The shift from standard eZ Publish kernel development to ezpackage development

I write today to reflect on the nature and type of work being done recently at 7x.

I fined that I have learned a new skill and that is default installation (dynamic setting and database configuration) programming via eZ Publish package development in the form of what is called a site package.

7x has developed a new replacement for the older ezflow, ezdemo, ezwebin site package installers called sevenx (technically sevenx_site.ezpkg).

This solution was made part of the release of eZ Publish 6 on or before January 1st 2024.

While traditional kernel development (file changes in the ezpublish repository) have slowed in February after the release of eZ Publish 6.0.1 on February 1st 2024 another type of development has resumed which is eZ Publish default installation testing and development which has included the upkeep and amount of the package server.

I wrote previously in support of an increased presence of an eZ Publish Package Server in the talking points surrounding a feature complete cms.

I also wrote previously in support of Netgen supporting eZ Publish with implementing a feature complete update of the package server needed to distribute eZ Publish to new users and in general which 7x took up the challenge to do the work first to share with Netgen.

While other vendors focus on just a small feature addition here or there within an eZ Publish website; 7x is looking at the entire system as a platform which means we see needs that often go overlooked like self-hosting the eZ Publish Package Server and maintaining the packages it hosts to the general public.

We moved this older resource from our own hosting to a faster more reliable GitHub based hosting. This ensures future collaboration with others with eZ Publish Packages for distribution.

We recently shared a older but solid ezpaypal-ezpackage repository reverse engineered from binary ezpkg sources licensed under the GNU GPL. We updated this repository to provide the latest eZ PayPal version 1.2.0 software (a now long stable software package).

This package is installed as a required dependency of the 7x eZ package (sevenx_site) and soon will be installed as a dependency of the other site packages (ezwebin, ezdemo, ezflow) once we get closer to 6.0.2 and 6.0.3. As it takes time to add the required code and release it to the git repositories and package server per package (dependencies required; collection).

This will mean that the older site installers (each site package contains an installer php file that does the work) for each site package (ezwebin, ezdemo, ezflow) (content and no-content) will get a refresh and soon be worth testing all over again.

We will come to this point once we begin to merge over changes made to sevenx_site package to the other packages like the installer, package xml, and packaged dependencies get updated when we begin to refresh the actual content installed (content tree). We are aiming to have this completed for the 6.0.3 release.

This will strip out eZ Systems Products and Marketing from the default demo website and allow us to finally refresh the content class datatypes used (add html5 video support to the existing video class among many others like installing more example data like enable comments by default and have them working; Also Add ezstarrating datatype to most of all the content classes; experiment adding xrowmetadata extension into the default data as it requires very little configuration to start using, ++). Lots of ideas of what more features we could offer by default to default installation users who could be swayed by a new feature rich demo of what we have already we just need to start offering it by default in the default demo content as installed by the site package selection (which installs a demo content package of classes and objects (content tree nodes)).

It's deep stuff and it is time consuming to test to ensure the build of available packages remains stable and functional as you never know who is testing the current packages selection at any given time.

Yet it is rewarding once the package server contents has become much more stable and feature rich as it has been refactored lightly with the lessons of years of eZ Publish development (simplifying the var dir pathing in a default installation for example).

If your interested in sharing your extensions on our 7x eZ Publish Package Server; Please reach out and contact me via email.


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