The big news for Joomla is clear: Joomla 3 is now only three months away from launch.
We're going to give a run down of everything you need to know about this new version:
Joomla 3 in a Nutshell
- What's great about Joomla 3? This is the version that will bring Joomla up-to-speed with the mobile revolution that is taking over the web.
- Who is Joomla 3 for? To begin with, it is for developers and early adopters only.
- I am on Joomla 2.5. What do I do? Stay right where you are! Joomla 2.5 is a wonderful version of Joomla and will be supported until 2014.
- Will the upgrade be easy? Yes, the plan is to allow people to upgrade from 2.5 to 3.0 directly from the administrator area of their site. Remember though, you don't need to do that until 2013 or 2014.
Joomla 3 Goes Mobile
So we've established that Joomla 3 is mobile Joomla. The Joomla team were able to go mobile quickly by using Bootstrap. Why did they decide to go with Bootstrap?
- It's mobile by default. Within a short space of time, the Joomla team were able to get both the visitor and administrator area working on mobile phones.
- It's ridiculously popular. There are a few mobile frameworks out there but Bootstrap is by far the most common. By using something that many designers already use, Joomla can make it easier for those designers to adapt.
- It's consistent. Bootstrap provides a uniform interface for all your extensions. No longer will your Joomla admin area have 101 different interfaces from 101 different designers.
- It's saves time. Developers don't need to reinvent basic interfaces. Bootstrap will do most of the work for them.
Screenshots of Joomla 3
A word of warning: Joomla 3 is still three months away from release and things may change. However, here are some screenshots to give you an idea of what's coming.
First, a look at the New Article screen. A common complaint in Joomla 2.5 is that the editing area is too small. In Joomla 3 it has been given the whole width of the screen:
The Article Manager gives you and idea of how the main listing pages will look:
There's going to be unified configuration area for extensions. No more hunting around in different parts of Joomla:
Mobile Joomla Screenshots
Installing and Logging in Screenshots
The Joomla Release Cycle Explained
Since the launch of WordPress 3.0, the WordPress team has been slowly adding improvements with each release. They haven't been a major overhauls.
On the other hand, the Drupal community is gearing up for a hugely ambitious rewrite of the platform with Drupal 8 next year.
Joomla is trying to find a middle ground between these two solutions, neither very incremental, nor very radical.
Here's an overview of the upcoming release cycle. If things go well, there should be good news all around:
- Joomla 3.0 is expected in September.
- There will then be a series of step releases including Joomla 3.1.
- Joomla 3.5 will come out in September 2013. That will be the long-term stable release of the Joomla 3 series.
Should You Upgrade to Joomla 3?
You don't have to if you don't want to.
If you are using Joomla 2.5, you can happily stay where you are until 2014. The whole point of Joomla 2.5 is that it's a long-term, stable version that you can rely on.
If you are want to move from Joomla 2.5 to 3.0,t here will be one-click upgrade available. However, It might be worth waiting 6 months or a year for most of the bugs to be found and for all extensions developers to catch up with Bootstrap, but if you want to update you can.