We’re kicking off the first day of RailsConf with the official release of Spree 0.8.0. This release is the result of two months of hard work and represents another major step forward for the Spree ecommerce platform. The most noticeable new feature is the massive redesign of the user interface (screenshots available.) Not only has the look of the interface improved, but we’ve switched from HTML tables to the more readable CSS-based approach. We’re also now using the very powerful Sass library to simplify stylesheets along with the Compass gem which provides a Sass implementation of the popular Blueprint CSS framework.
This new release is also using the very excellent authlogic gem to hand authentication and authorization. This has resulted in some immediate improvements, such as “forgot my password” links and more secure password encryption. It will also make it easier to provide more advanced security features in the future. Ryan Bates has just released a very timely screencast describing some of the hotness this gem provides. Existing Spree user accounts will work fine with this new scheme but of course you should do a full backup of your system (particularly the database) before upgrading.
Spree also now supports Rails 2.3.2. We’ve actually had this support for some time now but its been limitted to “edge” users. This is the first official Spree release with Rails 2.3.2 support. Spree is committed to staying current with the latest versions of Rails and we’ll be working towards Rails 3.0 support in the comming months. Ruby 1.9 is not yet supported but this will be on our short list after Railsconf.
This release is packed with new features. Here are some additional highlights:
- Guest checkout
- Expanded functionality for product prototypes
- Improved upgrade rake task
- Meta data keywords and description fields for products
- Improved order security using tokens
This release has been a long time in the making and several people in our community need to be thanked. David North and Wynn Netherland for their tireless efforts on the interface redesign. Steph Powell also provided considerable CSS expertise and helped us to polish the new design. Both Steph and Paul Callagahan provided crucial last minute troubleshooting for several IE issues. Dale Hofkens should also be thanked for doing a ton of work to get Spree working with authlogic. We had so many contributions to this release that it would be impossible to name them all. So thanks to all of you for your continued interest and support of the Spree ecommerce project.