Ramblings of a Tampa engineer

A surprise a few days ago when I learned a new major version of Ghost had been released. I tend to always stay up to date with Ghost and this post and release is no exception.

Like any major Ghost version - breaking changes and major features are released. I'll recap the big points with a personal touch.

Cards on Cards
A card in this regard is the ability while writing a blog to call out to a number of sweet features - this may be embedding a 3rd party service, video, audio or some cool feature for quotes, headers, etc. This might be just expected in WordPress, but its cool to have a bunch more of these supported. These technically came out prior to v5, but now I have a chance to mention them.

Membership Expansion
The movement of Ghost is strong in the area of subscriptions, newsletters, memberships and tons of analytics surrounding it. Unfortunately for me - I don't use any of these paid features. Either way, I'm happy the dashboard automatically scopes itself to the features you have enabled now. Since you can see the difference between the v4 dashboard that was plagued with a $0 line forever vs the v5 dashboard that realizes I don't have paid features enabled.

Speed Boost
This release made some great improvements in the speed department and I'm always a fan of that. However, the speed increase also hinted at locking down the allowed database versions to MySQL8 in a future release. While I'm excited for the speed - I'm not excited for locking to MySQL8. I figured I could continue to use MariaDB (as its a drop-in replacement), but Ghost is finding bugs in the upstream knex project that is preventing that. So today I'm happy, but soon I'll probably have to figure out a migration strategy to migrate after from Maria.

Theme Settings
Themes can now register custom settings to display and configure within the admin panel. This makes the experience of configuring a theme easier when installing custom ones. This feature is probably for the best, but since my theme deploys via GitHub Actions and modified by myself - I find this introduces an extra layer of work as I cannot figure out how to default a setting to a value.

I was very lucky to have a quick theme author who updated Nurui in under a day! So I just opened up Meld (diff tool) and up-streamed the changes into my private copy of the theme. This didn't take long and this blog was updated with Ghost v5 and a new compatible version of the Nurui theme.

Ghost grows massively with each major release, but the last few releases are focusing an area I don't directly benefit from. My blog is free and always will be, so all of the premium support options are a toggle I always keep off. At first I was upset about this, but then I remember I pay Ghost $0 dollars and this doesn't hurt me.

I was upset with a dashboard that was ugly in v4 for me, but now its different. I was upset about the forced CDN for the members feature, but now I can remove it. I was upset with MariaDB support breaking, but then I fixed it. This seems to be a common pattern, so I believe to prevent this going forward I'm just going to delay any upgrade to Ghost by a few solid weeks or months. I'm just exhausted from being the guinea pigs and having to fix or request a feature change that does normally get resolved a bit later.

For now, welcome to Ghost v5.

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