The open source web CMS built on Microsoft ASP.NET, Umbraco, is making some changes in how it handles content. Changes many developers will like.

In his Saying goodbye to an old friend blog post, Umbraco founder Niels Hartvig explained the decision to drop support for XSLT:

We've learned that XML doesn't solves all problems, websites have become more sophisticated in their information architecture and new techniques have emerged. Sometimes you have to let go of your darlings to discover something new. And to be brutally honest, XSLT haven't been a happy marriage for most people. In fact, it repeatedly comes out as the number one disliked 'feature' of Umbraco whether you talk to front-end devs or .NET devs."

Reasons for the Dump

Hartvig explained that XSLT is tough to learn and complicated to master, and that it's not in tune with modern website architectures. He also says that because Umbraco 5 no longer stores data in a published XML, XSLT will slow down the CMS. Further, XSLT support is "non existing," and now there are better alternatives.

"The way we've implemented data access in v5 and combined with the razor view engine, means that making anything from basic navigations to complex taxonomy based lists is much simpler than even the most elegant XSLT," Hartvig wrote.

Razor's Edge

As part of the transition away from XSLT, the razor tutorials are now freely available on the Umbraco site to help get users up to speed with the scripting language. The site also has an eight-part blog series on razor features, which covers everything from new functionality to advanced topics.

Courier 2.5

Today Umbraco also announced Courier 2.5, the latest release of the company's deployment tool for sites built on Umbraco. The new release focuses on easy access to performing a deploy directly from the Umbraco backoffice, and keeping track of dependencies and resources needed for a deployed item to function.

Courier 2.5 is a free upgrade to Courier 2.0, which came out earlier this year, and 1.3.