Nerds Blog

Advice and More from the Nerds!

Changes in Exponent 2.0

The stable version release of Exponent is significantly different than the previous releases!  This approach should better establish 2.0 Stable as 'the baseline' for all future upgrades.

instead of just looking "ahead" and simply taking Exponent toward a stable release, we took a look "back" at what we wanted this first stable release of 2.0 to be like.  "Most likely, 2.0 Stable will become the standard baseline for all future versions of Exponent," at least in the near future.  So, we wanted it to be organized in accordance with our planned design and not have to introduce major changes after the first stable release.  For example, when it comes time to develop a version 2.1, "What should 2.0 Stable have been to best achieve the project's design goals?"

To that end, the folder and file layout was changed to look more like the 2.0 design.  All of the older 1.0 modules and subsystems have been moved out of the root folder and into the framework where they will eventually be converted into the 2.0 standard.  Additionally, we ramped up the time table on converting the existing 1.0 subsystems.  This not only streamlined the page loading process, but seems to have made the whole system faster!  We have also updated all the included 3rd party libraries to their latest stable release.  This should help reduce any security risks and also improve system performance and reliability.

What does this mean to you, the end user?  Here's some things to bear in mind as you move from RC1 (or earlier) into stable 2.0 (or later):

  • New, much cleaner folder layout - if you have any customized "old school" modules (or views), they will no longer be found in /modules, but will now be located in /framework/modules-1.  Also, the "datatypes' name has been updated to become more MVC (Model/View/Controller) compliant and are now named "models".  Additionally, these (new) models have been moved into the 2.0 module folders (along with the database 'definitions' folder) or into the /framework/core/models folder.  This includes the older 1.0 ones.  Also, the root level 1.0 subsystems have been moved to the /framework/core/subsystems-1 folder.  The global views, common theme assets, and the smarty plugins were moved inside the /framework folder.  Additionally, some files were consolidated and/or renamed.  All of which gives Exponent a much cleaner folder layout, more in-line with the design.  With that being said, it would probably be best to extract 2.0 stable (or later) into an almost clean web root folder (/files, /conf/config.php, etc...could still remain)
  • The 1.0 theme engine has been deprecated - If you still haven't upgraded your custom themes to use the new expTheme::xxx calls, you still have some time, but it's drawing to a close.  The 1.0 theme engine has been completely moved into the new 2.0 theme engine, HOWEVER, we did create a compatibility layer for the old exponent_theme_xxx calls.  Most likely this compatibility layer will be dropped sometime after the stable release.
  • The /themes folder is now only used for user themes - The /themes folder no longer contains any system files! Therefore, you can safely delete everything in the themes folder if you want, except for the one theme folder you are using. (Exponent will still continue to be distributed with several themes)
  • 2.0 Stable will be the fastest "Exponent" ever distributed - Because we've  streamlined things and moved further away from '1.0', we've seen some noticeable speed-ups which we're sure you, and your clients and users will appreciate.

Paragraphs and Line Breaks

Here is a simple editing tip. When using a WYSIWYG editor to create or edit content for your site, remember this:
Press Shift + Enter at the same time to place a Line Break in your text. This is the separation you see from the introductory paragraph to this one.

Press Enter on the keyboard to place a Paragraph Break in your text, which is two lines below the preceding text. This is the separation you see between these two explanation paragraphs.

Introduction to Exponent CMS

The content in your website can be both viewed and edited using a web browser. We recommend Firefox browser for editing your site.

Exponent CMS is a simple application with a user-friendly interface. Exponent separates the website look from the content, making it easier to modify content without worrying about how to specify the look of the content. For detailed information and troubleshooting please use the resources at the Exponent website.

Website Content

The content in your site is managed by Exponent Modules. Exponent has several different types of modules to hold different type of content, for example:

Text module
For textual content which may include a couple of images and inline links.
Link list module
For lists of links, e.g., a list of your favorite sites.
Image gallery module
For a collection of images, e.g., company products, vacation photos.
Listing module
For a collection of information which is similar in nature, e.g., company officers and directors, services available.
Search module
To allow a user to search your site.
Navigation module
A special module that shows the pages on the site.
Container module
A special module designed to hold any of the others together as a unit.

Website Look / Layout

Your Exponent site has a specific look and layout determined by the theme. The default theme for an Exponent 0.97 installation is the coolwatertheme. The layout defines both the location of page components as well as fonts, colors, etc.

Learn More

We invite you to browse through this default content to learn more about Exponent and get ready to create your own site.

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