Easy tiger

Thursday, November 22, 2012 by Sebastiaan Janssen

It’s now 4 months after Codegarden and we’re very happy to that version 4.11.0 is eagerly knocking at the door. 4.11.0 delivers what we promised you at Codegarden: a strong comeback of Umbraco 4 with full MVC support. We’re very proud of that. Even better: the reception of 4.10.0 both in- and outside of the community has been very positive.

Another thing that we’re very happy with is the great number of contributions we’ve received from the community. It’s very satisfying to be accepting bug fixes for things that people have been annoyed by for ages and finally now they feel empowered to try and fix them. We’ve been trying to help everybody who wants to get involved out and the effect has been an explosion of pull requests and patches. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Awesome work!

With our new (more agile) focus we’re also regularly doing reflection on what works and what doesn’t work. This has led to a few discussions within the core team to see how we can improve our process and we came to a simple conclusion: we’ve been wanting to do too much in too little time, we need to pace ourselves.

We've also had feedback from the community saying that we’re releasing a bit too often now and people can’t keep up. Very fair feedback and we’ll be releasing less aggressively.


In short

  • We love that we’ve been able to put out the recent releases with good quality but want to do better
  • We’ll soon relax the release schedule so you can keep up again
  • No more breaking changes between major versions allow you to upgrade with confidence

This means that we’re going to change the roadmap a little to adjust for these new insights. In practise, this will lead to a more agile way of doing things, we’ll be putting less work items in each sprint. 

We still have an overarching vision of where we want to go, but very specific smaller tasks won’t be set in stone. So the big things that are upcoming are (in order of appearance):

  • New low-level and high-level APIs plus improvements to the MVC bits
  • Project Belle, the new user interface
  • Concorde, Umbraco as a Service

In detail

With regards to the release schedule, we’re relaxing that a little bit after v6.1.0. We’re really eager to get the new API’s in the hands of everybody and deliver all that we promised for v6: new routing, new api’s, new business layer and MVC, which is exactly what we wanted for v5.

As of 6.1.0, we’ll still be doing sprints of 2 weeks with the team, leading to a deliverable after each sprint. We’ll be doing actual releases every 8 weeks though, this will be either a major or a minor release.

Speaking of backwards compatibility, we had so many things that really, really needed to be fixed in v4, that we bended the rules of SemVer a little and introduced some breaking changes in minor releases. We realize that it’s not been very consistent with our own guidelines, and as of v6 we’ll only make breaking changes in major releases, so you will be able to upgrade with ease.

A lot of people (especially Jeroen) actually like our fast release schedule and don’t want to wait weeks to be able to take advantage of the improvements we’re making. Because we’ll have no breaking changes, it will be safe to upgrade to nightly releases, so that’s what we’ll be recommending from now on.

As for breaking changes, we’re allowed to break things for v6.0.0. And we will, but we’re trying to keep them minimal. The main changes will be around the database and these will be handled by the installer during the upgrade so it shouldn’t be too painful.


We realize that while our main job is to produce software, you job is to both understand and implement our software. We'll be easier to keep up with, giving you more time to learn, understand and build.

And with that: go forth and make awesome websites!

16 comment(s) for “Easy tiger”

  1. Gravatar ImageAsbjørn Says:

    You have accomplished amazing things in short amount of time, so you have definitely earned a bit of a rest. But, one thing I can't wait to see is the new and improved support for multilingual websites that was planned for v 6.x. Hopefully that is still coming soon. Meanwhile, I'm off to play with 4.11 (in my custom edition upgraded to MVC 4).

  2. Gravatar ImageSebastiaan Janssen Says:

    Asbjørn, unfortunately that's a big task and it's going to have to wait a little bit longer. Luckily, with a bit of extra effort and by taking advantage of specialized packages for multilingual scenario's, it's already very possible to make great multilingual websites in Umbraco.

  3. Gravatar ImageBiagio Says:

    How Sebastiaan?

  4. Gravatar ImageAsbjørn Says:

    @Sebastiaan: Yes, a blog post on multilingual websites (and proper best practices) would be most appreciated. Most of the content you find online is somewhat outdated...

  5. Gravatar Imageesunxray Says:

    @Sebastiaan Janssen: Thank you for your hard work! I do really want to use Tabular Date Container with new Belle, because some times I need bulk operations like: delete, move,publish/unpublish, change template,add tags....many operations.

  6. Gravatar ImageJeffrey Valeroso Says:

    @Sebastiaan can't wait to experience project Belle

  7. Gravatar Imageesunxray Says:

    Hope every item can be translated with new Belle UI.
    There are so many items can't translated with current UI.

  8. Gravatar ImageDan Says:

    Nice! I very much welcome the move to fewer releases with more strict compliance to SemVer. The upgrade path recently has become so convoluted it's actually becoming prohibitive in many scenarios. Umbraco core upgrades, package upgrades and compatibility between the two is something that I really think is now a long way behind much of the competition. It would be wonderful to have a one-click upgrade - at least for point releases - that managed package dependencies etc. I guess this is the goal in the very near future, otherwise Concorde isn't going to work as billed, right?

    Anyhow, keep up the great work. There are some fantastic features and updates in the recent releases and for such major updates they seem remarkably stable! Happy days, and thanks again!

  9. Gravatar ImageColm Garvey Says:

    "@Sebastiaan: Yes, a blog post on multilingual websites (and proper best practices) would be most appreciated. Most of the content you find online is somewhat outdated..."

    +1 on this. It's such a critical component of a European based CMS it really should get more love :)

  10. Gravatar ImageSebastiaan Janssen Says:

    When it comes to multilingual sites, there's no ONE good way to go. It really depends on what your needs are and there are no silver bullets.

    The existing tutorials in different places on the web may LOOK dated, but they are still very viable, so make sure to take advantage of those articles,

  11. Gravatar ImageJeremy Holland Says:

    Hi Asbjørn, how did you upgrade Umbraco to use MVC 4?

  12. Gravatar ImageSebastiaan Janssen Says:

    @Jeremy We'll have MVC4 support in 6.0.0. But if you can't wait:

  13. Gravatar ImageSébastien Richer Says:

    Just wanted to say that I also really enjoy this ultra fast release cycle. I have many clients that currently run Umbraco and the thing is that of course I won't update their websites whenever you guys release. I'll wait for a bugfix or a feature I / they want. Then I'll pick the release # I want (most probably the latest) and actually update them then.

    This is why I think that this fast release cycle should not be impacting anyone really. If you're updating your clients whenever a version # comes out, I think that's a bit strange and would argue against that.

    But with that said, fast release cycles like this means that when I start a new project / client, I'll use the latest release and he'll be on the cutting edge. I would not be comfortable starting a client on a nightly build (maybe internally, but not paying client). So slowing down the release cycle is not my suggestion. Fast cycles like this keeps everyone involved and talking about the project.

    So there you go, in any case, great work, keep on truckin!

  14. Gravatar ImageBert Loedeman Says:

    @Asbjørn: creating a multilingual website using Umbraco 4 (and the current 6) is possible. It is not quite where one would love it to be, but it works fine if you comply with the boundaries set by Umbraco.

    You can see an example of such a multilingual website at this URL: http://www.villatropezienne.com/ (built in v4.10, but just upgraded to v6.0.0). If I can be of help, of course I am willing to give you some ;)!

  15. Gravatar ImageAllan Kirk Says:

    I'm a little confused how this influences the privous stated cycle of having the x.2 release being the stable one. The roadmap used to say "Polish and stable" for the last release of a major release, but that has now gone.

  16. Gravatar ImageSebastiaan Janssen Says:

    @Allan Yes, that turned out to be not the way we wanted to go, we want to deliver polished and stable releases always. It was confusing to people, like we would deliver sloppy stuff first and then make it better.
    No, we want to make every release as good as it can be, which means committing to less work for each release.

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