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Goodbye to PHP 4 support, new features framework, and more

December 23, 2010
By nwhite

Happy Holidays - I have been away on parental leave, but now I'm back, and I wanted to post an update on a few things going on in the world of Reason CMS!

While I think pretty much everyone is running Reason under PHP 5, the next point release of Reason will be no longer support PHP 4. Nightly builds will likely stop supporting PHP 4 early in early January.

In other news, there are three items that will be in the next version of Reason (two are already in nightly builds) that I want to briefly highlight:

Features

Already in nightly builds, the new features type allows a slideshow like presentation of images and videos on Reason pages. A feature can include a title, descriptive text, a destination url, a background color, and may have relationships to images or videos. A few use cases the framework supports:

  1. A single randomized image with a static text and title overlay that goes to a certain URL when clicked.
  2. A mixed slideshow of images and videos.
  3. A slideshow of mixed size images - images are automatically sized to fit a frame and a background color shows through as needed.

The framework is quite flexible, and the content manager uses a live preview so content creators can understand fully what a feature will look like before it is deployed. I'll put up a link to an example on the Carleton site when someone uses the type on our production site.

Reason Package WWW Folder

Reason CMS has long had its own www folder, intended for any resources that need to be web accessible. Some of the utilities bundled in the reason_package, however, and plasmature types that should be usable outside of Reason, have had no dedicated place to put web accessible resources. The reason_package now has a www folder, and a new colorpicker plasmature type uses this folder. This folder and the new setting REASON_PACKAGE_HTTP_BASE_PATH are in the current nightly builds.

AJAX / Web Services Framework for Modules

The next version of Reason will introduce some new tools and standard practices for modules that want to utilize AJAX calls or provide public web services. We have certainly done such things in modules in the past, but there hasn't been a standardized, optimized way for a module to request something from itself dynamically without using an additional php script, or output buffering hackery. More details as this is implemented - it is not currently available in nightly builds.

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