CubicWeb 3.9.0 went out last week. We now have tested it in production and fixed the remaining bugs, which means it is now show time!

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What's new in CubicWeb 3.9?

The 3.9 release development was started by a one week long sprint at the beginning of May. The two goals were first to make it easier to customize the look and feel of a CubicWeb application, and second to do a big cleanup of the javascript library. This led to the following major changes.

  • We introduced property sheets, which replace former external_resources file, as well as define some constants that will be used to 'compile' cubicweb and cubes' stylesheets.
  • We started a new, clean cubicweb.css stylesheet, that tries to keep up with the rhythm. This is still a work in progress, and by default the old css is still used, unless specified otherwise in the configuration file.
  • We set the bases for web functional testing using windmill. See test cases in cubicweb/web/test/windmill/ and python wrapper in cubicweb/web/test_windmill/ if you want to use this in your own cube.
  • We set the bases for javascript unit-testing using qunit. See test cases in cubicweb/web/test/jstests/ and python wrapper in cubicweb/web/test_jscript/ if you want to use this in your own cube.
  • We cleaned the javascript code: the generic stuff moved into the cw namespace, the ajax api is now much simpler thanks to more generic and powerful functions. As usual backward compatibility was kept, which means that your existing code will still run, but you will see tons of deprecation warnings in the firebug console.
  • We implemented a simple documentation extraction system for javascript. Just put ReST in javascript comments, and get all the power of sphinx for documenting your javascript code.

But that's not all! There are also two major changes in 3.9.

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Architectural change: adapters

The first major change is the introduction of adapters, also found in the Zope Component Architecture and documented in the GoF book. This will allow for better application design and easier code reuse. You can see several usage in the framework, for instance the "ITree" adapter in cubicweb.entities.adapters, the "IBreadCrumbs" adapter in cubicweb.web.views.ibreadcrumbs, or still the "ICalendarable" adapter in cubicweb.web.views.calendar.

Important full search improvement

The second major change will benefit directly to end users: we worked with our friends from SecondWeb to expose the ranking feature found in postgres full-text search. This clearly improves the user experience when doing full-text searches. Ranking may be finely tuned by setting different weights to entity types, entity types attributes, or even be dynamically computed per entity instance. Of course, all this is done in an adapter, see "IFTIndexableAdapter" in cubicweb/entities/adapters.py.

Minor changes

Other minor changes include:

  • support for wildcard text search for application using postgres >= 8.4 as backend. Try searching for 'cub*' on cubicweb.org for instance.
  • inline edition of composite relation
  • nicer, clickable, schema image of the data model
  • enhanced support for the SQLserver database

Enjoy!

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