Magento 2 Developer Beta: What You Need to Know

Well folks, the Magento 2 Dev Beta is finally here, and just in time for my birthday! Let’s pretend that all of the hard work, public and private deliberation, as well as the diligent effort by members of the Product, Engineering, and Marketing teams is somehow my birthday present to you all. Enjoy! Read below to find out what you need to know.

What is Magento 2?

Magento 2 is the still-in-development successor to Magento 1.x. The goal for Magento 2 is to take the experience of thousands of developers building eCommerce solutions with Magento 1.x and incorporate this architectural, functional, and customization experience into the core code?. Some of the best features of Magento 1.x (declarative configuration, layout XML, and modularity to name a few) are realized in Magento 2, but with refactored implementations based on collective experience. We’re also making sure that Magento 2 is built for now and for the future through enhanced testability, service contracts for a more stable API, semantic versioning and utilization of Composer, all with scalability and performance in mind. For me the best and most important aspect of Magento 2 is that we are building it in close collaboration with the community via a new and much-improved GitHub contribution process, described below.

What is this Developer Beta?

Developer Beta, which runs from December 18, 2014 through March 2015 is the chance for developers of all types (core, independent, solution partner, merchant, and extension developers) to have a say in the foundation of Magento 2. It is the time and the process through which the underlying architecture of the Magento 2 eCommerce application is amended, vetted, and finalized. It is imperative that your voice be heard even if you are relatively new to the world of Magento. For old hats and newbies alike we’ve built a brand new Developer Hub which should serve as your one-stop shop for information about Magento 2 development. Once you’ve checked that out, head over to the official Magento 2 GitHub repository to look at the code and conversations. If you’re new to Magento, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the community there, download the code, and start contributing when you’re ready – just fork the repo and submit pull requests! You can also view Magento 2 documentation at a brand new site and contribute to it via a separate separate GitHub repository (HUGE kudos to the technical writing team for conceiving this… and for learning git!). We said we were committed to improved collaboration and more transparency; it is my hope that these long-desired changes demonstrate our commitment to our community.

What if you have feedback or a question about Magento 2?

All feedback (e.g. “Magento 2 should/shouldn’t do/include/use…”) and most questions (e.g. “Should Magento 2 do/include/use…”) regarding Magento 2 should be added to the “Issues” section of the Magento 2 repository on GitHub. It’s simply the best place to aggregate and archive feedback for ourselves and for everyone in the community, and it is the only place where Magento engineers will be monitoring issues, requests, and contributions.

However, if you have a question about Magento 2 that is not intended as a contribution (e.g. “How do I get Magento 2 up & running locally?” or “How do I create an extension?”), you should first try to find a solution by checking the Developer Hub, the Magento 2 documentation, or the installation guide. If after consulting these resources you are still having a problem, you should check for a solution at the Magento StackExchange site.

What is the Magento StackExchange site, and how do you use it?

The StackExchange question and answer platform which encourages clear questions and answers (as opposed to a general discussion forum). Magento SE is a community-created and community-maintained place for technical questions and answers. It was started by several community members (myself included) almost two years ago (before I joined Magento) and is frequented by top-notch developer community members.

To be a responsible member of the Magento SE, you should do two things before posting a question. First, try to solve on your own, because it is always evident when someone has not tried to help themselves before posting, and these questions (e.g. “How do I install Magento?”) are often ignored or deleted. Second, search for your question to see if it has been asked or answered; if it has, vote up the question and the solution, and if it hasn’t, go ahead and create a new question. Post all relevant details, being sure to include the version number and whatever steps you took to attempt to solve your question.

Finally, please note that the Magento SE site is not “officially” monitored by Magento. Again, if you have Magento 2 feedback which you want the core team or other Magento employees to consider, please post to the Magento 2 GitHub repository.

If you have some feedback or a question which doesn’t seem to fit at GitHub or on Magento SE, I encourage you to interact with your fellow community members and Magento employees via Twitter, IRC (#magento on Freenode), and in person at meetups and events. I can be reached on Twitter at @benmarks, via email at community@magento.com, and out in the world at official Magento events such as Imagine and MagentoLive, at unofficial, community-run Magento events such as Meet Magento, and at general PHP/open source/eCommerce events all over the world. I’m always eager to meet and learn from new folks and to talk about the best open source eCommerce platform on the planet.

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