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Joomla 4: Are we there yet?
I will let you into a little secret, one that others in production will never tell. When is Joomla! 4 ready? Well, that’s simple.
When it’s been fully tested and the bugs fixed.
It’s up to you when J4 is ready
That’s a cop-out you might say, but it’s just as much in your hands as mine. We urgently need testers. But before you get put off, that this is a jargon-filled world of geeks and not for the average Joomla user, read on, as this is often the assumption but never the truth.
“But I am not a developer, I cannot write code, I…”
Well, I have news for you: if you thought that testers need to be able to read or write code, they don’t. Sure there are some tests that are more suited to developers but if that’s the case let them deal with those tests. What we desperately need are people who can simply add articles, users, find their way around the administrator side of a Joomla site and give feedback to let the developers know if Joomla’s not behaving correctly.
Still unsure if you can test?
Still not sure you have the skill set? Afraid you’ll make a fool of yourself? Or be berated? Well, you won’t. We have set up some ongoing newbie-friendly sessions encouraging those who are on the bottom step of the testing ladder to climb aboard. Those who are more experienced can join at their pace and level. There’s room for everyone at all skill sets.
Bugs and Fun @Home: Every Saturday
First off, we are running weekly Bugs and Fun @Home sessions.
Bugs and Fun @Home takes place each and every Saturday. Join the meeting via Zoom or Meet or whatever we happen to be using at the time. The doc at https://docs.joomla.org/Bugs_%26_Fun_@Home will give all the details.
Additionally, RingCentral (still always referred to as Glip) has a specific Bugs and Fun @Home channel we use each week.
Nothing more than a plugged-in PC/laptop is required.
All the details are in this doc: https://docs.joomla.org/Bugs_%26_Fun_@Home. It accompanies the events and is a growing resource for all things to do with the production and delivery of J3.x and J4.
We are increasing the length of the sessions week on week. We have channels that are open from 21:00 UTC Friday all the way through Saturday with hosts handing over as the Earth spins. This allows a truly global community to join in.
So what can you do to help J4?
Participate: Are you an Explorer, Adventurer, or Conqueror?
In the Pizza, Bugs and Fun Event(s), there are labels describing different task levels. We have kept the same names as the Pizza, Bugs and Fun events for the Bugs and Fun @Home sessions. They are as follows:
Explorer: Writing, reviewing, updating, and improving current documents. As well as translating documents into different languages.
Adventurer: Testing patches.
Conqueror: Creating pull requests.
Gain Confidence, Camaraderie and Help Get J4 Released
Taking part in these sessions will give you the confidence to do more. I myself have learnt so much from the kindness of those in the chat room and it's only right I give back to the community. You will meet many of the people working away to get J4 out of the door and you yourself will be adding to the effort to get it delivered sooner.
“My English is not good.” Fine. My Italian is none existent, that’s why we set up an Italian breakout room for those that are more comfortable with Italian. If you have others who speak your language joining in the sessions we can set up a breakout room for you so you can help each other in your native language.
So are we tempting you to dip a toe in?
Still unsure of what you can do?
To join RingCentral and the Bugs and Fun @Home channel, email me and I will add you.
Let’s take a quick look at the processes involved in getting J4 off the ground so you can see how all the above comes together.
- Someone asks for a new feature or reports a bug and posts a description of the issue on GitHub: https://github.com/joomla/joomla-cms/issues or in the issue tracker.
- A volunteer takes care of the issue and creates a Pull Request (PR) to enable that feature or fix a bug: https://github.com/joomla/joomla-cms/pulls.
- After it’s been submitted the PR gets checked by some automated tests. If it passes those tests it can then be applied as a “patch” in Joomla with a special component called Joomla Patchtester:
- Before it gets accepted into the core it has to be tested by at least 2 people who can confirm that it does what it was designed to do and does not cause any other problems.
- After two successful tests, one of the CMS Maintainers will have a final look at the PR.
- Then the PR gets added (merged) into the specific part of Joomla (branch) of the right Joomla version.
- Last, the new feature needs to be documented in https://docs.joomla.org/.
There are many opportunities shown above where you can help and make a difference. Notice that a lot of the process requires no coding, just the ability to read, follow instructions, and report what happened.
Any other ways to help test?
Test Release Candidates Every Six Weeks
We have a 6-week cycle for release candidates. You know when your Joomla site suddenly says there’s a newer version and you should update it? Well, before those releases hit your site there is a team of people and a release lead involved in preparing it.
The release lead creates the new update with all the patches collected over the previous five weeks and lets the CMS Release Team know. The Release Team’s job is to test the release against larger Joomla sites to see that it plays well with the templates and extensions that are in the Joomla sphere.
You can help. Check out the Pre-Release Testing (docs.joomla.org/Pre-Release_Testing) doc for all the easy as pie details.
If you don’t have a site to test with, then access as a superuser can be granted on a development site (that the Team spins up) and you can test against the checklist provided for each release. This helps make sure the obvious problem areas are tested.
Next, the release lead is asked if there are any particular areas that should be covered in the testing. They know which aspects of code have been touched and where the potential problems lie. The CMS Release Team also checks out any notes that accompany each patch added.
Many hands make light work and at the moment there are just a few left to do this vital task. So if you have just an hour or two free every 6 weeks you could make a difference and help to keep the bugs down with every release.
Keep in Touch and Stay in Touch
Your inclusion in the Bugs and Fun @Home RingCentral Channel will keep you up to date on the goings on of both Joomla 4 testing and Pre-Release Testing on Joomla 3 Release Candidates (RCs). Come to Glip/RingCentral often and stay in touch with your community!
Also follow the Joomla! Project on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/joomla) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/joomla) or other Social Media channels (see footer of template) to keep up with what’s going on, when Pre-Release Testing is happening, and more.
So to go back to the original question, “When will J4 be out?” With your help, it will be sooner than it would have without you, helping us all to test, squash bugs, and make it a reality.