Six years ago we at LOVATA chose October as the main CMS for implementing our clients' projects, which has become one of the best solutions for our business. The amazing stability of the CMS that was in beta back then, has been ensuring our clients’ smooth production ever since.
Over the years, October has rightfully gained a reputation as a reliable professional CMS for developing technically complex projects on a modern PHP stack.
We made this interview with Alexey Bobkov, one of the co-founders of the project, right after the events that shook up the platform's community, at the beginning of March. But as agreed, we are publishing it today on the day of the long-awaited release of the new version.
You can watch the new announcing video here:
Hello! Alexey, we haven't heard from you for a long time, please tell us what you have been doing in recent years?
I’ve mostly been busy with October CMS and family. Two years ago, we had to move to Toronto and live there for a year and a half. We recently returned to Vancouver and are very happy about it.
Most recently, the October CMS community was stirred up by two news at once: the announced major update of the platform and the departure of the project maintainers, who had been actively working on it over the past few years.
Please tell us more about the main innovations that await us in the next release.
There have been many changes to the platform, and here are some of them:
Composer has become the primary tool for installing and updating the system. It now supports dependencies through our marketplace, and the platform with all the necessary plugins and themes can be installed with just the composer.json file.
We added the Editor – a universal tool for editing documents. CMS Template Editors are now an extension for Editor. Besides, we plan to redesign the Builder to use the Editor as well.
October now supports the so-called parent and child themes. The former will be updated in the same way as the plugins. And the latter is designed to create a modification of the former for the needs of a specific project. Besides, the theme management system excludes the possibility of the composer overwriting the changes that the user could have made in the "parent" theme manually.
Besides, there have been many visual changes in the administration system.
Author’s note. As it has been mentioned today, the project is also including Vue.js framework support.
Sounds impressive! What can you say about the backward compatibility of the new version? Should marketplace vendors expect problems?
Backward compatibility is almost 100%. We’ve listed some of the incompatible plugins in our blog post at octobercms.com (you can find the announcement here). They mainly concern customizing the Backend UI and the login page. We made sure that such important plugins as, for example, two-factor authentication for the administration system worked properly. However, as with any major upgrade, we recommend that you upgrade your local copy with a separate database first, and only then production. We’ll also discuss all of this in the announcement.
One of the main complaints about October CMS has traditionally been the use of outdated Laravel versions. Will something change in this regard and how long will it take to update to the next LTS version after its release?
The new version of the platform is powered by Laravel 6. Laravel update delays were caused by the platform's full backward compatibility policy, all the way back to the first version. It took a lot of effort, especially when switching to a newer version of Laravel.
We have now switched to Semantic Versioning and have given up full backward compatibility. This will allow us to release backward-incompatible versions, increasing the platform's major version. Users will be able to choose for themselves whether they want to install the update or not.
Author’s note. The new version of the platform is 2.0, which marks the limit between commercial and non-commercial versions.
That’s just awesome! Many of the changes you have mentioned are long-awaited for the community members.
But let's get back to the situation with the project team. First, it was officially announced that Luke Towers was departing the development team. And soon it turned out that the rest of the participants, namely Ben Thomson, Denis Denisov, and Marc Jauvin followed suit in order to fork October CMS and develop it together.
Comments that followed from Luke and Sam shaped a rather contradictory impression of what had happened. Please tell us what really happened and whether there’s something to worry about for website owners?
Their work was open-source community management and they were never part of the team that made decisions about the business and new platform features. Having transitioned to closed-source, we no longer needed this part of the team. Anyone can fork an open-source project.
Surprising news! What prompted the founders to make such radical changes in licensing policy?
The imminent need to move to a closed-source model has become increasingly apparent to us over the past years. In order for the platform to keep developing and for us to be able to provide technical support in the required amount, more resources are required than a business built around open source gives.
In the upcoming announcement on the official blog, we will talk about adjusting our mission, which will now boil down to helping professional clients achieve their business success. All further decisions will be made on the basis of this mission.
Obviously, these are all major changes. How will October's positioning in the CMS market change? What do you expect?
We expect our audience to shift towards more experienced developers and companies. The audience will become smaller, but more focused.
There is a professional community of developers working full time formed around any CMS. What would you like to tell your community and our readers regarding the present and future of October CMS?
Use October CMS. It’s a reliable and flexible platform for professionals whose business develops websites and web applications.
I also want to thank you for your time and for your amazing October CMS on behalf of the Shopaholic e-commerce platform development team and wish your business a bright future. May your most daring plans come true!
To conclude the interview, LOVATA CEO Pavel Lovtsevich has shared his opinion:
Obviously, the upcoming big changes to the October CMS project are aimed at strengthening its position as a professional platform for websites and web applications development.
The announced technical innovations will be a big step forward for October and will make it an even more attractive tool for technically complex projects. Now that platform founders full of new ideas started actively working on the project again, I’m sure we’ll see new amazing releases and the project will be a success. This is a win-win situation.
We fully trust the founders, their vision of the future of the project and look forward to testing the new release as soon as possible!
P. S. The most important questions and answers from the announcement:
When is the release?
The release will be announced in a few days.
How much is the license?
The license is $USD 9.00 per year per project or $USD 150.00 per annum for unlimited licenses.
What if I am an existing partner?
Subscribers of the Silver, Gold, and Bronze Partner plans can have an unlimited number of projects while their subscription is active. You can find full pricing on the homepage and Features page when we launch.
What about technical support?
We provide one free support ticket per month for Gold subscribers. Subscribers of other plans can get support for $97 per ticket.
Do I need a license to run an existing website?
You don't need a license if you are not updating the core or plugins.
Will I have access to the platform repository? Can I submit pull requests?
Silver and Gold subscribers have access to the private repository, can submit pull requests, and we will collaborate closely with them on the codebase.
Do plugins and themes Marketplace authors need to purchase a license?
Can I receive the latest version of the open-source version of the platform?
Yes, you will be able to download the ZIP file on release.