Summary of the XWiki 8.x Cycle

Last modified by Ecaterina Moraru (Valica) on 2019/01/08

This is a summary of the release notes for XWiki Commons, XWiki Rendering, XWiki Platform and XWiki Enterprise, for the whole 8.x cycle (i.e. the whole year 2016). They share the same release notes as they are released together and have the same version.

The 8.x cycle focused a lot on usability and consistency, starting with a new homepage that is more easy to edit, and continuing with tours and more help information in form of tips. 

We replaced the old GWT WYSIWYG editor with the CKEditor, making sure you can configure it to your needs.

We started providing more default page templates and made the Application Within Minutes to create automatically the template for your new application. You can define creation and the visibility restrictions for the page template, choose an icon and description, for an optimal display in the creation step.

We also added recommendations for extensions in Extension Manager and many more other improvements.

Work Done

The work is organised using JIRA and here are some JIRA stats of what happened during the 8.x cycle:

  • 1461 issues were closed (See the full JIRA issue list)
  • 745 bugs closed, 423 improvements, 66 new features and more:


  • And the top JIRA participants (those contributing to more than 1% of the total jira issue number):


Congrats to all who participated!

Top 10 Features

Here are some top 10 features that we wish to highlight (arbitrarily hand-picked; it's hard to pick 10 out of 489 improvements and new features):

CKEditor by default

  • We have a new default WYSIWYG editor: the CKEditor. The integration with CKEditor was already available as an extension and now this extension is bundled with the standard XWiki distribution.
  • The old WYSIWYG editor is still available and if you want to switch back to it you can do it from the "Edit Mode Settings" section in the Wiki Administration.
  • The "WYSIWYG Editor" section from the Wiki Administration has been extended to support CKEditor configuration.
  • The XWiki integration has been improved to support automatic link creation when dropping a non-image file over the editing area. 
  • Creating a link to a non-existing wiki page has been simplified.
  • CKEditor has been upgraded to version 4.6.0 which brings a new flat skin and a lot of improvements and bug fixes.

New Homepage

We replaced the Dashboard application from the main Homepage and added introductory steps as wiki syntax. This change will make it simpler for new users to edit the Homepage content, while also benefiting from some basic help concepts. The left panels area also showcases now the 'Navigation' panel, while the right panels area contain a 'Need Help?' panel.

Tour for Homepage

  • A tour has been created to present the existing UI elements from the home page. Every user will be guided through this tour in order to become familiar with XWiki.

Default Templates

  • We added 4 default templates that will appear in the Create step. Their purpose is to showcase the template feature, by providing pre-created page structures that can be used immediately. The templates added are: Article, Encyclopedia, Meeting Report and Simple Page.

App Within Minutes integration with Create Page dialog

We added a new step to the App Within Minutes wizard to configure the location where the application entries are created. This step generates a template provider for the application and thus exposes the application in the Create Page dialog. This means that now you can create application entries not only from the application home page (using "Add new entry") but also from other pages using the Create Page dialog.

New applications created with the new version of the App Within Minutes wizard will not use the Data page any more. The application entries will be created directly under the application home page by default. Of course, you can configure the location with the new wizard step.

Display recommended extensions in the Extension Manager

Extension Manager is now displaying only recommended extension by default.

You can still switch to All Remote Extensions. If no recommended extension is can be found for the provided search, the result for All Remote Extensions is displayed.

Application Index

We removed some applications from the AppBar (like Scheduler, Invitation, Panels, etc.) with the intention to simplify the interface and promote a smaller number of applications inside the AppBar panel. In order for the applications to still be discoverable, we added in the Drawer an Application Index.

Drawer menu has changed

The drawer menu has changed to display the "scope" of the displayed items. Items are ordered regarding if their scope is "local" (i.e. it affects only the current wiki) and "global" (i.e. it affects the whole farm).

The change have been made after users complaining the old menu was not very clear, and after a poll sent on the mailing list.

Some items like "Home", "Create Wiki" and "Delete Wiki" has been removed from that menu, in order to focus on frequent operations that really deserve a place in this important menu. We offer other means in the UI to achieve these operations.

XAR Children Export

It's now possible, for HTML and XAR formats, to export selected children along with the current page.

Not Found Suggestions

We have added suggestions for the "document not found" and "attachment not found" error screens. The suggestions address minor typos and misspelling (including lower case vs upper case), but also bad location requests.

There are many more improvements we added in this cycle, like continuing the Nested Pages polishing, while we deprecated and retired multiple projects like Colibri Skin, Color Themes, old XWiki 1.0 syntax. Also we added a new experimental minimal XWiki distribution, a new Distribution Wizard step to create the first user with administration right instead of importing the Admin user and an upgrade to the Java 8 runtime.

These are our top 10 features for the 8.x cycle. What are yours?

Detailed Release Notes

If you wish to see the full details of all features and improvements you can check each release note.

Check the highlight and summary of the XWiki 8.x cycle.

Version 8.x.x

Version 8.4.x

Version 8.3.x

Version 8.2.x

Version 8.1.x

Version 8.0.x

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