News about Contao

Read the official Contao announcements.

Contao 3.0.RC1 is available

by Leo Feyer

Contao version 3.0.RC1 is available. The release candidate includes all new features of version 3.0 and is now subject to bug fixing on the way to the final release.

Overview of the most important new features

  • Content elements can now be used in news and events
  • jQuery as alternative JavaScript framework in the front end
  • New content elements "video/audio player" and "YouTube video"
  • New function "notify me of new comments by e-mail"
  • Implementation of a database-aided file system
  • Image meta data is stored in the database (no more meta.txt files)
  • Better support of creating of mobile websites
  • The "toggle_view" insert tag switches between the mobile and desktop version
  • Insert tags can now be nested
  • Multiple usabililty improvements, including a better page and file picker
  • Content elements can be published or unpublished time-controlled
  • Comparison of the changes between two versions of a record
  • Integration of the FolderURL functionality (see the back end settings)
  • Improved CSS framework with a responsive grid system
  • Improved password security thanks to a better hash algorithm
  • All core classes can be overriden thanks to the new autoloader

More information is available in the Contao 3 keynote (see the announcement).

New file structure

The file structure of the program has been adjusted as follows:

contains all generated images, style sheets and JavaScript files as well as all external scripts like MooTools or jQuery
Contao back end
upload folder (formally "tl_files")
contains all generated RSS feeds
system folder
contains the customized templates

The "plugins" and "typolight" folders no longer exist in Contao 3.

Components of the CSS framework

The CSS framework has been overworked with regard to creating mobile websites and additional components have been added, which can be activated in the page layout. These include:

CSS reset
standardizes the different element formattings in the various browsers
Layout builder
creates a CSS layout based on the settings in the "page layout" module
Responsive grid
adds a responsive 12-column grid, which can be triggered with the CSS classes "grid1" to "grid12" and "offset1" to "offset12"

In this course, the layout builder switched to the "Holy Grail" layout, which displays the main column above the left and right columns. This can not only improve your search engine ranking, it also makes the two side columns slide below the main column on mobile devices.

Stronger focus on the module folders

Module folders are the central place to store own extension as well as system adjustments. Developers are to maintain as much resources as possible inside them, which has become a lot easier in Contao 3 thanks to the possibility to use arbitrary subfolders.

In addition, the autoload creator now supports unlimitedly nested structures to store PSR-0 compatible class libraries. To stress the focus on the module folders, the system/library folder has been entirely removed and the Contao framework has been moved into the system/modules/core/library folder. All external PHP libraries are now in system/vendor.

Smart redirects

If you activate the "add the language to the URL" feature introduced in Contao 2.11, old URLs without the language fragment will now be redirected to a matching language instead of ending in a 404 error. This way you do not need to maintain a long list of .htaccess redirects.

Template changes

The "image gallery" element and the "breadcrumb" module now use unordered lists (UL) to render the images or links. This change has to be adopted in customized templates as well as in the CSS code of the website.

Module loading order

In Contao 3, the core modules ("calendar", "comments", "core", "devtools", "faq", "listing", "news", "newsletter" and "repository") are loaded before the other modules. This change, however, does not solve the general problem of the alphabetic loading order, therefore further optimisation is planned.

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