Getting extensions ready for Joomla 4 - Roland Dalmulder
Joomla 4 is one step closer. The last Beta version has recently been published, and we are already waiting for the first Release Candidate. Enough reasons to know how extension developers are working towards the release of the stable version. This time, we talked to Roland Dalmulder, a well-known contributor in the Joomla Community over the years. Today, he told us how he is working on updating his extensions.
Thanks for joining us in the “Getting Extensions ready” series, Roland! Could you tell us a little about your extensions?
The RO CSVI extension has been around since the beginning of Joomla. At first, primarily for VirtueMart as that was more or less the big e-commerce solution. Now 16 years later, RO CSVI supports quite a few extensions as well as the Joomla core. We keep on developing support for the Joomla core. Our other extensions cover payments with Joomla extensions, cleaning up user accounts and single sign-on.
What will happen with your extensions when J4 is released? Will they be compatible?
At the moment, we are working on Joomla 4 compatibility for three of our four extensions. RO CSVI is being completely rewritten as it is so deep into the core code, it is not easy to convert that, and we decided on a clean rewrite so that RO CSVI can be used as a REST application as well.
What should users do with their extensions when they migrate to J4? What should they expect from their extension providers in general? And what can they expect from you?
In general, I would say that extension developers will have to support Joomla 3 and Joomla 4 simultaneously. Joomla 3 is not going to go away once Joomla 4 is released. Most users will still run on Joomla 3, and it is officially supported for another two years after the Joomla 4 release. From a user perspective, they will most likely be running the same version on both Joomla versions. The pre-upgrade checker in the final Joomla 3 version will be essential to see if your extensions are supported. We plan to release our versions that support both versions over the following months. RO CSVI will take longer as this is going through a new rewrite.
As a developer, would you say it is essential to start preparing extensions as soon as possible?
Now the time has come to prepare your extension(s) for Joomla 4. Although there is no final date yet, I do believe that the core will not change that much. We are now in beta 7 of Joomla 4 and in my experience, it is stable enough to build your extensions on. Preparing now also gives you plenty of time to test your extensions on Joomla 4 as it progresses.
What impact do the different types of Joomla versions (alpha, beta, RC) have on updating extensions?
The alpha releases have no impact on the updates because we do not test against these releases. The beta and RC releases we try to test, but this also depends on the version. A minor release is not tested, but we test against feature releases and of course, the major releases.
How is your business going at the moment, and what impact do you expect J4 to have on that?
After many years of decline, business seems to be stabilizing, but I do hope that Joomla 4 will boost my business and Joomla as a whole. Joomla is taking a long time to release Joomla 4, and I hope that subsequent releases will come faster. This way, users don't have to wait too long for new features.
Is there anything else you would like to advise our readers regarding extensions and Joomla 4?
Test the extensions you use on a Joomla 4 installation and report your findings to the extension developer if you have any issues or questions. This will help you find out if you can move to Joomla 4 using your favourite extensions.