Getting to know the team behind Joomla 4.4
What’s in store for Joomla 4.4? JCM meets the Release Managers, Allon Moritz and Martin Kopp. Let’s find out who they are and what they like most about Joomla 4!
First of all, thanks for meeting virtually for this interview. I know you Allon through meetings at Joomla Days and your products which I have used, and Martin, from you shadowing the current team and being in the Joomla London meetings that I try to chair. But for those who don't know you, please give us a quick intro.
Allon: Hi. I’m located in the eastern part of Switzerland in the nice Swiss Alps in a small village. When I say small I really mean small: we have around 300 people in the village. I’m the only computer guy doing web development.
I've been involved in Joomla since version 3.7 where I contributed custom fields to the project. Since then I try to help wherever some urgent resources are needed. Currently, I’m in the process of increasing our automated test coverage.
Martin: Hi Philip - First I want to thank the Joomla community for all the opportunities offered to contribute to a great project.
I live in Meilen at the lake of Zurich, 10 km from Zurich Switzerland. I have been running my own company in computer business for over 25 years.
I've been involved in the team organising the Joomla Days for Germany/Austria/Switzerland since 2020. In Switzerland, I’m involved in the Joomla Association Switzerland with regular JUGs.
Just to show how rounded you are as humans, can you share one hobby or interest that's totally unrelated to Joomla or websites?
Allon: I practise Taiji on a regular basis and started in 2019 with this beautiful art close the where I live. It became more my way of life and is way beyond a hobby. As my hobbies, I would call snowboarding, hiking and travelling.
Martin: I practise Yoga, not as a hobby but rather as a mission. I do breathing exercises and meditation almost every day for at least an hour. Besides that, I do philosophical studies and for some years I've been writing a book about my thoughts about mankind - but not with the intention to publish it - laughing… - my most important thought is: don’t take life too seriously.
Can you tell us how you first came across Joomla?
Allon: I lived in an old farmhouse with some friends. There somebody showed me Joomla for the first time. Before I made my personal website with static pages and animated gifs.
Martin: Around 2006 I was asked to set up a dating website and decided to use Joomla - for most of the websites I’ve built since then I have used Joomla.
You are both members of the community; many use Joomla and don't give back to the community so what made you decide to make that journey from user to community member?
Allon: I would not say they do not give back. From what I witnessed, most people are either too shy or think they can’t help. It is very rare that people don’t help on purpose. Personally, I started to contribute more as I went with my business full-time on Joomla. I told myself: if there is a need for help, then I’m here.
Martin: I have used Joomla for a long time without giving back. A few years ago I decided to engage myself in community work here in Meilen as a board member of the local social club. So it was only consistent to do the same for Joomla as well.
What are your plans for Joomla 4.4?
Allon: Joomla 4 is almost state-of-the-art for a modern website, and that’s something I like very much. But on the other side, it got more complicated for newcomers, so this is something I miss a bit from version 3.
Joomla 4.4 is a great plan to deprecate old code, which we can then remove in version 6.0. Besides that, there is still some code in the core that uses deprecated functions or extensions which are built the legacy way. The plan is to lift them up to the new architecture of Joomla 4.
Another big goal (I already mentioned) is the increase of automated test coverage. Like that, we see very quickly if something is broken. As Joomla 4.4 doesn’t get any new features, we are basically cleaning the code base up and stabilising it for the update to version 5.
Martin: Yes - all the new websites I set up are with Joomla 4. It has a clean backend which can be easily configured for customer use. And in the background, it has a very clean codebase which allows developers like me to create robust extensions with ease.
Is there anything you want to change or introduce, anything you think we could do better as we go through the process of making a new minor version?
Allon: I just had a talk this morning with Sigrid, the release team lead. I told her how proud I am of how Joomla’s release process became professional with the time-based releases. There is still some room for improvement, but in general, Joomla is heading in the right direction.
Martin: I’m very new to the “Joomla release management business”, so I’m still learning. Allon is much more involved in Joomla development than I am - so he will be my mentor in building the releases. As a main point, we would like to make Joomla 4.4 even more robust and free of bugs. I’m good at looking at code and debugging.
The JCM would like to thank both Allon and Martin for taking the time to answer our questions. Good luck with the work on Joomla 4.4!