The Joomla Project is pleased to announce the availability of Joomla 4.0 Alpha 4 for testing.
What is this release for?
There is one main goal for this Alpha release: providing third party developers with the basis to test their extensions and reporting any issues well before the final release.
This release includes most of the Joomla Core library changes that will be included with version 4.0.0. Some of these changes will require small changes to extensions. For a complete list of known backward compatibility issues for version 4.0, please see Potential backward compatibility issues in Joomla 4.0 in the documentation site.
Joomla 4.0 is known to not be mobile compatible nor upgradable at this point.
Remember this is an Alpha and is not ready for use on a production website. It is for testing only.
What’s new in Joomla 4?
We are firmly committed to making the next generation of Joomla the best generation! Joomla 4 intends to deliver more simplicity and a better experience for users and a more powerful system for developers.
Here’ a short list of Joomla 4 key features and benefits we intend to implement:
- A cleaner and more powerful codebase with the removal of deprecated functions from Joomla 3.x and the use of PHP namespaces that allows developers to deliver more robust and innovative applications than ever before
- Install Joomla in the blink of an eye: an easiest, fastest and more user friendly install process
- Brand new User Interfaces (backend and frontend) to provide a new and easiest experience, using Bootstrap 4
- Because the web is for all, we aim to provide an accessible backend template (Level AA of WCAG 2.0)
- The power of the Joomla Framework merged to the CMS
- A fully rebuilt Media Manager with a cleaner User Interface and new image editing features
- New security features such as support for prepared SQL statements
- An enhanced event dispatching system
- Reworked Application for Consoles
- And many more!
We would also like to remind our users that we have decided to remove the Gmail authentication plugin from the core and we will stop supporting it as a core extension as of Joomla 4.0 as mentioned in this blog post. We invite our users to start switching to another authentication method as soon as they can.
What’s the difference between Alpha 3 and Alpha 4?
As mentioned in this article, we are focused on three main features, as they are our release blockers and must be completed before we can go live into Beta phase.
In Alpha 4:
- We have merged the new Administrator Template work into the main Joomla 4 repository. This is still far from complete - there is still lots of work to go - however this represents a major step forwards. You can find the intended final design at https://projects.invisionapp.com/share/8SES9JLZB#/screens/266921419
- Improvements to Smart Search - There have been various improvements to the smart search component that should show significantly more accurate on multilingual websites compared to the current Joomla 3 implementation.
- Various fixes to multilingual issues and many improvements to accessibility in the backend.
Please visit GitHub to see the changes applied between Alpha 3 and Alpha 4.
Note: This Alpha version is up to date with Joomla 3.8.6. All bugs fixed between 3.8.6 and 3.8.10 have not been merged.
How can you help Joomla 4 development?
To help ensure the 4.0 release and our major features will be “production ready” on time, we need your help with testing releases to ensure they meet user expectations and with reporting any bug you may find at issues.joomla.org.
In order to make testing easier for beginners, without having to set up a testing environment, you can launch a free Joomla 4.0 website at launch.joomla.org.
Most of all, we encourage extension developers to roll up their sleeves, seek out bugs and test their extensions toward Joomla 4.0 and communicate their experience.
Here are some general guidelines for testing this Joomla 4.0 Alpha release:
- Download and install the latest build at https://developer.joomla.org/nightly-builds.html
- Check on GitHub the Joomla 4 open issues
- Test them and provide any feedback to help the Project.
The great news is you don’t have to be a developer to help build Joomla. The Joomla Bug Squad is one of the most active teams in the Joomla development process and is always looking for people (not just developers) that can help with sorting bug reports, coding patches and testing solutions. It’s a great way for increasing your working knowledge of Joomla, and also a great way to meet new people from all around the world.
You can also help Joomla development by thanking those involved in the many areas of the process. In the past year, for example, hundreds of bugs have been fixed by the Bug Squad.
We also want to thank all of the people that have taken the time to prepare and submit work to be included in Joomla 4.0, and to those that have worked very hard on the Joomla Platform project.
When is the final release due?
At this moment in time Joomla 4 is still being actively developed. Presently, our plan is to release:
- The first Beta (feature freeze) during the 3rd quarter 2018
- The first Release Candidate at the end of the 3rd quarter / beginning of the 4th quarter 2018
- The stable release at the end of 2018 / beginning of 2019.
As always, these timelines are subject to change based on a wide variety of issues and concerns as well as on the availability of volunteers. The most up-to-date information regarding this timeline can be found in our project roadmap.
You can join the testing and reporting to help ensure a solid, timely delivery (see “How can you help…”).
Should I plan to upgrade to Joomla 4.0?
Joomla 4.0 will be Joomla’s new major version. Joomla 3.10 will be released alongside Joomla 4 as the last minor release of Joomla 3 as announced here. Joomla 3.10 will continue to be supported for 2 years giving you plenty of time to plan your migration to Joomla 4 and update your extensions to Joomla 4 compatible versions (we will provide resources to help with the migration on the documentation site).
How do I upgrade to Joomla 4.0?
You will need to have your Joomla Site on the latest 3.x version before you can upgrade to Joomla 4.
Depending on the extensions you have installed, it may not be possible to update your site from 3.x to 4.0 until your extensions have version 4.0-compatible updates available.
The Joomla Extensions Directory shows you what extensions are Joomla 4 Alpha ready. (Note: due the merge of the new administrator template, the UI of these extensions may not be ready)
In Joomla 3.10, you can view the compatibility information of your extensions in the Joomla Update interface. More information on this feature will be available before 3.10 is released.
If you are an extension developer, please make sure you subscribe to the general developer mailing list. This is a place where you can discuss extension development. News that may affect custom development will be posted here from time to time.
Following is a list of sites/blog posts of interest: