (I remember this because my ExpressionEngine book came out at the same time).
To ensure that expert help from EllisLab continues to be available for all your client sites, we encourage you to upgrade your remaining ExpressionEngine 1 sites as soon as possible.
You can upgrade each license for only $50 by clicking the upgrade button next to each ExpressionEngine 1 license that hasn’t yet been upgraded on your manage purchases page.
This site was the last of mine to move off EE 1 (took long enough, Ryan) but I’m sure many of you have sites and clients still running EE 1. Make sure they know about this support change!
EllisLab’s End of Summer Special for ExpressionEngine licenses wraps up next week. If you haven’t already taken advantage of it, you should.
$30 off will get you an ExpressionEngine license with a bit of cash in your pocket to use towards something else. Don’t miss out!
Earlier this week EllisLab released ExpressionEngine 2.7, which includes the new Grid field type, New Relic support, Markdown parsing, and more.
There is already information posted about these additions to ExpressionEngine but here’s a quick recap.
Grid, a new field type that makes it simple to include tabular data in a single field, is essentially a native implementation of Pixel & Tonic’s Matrix add-on. I will leave it up to Pixel & Tonic and EllisLab to convince you which you should use (I personally prefer Matrix). It is encouraging that EllisLab is starting to add features and make the out-of-the-box experience of ExpressionEngine more complete for how people are using their software in 2013. However, the way they went about it wasn’t exactly ideal.
New Relic, a service that makes application performance monitoring services, also gets support in ExpressionEngine 2.7. In order to use this feature you do need a New Relic account. This is very much a nod in the direction of the upper scale enterprise market.
Markdown, my favorite way of writing text for the web (and how I’m writing this post), also gets some attention in EE 2.7. Previously, you had to use the excellent Smartdown add-on from Experience Internet but those add-ons have been set free and are no longer maintained or supported. Markdown is now a native formatting option so there’s no need to install another add-on to get that functionality. Very nice.
There’s more in EE 2.7, too. Read the entire blog post by EllisLab] to get the scoop.
So, should you upgrade now? Well, that’s tough to answer.
I always wait a bit before updating so I can let some bugs shake out. EllisLab’s releases have gotten a lot better compared to earlier releases of EE 2, however there could still be bugs in there that haven’t been caught. Be careful and always back up.
Over at Mijingo I am running ExpressionEngine but I try to keep slightly behind the current version because it’s ecommerce and, well, I’d rather not have a bug interrupt my customers’ ability to get the learning materials they need.
Evaluate your situation, carefully measure and assess the risk involved in upgrading and then make your choice.
Back in June EllisLab lifted the curtain on Grid, a new field type that allows tabular data in a single field. Yes, this is what Pixel & Tonic’s Matrix does. The news of Grid was buried by the odd commentary in their blog post, but they’ve come back with more information.
Last week, EllisLab gave a closer look at Grid, including an example use (baseball player stats) and some code samples.
A Grid field can be configured with multiple columns, each capturing data with any of ExpressionEngine’s existing fieldtypes, including any Grid-compatible third-party fieldtypes. From there, each channel entry can have a dynamic number of rows in the Grid field to suit the needs of that particular entry.
Grid is currently part of the developer preview for EE 2.7 and distributed out to developers to test and adopt. I wrote this before but I expect to see 2.7 drop soon.
Hey pros! Are you in the new Pro Network?
It soft relaunched today after being shuttered by EllisLab 8 months ago.
The new Pro Network currently features 93 ExpressionEngine professionals who have demonstrated they meet the minimum requirements. The Pro Network isn’t currently open for new members but you can review the rules and guidelines for inclusion in the network.
A Professional Network listing is available to those engaged in full-time web development who have a minimum of one year experience utilizing ExpressionEngine, or that have provided targeted products and services for ExpressionEngine for at least one year.
Unlike past years, you don’t have to prove that you have completed a specific number of websites in EE but only that the “majority of your work comes from ExpressionEngine.” That would be hard to measure and, for some larger companies, near impossible to meet (unless the goal is to keep the Pro Network filled with smaller shops).
There is now a cost to join the Pro Network: $40 for freelancers and $100 for organizations. Is that enough of a barrier of entry for only the most serious? If the Pro Network is successful at driving qualified leads then I think it could and should command 10x that price.
All in all, great to have the Pro Network back!
EllisLab is hiring an additional Customer Advocate to help support their products. The job means helping EllisLab customers with their issues and questions with ExpressionEngine. You do need to have some ExpressionEngine experience (obviously), so experienced people only need apply.
You will be interacting with the best of web professionals on a daily basis, helping them troubleshoot and solve issues related to building, developing, and maintaining websites using ExpressionEngine. In addition to being experienced with ExpressionEngine, you are familiar with basic concepts behind CMS software and understand how websites are built.
Here are the perks:
EllisLab provides health benefits and 401k, work from home, flexible personal time, computer/software allowance, and absolutely no being micro-managed by cubicle super-villains.
This is only for people who are legally allowed to work in the United States.
Learn more about the position and how to apply.
In an upcoming release ExpressionEngine will support New Relic, an application monitoring service.
New Relic gives you all sorts of juicy data about your website and web application (in this case it would be ExpressionEngine). It can also do PHP application monitoring and measure response time, throughput and other server information.
From the EllisLab blog post announcing the upcoming support:
ExpressionEngine will soon be bringing out-of-the-box compatibility with the popular application performance monitoring service New Relic. We’ve been using the service ourselves and find it incredibly useful and oftentimes enlightening. With no need to install a module or add any tags, ExpressionEngine will automatically detect if New Relic is enabled in your PHP environment and provide you with a wealth of useful information.
If you’re unfamiliar, New Relic gives you a look into all aspects of the full stack of your site’s performance, particularly at the transaction level.
Do you already use New Relic and want to give input into the features of the New Relic API that ExpressionEngine will support? EllisLab wants your input and feedback. See the blog post for more details.
Here are some reactions from Twitter to the EllisLab announcement about Grid and competition:
Have a reaction you want to share? Let me know or leave it in the comments.
Today EllisLab announced that it is adding a Grid field type to ExpressionEngine:
Today’s developer preview for ExpressionEngine 2.7 includes a feature that was previously only available through the third-party add-on market: a fieldtype that allows authors to used grouped fieldtypes to publish any number of rows of related content within an entry. We’re calling it Grid, and it’s great for photo galleries, addresses, product details, baseball statistics and more.
More on the rest of their announcement and thinking later. I’m sure you have an opinion on it. We do, too.
EE 2.6 has some improvements with how it handles dates and time.
First, there’s no more messing with choosing whether or not you’re observing Daylight Savings Time. EllisLab says:
With the new PHP version requirements for ExpressionEngine, we were able to take advantage of more modern date handling techniques to eliminate the DST setting all together. All you will have to do is choose your timezone and we’ll take care of the rest.
Because of the new PHP version requirement we also get an enhancements in the Date field that allows relative dates to be used. Things like: “noon tomorrow” or “last day of january.”
Read all about it in the EllisLab blog post.
Here’s a quick (silent) video of the two field types and how they work.
Something is going on over at EllisLab. It’s obvious that they’re excited about the upcoming release of EE 2.6. The usually quiet, introverted company has been proudly touting their release and confidently sharing through updates on their website.
There are have been a handful of small announcements recently about EE 2.6 and its new features. There’s one big new feature that I thought they would hold out until EE 2.6 was ready to launch, but they couldn’t keep it a secret.
Last week EllisLab announced that EE 2.6 will have a new relationship field that supports multi-relationships field.
Today the update is available for everyone.
The new native multi-relationship field is a little like Playa by Pixel & Tonic; there are two panes and you can add related entries by clicking them in the left and they appear on the right.
Unlike Playa, you can’t drag and drop between the two panes. To remove an already related entry you have to explicitly click the “x” on the far right of each related entry. Similarly, to reorder them you have to use the grippy area on the far left. Playa offers a much easier way of interacting with the related entries: reorder by clicking and holding anywhere on the entry, remove with a simple double click (in addition to drag and drop or using the arrows between the two panes).
I prefer the aesthetic of the Playa. It is more polished and a nicer user experience. But the new native relationships field copies many of the settings and functionality of Playa. The native field type will get it done for some people the same way that the Rich Text Editor does.
They Had to Do It
EllisLab had to make this addition to the CMS. Was it a direct shot at their new competitor (Pixel & Tonic is building their own CMS called Craft) and an attempt to cut into their sales of Playa? Or did EllisLab finally realize that they need to start innovating the CMS and adding features that arguably should’ve already been there?
It doesn’t really matter which one it was. Both are strategic business moves. The former will definitely rub people the wrong way because Pixel & Tonic’s add-ons help make ExpressionEngine a more attractive CMS. The latter reason will get praise because we’re all relieved that things are moving forward again.
There will always be people who will be unhappy no matter what happens.
Skating to the Puck
The first step to resuming innovation for EllisLab is to play catch-up with the third party add-on community. When innovation stalls, others will do it for you. That’s what Pixel & Tonic and dozens of other add-on developers have done. EE sorely lacks in many areas but our talented group of third party developers have jumped in to fill the holes left by EllisLab’s stagnation over the last few years.
When others beat you to innovation then you’re forced to cede that feature or risk looking like a copy cat. Neither is good but EllisLab surely knows that they’d rather look like a copy cat while serving their customers than continue to lose control of innovation on their platform.
In a blog post from EllisLab, EE 2.6 is now available. In addition to all of the changes (like the updated relationship field) and additions, there are also some deprecations:
This release brings a fair number of deprecations along with the removal of some previously deprecated items. You can find a list of the removed and deprecated methods in the changelog.
I have a lot more to say about this (but can’t because 2.6 isn’t out yet) so stayed tuned for that. For right now, however, I just want link over to the EllisLab site and their announcement of the updated Relationships field type.
The new Relationships field type allows multiple relationships (yes, just like Pixel & Tonic’s Playa) and new template code syntax to make that possible.
Read the official EllisLab. I’ll have my own take soon.
There’s a brand new page on EllisLab.com that covers all of the features in ExpressionEngine.
It’s broken up into categories and then you just click on the feature to get a short blurb that describes what that feature does.
This is a great page to point people to when they want to get more detail on what ExpressionEngine does. Or maybe to help you reinforce your recommendation of EE as the CMS solution for a project.
Bookmark it and refer people to it.