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Magento 2 Sneak Preview

February 14th, 2014

In December, the Magento product management team hosted a webinar to communicate the progress they have made on Magento 2.0. The webcast lasted more than 2 hours and provided great insight into some of the Magento team’s rationale behind changes in the new product. In this blog post, I’ll summarize a few of the key features that we expect to see in Magento 2.

PHP Upgrade

Magento 1.x is dependent on the server running a version of PHP between 5.2.13 and 5.4. Support for PHP 5.4 was rolled out through a patch in January.

By contrast, Magento 2.0 requires PHP 5.4 at a minimum and it will allow users to upgrade their site to PHP 5.5. PHP has come a long way in the past few years and there are significant performance benefits from running a modern version. On her blog, lornajane has published benchmarks that show the speed improvements between PHP 5.4 and earlier versions of the language.

jQuery by default

In Magento 2, the default JavaScript library has been changed from Prototype to jQuery. This will be a popular decision with many front-end developers. jQuery is a much more common library and using both Prototype and jQuery together could cause conflicts.

Easier Customization and Integrations

The Magento team emphasized that many of the changes in Magento 2.0 are focussed around making it easier for developers to extend and customize Magento.

Mage class replaced with Namespaces and Dependency Injection

The ubiquitous Mage class has been replaced by a new method for declaring class dependencies. You can read more about this on the Magento 2 wiki.

Increased Modularity

In their webcast, the Magento developers said that part of their short-term plan involves decoupling modules and reducing the dependencies between different components of Magento. A goal of this effort is to make it possible for developers to entirely replace a sub-system of Magento with third party functionality.

It will be interesting to see how this can be applied to ERP integrations. There are many overlapping and redundant features between eCommerce systems and ERPs. If the modules can be separated easily then accounting systems might be able to fully replace parts of Magento’s functionality, like inventory management.

Adoption of PSR Coding Standards

The Magento team has committed to following the PSR (PHP Specification Request) coding standards. This is another developer-friendly move that makes perfect sense for Magento to implement now. Magento 2 is already PSR-0 and PSR-1 compliant and PSR-2 compliance is in the works.

Community input welcome

The community is invited to give input on Magento 2 through the Magento 2 Github repo. No release date has been set yet for a production-ready version of Magento 2, however you can download the work-in-progress from Github.

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