We're happy to announce the beta release of Bolt 2.2. This is the first public release of what will be Bolt 2.2, and it comes with new features and improvements. Apart from that it has much improved tests, to ensure the quality of our codebase, going forward. Finally, Bolt 2.2 will be the last release to support PHP 5.3.3. More on that, below.

Over the next few weeks we'll fix any bugs that pop up in this beta, and work towards a stable Bolt 2.2.0 release. Until that time, all of the usual caveats apply: Make sure you have a backup, in case everything goes up in flames. That said, it probably won't go up in flames, since a couple of our team members already have sites running in production with this version for a short while. Please test it out, and let us know of any bugs and quirks you might find!

New Features

Bolt 2.2 has a bunch of new features since 2.1. The biggest of these are:

Inline (frontend) editing

Starting with Bolt 2.2, you can "Live edit" pages directly from the Bolt backend. This makes it very easy to make some changes to a bit of text, and seeing what it will look like for the sites visitors. See the following animation, for how it works:

http://g.recordit.co/vP0EM36Rgf.gif

Currently, this functionality is restricted to titles, Wysiwyg fields and regular text fields. Depending on the feedback we receive, we'll see how we're going to expand on this functionality. For more info on this, see the related issue on our tracker: #3144.

A spiffy new Markdown Editor

A lot of people prefer using markdown to write text. Markdown is easy, quick to read and write, and because it's 'plain text', you'll know what you get. The Markdown field in Bolt used to be a plain text field, but in this version we're introducing a new editor for Markdown, which brings it in line with the 'normal' Wysywig editing fields. For more info on this, see the related issue on our tracker: #3229

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Ajaxy saving of files in the editor

If you're editing a file in the Bolt interface, it will keep its place when saving, because the saving happens without a browser refresh. This has two major benefits:

  • After saving, you don't have to scroll down again to find the location you were editing.
  • You can use 'undo', even after saving.

Template Specific Fields

Have you ever had that you needed a specific field, for a one-off page? Like an extra bit of text on a 'contact us' page, or a slider on the homepage. Up until now you'd either have to make a contenttype for that, or deal with unused fields in all the other records in that contenttype. The Template Specific Fields functionality solves this: You can now define fields that are tied to a specific template. Choose that template when editing a page, and you'll have the extra fields at your disposal.

Other improvements

We've added a bunch of other, smaller features too. In fact, the list is quite long, as you can see here: Changelog. A lot of these seem small, but altogether they make Bolt even nicer to use than before. For example, We've added a small indicator for when Bolt is saving a Record:

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Some other improvements:

  • Added: New feature: Retina support for thumnbails.
  • Fixed: Slugs generation fixed. (looks prettier, no slugs for records that are 'viewless')
  • Added: Added an option to delete a record, when editing it.
  • Added: Upload UX improvements (working Progress bars and more)
  • Added: Allow for filtering on 'taxonomies' on the overview pages. (See #3278)

Tests & Code Quality

In Bolt 2.2 we've done a lot of work on the Test suites that Bolt uses to maintain intergrity and code quality. While this is not something you immediately notice, when working with Bolt as a user, it ensures the stability of the upcoming version 2.2, and it also allows us to do ongoing refactorings going forward. In upcoming releases this will allow us to refactor the Storage object, as well as the upcoming Dynamic fields Functionality.

Dropping PHP 5.3 & Long Term Support

As you might know, we use Silex and a bunch of Symfony components in Bolt. We like to stay current with the latest released versions of those two. This May will see the release of Symfony 2.7, as a bridge release to Symfony 3, which is coming in November.

Symfony will be dropping support for PHP 5.3 in these upcoming versions, and we will follow suit on that. This means that Bolt 2.2 will be the last version to support PHP 5.3.3. It's not entirely clear what version will be required by Symfony 3.0, but it's most likely that this will be PHP 5.5.9. This is great for us, because it will allow us to leverage more modern features from PHP in our CMS, which in turn will benefit our users.

Because we do not wish to leave the users behind that are stuck on PHP 5.3 for now, we've decided that Bolt 2.2 will be a Long Term Support version. This LTS-status means that we will do maintenance and security releases for this version for a longer period, even after the release of other major updates. Bolt 2.2 will receive maintenance releases for 6 months after the release of Bolt 2.3, and it will get security updates for at least 12 months or longer, as long as there's sufficient demand.

Install & Upgrade

To install this version from scratch, follow the instructions on the updated installation page in the documentation, as can be found here: Installing Bolt. To upgrade an existing site, see Updating. Be sure to get the correct versions, though: bolt-2.2.0-beta.tar.gz or bolt-2.2.0-beta.zip.

For the lazy:

curl -O http://bolt.cm/distribution/bolt-2.2.0-beta.tar.gz
tar -xzf bolt-2.2.0-beta.tar.gz --strip-components=1
chmod -R 777 files/ app/database/ app/cache/ app/config/ theme/ extensions/
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