Joomla 4 – What and why you must know about it
*Updated in Oct 2016
So, Joomla 3.5 is out of the oven and we are going to get Joomla 3.6 soon (haven’t heard of this? Read here). Is it too soon to talk about Joomla 4 (a.k.a Joomla X, with X = 4)?
No, I don’t think so. You probably already knew about Joomla 4 – what is called “the pipeline” of Joomla development this year although there is no official release time yet. In parallel with the development of Joomla 3.x, Joomla 4 is on its way to form itself by the hard work of Joomla 4 working group.
Now let’s take a look at what is supposed to be in this renovating Joomla version as well as why you should pay close attention to it.
*Please note that the features are not official yet and they might be changed later
Why the transformation in Joomla 4?
Though Joomla has been improving through the time, Joomla however is based on 10 years old technologies. So, it can’t respond to many modern technologies. It’s like an old-fashioned Joomla. You may defend that there are many people still using it, but please take note that there are not so many new users and new Joomla users from the market hasn’t been expanding.
Furthermore, the outdated technologies prevent developers from doing many things to build great projects with it. So, Joomla must transform to catch up with the modern technology and be more responsive to the need of its users.
Changes in Joomla 4 that affect developers
Here’s what Mike Veeckmans wrote about Joomla 4:
“This will be an evolution of the Joomla! series with the goal of improving both user experience and code quality. Joomla! 4 will not be a massive ground up refactor of the code base. The intention is to give Joomla! large functionality improvements with limited backward compatibility breaks.”
Basically, Joomla 4 is about new things that break what are existing in order to have a totally new version.
As stated in its development roadmap, Joomla 4 will continue the evolution of Joomla itself to become a more powerful yet easy to use CMS platform. Also its changes will enhance the unique characters that differentiate Joomla from other CMSs.
The priority in Joomla 4 development lies in having a one-click upgrade for core, minimal backwards compatibility breaks for the current extensions. However it’s also expected to create new ways to do other things for developers who wish to try them.
Great improvements in Joomla admin workflow
The development team has been working on a new and useful Joomla admin dashboard. It’s the very first thing users see after logging in the admin area so they are trying to make it better for users with useful, relevant information right in the dashboard.
Also there will be new onboarding process to help new Joomla users become familiar with Joomla much easier. Plus, Parameter Defaults Review is also going to be in the development team’s consideration.
An evolution in Joomla code
Coding improvements in Joomla 4 will make you dance on your feet, my fellow developers! Code in Joomla core will be more testable (so less bugs, of course) and easier to maintain.
I can list out some improvements in coding you can expect in this awesome version: a new rewritten plugin system, Dependency Injection Containers to replace JFactory, Joomla framework to be used in more components (so less code to maintain later), Code Namespacing and Depreciation.
Orthogonal Component Structure
Orth…orthogono..what? What a long name to remember! Let’s understand it this way instead:
Joomla 4 structure is the combination of vertical components like content or users and horizontal components like workflow, tagging, versioning. This means while we have the development in Joomla core, at the same time all the new features regarding functionality like publishing, tagging and versioning, etc. will be added automatically in Joomla and all are configurable.
You can learn more about this new structure here.
A modern CSS framework
Escaping from the cage of Bootstrap 2 with which Joomla has been stuck for a long time, Joomla 4 and its later versions will stay up-to-date with latest Bootstrap version. (Bootstrap 4). I’m sure that all designers will love this!
“For Joomla 4, we restrict the duties of a component. So a component is asked to only implement its own core functionality. Everything else is pulled out into the system” – said Marco Dings at JWC 2015. So there will be much less codes extension developers have to write! Internally, they will use “command bus” to oversimplify extend the functionality where we have a single yet multitask controller.
The way Joomla 4 is applied the MVC will define the orthogonal component structure and how it works.
Why Joomla users, especially developers, should pay attention to Joomla 4?
Joomla 4 is a giant step ahead of previous Joomla version.
You will need to update and change your codes in Joomla 3.x extensions to make them compatible with Joomla 4.
However on the bright side, with Joomla 4 makes it easier for developers to build extension with free tags, versioning, etc. Plus, the weight of tasks for a developer is lightened since there are many improvements to reduce unnecessary common tasks for them.
For end-users, Joomla 4 will surely be a new breeze for them – there will be simplified installation, easier and integrated admin configuration, easier module configuration, better version staging, better media manager and many more. Since it is heavily focused on user experience, Joomla 4 will be a true star CMS for end users.
What do you think? Join hand to make it awesome!
Joomla 4 won’t be something simply “a little more improved than Joomla 3.x”. It will be a leap in Joomla development. It will be a leap in Joomla development. Do you want to make Joomla 4 - Joomla X a better version for you? Join the Joomla 4 volunteer team now!
What do you think of the upcoming improvements in Joomla 4? Let’s discuss it below!