IPublishedContent breaking changes in 8.1.0

    Why

    The IPublishedContent interface is very central in Umbraco, as it represents published content and media items at rendering layer level, for instance in controllers or views. In other words, it is the interface that is used everywhere when building sites.

    The introduction of multilingual support in version 8 required changes to the interface. For instance, a property value could be obtained in version 7 with GetPropertyValue(alias). Version 8 required a new parameter for culture, and the call thus became Value(alias, culture).

    In the excitement of the version 8 release, we assumed that IPublishedContent was "done". By our tests, everything was looking good. However, feedback from early testers showed that the interface was in some places odd or inconsistent, or had issues.

    What

    Fixing the bugs is of course a requirement. Unfortunately, some of the required bug fixes could not be achieved without introducing some breaking changes.

    At that point, we had decided to give IPublishedContent some love: fix the bugs, make it clean, friendly, discoverable and predictable, for the entire life of version 8.

    Breaking changes to such a central interface is not something we take lightly. Even though they do not impact the "concepts" nor require heavy refactoring, they may demand an amount of small fixes here and there.

    The general idea underlying these changes is that:

    • The proper way to retrieve "something" from an IPublishedContent instance is always through a method, for example: Children(). And, when that method can be multilingual, the method accepts a culture parameter, which can be left null to get the "current" culture value.
    • To reduce the amount of breaking changes, and to simplify things for non-multilingual sites, existing properties such as document.Name and document.Children (and others) still exist, and return the value for the current culture. In other words, these properties are now implemented as document.Name => document.Name() or document.Children => document.Children().

    The rest of this document presents each change in details.

    When

    In Umbraco version 8.1.

    How

    More interfaces!

    The IPublishedContent interface was not easy to mock and test in version 7. It is better in version 8, but it still relies on concrete PublishedContentType and PublishedPropertyType classes to represent the content types, which complicates things.

    In version 8.1, these two classes are abstracted as IPublishedContentType and IPublishedPropertyType, thus making IPublishedContent easier to mock and test.

    CHANGE: This impacts every method accepting or returning a content type. For instance, the signature of most IPropertyValueConverter methods changes. References to PublishedContentType must be replaced with references to IPublishedContentType.

    IPublishedContent

    The following IPublishedContent members change:

    Name

    The document.Name property is complemented by the document.Name(string culture = null) extension method. The property returns the name for the current culture. The document.GetCulture(...).Name syntax is removed.

    CHANGE: Calls to document.GetCulture(culture).Name must be replaced with document.Name(culture).

    UrlSegment

    The document.UrlSegment property is complemented by the document.UrlSegment(string culture = null) extension method. The property returns the Url segment for the current culture. The document.GetCulture(...).UrlSegment syntax is removed.

    CHANGE: Calls to document.GetCulture(culture).UrlSegment must be replaced with document.UrlSegment(culture).

    Culture

    The document.GetCulture() method is removed. The proper way to get a culture date is document.CultureDate(string culture = null). The document.Cultures property now returns the invariant culture, for invariant documents.

    CHANGE: Calls to document.GetCulture(culture).Date must be replaced with document.CultureDate(culture). Calls to document.Cultures must take into account the invariant culture.

    Children

    The document.Children property is complemented by the document.Children(string culture = null) extension method which, when a culture is specified always return children available for the specified culture. The property returns the children available for the current culture.

    A new document.ChildrenForAllCultures property is introduced, which returns all children, regardless of whether they are available for a culture or not.

    CHANGE: Calls to document.Children may have to be replaced by document.ChildrenForAllCultures depending on if the 8.0.x usage of this was relying on it returning unfiltered/all children regardless of the current routed culture.

    Url

    The document.Url property is complemented by the document.Url(string culture = null, UrlMode mode = UrlMode.Auto) extension method. The document.GetUrl(...) and document.UrlAbsolute() methods are removed. The UrlProviderMode enumeration is renamed UrlMode.

    CHANGE: Calls to document.GetUrl(...) must be replaced with document.Url(...). Calls to document.UrlAbsolute() must be replaced with document.Url(mode: UrlMode.Absolute).

    UmbracoContext

    Due to the UrlProviderMode enumeration being renamed UrlMode, the signature of some overloads of the Url(...) method has changed. Methods that do not have a mode parameter remain unchanged.

    CHANGE: Code such as context.Url(1234, UrlProviderMode.Absolute) must become context.Url(1234, UrlMode.Absolute).

    The UmbracoContext class gives access to the rendering layer, which is more than a "cache". To reflect this, its ContentCache and MediaCache properties are renamed Content and Media. However, the old properties remain as obsolete properties.

    CHANGE: None required in 8.1, but code such as context.ContentCache.GetById(1234) should eventually be converted to context.Content.GetById(1234) as the obsolete properties may be removed in a further release.

    GetCulture

    Version 7 had a document.GetCulture() method that was deriving a culture from domains configured in the tree. Somehow, that method was lost during version 8 development (issue #5269).

    Because that method is useful, especially when building traditional, non-multilingual sites, it has been re-introduced in version 8.1 as document.GetCultureFromDomains().

    CHANGE: None.

    DomainHelper

    DomainHelper has been replaced with a static DomainUtilities class.

    CHANGE: It is rare that DomainHelper is used in code since it only contains one public method but if developers are using this, it can no longer be injected since it's now a static class called DomainUtilities.