SMAPI development milestones, 2016–2018
SMAPI updates are published throughout the year, with a major release roughly once per year to make breaking changes and set the focus for the regular releases that follow.

Upcoming posts will focus on what's coming, but first here's a quick review of the development milestones so far. This is very high-level — e.g. it covers translations in two words, when that could be a separate post on its own.

SMAPI 0.x (Mar to Oct 2016)
These were the first versions of SMAPI, originally developed by Zoryn. At this point SMAPI just provided events and a few basic APIs. Since it was still a prototype, it only worked on Windows and updates routinely broke mods. The developer later left to focus on other projects (see a brief history of Stardew Valley modding APIs).

SMAPI 1.x (Nov 2016 to Sep 2017)
These releases focused on stability and compatibility, consistent APIs, and expanding the base modding framework. SMAPI was almost entirely rewritten, added many of the present-day features, and introduced backwards compatibility as a priority (which meant a much smoother experience for modders).

  • For players: added Linux/Mac support, error recovery, an installer, SMAPI update checks, mod compatibility checks, simpler console output, friendly errors for many common issues, and more console commands.
  • For modders: added new APIs (notably the mod registry and reflection APIs), new events, translation support, mod dependencies, semantic versioning, more consistent APIs, context flags, date and version utilities, code documentation, compatibility rewriting, and deprecation support.

(Oct 2017 to present)
These releases focused on making modding easier for players and modders. Much of the work went into the content API (which eliminated the need for XNB mods), content packs (which enabled new types of mods), and mod update checks. Content Patcher was also created at this point, using those features to provide an easier and more powerful replacement for XNB mods.

  • For players: added content packs, mod update checks, mod stability warnings, a simpler installer on Linux/Mac, a log parser, save backups, and simpler console output.
  • For modders: added new APIs (notably content and input), new events, mod-provided APIs, optional dependencies, update keys, command-line installation, support for custom maps and tilesheets, and a web API; made the core manifest fields required to support various features (like mod integrations, compatibility checks, and upcoming mod handler toolkit).

There's still some SMAPI 2.x releases coming, but they'll be smaller releases as I focus on the upcoming SMAPI 3.0.

SMAPI 3.0 (Q4 2018)
The tentative focus for 3.x is simplifying complex SMAPI mods with higher-level APIs and events, and enabling external tools. SMAPI 3.0 tentatively includes a completely new event system, mod handler toolkit, and audio API; I'll be covering these in more detail with upcoming posts.

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