Redux 4.0 – A Beta Test
So…it’s been, what? A few years since we’ve posted something on our blog? Yeah, we’re sorry about that. Reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated. We’re still very much here, alive, and working on some things that we’ve been keeping under wraps for a better part of the year.
Understand, in the beginning, after Simple Options, Options Framework, NHP, SMOF and Redux 2.0 all came together to make Redux 3.0, it rocked the developer community. All these fine frameworks and their authors coming together for one super project that eventually became the #1 options framework for WordPress theme and plugin developers. As time marched on, many of our core developers moved onto other projects, or away from WordPress completely. Many other option frameworks still available have either been abandoned or – not to put too fine a point on it – don’t do nearly half of what Redux in is current incarnation does. Today, The Redux Framework project is just Dovy, and myself (Kev). We’ve not given up or walked away from this amazing project. The issue is, WordPress tools designed specifically for developers, versus WordPress users/consumers are not exactly the income providers that tools such as WooCommerce, bbPress, JetPack are. Dovy and I were unable to work on Redux full time for the last few years, which meant divided time between the Redux project we love so much – the one in which we still give our blood, sweat, and tears – and those pesky real jobs. Oh, and sometimes our families enjoy seeing us as well, from time to time. 🙂
Oops, Redux…what? Pro…what? Did I just spoil something? Hmmm…maybe I did. Keep reading…
Oh, and just you wait and see what Dovy did for the typography field. Automatic Google Font updates WITHOUT the need for a Google API key. Yeah, you heard that right. Redux now handles it all for you, minus all the annoying permissions issues that used to plague the weekly update feature, to the point where we had to shut it down. It’s crazy amazing how it works. It’s something you just gotta see for yourself. Dovy did a kick ass job on it. Personally, I think it should be the sole reason to upgrade.
So, after all this work, it was clear that bumping Redux 3 a minor version number would not cut it. This project was now Redux 4.0, and work for it has gone on all summer long. See? We’ve been busy! Looks (or lack thereof) can be deceiving! I also made the command decision to update the look of the option panel interface to better match WordPress itself, so the option panel inherits the selected WordPress theme color (using a system close to the one WordPress uses). Plus, we’ve been laying the groundwork for Redux Pro compatibility, which version 3 will not have.
Oh, rats…did I tease that Pro thing again? Ah, well. Once again, keep reading. I want to get the importanct stuff out first, which brings me to backward compatibility. That is, when version 4 rolls out, it can (and will) replace 3 with no breakage.
Dovy and I come from a school of developers who believe backward compatibility should always be maintained, or that every possible and conceivable effort should be given to the subject (pay attention WooCommerce). So far, I think we’ve been pretty good about, being as obsessive about it as we are. Great lengths have gone into Redux 4.0 to maintain this compatibility, even with all the code changes made. More than a few shims were used to keep our promise to do everything possible to maintain backward compatibility. This bring me to point of this entire post. We don’t want to simply roll out Redux 4.0 without giving it a good shakedown. We need some other – and preferably hardcore – Redux users to load up version 4.0 and verify exactly how seamless the upgrade is. If there are things we missed, we want to catch them now (you know, instead of potentially breaking over a million sites). We would prefer to begin with a private beta, a small group of Redux users who are familiar with the project. We have a private Github repo set up for this. After a short interval, the Redux 4.0 core will be added via a development/beta branch to the public Github repo for anyone to download and test. It won’t replace the 3.x version until we are reasonably sure everything is where it should be. And then, when we’re ready, we’ll push Redux 4.0 for public consumption. The skies will light up! Angels will sing! World peace will fall into place! Okay, well, maybe not all those things, especially that last one. It’ll be a good thing, is my point in chief! it allows us to move forward with the Redux Framework Project in ways we’ve only dreamed of doing for years now, which always mean more benefits for our users, and in turn, their users. Win/win/win.
If you are interested in participating in our limited, private beta, fill out the form below. You will need a Github account to receive an invitation to our private repo. We’d also appreciate it if you’d let us know the project in which Redux is used. If accepted, additional details will be provided in the email we’ll be sending out. Alternatively, If you’d rather wait for the public beta, we can respect that too. We’ll be making another blog post when that happens, detailing all the new features, and things we’d like checked, areas of focus, etc.