Thursday, June 26, 2014

Umbraco 7.2 grid updates

Since the alpha of 7.2 was shown off in the Codegarden keynote, we've been hard at work, to include a visual configuration of the grid editor. If you havn't seen the new grid UI before, I highly recommend you watch the Codegarden keynote available here - grid demo starts around 35mins in.

Configuration UI

See the configuration UI on action in this video:

The configuration UI gives you the ability to manage the overall template of the grid, so you can specify how many sections this grid should have.

For each section you can specify which "layouts" the editor is allowed to insert. A layout is basically a row of cells, and each cell then have a number of editors allowed on them.

Layouts are configured once, and then assigned to the different grid sections. So they can be shared on multiple grids / sections. This gives better re-use and a consistent UI for editors.

The grid structure

Confused about the grid editor and what it contains? - there are a lot of parts to it, but lets go through them all:

  1. The grid has a template
  2. The template has 1 or more sections
  3. Each section has a collection of allowed layouts
  4. A layout is a row of one or more areas
  5. A layout area has a list of allowed editors
  6. An editor is the component you use to enter data, like a rich text editor, a headline, or picking media.

Clear as mud, right? - anyways, even though there are many small parts, most usage of the grid should be fairly easy since it comes with its new configuration UI and helper methods for templating.

Breaking changes

However, as we went through the structure of the grid, we also changed a number of variable and collection names in the json-blob stored by the grid editor, so for those who have been playing around with the alpha, will not be able to upgrade to the beta when it's released without loosing grid data and configuration.

So bottomline: we've added a grid configuration UI and changed the data format, so if you upgrade from alpha to beta, expect to loose your grid content+config, it should however reset the grid gracefully.

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