The Joomla Project is pleased to announce the availability of the fifth Joomla 4.0 Alpha for testing.
What is this release for?
There are two main goals for Alpha releases:
- Providing developers with the basis to test their extensions and reporting any issues well before the final release,
- Allowing users to discover the new features introduced to Joomla 4.
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 version of Joomla the best generation! Joomla 4 will deliver more simplicity and a better experience for users and a more powerful system for developers.
Here is 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 easier, faster and more user friendly install process
- Brand new User Interfaces (backend and frontend) to provide a new and improved experience, using Bootstrap 4
- The web is for all, we aim to ensure that the backend template is accessible (Level AA of WCAG 2.1)
- The power of the Joomla Framework merged into the CMS
- A fully rebuilt Media Manager with a cleaner User Interface and new image editing capabilities
- New security features such as support for prepared SQL statements
- An enhanced event dispatching system
- Reworked Application for Command Line Interface (CLI)
- And much more!
What’s the difference between Alpha 4 and Alpha 5?
Please visit GitHub to see all changes applied between Alpha 4 and Alpha 5.
New Publishing Workflow
The fifth Joomla 4 Alpha integrates a completely new feature which will change the way you are managing your content and will take it to a brand new level: The New Publishing Workflow system.
Managing the status of your articles (Published / Unpublished / Archives / Trashed) is now more advanced and customisable. Thanks to this major improvement, you can even create your own customised workflows.
Take advantage of the opportunity to read the documentation and watch the presentation of the great potential of this feature:
Note that this feature is still in development stage so you may face issues. If so, please report them to issues.joomla.org.
Improving Management of CSS and JS
Joomla 4 introduces a smarter and easier way to manage external assets such as css and js libraries together with any dependencies that they may have.
To learn more about this and how to use it in your own extensions and templates, please read the original pull request.
Joomla 4 Testing
Regular testers will have noticed that there has been a recent change in the development process for Joomla 4. You can no longer simply clone the Joomla 4 branch on GitHub and install Joomla. You will need to set up a full local environment - detailed here.
We hope to be able to release soon the PR Testing Platform which will make PRs testing easier. Stay tuned!
As in the current staging branch, we would like also to inform you that for any pull request at least two successful tests are required before being merged.
Note: All bug fixes and changes made in the current release of Joomla (3.9.0) will be included in the release of Joomla 4.0. At the moment only the changes upto and including Joomla 3.8.7 have been merged.
How can you help Joomla 4 development?
To help ensure the 4.0 release and our major features will be “production ready”, we need your help testing releases and reporting any bugs you may find at issues.joomla.org.
Don't forget, to make it easier for newcomers you can launch a free Joomla 4 website for testing at launch.joomla.org.
Most of all, we encourage extension developers to roll up their sleeves, seek out bugs and test their extensions with Joomla 4.0 and communicate their experience.
Call for Volunteers
We would like to thank all of the people that have taken the time to prepare and submit work to be included in Joomla 4.0.
We would like to say a special thank you to Brian Teeman for his great job in working towards making Joomla 4 accessible, Andrew Macpherson for his advice and guidance on accessibility, and to Cloudaccess, DTCC and Showcast for supporting Hannes Papenberg in his work for the Smart Search System and mail templating.
When is the final release due?
Joomla 4 is being actively developed but we need more volunteers. At this moment we can't give a date for a final release but will do that once we reach beta.
The most up-to-date information regarding the timeline will 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…" above).
Where can I find documentation about Joomla 4?
We have started to provide some tutorials to help you with Joomla 4. We’ll be writing more tutorials to help you understanding the major changes of Joomla 4. You can find the existing ones, like how to create a Plugin for Joomla 4, here.
We encourage developers to help in writing the documentation about Joomla 4 on docs.joomla.org to help and guide users as well as other extension developers.
Should I plan to upgrade to Joomla 4.0?
Joomla 4.0 will be Joomla’s next 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 (if required) to Joomla 4 compatible versions. We will provide resources to help with the migration on the documentation site.
If you are an extension developer, please make sure you subscribe to the general developer mailing list, where you can discuss extension development. News that may affect custom development will also be posted there from time to time.