10 questions you always wanted to ask about the future of Kirby and Kirby 3

In a nerve-wrecking selfie-interview, we asked ourselves all those burning questions around Kirby's future and Kirby 3. Are we taking the path of Duke Nukem forever? It's time for a closer look!

Is Kirby 3 Vaporware?

It most definitely isn't. Here's a screenshot:

Screenshot or it didn't happen, right?

We have to admit that it has taken much longer than anticipated and much longer than we hoped. We are currently struggling with the famous last 20%. We most likely won't make it until the silly season aka cucumber time aka summer hole, but we are looking forward to release it as soon as possible afterwards.

Will Kirby 3 be any different than Kirby 2 or will you just increase the version number?

Though the latter sounds like a much less resource-intensive plan, we actually completely refactored Kirby.

The core is rewritten to embrace all the awesomeness of PHP 7 and modern PHP dev standards. We will have full Composer support for the CMS and all plugins, a much more modular and robust architecture, a REST API and the option to turn Kirby into a headless CMS within seconds.

The Panel is the biggest make-over with an entirely new set of features that will make it possible to adjust to pretty much any use-case. It's built on Vue.js and our own UI component system and offers a whole new world of possibilities for you, your clients and our plugin developers. We believe that it is a huge step forward.

How hard will it be to upgrade from Kirby 2?

Our goal right from the beginning was to keep the upgrade path as smooth as possible, but to get rid of legacy code or inconsistent parts that grew organically over the years.

Most parts of Kirby can therefore be upgraded without too much pain:

  • Templates are almost 100% compatible. In fact, we already migrated our own new Kirby website to v3 with very little effort.
  • We have a small change in our content folder architecture, which will be automatically migrated during installation.
  • The config file syntax changes, but is not difficult to adjust.
  • Blueprints will be converted to v3 and can easily be adjusted afterwards to profit from the new features.
  • The biggest change is the new Plugin API. While the general plugin setup changes a bit, the plugin logic can stay the same most of the time.
  • With the move to a Vue.js-based Panel architecture, it will not be possible to use old field plugins anymore.

We will do anything we can to provide excellent docs and help around those changes. We have many third-party developers in our supporter group and they already made their first steps with the new architecture. If you want to migrate your own plugins and start as early as possible, please let us know and we'll get you on board: support@getkirby.com

How did you choose the changes and features that go into Kirby 3? By dice? Tarot cards?

We got so much feedback and so many feature wishes for Kirby 2 over the last years, which we tried to distill into the most important enhancements and additions.

We've been watched closely by our Kirby Next supporters for more than a year now and have been discussing pretty much every step with them.

We've always tried to be as close to real-world project requirements as possible, concentrating on features that are really needed and opening up easy ways to extend the system. With Kirby 3 we won't move away from our philosophy to provide a super flexible system, but without bloat.

If you want to be part of our beta and launch process, you can still follow us and join our group of awesome supporters: https://getkirby.com/next It's fun! :)

Does it still make sense to start with/buy Kirby 2 now?

All the things you learn in our docs for Kirby 2 will either be compatible out of the box or only change slightly (except the Panel field plugins). Kirby 3 will still feel very familiar. We promise :)

We also promised to upgrade any Kirby 2 license that has been purchased after 1 October, 2017 to Kirby 3 for free! That means that you can buy a license without risk now. In fact you get a v3 license for the price of a v2 license. We really try to keep all of this fair.

Can I already start to build sites with Kirby 3?

If you'd like to start with the new version now and your project will not launch before September/October (or you are a daredevil and don't mind running a website on a beta), you can still join our Kirby Next group and start with the alpha (soon beta) and the current docs we provide for our supporters. By purchasing one of our Kirby Next packages, you also support our last steps to make Kirby 3 ready for the release.

Why the paywall? Do you plan to buy a Kirby helicopter?

It wouldn't have been possible to work on Kirby 3, with all the plans we had, without additional funding. We are no fans of venture capital and we are proud that Kirby has always been a bootstrapped business. So it seemed much more fitting to get our community involved with the Kirby Next project.

But we never really saw this as a way to JUST make some extra money or as a paywall. We have been very transparent in our Slack channel and in our Kirby Next journal as a way to give back to our supporters.

To date, Bastian has recorded more than 20 live stream episodes with tons of insights, and we documented pretty much every concept and idea in our journal. During the last year, the fantastic exchange between our supporters and the team helped us in so many ways to take the right steps.

Even though a Kirby helicopter would be a nice bonus, we invested all the money in additional working hours for each freelance team member. This is the last subtle hint that you can still climb our paywall: https://getkirby.com/next

Where are the last two questions?

Although we declined to answer more questions to ourselves in this selfie-interview, we opened a thread in our Forum where you can ask more. We will keep you posted regularly from now on and there will be a public beta before the launch.

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