Designing the Joomla 4 landing page - part 1
On becoming Media and Communications Director I worked through the jobs that were on the to-do lists. One looked so simple - Joomla 4 landing page.
Simple yet deceptively complex and the first hurdle to creating the page was my own ignorance. The behemoth Joomla shows, and its many official and unofficial sites have many nooks and corners to investigate, gems for the link clickers and Google searches to find.
The issue was I had never come across the Joomla 3 landing page, never really appreciated Joomla had one dedicated to the major release.
I have seen bits of the design in the various press releases, but I had not consciously clicked on that link ending in three until that moment. I had not realised the resources and information that was waiting to be discovered.
It's clearly evolved as it now shows Joomla 3.9, but what was its journey? What had it been trying to inform me about before 3.9?
Clearly, I need to educate myself. I check the folders and files, there are a lot, and much is not of great use, a collection of ideas that came and went without further adaptation or development.
Really, for this task of self-education, I need a time machine to look back at the web pages past. Fortunately, there is one: the WayBack Machine, https://web.archive.org/.
The time machine of discovery
This revealed that such a page had been indexed over 7,792 times from December 2009 and the present day.
Some of the snapshots were crawler errors, but others revealed the changing nature of the page.
The first I could find that had an actual page was https://web.archive.org/web/20121001111504/http://www.joomla.org/3/ from October 2012.
It soon morphed into the image below with the bold claim:
“Joomla! takes a big leap into the mobile space with a total overhaul of both its frontend design and administrator interface. With the adoption of the Bootstrap framework, Joomla! has become the first major CMS to be mobile-ready in both the visitors and administrator areas.”
So mobile ready was the big new thing, and Joomla was going to be first there. It was built with “LESS”, which has moved now to “SASS” with Joomla 4 and boasted that it was jQuery & Mootools Ready. How times have changed: with Joomla 4, you can now move away from jQuery, and Mootools is long gone.
The style changes in 2015 and evolves with the theme “Do More.”
Evolving through several iterations of design as Joomla 3.4 becomes Joomla 3.5, it’s clear there is a pattern.
Reading through the old versions, it struck me how things have changed, the libraries and technologies waxing and waning, bursting on the scene, then fizzling out as that becomes deprecated, the way we used to do it.
PHP makes its leap from 5 to 7, denouncing 6 as a bad idea and responding to rivals in the marketplace. Now we embrace 8 with Joomla 4.
By 2018 we seem to have arrived style-wise. It is the current design that will see the three series out
And so we arrive at the current Joomla/3 landing page https://www.joomla.org/3/
When in Rome, listen.
So back to the story of the Joomla 4 landing page.
I find a brief to follow, detailed workup of a beautiful design by Chiara Aliotta in the documents.
And this is where the most influential quotation for me, that sums up my life and the situations I find myself in, echoes at the back of my head.
It's from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, just after all the Vogon Poetry.
You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."
"Why, what did she tell you?"
"I don't know. I didn't listen.”
And while reading the documents, it strikes me that at a Joomla World conference in Rome, it's times like that I really wish I had paid more attention to what the speaker was saying rather than hacking away on my laptop.
I was back then wondering what possible use this talk was to me, why would I need to know anything about the Joomla Marketing Department and their ideas for Joomla 4.
Luckily for me, there are such things as the excellent and ever-growing in my appreciation, Joomla Magazine.
This article is an eye-opener and is helping to form my thinking on this and future releases.
Chiara documents the process clearly and concisely. Over the last three months, it’s been a journey to piece it all together and get all the other things going. I would like to thank Chiara for all the work she put into the articles and talks. Chiara, we have never met, yet I have been able to pick up the ideas and vision from your work in a way that is still helping and informing four years on.
Another great resource to be getting the flavour of what was intended is our Youtube collection: Roman Holiday - Chiara Aliotta
Which allows me to go back and be part of that audience again. And this time I am listening!
I would urge you, dear reader, to look at that video (again); it’s got a lot to say about our community and how we should communicate.
So what of the Joomla/4 landing page?
At the moment of writing, it’s still in construction. Part two of this tale will be to explain how the task was accomplished with the help of Benjamin Trenkle, Wilco Alsemgeest, the Joomla translators and of course, Chiara Aliotta through her work.