Getting extensions ready for Joomla 4 - Yiannis Christodoulou (WEB357)
You probably know that Joomla 4, our next major Joomla release, is getting closer and closer. But what about your extensions? Will they be compatible with this upcoming major version, or will they break your website(s)? The best way to find out is to ask the extension developers! For our March issue, we interviewed Yiannis Christodoulou from WEB357, who is happy to say that most of their extensions are fully prepared for Joomla 4.
Could you tell us a little about your extensions?
I've been involved with Joomla! for over a decade now! Since you're most likely wondering: yes, I use other CMSs too. After all, I need to serve customers and their needs, but to be honest, Joomla is my favorite. I've already created approximately 250 custom extensions – some simple, some complex, but all tremendously useful. You see me confident about that because I believe that the extensions must cover the current needs of users, and so I work in this direction.
You know what they say about following your passion as your career. They say success comes effortlessly; I'd say creativity comes naturally. You work hard, you exhaust yourself but you love it.
That's more or less how I started WEB357 back in 2014. My very first extensions were truly embraced by users and let me assure you, there's no greater reward than that! You suddenly see your work welcomed by thousands of people and that alone is a good incentive to keep being creative. Can I brag for a minute about one of our recent extensions? “Cookies Policy Notification Bar Joomla! Extension” is used by over 20.000 websites. That's huge, incredibly satisfying for our team but at the same time, creates a feeling of great responsibility.
As developers, we work very hard but always in relation to what's on the market, what's required by users. We always welcome fresh ideas, suggestions, while we listen, keep our eyes wide open, and never forget that our extensions are created to help and support real people. Take, for example, our latest Joomla extension, “Limit Active Logins” which allows Joomla website admins to set a limit on the maximum number of logins. It's all on our site, web357.com, so don't let me tire you with all that.
What will happen with your extensions when J4 is released? Will they be compatible or will you have to provide complete new versions?
We've been working extremely hard these last months and while there's still some work to do, we have already prepared most extensions for Joomla! 4 and will be completely ready when the stable version comes out.
What should users do with your extensions when they migrate to J4? What should they expect from their extension providers in general? And what can they expect from you?
Nobody should be concerned. Users only have to click on the Upgrade to J4 button and let us, developers, worry about the rest. Naturally, I can only talk about my team and assure all those that trust WEB357 that the transition to J4 will be smooth. I happen to know that there's lots of exceptional Joomla developers out there and so, I don't think there's going to be any problem. If I may say so, Joomla extensions are our children; they are our creations; they are the result of endless hours of hard work. We really put all our love, passion, creativity - all hands-on deck, all eggs in one basket and so, users shouldn't worry.
As a developer, would you say it is important to start preparing extensions as soon as possible?
Absolutely. And this is what our team has done for J4. Let me put it simply. For users to get the J4 upgrade with a single click, we have dedicated hours and hours of work, that includes trials, corrections – the works. That's paramount. We cannot wait until the last moment; it simply won't be enough time. We, as surely all developers around the world have done, have been working hard for months now to ensure all extensions are compatible with J4.
What impact do the different types of Joomla versions (alpha, beta, RC) have on the update of extensions?
Every CMS has coding standards and certainly, Joomla is not the exception. When developers follow such standards, when they run some tests, when quality rules, there's no problem. To me, the key to a smooth transition lies in the combo of quality coding and testing, testing, testing…
How do you expect the launch of J4 to impact your business?
I can't wait. I am really excited because I believe it will have a truly positive impact not only on my business but the entire market. You see, some CMSs haven't been upgraded for some time now, or don't cover the current requirements. For that reason alone, I think users would give J4 a chance but on top of that, I believe that this is a major Joomla! upgrade that would really cover the gap the other CMSs left open and so, it'll be a good thing. Scratch that. It'll be great. Consider this, too: it's through healthy competition that there's change. Isn't it?
Is there anything else you would like to advise our readers regarding extensions and Joomla 4?
J4 will be extraordinary. I am confident that the users will love it because I have already tested it and believe my high hopes will be justified. It'll make a world of difference in the CMS world. Allow me to, also, say that the help of volunteers will be invaluable at this point. Joomla! users – and mind you, they don't have to be developers, can really help in various ways – each idea, every suggestion is invaluable, often extremely useful, and since every minute counts, I invite all those who'd love to see their favorite platform getting to another level to check out this address https://www.joomla.org/contribute-to-joomla.html and help in any way possible.