If you have downloaded and installed DotNetNuke 6.1 you have probably noticed that the core modules are “missing” from the DotNetNuke packages. This is a large change from every previous version of DotNetNuke. Ever since Shaun first released DotNetNuke in 2002, we have included a number of modules in the core platform. How these modules have been packaged has changed over the years, but customers have become accustomed to seeing them.
In DotNetNuke 6.0 we provided a great new capability that integrates the DotNetNuke Forge and DotNetNuke Store (SnowCovered) into the core platform. This feature means that every module in the Forge can be quickly discovered and installed into the platform in just a couple of clicks. If you haven’t tried this feature, I definitely recommend you give it a try. It is definitely one of the great new features in the DotNetNuke 6 platform.
One of the downsides to packaging modules with DotNetNuke is that core module teams had to try and align their releases with the core framework. If a new version of the module became available, it was often not very visible to the community. Occasionally we would also miss that a new version of a module was available and we would inadvertently package an older module version in the core packaging. This caused confusion for our users and was a little demoralizing for our core team members who worked hard to meet specific release dates.
It has long been our goal to remedy these problems by allowing modules to be installed directly from our Forge. This would resolve the problems with version alignment and would allow module developers to release on a schedule that made more sense for them. Additionally, this has the benefit of surfacing alternatives to the core modules which might better suit a users needs. Like most open source projects, we believe in merit based promotion. If a team working on a core module goes dormant and the module is no longer being maintained, then another module in the forge could surface which becomes the new “standard” for our users.
We think the new packaging makes a lot more sense for our users and is more in keeping with promoting modules based on their merit. We will continue to look at ways that we can provide even richer extension discovery and installation capabilities in the core platform.