Joomla 4 - Where to find documentation

Joomla 4 - Where to find documentation

This month in the Joomla 4 series, we take a look at what documentation is available for Joomla 4.

Still has that new software smell...

Just in case you’ve been lost in cyberspace or behind a firewall, Joomla! 4 was released back in August, along with Joomla! v3.10, the “mini-migration bridge” which includes the  “Joomla! 4 Update Check” facility as part of the “Joomla Update” process. The regular update and fixes cycle continues next week with Joomla 4.0.4 and Joomla 3.10.3 planned for release.

This is a huge turning point for the project and codebase, not only regarding the Content Management Systems’ life-cycle but also with implementing underlying structures enabling Joomla! in throwing off old technologies and limitations. The improvements in Joomla 4 will provide users with functionality to move forward beyond the limits of today’s available web technologies and trends and look to prepare for what comes next.

Talking with seasoned Joomler Russell Winter, one of the Admins on Joomla's Facebook Group, he thinks that the improvements in Joomla 4 are more than a big deal. "Looking to the future, we will all benefit from, and get used to, the new layouts, processes and functions bringing new capabilities and opportunities to Joomla!.  Has it been worth all the effort, pain and confusion? You betta believe it! Remember Windows Vista or IBM OS/2?"

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How to J4-ify your old Joomla 3 template

How to J4-ify your old Joomla 3 template

Joomla is a beautifully matured CMS, and long term Joomlers might knowingly nod, when I say it was a bumpy ride at times. Have a look at this article 'Celebrating Joomla 4' to get an idea of the new features of Joomla 4.

If you are (relatively) new to Joomla, chances are your website uses a template compatible with Joomla 4 (or at least your template developer provides a fully J4 compatible version of the template). Then you are lucky and this article is of no concern for you. But what if your website has been running for years now, and you are considering a migration from Joomla 3 to Joomla 4?

Before you decide, you have to answer a number of questions and the new Pre-Update-Checker in Joomla 3.10 (https://magazine.joomla.org/all-issues/august/pre-update-check-your-path-to-joomla-4 ) helps you a lot with these questions. In this article, I am focussing on one specific of these questions: How to handle your current Joomla 3 frontend template?

Your choices

As always in life, you have multiple paths to choose from:

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How I migrated my website to Joomla 4

How I migrated my website to Joomla 4

A couple of months after the release of Joomla 4, some of us already have experiences with the migration of sites created with previous versions. In this issue, Sergio Iglesias, one of the organizers of JoomlaDay Madrid, tells us how he made his first migration to Joomla 4.

 Thanks, Sergio, for joining us in this interview. Could you tell us a little more about yourself?

Hi Andrea, thanks for the invitation.

For those who don't know me, my name is Sergio Iglesias. I'm from Fuentesaúco (a town in Zamora, Spain), although I live in Madrid, where I work as Front end & Back end Developer in the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC). Almost all my work is focused on developing and maintaining web projects related to the SEC. We use Joomla as a CMS in 90% of the cases.

Why did you decide to migrate to Joomla 4?

We always have to be up to date with the latest features we want to implement in our projects. So, as soon as I had time, I started to analyse the first releases to see what this awaited Joomla version had to offer. In the end, to go deeper into it, you have to get down to work, and I decided to migrate the website that I know the most of all the ones I have developed and maintained, which is my own website. This way, you always have a controlled view of the steps to follow in the migration.

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Explore the Core - Create articles on your Joomla 4 website

Explore the Core - Create articles on your Joomla 4 website

Once your Joomla website is installed, you’re ready to create your first content. Joomla has countless possibilities to make beautiful articles and a lot of ways to present your content. This is great if you know how to use them, but can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t. This article shows you how to add your first article and guides you through some of the possibilities you have.

Where can I add articles?

The simplest and obvious way is the “+” Button in the left menu Item or in the Dashboard or the “New” button in the articles list.

Screen: Add an article.

Once you’ve clicked the button, you can create your article.

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Changes to Update Process that you need to be aware of

Important changes you may need to make to ensure your update process continues to work after J4.0.4 

Important notice.

A big thanks to Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos and all the people who worked on this who gave their views and comments.

The reason we need to make these changes is to modernise the update process. The updates Nicholas has made have removed over 50% of the code we used to use and make the process more logical and stable. These changes will help those maintaining the code in the future.

To make these changes we need to make changes to the htaccess file for anyone who is using the JDocs hardened version and other htaccess examples.
If you don't make these changes then you will find your updates after J4.0.4 blocked so it is vital that you act and make this change.
If you have never used any of these more advanced htaccess files and only use the core file then this does not apply to you but it's worth looking through your htaccess file for the line with:-

RewriteRule ^administrator/components/com_joomlaupdate/restore\.php$ - [L]

And make the required changes if you do come across it in your files.

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The plans for Joomla 4.1

After the release of Joomla 4.0, I met online with Sigrid Gramlinger-Moser and Benjamin Trenkle to discuss the process and people behind the testing and production of Joomla 4.1, the next Joomla minor version.

Sigrid Gramlinger-Moser - I first met Sigrid at JandBeyond Barcelona when we were both learning automated testing. Sigrid took over from me as team lead for the CMS release team and has really developed that group far beyond what she inherited. Sigrid is involved in the Austrian Joomla community and her daughter Lena was recently featured in our birthday edition.

Benjamin Trenkle - I also met at JandBeyond and through the production department. We have worked together on several projects inside and outside of Joomla and it's fair to say he has taught me much about how to write good code, and in exchange, I have tried to explain warm beer and cricket.

Sigrid, how did you become involved in the CMS release team and why did you join?

Due to a tight timeline in a client project, I wanted to know if the official release scheduled for that day was a security release. Because then I would have to block some extra time for immediate updates. So I asked Harald Leithner, as he was the release lead at that time. He invited me to join the CMS Release team, then I would know in advance and could test the pre-built packages. That was in March 2019 and I am still on the team.

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Joomla 4: Tweak Cassiopeia with a top banner and horizontal navigation

You don't have a logo and there is no text that fits instead of the logo on your website. Instead, you want to display a banner at the top of your Joomla website. Your menu should appear under this banner. The logo or the alternative text should not be visible at all. You would prefer your website to look exactly as you created it using Joomla 3 and Protostar. How can this be done with Cassiopeia?

This is how it should look:

 

The front end of a fresh Joomla 4 installation looks similar with Cassiopeia as you can see in the next picture. At the top is the area that contains the brand or branding.

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My favourite Joomla 4 feature - customizable dashboard

Joe Sonne about his favourite Joomla 4 feature

Joomla 4 comes with a couple of pretty neat new features, and at the Joomla Community Magazine we love to hear what you do with them. In this issue, Joe Sonne tells us how he customizes the administrator dashboard for his backend users. This is relatively easy; all you need is curiosity, creativity and a good idea of what your users need. And if you know a bit of CSS and HTML, you can knock yourself out creating the best user experience ever for your users.

Thanks for participating in this article, Joe! Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I'm Joe Sonne and I currently live in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, just an hour west of where I grew up in Toronto.

I've been involved with Joomla since 2005 and served on different Teams for the project including the OSM board in the past. Many people in the Joomla Community know me as JoeJoomla. That is also the name of my website brand for The Joe Sonne Group.

What is your favourite Joomla 4 feature and why?

My favourite feature of Joomla 4 is the new Joomla administrator template which is called 'Atum'. The volunteers who designed and created Atum did an incredible job of putting all the power of Joomla 4 at your fingertips and giving you the ability to easily customize the Joomla Administrator area.

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Can you give some Time4Joomla?

Do you sometimes wonder who the people behind the scenes are putting Joomla together? Most of the time it's users like you who have decided to give a little bit of time - answering a form post, translating some language strings, writing some documentation or perhaps testing some patches. Here's how you can give some Time4Joomla.

You will have seen the Joomla4All slogan which marketing introduced at the launch of Joomla4.

It has been followed in newsletters, press releases and articles with a series of refinements on the theme, Joomla4Accessibility, Joomla4Speed, Joomla4Security, you get the picture.

These are all things that Joomla delivers for us, its users and is a neat way to brand the features of Joomla and explain how Joomla can help us to work better and do more.

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Design becomes reality. J4 landing page, part 2

For those just joining the story so far here is the first instalment where I discover that there is such a thing called the Joomla 3 landing page, stumble across the designs for the new Joomla 4 landing page and realise there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.

In this episode, we unpack the wonderful work that Chiara Aliotta put into the landing page before the Joomla World Conference in Rome. Get to find out what the webmasters' team do and experience the synergy that goes into making the page happen.

Choosing the colours

The first challenge we faced was unpicking the subtle colour changes involved in the design layout. Chiara had not just designed one page, she had designed a theme of pages to last through the 4.x series.

Each minor release (4.1, 4.2) had a base colour. The landing page was designed to change over time as we progressed through the 4.x series. The various areas of the page were variations on that base colour. I'm not a graphics artist, so that's as technical as I get in my description. If you are muttering colourful language at the PC containing different hues, shades, tints and tones then a quick recruitment plug: we are always looking for more talent in the Marketing Department and your skills will be gratefully received. Back to the story in hand, the colours needed to be set as variables in the scss so that they could change over time.

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Joomla 4.0.3 and Joomla 3.10.2 are here!

Joomla 4.0.3  and 3.10.2 are now available. These are bug-fix releases for the 4.0.x and 3.10.x series of Joomla which contain many bug fixes and improvements.

What's in 4.0.3?

Joomla 4.0.3 addresses several bugs, including:

Bug fixes and Improvements

Transitions in workflows are now translatable Google Fonts are now loaded with higher priority in Cassiopeia  Improved Error Handling in the LDAP Plugin

Visit GitHub for the full list of bug fixes

What's in 3.10.2?

Joomla 3.10.2 addresses several bugs, including:

Bug fixes and Improvements

Improve texts that are shown when there is a standalone update for the Joomla Update Component (#35373) Improvements for the pre upgrade checker (#35481, #35510)

Visit GitHub for the full list of bug fixes

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Explore the core! Structure your Content with Categories

Guess what’s the most important on your website? A beautiful template? Wrong! Nice colours and barrier-free? Wrong! Good SEO URLs? Wrong again!

It is the content. No content - no website. Joomla as a Content Management System (CMS) – is born to manage every amount of content. This can be everything: Articles, Contacts, Banners .. everything is a piece of content and the more content items you have, the more important a good content structure is.

In this article from the February issue, Viviana Menzel explains some facts.

In the same way you manage your files in folders on your computer  (but with much more possibilities) you organise articles in categories.

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Joomla turns 16

Joomla turns 16

Happy Birthday Joomla!

At the last meeting of the magazine team, we came up with the proposal to have an article in the August issue celebrating Joomla's 16th birthday. The main idea was to ask several Joomlers how Joomla has affected/changed their lives in these 16 years. Because at the JCM we love to hear Joomla stories. Each of the participants in this meeting started to tell, very briefly, how Joomla changed their life. At that point we said, how about this time we, the JCM team, tell our experience with Joomla?

Anja de Crom

We are talking about 2008 here. My partner, a publisher at that time, needed a website for promoting books. I wanted to build this myself, we stumbled upon Joomla and I started. I had never even worked with a content management system. Even worse: the only websites I had ever built (a total of 3) I made with Frontpage, in the previous century. So I had almost no knowledge whatsoever (which is why I soon discovered the power of the community), but that didn’t keep me from creating a fully functioning, well-visited website, with a webshop and a newsletter integrated.

Joomla took some getting used to in the beginning, but I learned a lot and got better fast. I joined a user group. I learned so much there, from all these nice people sharing their knowledge. After a few months, I became the co-organizer of this JUG. Not much later I found out I actually knew something somebody else didn't and I could help people with their problems! That was a major life-changer.

When I started making up new projects just to be able to build another website and another, I figured it might be time to quit my work as a writer and journalist and become a web designer by profession. So I switched to that, and in 2018 my partner joined me and together we founded WebLab42. We create and maintain websites and custom applications, all in Joomla.

I really like to share my knowledge and meet other Joomlers. Over the past twelve years, I have been giving talks at user groups and Joomla Days, translated Joomla Documentation, joined PBF events, joined the Dutch JoomlaDays Team, co-organised two successful editions of the Dutch Joomla Unconference event Joostock (we hope to do another after the Covid-situation), and since a year I’m a member of the Joomla Community Magazine Team. Giving back to the community makes you feel its power even more.

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Explore the core! The Joomla 4 Dashboard

Joomla 4 Control Panel

When you're new to Joomla (or just new to Joomla 4), your first impression of the Joomla administrator can be a little overwhelming. So many possibilities, and what do all these things even mean? Don’t worry. We’ve all been there. In this series, experienced Joomla users help you find your way. In this month’s issue, Vivana Menzel gives you a guided tour through the heart of the backend: the dashboard. Enjoy!

Joomla 4 comes with a lot of improvements and new functions, as you can read in the official announcements (https://www.joomla.org/announcements.html). The heart of the backend, where you as administrator will work day by day is the dashboard.

What do you find on the dashboard?

The dashboard consists of a status bar with buttons and a main vertical menu on the left side (or on the right side for rtl languages), and, in the main panel, several modules with links to the most important parts of Joomla: Users, Articles, Plugins, Global Configuration, etc.. We’ll start with explaining the backend modules

All modules on the dashboard can be edited and adapted to your own needs. And you can add new modules to the dashboard.

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Pre-Update Check - Your path to Joomla 4

Joomla 4's now available, but if you're thinking about upgrading from Joomla 3.9, here's some important things to keep in mind before you click the Update button.

In conjunction with the release of Joomla 4 Stable today, Joomla 3.9 users will also be able to upgrade their sites to Joomla 3.10 Stable, also released today. This update for Joomla 3 series sees a number of new features introduced mainly to assist users with their transition to Joomla 4.

There's no need to rush upgrading to Joomla 4

Joomla 4.0 Stable was released shortly before this issue of Joomla Community Magazine was published, so for many readers who have used Joomla for some time, I imagine you're like most of my Joomla user group colleagues in Australia.

You'll have been watching and looking at Joomla 4's development for a while now. Over recent months you will have been enthusiastically anticipating using it for new websites (my first Joomla 4 site is already seeing a steady stream of enquiries arriving for my client).

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Recruitment, Retention and Recognition

With the release of Joomla 4.0, Joomlers - Joomla's hard-working volunteers - are as important as ever. Whether you're completing an occasional task to support the project, a regular contributor to a team's activities, a member of a team or working group, right through to the various levels of leadership in the organisation, I thank you on behalf of Joomla and look forward to many years of contributions to come.

Over 16 years, tens of thousands of hours have been contributed to the project by hundreds of volunteers worldwide. Many of those volunteers have been working away in the background, sometimes anonymously, sometimes known to just a few in the organisation.

I'd like to see that change a little. 

As the Volunteer Engagement Team (VET) team leader, I'd like the VET to be able to recognise more of the contributions volunteers are making, both in the past and going forward. As an organisation, we're looking at improving our communication with volunteers, including communicating more often with volunteers to present them with opportunities to get engaged with the project. We'd like to encourage readers to reach out to their networks to see if others may be interested in finding out more about volunteering with the project.

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Birthday Present Announcement - Joomla 4 Stable 17th August

joomla4-stable-rocket-launch-pad-17

The Joomla! Project is pleased to announce the planned release of Joomla! CMS 4.0 Stable and Joomla 3.10 Stable.

Joomla! will be 16 on the 17th August 2021

And it is with great pride that the Joomla! Project would like to announce the planned launch of Joomla 4.0 and Joomla 3.10 to coincide with its birthday celebrations.

Joomla4You

Nearly nine long years in the making, Joomla 4 is finally here. This open source, community project has delivered a Content Management System that has been downloaded over 123,000,000 times in its 16 years. Translated into 77 languages and with over 2.5 million sites. At 3.1% Joomla is the third most popular CMS accounting for one in every 50 websites on the internet. With over 9% of all business websites, Joomla’s emphasis on accessibility, speed, security and SEO out of the box make it the CMS of choice for sites that want to expand and grow.

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Explore the Core: Controlling User Access

Explore the Core: Controlling User Access

In this month’s explore the core series, we cover Access Control Lists (ACL). ACL are one of the most powerful parts of Joomla’s core, allowing you to give permissions to users to do as much or as little as you want them to while using your website.

Though the default Joomla ACL is designed to be simple and straightforward, the ability to customize access for various uses means Joomla provides a very flexible method for defining access throughout your site. After firstly running through the concepts you need to know, I will be sharing with you a number of scenarios I’ve implemented for sites that extend the core ACL functionality to meet the client’s requirements.

What is ACL?

ACL stands for Access Control List, and is a list that defines access permissions and roles for what you are able to do in any system that implements ACL principles. Joomla uses the concept of ACL to allow site managers to define, administer and control permissions for users on your website, deciding what they’re able to view, add, update and access when logged into the site.

How does ACL work in Joomla?

For basic websites, the default ACL is sufficient to allow you to set up simple access to your Joomla website.

When you install a Joomla website you’ll be prompted for a username and password to create a Super User account. This account has permissions to modify everything on the website, which is needed in order to configure your Joomla installation. Once you have the site created, you can go to Users > Manage to then add new users to your site. Adding additional users to the Administrators user group where needed will allow you to have a team managing your site. Adding users to the Registered user group will give them the ability to log in and see content that you only want logged in users to see. There’s additional examples further in this article. You can also configure menu items that point to the login page and/or configure login modules to enable users to login from the frontend of the site.

The real power of Joomla’s ACL system comes into action more when you start looking at giving users other levels of access. The flexibility is there so that when users login, you know exactly what they are able to access on the site based on their User Group. 

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Create your own paid Newsletter with Joomla

Create your own paid Newsletter with Joomla

Newsletters are essential these days. Not only to advertise your business but also as a valuable way to connect to your audience. Some new companies allow you to create your newsletter and even to put it after a paywall. In Joomla, we have been able to do this for years. Let’s see how!

If someone did tell your 2010 self that your followers will pay to get a newsletter, you would have said he is nuts... But this is 2021, and everything is possible, isn’t it?

With this vision, some companies try to facilitate paid newsletters as a service, allowing everyone to outsource this vital part of their business. And let's be honest, batch email sending is always a challenge: First, you need to find a system capable enough to send all the emails as quickly as possible. Then you need to use trusted servers to send these emails and finally get your fingers crossed to reach your audience and not be blacklisted.

Outsourcing your newsletter might look like a good solution if you are not using a flexible CMS or using a “no-code” solution.

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What type of Joomler are you?

What type of Joomler are you?

When you hover around in the Joomla Sphere long enough, you’ll see that, like every community, it comes with its own personality types. In this article, you’ll meet a few of them. And if you recognise yourself in one (or more) of these Joomlers, we also advise you on what role you could play in the Joomniverse. Have fun finding your personality type!

Friendly Neighborhood Joomler

Everyone should have one around: the Joomler always ready to help us out when we’re stuck. We can find you at a JUG meeting, Googling away before the Doctor Joomla-question is even asked, or answering questions in forums or on social media. If you are the friendly neighborhood Joomler, you can be someone who knows everything, but more likely you like to search for the right answer to help out in the best possible way.

Your ideal role: you are the gem everybody wants in their team. Since a brand new major release is on the way, you might be best in place in one of the marketing teams, because these are the teams that could use a little help right now.

Joomfluencer

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, a personal blog: you know how to spread the Joomla love, and you’re pretty good at it too. You love Joomla and you’re a trustworthy source of information for your growing number of fans, who retweet, share and like everything you do. You don’t just send: you like to interact and communicate with your followers because you love to share your passion for Joomla with them, and they like to share it with you.

Your ideal role: you probably guessed it already since it’s a no-brainer. If you haven’t joined one of our marketing teams yet, you should do so now. They’d love to hear from you!

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