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Magento 2 Update - April 8, 2014

We've been waiting a long time for Magento 2 to be released but I have to say it is really starting to shape up.  We like the direction the engineers are taking with this latest version but it will make the design and development process a lot easier, and therefore a lot less costly for our customers.  If should also reduce the life-cycle cost of Magento as well because updates and changes can be done quicker and the amount of dependency between extensions will be reduced.

Here's some of the new features we excited about in Magento 2.

Mixins

Mixins will make creating and changing websites easier because they can update hundreds of CSS variables with only a few lines library items.  For example, the following site was completely updated by simply changing 8 library items.

These 8 simple library items changes hundreds of CSS lines creating a completely new look for the website.  You can use Mixins to define all kinds of styles, gradients and transitions on your website.

Magento UI Library

Magento's new UI Library will also make building website faster, easier and better.  CSS will be preprocessed using {less} and Mixins as described above. 

We're also excited to have Responsive Design as default feature of Magento 2.  Finally, it will also follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 so your website can be more accessible to people with disabilities.

Themes

Themes in Magento 2 are just better.  No longer will theme files be stored in two directories, which also immensely confusing for new developers, now they are all store in one directory.  Theme Inheritance has also been improved by allow allowing multilevel inheritance.  Here's an example of how theme inheritance has improved from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

There's also a new magento_blank Theme, which is built using HTML5, CSS3 and {less} using the Magento UI.  What's nice is this magento_blank Theme does not include any content or default images, which we always found to be a bit problematic.

Latest Browser Support

A website build with a Responsive Design always needs to support some of the newer browser versions, older browsers simply did not include the technology that allows the website to respond to mobile devices.  Magento 2 support Responsive Design "out of the box" so it too will require the newest browsers.

Magento 2 Release Date

Magento has not given a final release date for Magento 2.  We can only hope they announce it at this year's Magento Imagine Conference on May 12th!

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