Talking about a Modern Joomla
There is an elephant in the room, the modernization of Joomla. The mobile world is transforming the web technology. There is an accumulated sum of innovations waiting to be interpreted. It has taken years to reach the present tipping point, but it is finally arriving as new features included in the evergreen browsers (Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera). Beyond the fine detail, the general web landscape is changing, and that is what we need to address to modernize Joomla.
Nobody knows where it is going to end, but since we are part of the process, I plan to write a series of articles about Joomla modernization. My approach is going to be as a naive Joomler discovering what is coming. If it is possible, and people want to talk, I am going to be interviewing other members of the community. The ultimate goal of these articles is to be a conversation opener, a way to have an honest talk about the technology and how we adopt it.
In these articles, I am going to use the word modernization on purpose, because it implies a broader scope of topics. On a daily basis, we talk about technical updates or upgrades as a way to survive in our changing world. However, in this context, we are going to be referring to disruptive transformations in our ecosystem.
We were so young
The progress of technology is showing us how some aspects of our original vision is changing. We used to download an open source package named Joomla (1.0) as a zip file, with a reduced number of PHP files to work offline, look for help in a forum, and publish the final website via FTP to a dedicated server. The main force behind the open source movement was the individual developer.
Since the appearance of the smartphones in our daily lives, the technology scene has changed dramatically. From the roots of the first content sites on the Internet, now we enter into an era of online media, gaming, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation. Now, we live the online developer life, corporations are the main force behind the top open source projects, and Joomla is the most significant open source CMS managed by a community.
It All Started With A Big Bang
Around 2013, with Joomla 3.0 and the introduction of Bootstrap, Joomla started to adopt the responsive design technology that has worked well for us to render the content in our websites. From a historical point of view, you can revisit this article: Introduction to the Power of Bootstrap in Joomla!
In the following years, the Joomla community has perfected a solution for small and medium organizations. Our CMS solves the most common requirements of a content website. A Joomla Administrator can implement and fully customize a website without even touching a line of code. A development team can manage flexible architecture, powered only by the core. To name a few features: the multilingual content organization is unparalleled, the ability to override everything can completely personalize the default definitions, and the user management area can model a corporation like any enterprise system. Additionally, in a few months, we are going to have the next major version, Joomla 4, packing a renewed code base and styling. For more information about, the upcoming release: A new visual language for Joomla 4.
What is a modern CMS?
The first question is easy to answer because today nobody knows what a modern CMS is. Each one of us could have a wish list or a cool idea, but nothing else is around. If you look for the full progressive user experience, then you have to start coding from scratch, installing libraries, reading the available documentation and running validation tools on the HTML page output. Furthermore, nobody knows how the Content Management Systems are going to survive in the current online world, where most of the time people are watching videos on Youtube and talking with virtual assistants like Alexa.
In the same way, that E-Readers like Amazon Kindle coexists with paper books, the content systems will evolve to support the new ecosystem of content distribution. We are going to learn that there are there are new tools for different situations; and there are still valid use cases where the CMS has a stronghold, no matter how drastically the content consumption has changed.
The opportunity to shape the field is here, and the real question is how far do we want to boldly go.
This article has been proofread by Shirielle Williams
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