Announcing ZOO 2.0

Mar
02
Announcing ZOO 2.0

Today we are really excited to announce one of the most anticipated extensions for Joomla: ZOO 2.0! Yes, we know some of you waited quite a while for this announcement. This is the start of a blog post series about the new ZOO 2.0. Today we want to give you some insight into the ZOO development and changes in the upcoming version.

Actually the new ZOO release was planned for summer 2009. We had some cool features implemented like “drag ’n drop” element positions to improve templating and the overall usability. The project codename was ZOO 1.1. But as always we had some new ideas and we did a brainstorming about how we could add essential improvements to the software architecture to make it more future proof. We didn’t like the old concept that everything is a so called "catalog". For example a blog isn’t necessarily a typical catalog and may have other features and workflows than a product catalog. And a business directory may have again different requirements. It was great that we already had a CCK which allows to build content items that meet exactly your requirements. The next big thing for us was to transform this idea and make it possible to build your own content applications which have their own parameters, workflows and features instead of having a super catalog, which has hundreds of parameters and options to cover everything. So we started the ZOO 1.5 development in late summer to move from a CCK to a Content Application Builder.

Introducing Content Applications

What does “Content Application Builder” mean? A content application (or in short: app) has its own application parameters. It has its own templates. Each template again has its own template parameters. Further a content app has its own types, items, categories, feeds, etc. It can even have its own elements. One of the great things is while you are working inside an app you are only seeing the content like items and categories of this particular app and it's not mixed up with other apps. This gives you a much better workflow when working with your content. We also wanted to make these apps exportable so that it is very easy to share apps among each other. So we implemented an installation manager which allows you to uninstall and install new apps. Also it was essential to us to make an app extendable. Finally apps became small extensions for ZOO with their own controller and views. You can do anything by extending your app!

ZOO 2.0 is around the corner

By designing and developing this new application architecture we reviewed the whole code base of ZOO 1.0. At the end nearly 100% of code is rewritten from scratch for the new version. The code is now slicker, more flexible and much improved. We put a lot of effort into developing ZOO 2.0 and it took almost twice the time than developing version 1.0. To reflect on the completely new architecture and all the new features we decided to make a major version jump to ZOO 2.0! Which other new features are included? We got our own brand new native comment and tag systems. Both are very slick with a great usability. We got a completely new template engine with element positions. You can now arrange your content via drag 'n drop. There is a new global parameter system for categories and items. All elements are completely rewritten and we added "repeat"-functionality and a lot of new features. And of course we also got a bunch of new elements. There is a lot more and we will talk about it in the next blog posts!

Goodbye ZOO LITE and PRO

How does the new app architecture affect the ZOO distributions? Another thing we didn’t like about the current ZOO 1.0 are the different ZOO editions: ZOO Pro and ZOO LITE. The update process isn’t that smooth if you want to move from LITE to PRO and we also have to deal with two different release packages. To cut a long story short with the new ZOO release there will only be one ZOO version. And now here it comes: it will be free for everyone distributed under the GPL license. It will include all the new features and a blogging app along with a template.

Cutting edge!

ZOO 2.0 is written from scratch and uses the latest web standards and technologies offered by modern browsers. We utilized all the new CSS3 properties and selectors, added the latest JavaScript stuff and used CSS image sprites for fast loading times. To achieve this we dropped the IE6 support for ZOO 2.0 like we already have for our templates since January 2010. ZOO 2.0 requires PHP 5.2+ and is of course compatible with PHP 5.3.

We care about our Members

You might ask: "ZOO 2.0 will be free and includes all new features? So why did I purchased ZOO PRO in the first placed?" Here is the answer. Currently we are developing a lot of new sophisticated apps for ZOO 2.0 to cover a wide range of uses. Like blogs, download archives, product catalogs and many more. Basically a versatile app bundle will replace the current ZOO PRO edition. We will also provide anybody who purchased the ZOO PRO edition access to the all new apps even if the membership is already expired. This means we will extend all active memberships and reactivate all expired memberships so that everybody has at least additionally two months of testing and working with ZOO 2.0 and all the apps. A couple of months ago we already extended the three months membership time to six months. So if you purchase the current ZOO 1.0 or the new apps for ZOO 2.0 you will have six months access to updates and our forum. We think this better reflects the time some projects take. One more thing: ZOO 2.0 will be a BETA release at first and only ZOO PRO members will have access to the BETA. Once ZOO 2.0 goes stable we will provide a public download for everybody.

The release date and the future

The release date for the ZOO 2.0 BETA is set for 23. March 2010. We got a new teaser site online with a countdown. Check it out! We will do a number of blog posts on the new app architecture and the new features in the coming days. After the BETA release it will not take that long for the public stable release. We are confident that the new architecture of ZOO 2.0 is future proof so that after the release we can focus on adding additional features. We are aiming for short release cycles for ZOO 2.1, 2.2 and so on. Also we will try to open the development process more by posting details about upcoming features.

If you enjoyed this reading get excited about ZOO 2.0! Because we are!

By Sascha | | Posted in ZOO

Comments (46)

  • Dennis

    Dennis

    |
    Speechless.... Will be looking forward to get hands-on!!
    • Fesys!

      Fesys!

      |
      Of course they make their studies around current CCK Extensions and Decide what they do. You will see something different.
  • Fesys!

    Fesys!

    |
    I love always what you do YOO!
    Just wondering, is there a front-end editing area? Is it more compatible with your YOO tools? And is it compatible with All/Many/Some Core or 3rd Parties Joomla Extensions? Many Thanks
  • _regl

    _regl

    |
    That sounds promising, but... What about upgrading from 1.0 to 2.0? Do we also have to rewrite the code for our templates like you did with the core code?

    Anyway, can't wait until the release date...
    • sascha

      sascha

      | Profile |
      We will have an import and export functionality for ZOO content. So it is possible to get your content from ZOO 1.0 to 2.0

      Templates will need more modifications but the new template system worth it!
  • Johnny Deekay

    Johnny Deekay

    |
    Nice, I cannot wait :D keep up the good work you guys!
  • CCK fan

    CCK fan

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    ZOO 1.0 didn't do what I needed for a travel site, so I went to K2. Now I read this post and blown away, ready to sign up and convert to ZOO 2.0. Then I find out it will be free. Now I am super blown away. It looks like I will sign up anyways just so I can get my hand on the Beta and start playing with it early. Awesome.
  • 21 days to wait...

    I wasn't sure i could wait, but after reading that, It's sure, i can't wait !

    Thank Yoo !



  • Outstanding! Thanks guys.
  • So you're not using Nooku Framework after all?
    You're doing a huge mistake if not…
  • voland

    voland

    |
    Superb! Waiting for
  • dave

    dave

    |
    hope that there will be finally availability to buy product via paypal and googlecheckout ( shopping cart features), and ability to add its own picture, video, audio gallery separately for each product. If all this will beincluded than your new zoo will be real bomb
  • chris

    chris

    |
    Does this use Joomla core articles, or is it the same as before?
    • sascha

      sascha

      | Profile |
      No, we will not use any Joomla core articles and will never do. There is absolutely no need for and it is even more much better without...
  • fabio.martelli

    fabio.martelli

    | Profile |
    Mutatis mutandis
  • Kevin

    Kevin

    |
    My question is will Zoo 2.0 have support for UTF-8? Can we create and search content in Chinese and Japanese?
  • Heinski

    Heinski

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    Is there a front-end editing area? Its very important for me and for all, i think!!!!
  • P.J.

    P.J.

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    Very exciting, you guys are continuing to do great work.

    My only question/concern is this: Will there be front end access for users to add new content app items? Zoo 1.0 is great but it was a major let down that only admin users could add content app items from the backend.

    Personally, I would pay a buttload of money for Zoo 2.0 if it included frontend access for regular users to add items instead of only admins from the backend.
  • ohsh

    ohsh

    |
    i bought Zoo v1 and after few time i haven't upgrades nor assistance, so i switched all of my projects to K2 (no to mention the front end submission). Now I'll check carefully what Zoo 2 can do...
  • las2conb

    las2conb

    | Profile |
    Looking forward to it. Hopefully it'll include at last frontend editing, not to mention other expected improvements ;-)
  • pascal.netenvie

    pascal.netenvie

    | Profile |
    Hi,
    Thanks for that great news!
    It sounds very nice.
    Can you clear some points ?
    - What about template migration ?
    - What about Yoo Extensions compatibility ?
    - What about Frontend access ?

    Thanks for the news and future answers.
    • sascha

      sascha

      | Profile |
      Template migration will not be very hard. It is a breeze with the new template system...

      Our upcoming YOOtools will be compatible with ZOO 2.0.

      About the frontend submission take a look at the new post "ZOO 2.0 Frequently Asked Questions" http://bit.ly/civgbV
  • Parvez

    Parvez

    |
    Great!!! Simply Great! waiting for it.
  • tonac

    tonac

    |
    hardley wait
  • Scott

    Scott

    |
    As a YooTheme Member and former Zoo Pro 'license' holder, I was all excited for this project and also excited to complain about how I feel shafted, then you went and said that in addition to a complete retooling and whirlwind renovation of the system, that it would be free, and that the folks who had bought licenses for ZooPro 1.0 would get their status REINSTATED for a while to take advantage off some otherwise paid apps. Well played YooTheme. You've a lifelong customer in me.
    YoothemeUser Winthrop.
  • Heinski

    Heinski

    |
    The Zoo 2.0 is being designed to be implemented with New Joomla 1.6 that comes next?
    • sascha

      sascha

      | Profile |
      Yes, we have Joomla1.6 in mind and ZOO will work with it as soon as Joomla 1.6 final arrives...
  • Chris

    Chris

    |
    Hi I love Zoo, much more then K2, but of missing stuff I need sometime choose K2 or other CKK components, I hope you guys now including into Zoo 2.0:
    - Frontend access (and the other thing pascal_netenvie says)
    - Multilanguage support
    - Template design (must have a easy way to rebuild the feeling, so I can match it to my own layouts)
    - In blogview (magazine) I really want to have 3-5 setups for template so I can easy choose layoutstyle for my articles
  • Calvin

    Calvin

    |
    Zoo is nifty! Zoo with possiblity for submitting content via frontend would also be groovy!
  • Marco Rodrigues

    Marco Rodrigues

    |
    I totally agree with PJ Include items by frontend is essential.
  • Ern

    Ern

    |
    sounds good... could propably get me back to joomla then...
  • Scott

    Scott

    |
    I would like zoo 2 to include Front End additions and Business Directory and also integration with Paypal
  • This sounds amazing ! And it will be free. Can't wait for this.
  • nickdring

    nickdring

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    Great news guys! it is indeed a pity that you decided not to use Nooku as Stian suggested.
  • obrignoni

    obrignoni

    |
    I am speechless...
  • adam.w.darack

    adam.w.darack

    | Profile |
    Looking at using Zoo - if I wanted to get started, should I start with 1.0 and upgrade or just be patient and wait until the 23rd for 2.0?

    Thanks
  • joseph

    joseph

    |
    will zoo 2 contain download counter for users and not for files? i meant in old zoo in the download element u can add how much times this file can be downloaded as overall but i wanted to make each user download lets say 5 files per day

    please include this feature in zoo 2
  • I just became familiar with Zoo Pro and now there´s a new major release and following short release cycles ... hmm ...
    I am sure yoo really made and make a good job, but I also ask me the question if it will be easy to upgrade from Pro to 2.0 in a productive live website? and really hope that seo-urls and support for these tools are standard out of the box
  • vindy

    vindy

    |
    sounds good!
  • krishna kanth

    krishna kanth

    |
    what applications can i expect in the future ?

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