Guided Tours, the Comeback Tour
One of the main features of Joomla 4.3 was Guided Tours. When you install or update to Joomla 4.3 and log into the administrator area, you are greeted with the ability to “Take a Tour” in the top menu. This has helped many to learn how to use Joomla and understand the functionality of Joomla, but now Guided Tours has had a makeover. Here, we take a deep dive into all that Guided Tours in Joomla 5 has to offer.
Guided Tours so far
So, here is a quick recap of the articles on this subject so far.
A good background to Guided Tours, its inception, the history of the project through to its introduction in Joomla 4.3, can be found in the article “Guiding You Through Guided Tours”
The next article focused on how Guided Tours could be used by developers to add tours for their own products. What better way to allow clients to understand the full reach of a component, how to configure it and use it to its full potential?
That was the start; those who worked on Guided Tours realised the idea had more potential.
Joomla is a multilingual product at its heart, and Guided Tours needed to have this added to its core.
Developers started to use it for their own extensions and soon realised there were ‘nice to have’ features that the Guided Tours system could really do with.
And this is where the strength of Open Source shines through. One particular developer, Geraint Edwards, came up with a host of features and fixes that he needed in order to give it a boost and allow him to use it for his own products.
So Geraint Edwards and the release leads of Joomla 4.3 Olivier Buisard and Shirielle Williams, Aaron Del Bosque and Khushi Rauniyar, the last GSoC student to work on the project, met regularly on a Friday afternoon to work through a list of issues and features to see if they could be ready for inclusion in the upcoming Joomla 5!
Guided Tours new Identifier
When you build a Guided Tour, it now has a new field, “identifier”.
This has several uses. It is a unique identifier for the tour.
On 'save' or 'copy', if you have not given it a value, then a value is provided by default.
There are several scenarios where you can use the identifier. The suggested formats would be
- author name-tourname
If the tour is a Joomla core tour, then the first part will be Joomla, and the second part will be the tour's name.
This allows for tours from developers with the same name so that they can have a “menu tour” alongside the Joomla core tour of that name: we can differentiate tours coming from different origins.
An upshot of this change is that we can now use this identifier to help start a tour from anywhere (not only from the Guided Tours module).
It also allows us to have a language file naming structure, which is just what we need for multilingual sites.
For more information on this improvement, do take a look at https://docs.joomla.org/Help5.x:Guided_Tours:_New_or_Edit_Tour
Context-aware Guided Tours
The behaviour surrounding how the tours are presented has changed.
Now, if you add a component to the component selector, the specific tour will show at the top of the list when in context.
Below are the other tours. You can change how many tours are shown by altering the “context tour count” and the “tour count”.
They will show in the order of tours, but if any contextual tours are shown in the top section, they will not be repeated in the lower area.
More information about the module can be found in the docs https://docs.joomla.org/Help5.x:Admin_Modules:_Guided_Tours
There's more to come for Guided Tours
There are other features planned for Guided Tours as well as tours themselves.
Some of these features will make it into Joomla 5.1 with the help and dedication of those working to improve it.
You can roll up your sleeves and become part of the team effort by testing the latest Beta release and helping to get the features added. We need patch testers, translators, and those willing to create more tours.
Join Mattermost and head over to the PBF channel, the Guided Tours channel, and if in doubt, ask in the Joomla Improvers channel.