If you are a Joomla extension developer, your feedback on a proposed new method of checking extension compatibility with Joomla, before a Joomla upgrade takes place, is needed. This is your chance to influence a major Joomla feature which will stay with us for years to come.
Providing your feedback is very simple. There is a forum thread where you can voice your concerns or express your support. All arguments will be carefully considered. The discussion will be open until 2 January 2013. Now is the time for your voice to be heard.
Developers of Joomla extensions are very likely to be familiar with the following scenario:
A user downloads a version of your extension and installs it on their site. The extension is never upgraded, but a few months later, the site is upgraded to a new major version of Joomla!, e.g. from Joomla 2.5 to 3.0. Since the user is relatively new to Joomla!, they doesn’t understand the warnings to make sure that all extensions are compatible with the new major version of Joomla. For the same reason, the user never thinks of checking the developer’s website to see if the installed version of the extension is compatible, and whether or not it needs upgrading or something else done first.
The end result is the same - disaster!
Tears and frustration from the users with the now broken sites. Aggravation and frustration for the developers with the users accusing them of breaking their sites. Lots of heartbreak, hard feelings and damage to the trust shown by users to the Joomla project.
There certainly has to be a better way than that. We came up with an idea: have Joomla check if extensions are compatible with the Joomla version which is about to be installed, before it’s installed, right from within Joomla’s Upgrade component’s page. A public discussion ensued on the Joomla CMS Development mailing list where community members discussed various methods of implementation.
Three long weeks, and an even longer mailing list thread later, participants in this discussion have come up with a proposal - RFC 598. It mainly consists of adding a new set of tags in the extensions’ XML manifest, which will let Joomla know with which versions of Joomla! the particular extension is compatible. The project wants the feedback of the developer community on this RFC before implementing it.