So, what's new in this release?
Integrated advanced Frontend Editing
Integrated System Scheduler
A scheduling engine that allows extensions to schedule events has been integrated. Events can be triggered at a single time or on a recurring basis. The scheduler is executed through a cronjob that dispatches event handling back to the extension that registered the event.
Integrated a new module for System Reports
For monitoring system events, a reporting module has been added. The reports module is delivered with common tests to check the health of a system. These tests include whether basic system requirements are met and whether installed extensions need to be updated. Extensions can hook into the reporting mechanism and provide their own tests as well.
Integrated Salted Passwords
Passwords in TYPO3 are stored using a regular MD5 hash. With knowledge of that hash value, an attacker may be able to recalculate the original password by using rainbow hash tables. The Salted Passwords extension adds a random value - the salt - to the stored hash which drastically reduces the chance of rainbow attacks. This feature can be used by installing the system extension 'saltedpasswords'. Furthermore, a secure channel must be available to transfer the password data. The HTTPS protocol is one option and if that is not available the RSAAuth extension can be used instead.
Improved Extbase and Fluid
A lot of work has been done in this release for the "Extbase" MVC framework and the "Fluid" templating engine. An enormous number of bugfixes and enhancements have been added. The persistence layer was rewritten, many view helpers were revised or newly integrated, seamless interaction with the page cache was added, and support for backend modules was introduced. Backend module support is potentially unstable for the time being but will become more stable in future beta releases.
In the last few months there have been many initiatives to optimize the overall performance of TYPO3. This list gives a short overview of the enhancemen
- The frontend's time tracking functionality is no longer loaded when the admin panel is enabled.
- Caches have been introduced to prevent repeatedly parsing the same XML data or and repeatedly walking the same pagetree rootline.
- Extensions that are only used in the backend are no no longer loaded in the frontend.
- The deprecation log can be disabled on production websites.
Integrated Error and Exception Handling
Continuing with the goal of easing the transition between TYPO3 v4 and TYPO3 v5, the error and exception handling of FLOW3 was backported. This new feature allows one to have custom error and exception messages.
Localization of hardcoded phrases
Many phrases that were hardcoded and thus only available in English have been changed to use a localization file now. The localized versions of these new labels will be available on the translation server as soon as they are processed by the translation team.
Third party libraries
Possibility to hide Versioning & Workspaces
The "Versioning Management" system extension is removed from the list of required extensions that are loaded by default. Thus, it's possible to hide these user interface elements when the feature is not used at all on a website.
Improved behavior in backend forms
Record selection can now be enhanced by a suggest wizard that searches available records and shows the search results while typing. Regular text areas without the rich text editor are now dynamically resizable.
Integrated new Media Content Element
A new media content element has been integrated and allows simple, configurable handling of audio and video data. It is also possible to use this element with external sources like YouTube. The Media Content Element is delivered with default audio and video players but can also be configured to use third-party players.
Next steps to climb the TYPO3 4.3 hill
Please test this beta release as much as possible, especially the new features from the first three alpha releases and those described above! If you're using one of the new features in a project already and discover bugs, please report them immediately to bugs.typo3.org!
If you're upgrading from a previous TYPO3 version, please be sure to execute the database analyzer and update wizard in the TYPO3 Install Tool.
Since we are now in the beta phase, no more features will be integrated and we will continue with bug fixing only. During the next few weeks, we will release two more beta version to deliver a more stable product. After that we will turn to the release candidate and the final version of TYPO3 4.3. This means that you can expect the final version to be ready by the end of November 2009.
For a detailed overview of the features planned for TYPO3 4.3 and their progress, have a look at the TYPO3 v4 Development Page, the bugtracker, and the ChangeLog. The list of pending documentation in the wiki describes the new properties and tells how they can be used.
You can download the packages at typo3.org/download/packages/.