Last week, I discussed a new change in 5.4 where we have backported the RibbonBar from DotNetNuke Professional to the Community Edition. Well that is not the only big change that is occurring with this release. We are also backporting the Telerik Editor Provider! This is another huge win for the community.
Over the course of the last 7 years we have primarily had 2 different HTML editors that we have shipped with DotNetNuke. The first text editor we used was FreeTextBox. It is a great little editor that served us well for the first couple of years of the project. Unfortunately, FTB changed their license which caused us to re-evaluate the editor we should be using.
About 3 years ago we adopted FCKEditor as the default editor for DotNetNuke and it provided a lot of features that were not available in FreeTextBox. The FCKEditor Provider has been developed and maintained by Mauricio Márquez and really made a lot of advances over the provider that was used with FreeTextBox. Mauricio has done a great job on the FCKEditor Provider and has always been very responsive whenever we have had issues that needed to be addressed. My only regret is that our internal release process was more difficult than it should have been which made Mauricio’s job more difficult.
When we licensed the Telerik controls for use in DotNetNuke, we spent a lot of time working on a provider for the Telerik RadEditor. The RadEditor has long had a provider available, but the one distributed by Telerik did not take full advantage of all the DotNetNuke features. Obviously, they don’t have as much experience with the platform as we do, so when it came time to develop a provider we basically started over and created a provider that fully leveraged the DotNetNuke platform while taking advantage of some of the unique features provided by the RadEditor.
In order to provide some additional benefit to our Professional and Elite customers, we bundled the editor with DotNetNuke Professional. I am happy to announce that as of the 5.4 release the Telerik HTML Editor Provider will be bundled as a standard part of DotNetNuke Community Edition and will be configured as the default HTML Editor for all new installations. Sites that are upgraded to 5.4 will continue to use whatever HTML Editor was previously configured. The FCKEditor Provider will continue to be bundled with DotNetNuke and those people who wish to use it are free to do so.
For many people in the community these backports are a positive step forward for the platform. People have been asking for the wrapper for these various Telerik components ever since we announced we were bundling Telerik with 5.2.0. Others have expressed disappointment that we have chosen to bundle the Telerik packages into CE instead of bundling the Advanced Control Panel and the CKEditor Provider which already enjoy a lot of community support. Personally, I don’t think we should be limited to bundling either Telerik or community extensions.
We are currently working on features for the platform that would allow users to quickly discover, download and install extensions from both the DotNetNuke Forge and Snowcovered. Much like the currently bundled, but uninstalled, extensions that we have available today, we would like to make the new instant-on features even easier and more intuitive, providing an iPhone App Store like experience. We believe that by significantly enhancing this part of the DotNetNuke experience that we can make the question of what is bundled and what is not, a moot issue for most users. Not only will this make it easier for customers to find and install many of the great extensions that exist, but it will also allow us to decrease the size of our packages since we’ll no longer need to bundle in 30+ extensions.
5.4 is a major release for DotNetNuke Community Edition that adds a lot of functionality that was previously only available to our Professional customers. These are but a few of the changes you can expect to see when we launch 5.4 next week.