October releases - 2019
I'm delighted to announce the release of DataTables 1.10.20, Editor 1.9.1 and most of the DataTables extensions. These are patch versions, but address a number of issues that have come to light over recent months.
You might have noticed that we haven't been releasing software as regularly as we have in the past. That isn't because of a lack of development, in fact our expanding team has three of use working on development of DataTables, Editor and the related software! Rather the lack of releases has been due to two primary reasons:
- Our legacy CDN server used a huge amount of resources
- Concern of breaking things!
To address the first, Sandy joined us in the summer to create new CDN server software specifically for DataTables. We have a number of unique requirements that meant off the shelf software wasn't going to be suitable for us. In particular if you look at our download page you will notice that the number of combinations of the software you can select is really large. This is in part because of DataTables ability to support multiple styling libraries, but also the fact that the software is modular and we want to make it as simple as possible for you to install and use.
Previously the CDN would create a static file for every module combination requested and save that on the file system forever more. This has resulted in our CDN directory being 400GB and each new version increases that size dramatically. It also makes backups slow due to a large number of similar small files.
The new CDN is much smarter in how it handles files, but I'll leave the technical details for a future blog post from Sandy. It is worth noting that our new CDN software is open source under the MIT license and you can find it here. Contributions and feedback are always very welcome.
The second reason we've limited releases is that DataTables and its extensions are large and complex pieces of software. It is quite possible for some changes to have unintended consequences - unit testing of course is the way to address this and over the last two years Colin has done a phenomenal job introducing a lot of tests to all aspects of our software. Yes it should have been created with unit tests originally, and there were unit tests for DataTables 1.9.x, but they unfortunately fell by the wayside over the years. Colin's testing frameworks have resolved that and every commit is now subjected to a battery of tests with more tests being continuously added.
DataTables core and its extensions can safely be considered mature software. Often in software terms that might mean they are left to stagnate, but that is not the case here. DataTables v2 development is now under way - expect to see the results of that next year. New extensions are also in development and we'll have announcements about them in future (with particular focus on improving DataTables' search abilities).
With our new CDN software and testing frameworks, we'll be able to progress faster and better than before.