The Joomla Project is pleased to announce the availability of the tenth 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 upgradeable.
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 9 and Alpha 10?
Joomla 4 Alpha 10 contains:
- Various bug fixes from Alpha 9
- Merge of the Joomla 3.9.3 and 3.9.4 releases
- Implementation of prepared statements (for more information, please see this documentation page
- Removal of com_search (see this Pull Request). Joomla 3.x comes with two different search systems: Search and Smart Search. It has been decided to drop com_search in Joomla 4 Core to keep only one search system, Smart Search, which has been highly improved.
Com_search will still be maintained but will be decoupled and available on the Downloads site.
The recommended process for our com_search users will be pretty easy: disable the search modules, enable com_finder (if not already enabled) and run the indexer. If you’re already using com_finder, you’ll just need to reindex your content once your site is upgraded to Joomla 4.
We intend to publish as soon as possible a dedicated blog post to provide more information and guidance to help our users and developers.
As per a Production Department decision, we would like to inform our users that we increased the minimum technical requirements for Joomla 4:
- PHP 7.2
- MySQL 5.6 (Note: The minimum MySQL version can be subject to change during the lifetime of Joomla 4 if necessary)
- PostgreSQL 11.0
- Minimum browser version set to n-2
- End of support of Internet Explorer
Please visit GitHub to see all changes applied between Alpha 9 and Alpha 10.
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.
- 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 3.9.4 have been merged.
- The privacy and action logs components have been ported to the new Joomla 4 best practices but still require some styling.
What still needs to be done to reach the Beta milestone?
In order to guide our users who would like to help with the development of Joomla 4, we created several projects for Joomla 4. They will allow you to have an overview of the tasks to achieve as well as all our work in progress:
- Administration Project More Information >>
The backend template is not yet merged in the main CMS repository. You can find it at joom.la/admintemplate. We advise you to use its release branch.
- PHP Project More Information >>
- Open pull requests for features More information >>
- Prepared Statements Project More information >>
- Joomla 3.9.5 to Joomla 3.9.8 releases still need to get merged to Joomla 4.
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.
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.
As previously stated, we’re focusing 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 UX experts to help improve the user experience of the new backend template. If you would like to help, please contact the J4 Backend Template Working Group.
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 pre-release every 6 weeks and share the progress with the community.
We would like to remind our users that Joomla 4.0 stable is not expected before the end of 2019. We would be able to provide a schedule once we reach beta.
As the new backend template has not yet been merged and still needs some work, we are currently looking to feature freeze and start tagging betas in July 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 or a Module for Joomla 4, namespaces conventions, prepared statements and many more 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
Edited July 3rd, 2019