What to expect in 1.8 "Tempel"

Back in October we let you know what to look forward to in 1.7 and beyond and since writing we have delivered 5 releases of 1.7, 6 Xibo for Android releases, moved to GitHub, opened the Xibo Community Forums and made many improvements to the Xibo Cloud.

Spring Signage are also pleased to be able to provide another full time Xibo resource, so please welcome Piotr Mis to the team (@peter in community). Peter will be assisting with the day-to-day Xibo support and helping to test our releases!

1.8 codename “Tempel”

We are now hard at work on the next Xibo release, which will be 1.8.0-alpha. In our October round-up we mentioned Playlists and Interactive Signage as targets for this release and we can now narrow this down and elaborate.

Playlists

Support for Playlists will be in the release. This is the idea that the contents of a region can be re-used across multiple layouts allowing content creators to have a set of layouts that differ slightly, but with the same main content. An example would be displays around a campus with an arrow showing the nearest exit in one region, but a common region for the other content. There are more details in the Feature Topic.

Interactive Signage

The full interactive signage implementation (as described in the Feature Topic) will be part of 1.9 Series, but we hope to include some basic features in 1.8.0-alpha2. In particular we hope to write a player API which allows 3rd parties to directly take certain actions on the Player (change layout).

Xibo API

The Xibo API has been in BETA for a long time, too long as far as we are concerned. 1.8 series will include a RESTful API with 100% coverage and a complete API document. We hope that this API functionality will greatly improve 3rd party interaction with Xibo and give developers a stable and reliable link into the Xibo CMS.

Changes for Developers

We recognise we have been on a journey with our Framework, Theme and Module Implementations and that this journey hasn’t always been a happy one! A lot of Xibo has been in existence since 2006 and doesn’t stick to modern day standards and ideals. We are happy to announce that this is going to change in 1.8 onwards.

We’ve decided to bite the bullet and strive for real code change – here are the highlights we’ve adopted:

  • PHP 5.4 or higher
  • The Slim PHP Framework
  • Twig
  • Composer
  • PSR-4 (yes, Xibo has a namespace!)
  • MVC (yes, we have models, controllers and Twig Views!)
  • RESTFul by design
  • A separate Web Folder for Security
  • PHPUnit

These changes have meant a lot of work, but have also meant that every bit of Xibo code has been revisited, scrutinized for improvements and had a test written to support it. We hope that adopting these standards means more contributors, more ideas and more Xibo!