Getting extensions ready for Joomla 4 - Nicolas Claverie (Hikashop)
As you may have noticed (and who wouldn’t): Joomla 4 Release Candidate is out! Extension developers have been working hard on making their extensions compatible. This month Nicolas Claverie talks with us about getting their Joomla e-commerce solutions HikaShop, HikaSerial and HikaMarket ready to run smoothly with Joomla 4.
Thanks for joining us in this series, Nicolas! Could you tell us a little about your extensions?
We’ve been developing e-commerce extensions for Joomla for over 10 years now. It all started with the release of HikaShop in late 2010, hoping to simplify the implementation of e-commerce websites for Joomla. It followed with other extensions to complement it, like HikaSerial to sell tickets, vouchers and licences or HikaMarket to allow other vendors to sell their products in your shop. With the many plugins and other extensions that were then developed for that ecosystem through the years, we then launched our marketplace where other Joomla developers can offer their plugins for HikaShop.
What will happen with your extensions when J4 is released? Will they be compatible or will the developers have to provide complete new versions?
Developing extensions exclusively for Joomla, of course, we follow closely the news about Joomla releases and started testing HikaShop with J4 from the beginning. So all our main extensions have already been made compatible with J4 without the need for us to change our APIs for third-party developers.
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?
For the users of our extensions, as long as they use recent versions, they will be able to migrate to J4 without doing anything special.
I can’t say it will be seamless for all the extensions, but I expect all the main extension developers to be ready too. I would recommend Joomla users to check with their extension providers that they are ready for J4 and ask them what they will need to do for the migration. That way, they can prepare their migration plan. I would also recommend they wait a while after the first stable release of J4, especially for e-commerce websites, so that early adopters can iron out all the issues. And finally, it goes without saying, but I think testing the migration on a copy of their live website before is a good practice.
As a developer, would you say it is important to start preparing extensions as soon as possible?
It is, yes. In fact, I would even say that, with the RC now released, it should already be done for the most part. That will allow users a smoother migration when the time comes.
How do the different types of Joomla versions impact the update of extensions (alpha, beta, RC)?
For us, the alpha releases are usually tested to check what’s going on, but it’s too unstable to start the migration phase of our extensions. It’s at the beginning of the beta period that we started modifying HikaShop for the support of J4. With the end of the beta cycle, all our extensions are now ready for J4 and we’re testing with the RC to validate everything for the launch of J4 Stable.
How do you expect the launch of J4 to impact your business?
We’ve noticed a slow down over the years while people were waiting eagerly for J4.
E-commerce websites got a big push with the current coronavirus crisis, and thanks to our marketplace additional revenues, we didn’t feel that slow down like some other Joomla businesses. With the launch of J4, I expect a big push again for everyone involved, so we’re waiting for it with enthusiasm.