The launch of Umbraco 9 was a great big deal both for HQ and the community. A project that was 2 years in the making and the aim was, of course, to take Umbraco to a place where we were using up-to-date technology, so that building with Umbraco and indeed, building Umbraco, would be a delightful experience. Confetti cannons, cake, glitter, bunnies, and music accompanied said launch because we knew that it would be our last big launch, at least for some time.
And we all know that that’s good news. Not because we don’t love to celebrate but because with the new release cadence, we knew there’d be no need to celebrate. With new major twice a year - that’s too much partying even for us 😉
Umbraco 10 builds on the hard work that went into Umbraco 9 and now that the release candidate is out, we wanted to find out what developers thought about the experience of working with this new release. We promised an easy upgrade path for your sites and for package developers. We promised improved cross-platform support and we built using the latest .NET version so that developers could take advantage of all the cool things that come with that. Did we deliver?
Busra bumps the major version to 10
Busra at Bump Digital has been keen to get her hands on the latest release. I asked her what it was exactly that made this major so exciting and she told me:
“I have only been a developer for 3 and half years now. I had the chance to work with versions 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9. I haven't done an upgrade to Umbraco 10, but had a chance to spin up a site with the RC and added my doctypes with various properties to test.
I want to show exactly how I feel working with different versions of Umbraco, and at the end, you'll understand how thrilled I am now working with Umbraco 10!”
Busra then showed me a picture of a motorbike that was more rust than anything. This, Busra explained, summed up her experience with Umbraco 4. Roll on through 6 and 7, beautiful machines but perhaps they lack the power steering or the central locking that makes our lives a little easier. By Umbraco 9 we have a beautiful and shiny-new Jeep, standing proudly on a driveway. Finally, we get to reach Umbraco 10 and Busra shows me how that feels to her - a Ferrari-red Tesla. Lovely to drive, efficient and effective.
I wondered if others had experienced something similar when they unboxed our latest major. It was remarkable to me that from the first play, you could tell that so much work had gone into it and this made it, from the get-go, really good to work with.
Everything 'just works'... on my Mac!
Chriztian Steinmeier has been working with Umbraco for a long time. He has rolled with many changes in that time and cross-platform support was one he was really looking forward to. So much so that he was one of the first to start testing the RC to see if the claim that it would ‘Just work’ could be true.
I spotted him when he tweeted:
When I pinged him to see if he could elaborate, I realized the true value of his tweet. This had not been a ‘simple’ solution at all.
“You want the full craziness of me putting together a (very) elaborate setup to be able to run the exact same XSLT file on my Mac, as was used for a macro on the server; then everything goes to Razor and I'm back to square one... then through multiple hoops with Docker, only to finally arrive at "everything just works" now with SQLite 🤣”
I asked Chriztian, “So, does Umbraco 10 make you happy?”
“I haven't used Umbraco 10 for anything mission-critical yet, but the way Umbraco 9 has been working just like Umbraco 8(despite everything underneath it having been swapped out) I have a lot of confidence in it. The great sell for me is definitely the ability to run it locally on my Mac now”
It’s almost too easy with Umbraco 10
Michael Reiter took on what might have been a mammoth task too - upgrading 10 internal packages. What happened when he did this? You’ll be as pleased as we were to hear: “It was almost too easy.”
Michael told us that upgrading packages to the Umbraco 10 RC involved nothing more than updating Umbraco and the .NET version. The packages are still working as before. I asked Michael what he expected when he set out to do the work.
“I had already heard that not many breaking changes were made between Umbraco 9 and Umbraco 10 so I was expecting a somewhat smooth upgrade. However, since it is still an upgrade to another major version it was just in my mind that something must break. Wouldn't be a real upgrade otherwise, right?” He knew that upgrades like this could be time-consuming. Any of us who have tried to upgrade from previous majors will be familiar with the experience. He went on to tell me, “My only other major upgrade experience was 8 to 9, where I was fully aware of many major changes, especially concerning the underlying framework. Since I had already quite a lot of experience with .Net Core it was "just" a lot of work. So while it took me some time I at least wasn't facing problems I didn't know how to overcome.”
So it’s no wonder that Michael was delighted when he found that the upgrade was friction-free and then tweeted his reaction. It’s a great feeling when things happen exactly as they should.
Before I said goodbye to Michael, I had to ask him one thing: do you love Umbraco 10 so far?
“What I like most about Umbraco 10 is the upgrade from.NET 5 to .NET 6 and the ability to use C# 10 with it. Really love the new features coming along with that!
For Umbraco itself, I can't say too much as it just feels like Umbraco 9 for me 😅”
Finally, we wanted to talk to someone who has made a lot of packages. Someone who has upgraded packages using very different versions and hasn’t always enjoyed the experience. Critically, it needed to be someone who would be honest with us. Lee Kelleher sprang to mind almost immediately. How did he get on upgrading Contentment to the latest release?
“Adding support for Umbraco 10 and .NET 6 was straightforward, dare I say it was happily unexciting. No showstoppers, no workarounds, no dramas.
.NET 6 had some subtle changes with the file system API, e.g. `IWebHostEnvironment`, but again no major pain points.
The dropping of SQL CE wasn't a great concern for me, although I know other package developers have had concerns over it. I'm happy with the introduction of SQLite, I'm a huge fan of that.”
Try it out for yourself!
In this community, we understand the value of sharing experiences and how important that is to the development of the product. We, as with so many open source projects, thrive when we have lots of developers working with the release candidate and reporting what they find when they do.
Sometimes that’s sharing car pictures, others it’s reporting issues, and all perspectives are not only welcome; they’re essential.
If this article has piqued your curiosity, come and download the release candidate here and get playing, yourself. Let us know how it drives, report any issues you find, and ask any questions. Find out how to do that here. Every person that works with Umbraco 10 in these early releases, contributes more than they can possibly know to the stability of the product. Umbraco 9 was a release that we were immensely proud of and we know that your contributions are what made it such a dream to work with. With that in mind, we can’t wait to hear from you soon.