Celebrating Joomla 4
In September 2012, Barack Obama had just accepted the second Democratic nomination for US President and his second campaign and election was still to come. In sport, tennis had a new name: Andy Murray, who won his first Grand slam event that month. The world was gripped by the Olympics that summer, the London Olympics.
I was still to become a Grandad. And on the 27th of September 2012, Joomla 3 was released.
Roll on four grandchildren, three Olympics and a lot of governments changing hands. We have just had the second to last scheduled release of Joomla 3 with Joomla! 3.9.28. That really does earn an exclamation mark. Only Joomla 3.10 is left in the Joomla 3 series.
Under Starters’ Orders
Keeping with the sporting theme, it's undoubtedly been a marathon and not a sprint.
With any marathon, it's about digging deep, pacing the race and sticking at it.
It takes a lot of guts and determination, and many will fall along the way. That is what makes the celebrations at the end of a marathon so sweet. The tremendous feeling of achievement, success, and accomplishment that hits when finally over that finishing line. It can take some days to sink in as exhaustion can be the overwhelming feeling right on the line, but as time passes, pride and satisfaction will replace the tiredness.
So it is with Joomla. The marathon had its highs and lows, moments when pushing through the pain barrier was the only option, but today the finishing line is here.
Over nine years of graft has seen many changes in the Joomla community. People have come and gone from the project, and we have lost some dear friends along the way. Whole departments have grown up or disappeared completely. There is only one constant; the release lead for Joomla 4 does not look like he has aged a day! But this is the story of the software and the community that has built it, not just one individual.
If you are new to Joomla, now is the ideal time to start your journey. Long term users will be delighted with the maturity and consistency that sixteen years of development brings to a project.
With a new Joomla come new ways to do new things, new ideas and new abilities.
Joomla 4 is a product that has taken time to come to fullness and maturity; it has some areas rewritten more than once, and each time the goal has been to make it better and more straightforward for the end-user.
What’s new and improved?
So let's look at a few of the critical milestones that we have passed along this marathon.
A new Web Services Application Programming Interface (Web Services API) This API brings a whole new way for your site to talk to other sites. To share articles, connect business directories, it's a tool that will spawn a thousand uses. A powerful and developing way for Joomla to communicate with other web services.
Workflows, a stunning addition to content creation that will change the way many will work with Joomla, is also clever in its ability to grow via plugins to create an ecosystem of valuable triggers. This will make many sites, significantly larger magazine and community websites content creation more manageable, more consistent and scalable in a way we have not seen before.
With the last-minute change to Bootstrap5 making its way into Joomla 4, it's undoubtedly future-proofed the system as much as possible. By building on the hard work of making the site reach the accessibility standards aimed for, W3C Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 (with AA compliance), third-party developers can keep these high standards running through their applications and templates to the benefit of all users.
Email templating adds simplicity to something that can be a bind. It allows new opportunities to brand sites and engage with site users.
A new media manager has had many improvements added, like the option to edit, resize, rotate and rename your images in the backend of your Joomla website.
Added security hardening to the already outstanding security Joomla provides will ensure your data and your users’ data are safer than ever.
The list goes on, so much so that many improvements have been grouped under the Joomla4 tagline in marketing. These include accessibility, design, emails, search, SEO, security, speed and workflows, but as you can see, more could be added.
Joomla 4 is a major leap forward in the CMS world. With it comes to a very long list of contributors who have added code, design, articles, graphics, thought, and encouragement to get this marathon close to the finishing line. It would be so unfair to mention just a few of the hundreds of people involved over the nine years of hard work.
Having said that, one English phrase did come to mind: by George, we've done it!
Stunningly, let's not forget this is a community-based volunteer project, making it all the more remarkable that on the 17th of August 2021, Joomla 3.10 code name Daraja (bridge) and Joomla 4 code name Furaha (joy, happiness) have made it across the finishing line.
Well done to all!