The most recent version of ExpressionEngine was released earlier in August, and, as usual, it adds a host of handy new additions to EllisLab’s feature-rich content management system. If you want to take a look at all of the improvements, you can check out the changelog, but we’d like to highlight a few of our favorites.
Since its creation by prolific blogger John Gruber, the Markdown markup language has gone from strength to strength. It’s a very simple and portable way to format plain text for use on the web. Rather than writing directly in HTML or fiddling about with the formatting of rich text in less than ideal interfaces, writers who use Markdown can very quickly create content that can be converted to correct HTML. There are a huge number of text editors that have Markdown support, including the excellent Byword.
ExpressionEngine 2.7.0 introduces a Markdown parser that can be used by choosing Markdown as the formatting option for a custom Channel Field.
The intention is to keep the Markdown content portable, so instead of converting it to HTML and storing it in the database, the Markdown parser is used on page load, leaving users free to change text formatting settings for the field.
The Grid Field Type
The new Grid fieldtype makes it a breeze to create rows of related content with multiple columns that can contain any of ExpressionEngine’s current fieldtypes.
It’s great for quickly creating galleries with attached metadata or entering tabular data, which can then be displayed in a template with a short code snippet.
SafeCracker Is Fully Integrated As A Channel Form
Remember when SafeCracker was a third party add-on? It allowed ExpressionEngine site users to create entries by filling in forms on the front-end. Some time back it was acquired by EllisLab to beef up ExpressionEngine’s form functionality. Since then it’s been gradually integrated into ExpressionEngine, and with 2.7.0, it is fully integrated. All references to the old add-on has been removed and the SafeCracker File fieldtype is now merged with the native File field.
Developers haven’t been neglected with this release, there are several new hooks, including category_save_hook, that fires when categories are added or edited and another for when categories are deleted. There’s also the new custom_field_modify_data hook, which allows custom field information to be modified before it’s sent to the field.
What do you guys think about the new features for this release? Does Markdown support put a smile on your face? What are you hoping to see in the next release? Let us know in the comments.Posted in: ExpressionEngine