The ExpressionEngine 2.5.0 release has been moved from late March so that we can incorporate a first party solution for the “Euro cookie” law in 2.5.0 instead of having two releases within a very short time frame.
For those unfamiliar with the “Euro cookie” law, here’s a brief summary of the situation and why its important that an official first party solution is available.
As part of the European Parliament’s Directive 2009/136/EC, storing information on a user’s computer (through cookies or other means) should require the informed consent of the users. The member states of the European Union (EU) were supposed to implement laws in accordance with that directive by May 2011. Legislation, both its existence and its content, has varied among member states. While much surrounding the legislation is murky, one thing that is clear is that ExpressionEngine needs to make it easy for our users to comply with regulations concerning cookies. This is particularly time sensitive for our UK based users, where a fairly strict interpretation of the mandate will go into full effect May 26, 2012 (see the ICO’s section on cookies).
Thus 2.5.0 is being pushed out to allow the inclusion of a new Cookie Consent module. The module will require consent before allowing any cookies to be set using ExpressionEngine’s native functions. Login and registration will also be restricted to those who have granted consent for cookies. Consent can be granted through the use of a link or through the inclusion of a form field on login and registration pages. The module will include conditionals for user consent, providing maximum flexibility for designers, who are free to create a ‘cookie consent’ interface that complements their site.
In keeping with ExpressionEngine’s evolution as a platform, the module is ‘drop in’, relying on new hooks rather than being hard coded into the core code. This means it will be easy for developers to take their own approach to the new regulations or simply integrate with existing third party options for cookie compliance if they so choose.
We are eager to get 2.5.0 into your hands so it pains us to delay our intended March release. Given all the options though, we concluded delaying versus beta releases, or multiple releases within a short time period was the approach that would serve the Community best.