K2 version 2.6.2 is now available to download or update. An exciting release as it brings some small but significant improvement to "Extra Fields". Users of version 2.6.0 and 2.6.1 are advised to upgrade as we have addressed lots of minor issues, especially in Joomla! 3.0.
For the impatient, grab the update here: https://getk2.googlecode.com/files/K2...
K2 version 2.6.2 is now available to download or update. An exciting release as it brings some small but significant improvement to "Extra Fields". Users of version 2.6.0 and 2.6.1 are advised to upgrade as we have addressed lots of minor issues, especially in Joomla! 3.0.
For the impatient, grab the update here: https://getk2.googlecode.com/files/K2_v2.6.2.zip
If you are on Joomla! 1.5, grab the zip file from the link above and install it on top of your existing K2 version. If you are on Joomla! 2.5 or 3.0, go to the Joomla! update manager, purge the update cache, re-check and you'll see the new release available to instantly update. If you are on Joomla! 1.6 or 1.7 then someone probably cut off your internet connection a year ago: upgrade to 2.5 now!
So what's changed or been updated in this new release? Since 2.6.2 is a maintainance release (new features are being moved to the big upgrade called K2 version 3), we have improved existing features and more specifically, the "extra fields" system in K2.
2 new extra field types have been added" image & header. The "image" type uses the K2 media modal which you can use to select existing images or upload new ones by drag and drop. The "header" type is basically a "cosmetic" extra field. You can add "header" extra fields so you can group the field presented in the K2 item edit form (both in the backend and when frontend editing is enabled). This way, long forms with many extra fields are now easier to manage for content editors. There is also the option to display these "header" extra fields in the frontend, in case you also want to add meaningful headers to the extra field data you present on your site. So imagine for example a car database website that lists additional info for a car model: you can use the "header" extra field to add h4 html headers and therefore separate/mark/group info like "engine", "body", "tyres", "accessories" etc. It's a small addition, but it can be very helpful to have.
One more improvement we've done to the Extra Fields system is the addition of a new switch inside the extra field edit form to make any extra field created required or not. Gone are the days when your content editors forgot to fill in important data into such fields. We also have this option enabled for all extra fields used here on getk2.org. If you submit a new template, extension or site showcase and forget some important fields, you'll see a nice warning informing you what you've forgotten to fill in. Makes everyone happy (including yours truly)...
All Extra Fields now also have an "alias" value by default. You can let K2 fill that in or you can just edit it yourself. This is also a small but important addition, especially for template developers and other professionals who make heavy use of K2 overrides. Using these "aliases" now present on all extra fields, developers can directly output specific extra fields wherver they want, without looping through all the extra fields assigned for a given K2 item. It's what we've been doing using a few hacks here on the K2 Extend section of the site. Now things are more elegant. If we want to output just the "Demo" link for a template entry on the right of the template image, we just do that. We don't need to loop through all extra fields in that K2 item or directly check for an extra field based on its name.
So how would you directly output individual extra fields in your K2 overrides? Simple. Just do something like this (e.g. in item.php) to get the extra field name:
$this->item->extraFields->EXTRAFIELDALIASHERE->name
To get the extra field value you would simply do this:
$this->item->extraFields->EXTRAFIELDALIASHERE->value
Simply replace EXTRAFIELDALIASHERE with the actual alias of the extra field you wish to output.
This process is very important for template developers as it allows them to create pre-styled sets of extra fields and provide those to the end user. All they need to do is tell the end user (in the documentation pages) that in order for them to have their extra fields displayed like this or that, they need to reference their actual extra fields with specific extra field aliases. These aliases are the ones the template developers create when building the template. So you have an extra field that acts as a placeholder for "Price" (in English). You use the alias "pricefield" and then a German customer can create their own extra field "Preis", but if they use the correct alias ("pricefield"), then their extra field setup will pick up the correct styling, structure or whatever else you do with it.
As you can understand, most of the times you may not even need to split the extra fields inside a given K2 item page. But the fact that you can create the setup and have it work "bulletproof" on any language for your customers, well, that's a really big deal :)
You will also notice that the Categories list (backend) now has a new column displaying the assigned sub-template for each category. This makes spotting the right sub-template for any category quicker, but remember this: if any of your categories inherit parameters from another one, you'll only see "default" listed for the "Template" column. That's normal, as the options in the K2 category are ignored and instead being inherited by another one.
Finally, we have fixed all bugs and issues reported up until now (most related to Joomla! 3.0). For a full list of changes, grab a coffee and check out the list from our SVN server: https://code.google.com/p/getk2/source/list
Note that we've updated all jQuery versions we include as well as elFinder (with all the required patches to work with jQuery 1.8.x - yeah, the folks at elFinder haven't update it yet...).
If you notice a bug, please take a moment to report it here: https://code.google.com/p/getk2/issues/list - we check this list more than email :)
We have also updated the K2 template overrides page. You'll see that the only changes between v2.6.1 and 2.6.2 are reflected wherever we render the extra fields, due to the addition of the new "header" type which outputs its name as an <h4> html tag.
And let's not forget that since K2 v2.6.1, Joomla! is now Varnish-friendly if you use this setup for Varnish. In other words, if K2 is on your system, with that setup we link to, your entire Joomla! site goes Varnish-friendly! :)
Enjoy!

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