How you can help Joomla 4.3 forward
Here in the United States, the month of November brings with it thoughts of thankfulness and a spirit of giving. With that in mind, Olivier Buisard and I wanted to share a word of thanks.
We are humbled by the faith and trust the Joomla Community has placed in us to shepherd the April 2023 4.3 release. This responsibility we do not take lightly. Olivier and I came into this unsure of what was needed but eager to help the community, this worldwide community of users, implementers, developers, and those in between who love Joomla. Olivier with his tech savviness and me an implementer complement each other in ways we had not considered.
We are taking a moment to give thanks to all of the release leads before us, beside us (shout out to George Wilson, Benjamin Trenkle, Roland Dalmulder, Franciska Perisa, and all those who helped to pave the way).
As we look ahead to our release, we cannot express enough our thanks to Benjamin Trenkle, Hannes Papenberg, Harald Leithner, Sigrid Gramlinger, Philip Walton, and well, all the teams that give of their time and talent not only to Joomla but to training us to carry the torch.
With all of the thanks, you may be wondering what we are doing, what is going to be in the 4.3 release, and most of all how you can get involved.
Let us start by saying that our focus has been accessibility and usability. Like you, we want Joomla to be used by any and all persons, organizations, companies, etc. There has been some great groundwork put in place and we are working to continue to build upon it.
Below are some features we hope to include in Joomla 4.3. We say hope because we need YOUR help to get them over the finish line, more on this in a moment.
These are features that have come to life with the help of our Google Summer of Code (GSoC) mentors and participants.
- Cookie Manager: out-of-the-box cookie management to comply with privacy regulations
- Schema.org: tolls to better structure schema markups
- SEO for Joomla 4: a set of tools to help improve SEO
- Guided Tours: a way to help new users get to know Joomla
- Accessibility: improved assistive technology tools
Other features and enhancements we're looking to include are:
- Media Manager increased performance with image thumbnails,
- Tag fixes with a fully redesigned router,
- Smart Search additional filter,
- Many small improvements throughout such as an extended quick icon list, a better interface for spotting differences in template overrides, a character counter on text fields, a way to sort menu items by extension, and many more
We mentioned our focus on building upon the accessibility and usability foundations that Joomla already has in place. To do that we actively engage with the Joomla Accessibility Team (JAT) and the newly formed Joomla Experience Team (JXT) to keep us accountable to our stated goals. Not only do we want to enhance these two areas, we also have a strong desire to address long-standing issues with our beloved software. To that end, we also are actively engaged with the Joomla Bug Squad (JBS). We thank the CMS Maintenance and CMS Release teams for indulging our questions (and mistakes).
Lastly, we want to thank you, the Community, for your willingness to contribute, in all matters. We have many ways that you can continue to share your time and talent.
- Sign-up to be a document buddy (see Phil's article about this)
- Test pull requests aka PRs - for the users and implementers, it is not as scary as it sounds and we could really use your perspective
- Help finish, fix, and review code - we ALWAYS need developers
- Test the features (reminder: never do this on a live site!)
- Create sprints to help squash bugs - doesn't have to be a formal event, could even be a part of a Joomla Pizza, Bugs, & Fun event, you decide!
The main point is that this wonderfully complex and powerful product called Joomla which is built by and built for everyone needs EVERYONE to help keep it great.
SD and Olivier, Release 4.3 Managers
Schema.org will not be part of 4.3. Some aspects of the project need additional attention. Thank you to the contributors and mentors!