early snowdrops, sign of spring
April is shaping up to be the busiest month so far this year in open source action PHOTO: Annie Spratt

With April ahead of us, the ever-evolving open source CMS scene is preparing itself for yet more action.

Last month, Joomla and SilverStripe took steps towards releasing new versions, DNN Software unveiled some new Test Drive pages, while WordPress patched an array of security issues.

As for the days and weeks ahead, here’s what to expect from the wonderful world of open source CMS.

TYPO3

TYPO3, the Düsseldorf, Germany-based enterprise CMS vendor, released TYPO3 CMS 8 LTS today.

To get acquainted with TYPO3 CMS 8, CMSWire spoke to Benni Mack from the TYPO3 Core Team about what users can expect from the refreshed platform:

“TYPO3 v8 comes with over 130 new features and improvements, too many to list one by one. Highlights include cloud capability out of the box, a streamlined translation handling, and the integration of de facto standard database layer Doctrine to allow running TYPO3 on multiple databases like PostgreSQL, MSSQL, SQLite2, in addition to MySQL,” Mack said.

“But that’s just the bigger architectural changes. We’ve touched many parts of the administration interface, we call the TYPO3 Backend, to improve the user experience.”

Mack also expanded on how TYPO3 CMS 8 will aid content publishers and marketers.

“With each release, we strive to ease the daily workflow of editors. Publishing content feels more consistent and there are lots of small little improvements to help the daily work. TYPO3 can now even be used on smartphones to put anything live or do a quick change in an article or campaign while out for lunch,” he continued.

“For simple editing, we now have CKEditor as Rich Text Editor in our system, which not only greatly improves the daily work when creating website content, but is also fast.

"The way how forms for website can be built, has been completely changed. Editors can simply click re-usable forms, which was only done by third-party extensions. The Form framework allows also for larger teams to create pre-defined forms that can be connected to third-party services like a CRM and analysis tools.

"Finally, handling images for responsive websites, has also been integrated, allowing adding multiple versions of an asset for different output devices.”

Drupal

Drupal 8.3 is nearing the end of its development, as the second release candidate now stands at almost three weeks old.

We might see one more release candidate in April, but I’m hopeful we’ll also see the arrival of the final product, too.

Drupal 8.3 will bring about improved usability for image fields on mobile devices, easier content authoring on larger screens and enhanced REST and API-first support.

Joomla

The release of Joomla 3.7 has been a long time coming. Originally slated for a March 28 release, Joomla has since shifted the date to “the beginning of April."

The latest version of Joomla will include new custom field features, new TinyMCE functionality, improved workflow management and easier extension maintenance.

In the meantime, Joomla will be enjoying the benefits of its newly revamped website. While not necessarily groundbreaking in terms of design, it’s a big improvement on the previous version. 

Interestingly, Joomla’s website redesign comes just a few weeks after Drupal’s.

Other Open Source CMS Headlines

CMS Made Simple is still beta testing CMSMS 2.2. April will most likely contain at least one more beta release — and hopefully the final version.

PrestaShop’s release of version 1.7.1 also means users can enjoy the rest of April by reconnecting with PrestaShop 1.6 modules, like the PayPal module.

Finally, as part of its final push to get SilverStripe 4 completed and released, SilverStripe has invited its community to a Hackathon on April 22 at both of its New Zealand offices.

A Month of Major Releases?

April 2017 could potentially be the busiest month of the year so far in terms of major open source CMS releases.

TYPO3 CMS 8 is already here, while Drupal 8.3, Joomla 3.7 and CMS Made Simple 2.2 are all on the brink of completion.

Here’s to another hectic month!

And if I missed any of the action in the open source CMS world, let me know in the comments below.