The future of Joomla: How Joomla will evolve in the next versions?
There was a time when Joomla users (now Joomlers) could hardly find information about Joomla’s roadmap, or the progress of Joomla development until a release of the Alpha package of the next Joomla version. And this release package was always a surprise for Joomlers with some changes that might cause minor compatibility problems for their website.
Nowadays, finding information about Joomla updates is no longer a difficulty. There are many channels for Joomlers to get news and updates about Joomla roadmap as well as upcoming features in the next versions of Joomla, such as:
- Joomla announcement on Joomla.org
- Joomla Leadership report
- Presentations in official Joomla events
>Talking about the perks of attending a Joomla event, you’ll have a chance to talk with people behind Joomla core to know more about its development progress.
Recently, at the Joomla World Conference 2016 last November, Marco Dings - a member of Joomla PLT has introduced a new Joomla roadmap with the long-term vision of how Joomla will evolve in the next 3 years. With this roadmap, we know the Lifetime of Joomla 3.7, Joomla 3.8 and the changes will happen in Joomla 4. Even the new generation Joomla X has also been revealed.
The details of the up next Joomla version are updated periodically on Joomla website. You can check out the Joomla 3.7 roadmap here.
So let’s talk about Joomla 3.7!
Joomla 3.7 is going to be here in March 2017! Save the date to remember its release because there are many new features in Joomla 3.7 you’ll benefit from:
Finally, the feature we’ve been longing for is coming within Joomla 3.7! With a new router, Joomla can support SEO better than ever. By getting rid of unnecessary IDs from articles’ URLs, the URLs in Joomla will be cleaner and friendlier for users. Plus, the new router should be faster in routing to its destination.
The custom fields are what we have been waiting for so long, but only until now, Joomla 3.7 brings them to life. With custom fields you can add new data type to your article or other content and display them in a more advanced way.
Improving the menu item workflow:
Returning to the old option to Link Menu (Version 1.0.11) means that we can create an article with a menu in just one go, no more extra steps in the backend.
Some other improvements that already merged to this version: More enhancements to Joomla content construction with embedded field and better layouts, adding JLayouts for Form fields, adding Calendar data type.
And of course, many UX improvements in Joomla backend will be included in Joomla 3.7 as the Joomla UX team are working hard on refining the backend UI and removing UX difficulties for Joomla users.
The last version of Joomla 3.7.x will be released in February 2017 to end this line.
Get ready for Joomla 3.8!
Joomla 3.8 has not been formed its shape yet but you should know that some new features and improvements are already in the plan.
- Brand new Media Manager: Drag and drop support, simplified workflow, SVG support, 3rd plugins support.
- And of course, more UX improvements
Finally, the life-line of Joomla 3.8 will end in June 2017.
And be curious Joomla 4 too!
So will Joomla 4 be a big shot???
Some features are still on the discussing table and waiting for contribution from Joomla Community.
In fact, Joomla 4 will be marked as the “Break backward compatibility” version for all Deprecated functions. It will remove support for the old system environment (PHP, MySQL). But there will be on-click-update for this version to make its update dead easy for users. So, Joomla users won’t face any problems with upgrading from Joomla 3.x to Joomla 4.
What we should expect from Joomla 4 is the support for new Bootstrap version, and it will be Bootstrap 4. It means that Joomla will have the latest modern mobile-support CSS framework to boost up the frontend performance.
A New Dashboard is also one thing we can hope for. It’s time to give up on improving the old UI of Joomla 2.5-3.x admin template and move to another one. We might not look for a totally new UI but it should bring Joomla admin area friendlier to new users.
Another feature is Media Manager which will support Cloud storage and add more workflows to advanced users.
For Developers, this Joomla 4 version will have REST API to allow information exchange inside/outside Joomla. The Service layer will be implemented as well to bring Interfacing inside Joomla extensions.
Joomla! X - The Lighthouse Project
“The idea behind Joomla! X is not to replace the current product, but to define the development goals, just like a lighthouse shows ships where to head. Both projects, current Joomla! and Joomla! X, will work towards each other until we can switch with a one-click update.” - That’s what you can read from official Joomla! X introduction in its Github storage.
So this “X” version will be the Joomla’s future version which is a shift from the based architecture of Joomla API to a totally brand new one. The Joomla! X (formerly known as Joomla! 4) architecture is based on the principle of Orthogonal Components.
This principle describes Vertical Components, like Content, Weblinks, or Users, that are combined with Horizontal Components, like Workflow, Tagging, or Versioning. Horizontal Components add functionality to Vertical Components without explicit code in the components.
New improvements will be added to the Storage engine, Data Rendering mechanism, and the most noticeable feature is Joomla PageBuilder. Joomla content will be organised using Pages based on templates. Joomla Page Builder will be available to make Joomla one of the easiest to use website builder tools. ( You can try out with JSN PageBuilder to understand more about this concept in Joomla).
Let’s raise high hope for Joomla! X and join a hand to build it as well:
“Joomla! X is a big endeavour, and it surely needs some more hands on it.” - by Joomla PLT
What do you think of the upcoming versions of Joomla? Let’s discuss below!