Joomla 3.10 Status & Release Strategy
As covered a few times already in the magazine and announced in the Developer Portal, Joomla 3.10 will be released together with 4.0 and will then be supported for two years after its initial release.
The release is intended as a bridge for the current Joomla Users who cannot upgrade all sites to Joomla 4 as some extensions may not be ready for Joomla 4 yet. Additionally Extension developers will find it more straightforward to make their extensions compatible with 3.10 and 4.0 at the same time.
With this article here now, I would like to give you an update on the status of the release, as well as provide an high level release strategy that release will follow under my lead.
The basic release strategy is the same that what we always had with all 3.x releases and nothing is changing here massively. But I would say there are a few things that are different from other 3.x releases. So here is a basic comparison of what you can expect and what you can not expect for this release.
What you can expect from this release
- is going to include primarily Bug and Security fixes
- allowed to improve existing functionalities.
- uses code that helps extension devs to build better extensions that run on both 4.x and 3.10
- is accepting code to help guide the user and extension developer through the upgrade process to make sure the upgrade happens more reliably
- is accepting code and improved information on how to upgrade to 4.x
- is having a fixed EOL date 2 years after its initial release.
What you can not expect from this release
Joomla 3.10 is not
- going to get new innovative features;
- going to get massive API changes;
- going to intentionally break B/C in any shape or form;
- expected to raise its any of the minimum requirements.
The reason for the rules is quite simple: Joomla 3.10 is intended to be as stable as possible so you have less to care on 3.x sites but can focus your time on migrating them step by step to Joomla 4.
Current Status of Joomla! 3.10
So what is the current status of 3.10?
In general 3.10 is almost ready and the main focus right now is on improving the Pre Upgrade Checker Build into 3.10.
The things that we are working on right now (as of this writing)
- Geraint Edwards is working on handling extensions that might break the site on upgrade, so help you to have a successful upgrade path.
- As part of the release blockers Richard Farth is working on the NULL Date handling on upgrading to 4.x from 3.10 for entries in the database that have an empty column.
- There is also one follow up PR still open looking to be tested and merged soon.
Other than that, we have no specific 3.10 related issues or PRs, but we are looking into what can or has to be done to improve the upgrade workflow, or to properly fix the Joomla 4 release blockers.
Call for action: Please test Joomla 3.10 and 4.0 now.
I would like to end this post here with a call for action for all of you. No matter what kind of user or developer you are. Please test 3.10 and 4.0 and report issues you find or see to us.
Every issue that you find in your way of using Joomla that is fixed before the release is an issue you have never to deal with when we do the final releases.
That makes Joomla a better, competitive and enjoyable product for you and all of its users. It saves you and your customers time and money you would have to spend on debugging issues, creating workarounds and hot fixes you would then have to deploy as mitigation for that issue on your sites, templates or extensions until we can patch that issue in the next Joomla Update.
So please help us to make Joomla 3.10 and Joomla 4.0 the best release possible by testing the releases out there now and report the issues found now and propose & test patches so we can fix them before the final release is done.
Thanks, Tobias, for recapping the situation with J! 3.10 and we thank you for keeping us informed. As much as I (among others who are less savvy about GitHub as the developers are) am happy to lend my assistance in testing a pre-stable release of J! 3.10, I am not an alpha tester. I made the decision to not be an alpha tester for anything many years ago and I live in blissful ignorance of the intricate technicalities involved in understanding, building, testing and bug-fixing early versions of software particularly when end-user documentation has not yet been written. Being an alpha tester means, in large part, taking responsibility for one's own actions and being prepared to submit to the decisions of others who may not fully appreciate the views or opinions of other alpha testers in arriving at the point when the feature set(s) that these alpha versions will or will not include.
Having made the point about what prevents me from becoming involved in alpha testing, I believe that it's important that the set of features that will go into J! 3.10 needs to be well defined and locked in place so that beta testing can commence as soon as possible. The Project Roadmap does not indicate a likely timeframe for when this will occur. I agree that roadmaps are not prescriptive and they're subject to change but it would help if we had some ambition. Without knowing anything much about what's happening behind-the-scenes, would it be ambitious to suggest that J! 3.10 beta will be ready for testing around April 2021? Perhaps then we could anticipate an RC version within two months from that, aiming for a stable release of J! 3.10 around Q3 of 2021.