In case you missed it this morning, Event Espresso Arabica (4.0, the plugin version formerly known as Event Espresso 3.2) is now available on the pre-release channel. Now before you go nuts, there are a few things you should know about this version. Read through these caveats, then go nuts.
What this plugin is
Event Espresso Arabica is an almost complete rewrite of the Event Espresso core plugin. To start, Arabica will be supporting all of the features of the free plugin (which will henceforth be referred to as the decaffeinated version). This means that the initial release, Event Espresso 4.0, will only be supporting the features of the decaffeinated Event Espresso. Many features will be unavailable until 4.1. Event Espresso Arabica is also currently still a beta version, which means there may be bugs. We will be leaving it in beta for an extra month while we work on developing and testing 4.1 so that we can be sure that when it’s released into the world that we’ve had enough hands and bodies testing it. What’s new in this version? Plenty. Here’s a breakdown:
- New messaging system that Darren talked about in our last Espresso Bar hangout
- Completely reworked pricing, attendee management and registration administration system
- Admin pages have seen a complete overhaul
- For WordPress developers, we’ve packed the code with hooks, filters and easy to understand classes and models for developing your own integrations and add-ons
- Want your permalinks to be pretty? We’ve got you covered.
- Want an easier to use payment page, with all the steps in one place? We’ve got that too.
- Want to add multiple ticket types for different price levels on a single event in one registration process without having to use the Multi Event Registration add-on? Done.
In short, we’ve tried to fix all the stuff that you’ve been frustrated with over the past 2 years and pack it into a new system that’s built on a much more solid foundation.
What this plugin is not
Event Espresso Arabica (particularly 4.0) is not a straight upgrade from the current version and probably won’t be until 4.1. At that point there will be an upgrade script to help the migration process from 3.1 to Arabica, but this will not be added in the initial release. (When this script is created, we will be doing our best to make it possible to import the majority of your critical event related data from the old system. However, as has been the case in the past, there will likely be cases where the data structure is too different to do a reliable import. In those few cases, we will give recommendations on how to set things up.) If you have a previous install of Event Espresso, you will need to dump your Event Espresso data before you can use Event Espresso Arabica or install it on a new site. For a lot of people, this could just mean creating a new database, exporting your WordPress content from it with the built-in export tool, delete your wp-config.php file and start fresh. For people a bit more savvy it could mean dropping all the tables in the database that start with wp_events_. As mentioned above, this is going to support the features of the free version. Which means that it probably won’t support your choice payment gateway…at least not right away. We’ll have the PayPal standard gateway from the start, as well as offline payment methods. Other gateways will be added based on usage, which we are going to start tracking in Event Espresso version 3.1.32. It’s also not going to support all of the add-ons — that support probably won’t become available until after 4.1, possibly around 4.2. (If you’re worried about the versioning system, don’t. While in the past we stuck on 3.1 release for more than a year, these version numbers will iterate at a much more rapid pace with our current development schedule.)
Where to get it
If you’re still reading, that means you’re probably as excited to get your hands on this thing as we are to get it out there. That’s what we want. It’s frustrating having this thing that hardly anyone can use and we’ve been anxious to get it out but we want to make sure what we put out is worth your time, especially considering the initial limitations. If you aren’t signed up already, you should sign up for the pre-release channel on your account page to get access to Event Espresso Arabica. If you have signed up for the pre-release channel, you will already have access and all you need to do is download it. If we haven’t already, we will be adding an Event Espresso Arabica forum in our support forums, where you can post any questions, problems or bugs you find after downloading 4.0.