BlogEngine.NET 3.3 went live today, here is what you need to know before you decide to upgrade.
Besides usual bug fixes and small improvements, this release is all about widgets. BlogEngine started as WebForms project, with widgets implemented as user controls. WebForms were great to transition desktop developers into the web, but later became obvious that its not ideal for stateless HTTP nature of the web, and ASP.NET joined the world of MVC. Ever since BlogEngine is slowly adopting, moving to Razor views, turning admin panel into Angular/Web API application and so on. The goal is to move project 100% MVC and eventually catch up with latest ASP.NET flavor, light, portable and cross-platform. Rebuilding widgets framework is another step in this direction.
In 3.3 most of the user controls were removed and all widgets replaced with Razor views. Because it was rewrite (almost) from scratch, some of the widgets were combined and others renamed for consistency. This makes new widgets incompatible with currently used. Auto update will completely remove custom/widgets folder and replace it with new. Then blogger can go to admin/custom/widgets and drag-and-drop desired widgets to the theme zones and customize them.
If you have customized widgets, or if you added your own - you will loose them! So be careful.
If your theme is very old and don't support widget zones, or it directly uses user controls that were removed, you might have to update it or pick a newer theme.
The new framework makes it easy again to build simple widgets and publish them to the gallery without need to compile. Currently there only one published, but it is easy to build more, so you should see more soon. There will be tutorial on how to build widgets.
Compiled website can be downloaded from here.
If you need a source code, get latest on Github.
As always, if you run into issues - check discussion board.
For suggestion or feature request use UserVoice.