Developing jUpgrade: Interview with Matias Aguirre
One of the biggest challenges facing Joomla! 1.6 is the lack of a clearly defined migration path to get from Joomla! 1.5 to 1.6. No More! With the brainchild of one Joomla! developer, and the willpower of the Joomla! community, the ability to easily move your site to Joomla! 1.6 with just a few simple clicks is becoming a reality! We caught up with that developer, Matias Aguirre, to get his take on the development of the jUpgrade component and the community efforts to make it a success...
What made you start work on a Joomla! 1.5 to 1.6 migrating component?
I've worked with Linux and other Open Source software for years, so I've always been involved in the Open Source Community. But developing jUpgrade has taught me a lot about the need to help and give back to the community.
Work on jUpgrade started for me after a chat with some of the other Joomla! developers while Joomla! 1.6 was still under development. I realized that with the major changes they were focused on implementing, users would need a component to allow for easier migrations to Joomla! 1.6. I've worked on the mtwMigrator component (a component to upgrade from Joomla! 1.0 to 1.5), so I decided to start work on a 1.5 to 1.6 component for Joomla!
How exactly does jUpgrade work?
jUpgrade starts as a component that is installed in your original version of Joomla! 1.5. When it runs, the component downloads and installs Joomla! 1.6 while migrating your original content to the new 1.6 installation. jUpgrade uses Mootools for AJAX connections in order to make the migration independently.
What was your initial goal when you started work on jUpgrade?
There really wasn't a single specific goal when I started. I always wanted to learn more, but there was always the idea of being able to help a project that I like very much for the quality product it produces and for the large community.
How did the Joomla! community help or influence the development of jUpgrade?
It was very difficult to initially attract the attention of the community. Even though I had some experience with the mtwMigrator component there still wasn't a lot of feedback from the community.
I think Andrew Eddie changed that when he began to get involved and draw attention to the project. Since then, we've had a lot of people come help with development and testing. Because of this we've been able to fix many of the common errors, and it makes me happy to see jUpgrade continue to mature every day.
What are your goals for jUpgrade in the coming months?
In the coming months we hope to have a stable version for most users of Joomla!.
Our next goal is to include support for other 3rd party components. The idea is to use an XML list generated by the JED with all 1.6 compatible extensions, then use that to update the existing 1.5 extensions using the existing methods we already have in place for Joomla! 1.6.
That's the idea anyway, I'm sure it will involve a long discussion in the developer community on the topic.
What can community members do to help you and the folks working on the jUpgrade component to accomplish these goals?
The best way the community can join in and help us reach these bugs is by using jUpgrade, and providing feedback and reporting bugs. We've got some pretty active forums where community members are more than willing to help as well. You can find updates and downloads on the jUpgrade Project Page and report bugs, give feedback, or even help others int he jUpgrade Community Forums.
Editor's Note: Matias has contributed quite a lot of time developing the jUpgrade migration component that will take you from 1.5 to 1.6. The crew at JoomStew Radio has launched an effort to get Matias from Buenos Aires to The Netherlands this May to attend J and Beyond 2011 so that he can meet up other Joomla! developers. The funds raised will cover his travel and lodging, and maybe a beer, or two! For more information, and if you would like to say "thanks!", please visit the JoomStew Radio site: http://www.joomstew.com/matias-and-beyond-2011.
JoomStew Radio reports that the funds have been met, and that Matias WILL be at JAB11! Thank you! If you would like to know how you can contribute, support, sponsor, or give back to Joomla!, please visit these links! We very much appreciate your help.
Contribute to Joomla!: https://www.joomla.org/about-joomla/contribute-to-joomla.html
Support Joomla!: http://opensourcematters.org/support-joomla.html