# Updating For Beta 16

Beta 16 finalizes the PHP extender API, introduces a testing library and JS typings, switches to using namespaces for JS imports, increases extension dependency robustness, and allows overriding routes, among other features.


If you need help applying these changes or using new features, please start a discussion on the community forum (opens new window) or Discord chat (opens new window).

# Frontend

  • A new editor driver abstraction has been introduced, which allows extensions to override the default textarea-based editor with more advanced solutions.
  • The TextEditor and TextEditorButton components, as well as the BasicEditorDriver util (which replaces SuperTextarea) have been moved from forum to common.
  • The forum, admin, and common namespaces should be used when importing. So instead of import Component from 'flarum/Component', use import Component from 'flarum/common/Component. Support for the old import styles will be deprecated through the stable release, and removed with Flarum 2.0.
  • A typing library has been released to support editor autocomplete for frontend development, and can be installed in your dev environment via npm install --save-dev [email protected].
  • Extension categories have been simplified down to feature, theme, and language.

# Backend

# Extenders

  • All extenders that support callbacks/closures now support global functions like 'boolval' and array-type functions like [ClassName::class, 'methodName'].
  • The Settings extender's serializeToFrontend method now supports a default value as the 4th argument.
  • The Event extender now supports registering subscribers for multiple events at once via a subscribe method.
  • The Notification extender now has a beforeSending method, which allows you to adjust the list of recipients before a notification is sent.
  • The mutate method of ApiSerializer has been deprecated, and renamed to attributes.
  • remove methods on the Route and Frontend extenders can be used to remove (and then replace) routes.
  • A ModelPrivate extender replaces the GetModelIsPrivate event, which has been deprecated.
  • Methods on the Auth extender replace the CheckingPassword event, which has been deprecated.
  • All search-related events are now deprecated in favor of the SimpleFlarumSearch and Filter extenders; this is explained in more detail below.

# Laravel and Symfony

Beta 16 upgrades from v6.x to v8.x of Laravel components and v4 to v5 of Symfony components. Please see the respective upgrade guides of each for changes you might need to make to your extensions. The most applicable change is the deprecation of Symfony\Component\Translation\TranslatorInterface in favor of Symfony\Contracts\Translation\TranslatorInterface. The former will be removed in beta 17.

# Helper Functions

The remaining app and event global helper functions have been deprecated. app has been replaced with resolve, which takes the name of a container binding and resolves it through the container.

Since some Flarum extensions use Laravel libraries that assume some global helpers exist, we've recreated some commonly used helpers in the flarum/laravel-helpers (opens new window) package. These helpers should NOT be used directly in Flarum extension code; they are available so that Laravel-based libraries that expect them to exist don't malfunction.

# Search Changes

As part of our ongoing efforts to make Flarum's search system more flexible, we've made several refactors in beta 16. Most notably, filtering and searching are now treated as different mechanisms, and have separate pipelines and extenders. Essentially, if a query has a filter[q] query param, it will be treated as a search, and all other filter params will be ignored. Otherwise, it will be handled by the filtering system. This will eventually allow searches to be handled by alternative drivers (provided by extensions), such as ElasticSearch, without impacting filtering (e.g. loading recent discussions). Classes common to both systems have been moved to a Query namespace.

Core's filtering and default search (named SimpleFlarumSearch) implementations are quite similar, as both are powered by the database. List API controllers call the search / filter methods on a resource-specific subclass of Flarum\Search\AbstractSearcher or Flarum\Filter\AbstractFilterer. Arguments are an instance of Flarum\Query\QueryCriteria, as well as sort, offset, and limit information. Both systems return an instance of Flarum\Query\QueryResults, which is effectively a wrapper around a collection of Eloquent models.

The default systems are also somewhat similar in their implementation. Filterers apply Filters (implementing Flarum\Filter\FilterInterface) based on query params in the form filter[FILTER_KEY] = FILTER_VALUE (or filter[-FILTER_KEY] = FILTER_VALUE for negated filters). SimpleFlarumSearch's Searchers split the filter[q] param by spaces into "terms", apply Gambits (implementing Flarum\Search\GambitInterface) that match the terms, and then apply a "Fulltext Gambit" to search based on any "terms" that don't match an auxiliary gambit. Both systems then apply sorting, an offset, and a result count limit, and allow extensions to modify the query result via searchMutators or filterMutators.

Extensions add gambits and search mutators and set fulltext gambits for Searcher classes via the SimpleFlarumSearch extender. They can add filters and filter mutators to Filterer classes via the Filter extender.

With regards to upgrading, please note the following:

  • Search mutations registered by listening to the Searching events for discussions and users will be applied as to searches during the search mutation step via a temporary BC layer. They WILL NOT be applied to filters. This is a breaking change. These events have been deprecated.
  • Search gambits registered by listening to the ConfigureUserGambits and ConfigureDiscussionGambits events will be applied to searcher via a temporary BC layer. They WILL NOT be applied to filters. This is a breaking change. These events have been deprecated.
  • Post filters registered by listening to the ConfigurePostsQuery events will be applied to post filters via a temporary BC layer. That event has been deprecated.

# Testing Library

The flarum/testing package provides utils for PHPUnit-powered automated backend tests. See the testing documentation for more info.

# Optional Dependencies

Beta 15 introduced "extension dependencies", which require any extensions listed in your extension's composer.json's require section to be enabled before your extension can be enabled.

With beta 16, you can specify "optional dependencies" by listing their composer package names as an array in your extension's extra.flarum-extension.optional-dependencies. Any enabled optional dependencies will be booted before your extension, but aren't required for your extension to be enabled.

# Access Token and Authentication Changes

# Extension API changes

The signature to various method related to authentication have been changed to take $token as parameter instead of $userId. Other changes are the result of the move from $lifetime to $type

  • Flarum\Http\AccessToken::generate($userId) no longer accepts $lifetime as a second parameter. Parameter has been kept for backward compatibility but has no effect. It will be removed in beta 17.
  • Flarum\Http\RememberAccessToken::generate($userId) should be used to create remember access tokens.
  • Flarum\Http\DeveloperAccessToken::generate($userId) should be used to create developer access tokens (don't expire).
  • Flarum\Http\SessionAccessToken::generate() can be used as an alias to Flarum\Http\AccessToken::generate(). We might deprecate AccessToken::generate() in the future.
  • Flarum\Http\Rememberer::remember(ResponseInterface $response, AccessToken $token): passing an AccessToken has been deprecated. Pass an instance of RememberAccessToken instead. As a temporary compatibility layer, passing any other type of token will convert it into a remember token. In beta 17 the method signature will change to accept only RememberAccessToken.
  • Flarum\Http\Rememberer::rememberUser() has been deprecated. Instead you should create/retrieve a token manually with RememberAccessToken::generate() and pass it to Rememberer::remember()
  • Flarum\Http\SessionAuthenticator::logIn(Session $session, $userId) second parameter has been deprecated and is replaced with $token. Backward compatibility is kept. In beta 17, the second parameter method signature will change to AccessToken $token.
  • AccessToken::generate() now saves the model to the database before returning it.
  • AccessToken::find($id) or ::findOrFail($id) can no longer be used to find a token, because the primary key was changed from token to id. Instead you can use AccessToken::findValid($tokenString)
  • It's recommended to use AccessToken::findValid($tokenString): AccessToken or AccessToken::whereValid(): Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Builder to find a token. This will automatically scope the request to only return valid tokens. On forums with low activity this increases the security since the automatic deletion of outdated tokens only happens every 50 requests on average.

# Symfony session changes

If you are directly accessing or manipulating the Symfony session object, the following changes have been made:

  • user_id attribute is no longer used. access_token has been added as a replacement. It's a string that maps to the token column of the access_tokens database table.

To retrieve the current user from inside a Flarum extension, the ideal solution which was already present in Flarum is to use $request->getAttribute('actor') which returns a User instance (which might be Guest)

To retrieve the token instance from Flarum, you can use Flarum\Http\AccessToken::findValid($tokenString)

To retrieve the user data from a non-Flarum application, you'll need to make an additional database request to retrieve the token. The user ID is present as user_id on the access_tokens table.

# Token creation changes

The lifetime property of access tokens has been removed. Tokens are now either session tokens with 1h lifetime after last activity, or session_remember tokens with 5 years lifetime after last activity.

The remember parameter that was previously available on the POST /login endpoint has been made available on POST /api/token. It doesn't return the remember cookie itself, but the token returned can be used as a remember cookie.

The lifetime parameter of POST /api/token has been deprecated and will be removed in Flarum beta 17. Partial backward compatibility has been provided where a lifetime value longer than 3600 seconds is interpreted like remember=1. Values lower than 3600 seconds result in a normal non-remember token.

New developer tokens that don't expire have been introduced, however they cannot be currently created through the REST API. Developers can create developer tokens from an extension using Flarum\Http\DeveloperAccessToken::generate($userId).

If you manually created tokens in the database from outside Flarum, the type column is now required and must contain session, session_remember or developer. Tokens of unrecognized type cannot be used to authenticate, but won't be deleted by the garbage collector either. In a future version extensions will be able to register custom access token types.

# Token usage changes

A security issue in Flarum (opens new window) previously caused all tokens to never expire. This had limited security impact due to tokens being long unique characters. However custom integrations that saved a token in an external database for later use might find the tokens no longer working if they were not used recently.

If you use short-lived access tokens for any purpose, take note of the expiration time of 1h. The expiration is based on the time of last usage, so it will remain valid as long as it continues to be used.

Due to the large amount of expired tokens accumulated in the database and the fact most tokens weren't ever used more than once during the login process, we have made the choice to delete all access tokens a lifetime of 3600 seconds as part of the migration, All remaining tokens have been converted to session_remember tokens.

The remember cookie still works like before, but a few changes have been made that could break unusual implementations.

Now only access tokens created with remember option can be used as remember cookie. Any other type of token will be ignored. This means if you create a token with POST /api/token and then place it in the cookie manually, make sure you set remember=1 when creating the token.

# Web session expiration

In previous versions of Flarum, a session could be kept alive forever until the Symfony session files were deleted from disk.

Now sessions are linked to access tokens. A token being deleted or expiring will automatically end the linked web session.

A token linked to a web session will now be automatically deleted from the database when the user clicks logout. This prevents any stolen token from being re-used, but it could break custom integration that previously used a single access token in both a web session and something else.

# Miscellaneous

  • The IP address is now available in requests via $request->getAttribute('ipAddress')
  • Policies can now return true and false as aliases for $this->allow() and $this->deny(), respectively.
  • The user.edit permission has been split into user.editGroups, user.editCredentials (for email, username, and password), and user.edit (for other attributes).
  • There are now permissions (bypassTagCounts) that allow users to bypass tag count requirements.
  • Flarum now supports PHP 7.3 - PHP 8.0, with support for PHP 7.2 officially dropped.