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Underlying each of the CE3 web engines is the Core Elements 3 framework. While each web engine has new features all its own, the Core Elements 3 framework brings several universal updates to all CE3 engines.
The CE3 framework is the love-child of CE2 and Chado, my responsive theme for WordPress, and takes a slightly different tack compared to its predecessors.
If you're coming to this from CE2, it's important to reset your expectations. This is not CE2 plus-another-one. In making the framework fully responsive, some features of CE2 had to be completely renovated, while others have been completely removed. CE3 also brings plenty of new additions to the table. Some designs that CE2 was capable of making, CE3 simply will not do; on the other hand, CE3 is capable of things that CE2 was not. Some things have also been axed in the process of streamlining the plugin, and wherever possible I've tried to implement smaller, but more meaningful control sets. So go into this with an open mind.
Here are some of the bullet-point new features:
The CE3 framework is fully responsive, meaning the layout is capable of readjusting and content of reflowing to better accommodate displays of all sizes, significantly improving the browsing experience for desktops, tablets and mobile devices alike.
The CE3 framework has a drastically smaller footprint than its predecessor, meaning smaller .lrwebengine packages, faster preview builds in Lightroom, faster uploads to your server, and faster page loads for your visitors.
The user-interface is now almost entirely free of rasterized images, with nearly all graphics replaced by font-based, vector icons. This contributes to the framework's smaller footprint, and ensures that UI elements scale prettily on HiDPI (“Retina”) displays, without jaggy or fuzzy edges.
Site navigation is now based on absolute URLs, which helps to keep things simple. No more messing around with relative locations and paths, which should make sites far less confusing to orchestrate than ever before. Of course, if you still want to write-in relative URLs, you can do that too.
CE3 offers improved features for integrating social networking support into your pages and galleries, and better implementation of Open Graph Protocol for sharing links on Facebook and Twitter.
For CE3 I've dedicated much attention to the layout of controls within Lightroom, ensuring proper spacing, division and organization of sliders, drop-lists, inputs, hints, etc. It may sound like a minor detail, but CE3 offers the best set of controls TTG has ever had and I think this really makes a difference in getting things done.
Thumbnail galleries – TTG CE3 Gallery, TTG CE3 Pages “Home” page slideshow, etc. – now feature Slideshow Tracking, an optional feature that scrolls the page as users navigate the slideshow and marks the last image viewed when the slideshow is closed. It's a superb feature unique to TTG galleries, and helps to ensure your visitors will never get lost while navigating large galleries.
We released our Publish Services plugin late in the life of CE2 and retrofitted our existing plugins with Publisher support. The CE3 version plugins are built with native Publisher support. Whether you use the publisher or not, it's just a part of what they are.
TTG CE3 Pages acts as a script repository for all other plugins. Those plugins may run in standalone fashion with their own resources, or they can all share resources from the Pages repository for improved site-wide performance.