The Joomla Project is pleased to announce the availability of the seventh 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 at this point is known to not be mobile compatible or upgradable.
In order to always use the latest build of Joomla 4, we invite you to use the nightly build packages (updated every night).
To make it easier for newcomers you can launch a free Joomla 4 website for testing at launch.joomla.org.
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. Joomla 4 will provide simplicity and a better user experience while also being 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
- The web is for all. We aim to ensure that the templates are 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
- A new Publishing Workflow to manage your articles in an advanced and customisable way
- New security features such as support for prepared SQL statements
- Web Services to allow you to make your content accessible to other websites
- An enhanced event dispatching system
- Reworked Application for Command Line Interface (CLI)
- And much more!
What’s the difference between Alpha 6 and Alpha 7?
Joomla 4 Alpha 7 contains various fixes from Alpha 6 but most of the changes lie in the merge of the 4 last versions of Joomla 3.8 (3.8.9 to 3.8.13).
Here is a short list of the main improvements merged in Alpha 7:
- Continuation of the work on group buttons with dropdown (i.e. for ‘Change Status’ #23368)
- Web Services merged #23424
- Form validation refactored to simplify the hook in the custom validation logic #12414
- Nested taxonomies added to Smart Search #21327
- RTL and Accessibility improvements
Please visit GitHub to see all changes applied between Alpha 6 and Alpha 7.
As in the current staging branch, we would like to state that for any pull request at least two successful tests are required before being merged.
Note: All bug fixes and changes made, up to the current release of Joomla, will be included in the release of Joomla 4.0. At the moment only the changes up to and including Joomla 3.8.13 have been merged.
What still needs to be done to reach the Beta milestone?
We are pleased to share briefly the status of the main features:
- Backend Template and Accessibility (lead by Elisa Foltyn and Robert Deutz)
Work is ongoing to fully implement the design proposed in the Joomla Magazine
- Publishing Workflow (lead by Benjamin Trenkle)
This feature needs optimisations in multilingual environments and for when the workflow component is hidden
- Web Services (lead by George Wilson)
A decision has been made to implement it with minimal error handling
- Media Manager (lead by Allon Moritz)
The NMM features are almost complete but it needs more tests to reach the Beta milestone, especially on websites with a large number of images.
- Joomla 3.9.x releases still need to get merged to Joomla 4. This task may take a few months to be achieved due to the new Privacy Suite features.
As per our development strategy, a beta milestone is considered feature complete but is still not considered suitable for production environments. The software is intended to be tested thoroughly for regressions, security and stability problems.
To learn more about our development strategy, please read this article.
How can you help Joomla 4 development?
To help ensure the 4.0 release and our major features are “production ready”, we need your help testing releases and reporting any bugs you may find at issues.joomla.org.
To make the life of testers easier, we will be more strict in updating the deleted files and modifying the SQL changes. This will allow updates between Beta / RC and Stable.
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.
As mentioned in the Joomla 3.10 and Joomla 4.0 blog post, we would like to remind our users that Joomla 3.10 intends to be the last release of the Joomla 3.x series and will primarily be a release containing backports of API changes from the Joomla 4.0 development branch to help ease the transition to the next major release for the community.
After discussion within the Production Department, and partly due to our limited resources, we decided to focus on Joomla 4 to get it released as soon as possible. Therefore, we do not plan to release one more 3.x minor version - unless it proves to be really essential. All feature proposals should be directed toward the 4.0 release.
Call for Volunteers
We are looking for volunteers to take care of the marketing for Joomla 4.
We would like to thank all of the people who have taken the time to prepare and submit work to be included in Joomla 4.0.
When is the final release due?
Joomla 4 is being actively developed but we need more volunteers. We intend to publish one Alpha release monthly and share the progress with the community.
As mentioned in the Alpha 6 blog post, Joomla 4.0 stable is not expected before the end of 2019. We would be able to provide a schedule once we reach beta (we are currently looking to feature freeze and start tagging betas around May/June 2019).
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 understand 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.
A JDocs page will help developers to see the existing documentation and the documentation still needed.
We invite you to check it regularly, update it and provide the missing content: https://docs.joomla.org/JDOC:Joomla_4_Tutorials_Project
Most of the feature documentation will be needed once we have reached Beta (feature freeze).
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 (see this article). 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 become 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.
- Working with the Joomla Feature Tracker
- General developer mailing list
- Joomla developer network
- Joomla 4 compatibility layer
- Joomla and UI framework