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

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

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

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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Upcoming Sessions

We are excited to share the upcoming sessions for JUG Chicago North! 

With these new online sessions we are changing a few other things.  The first is the time. We are moving from 11 am to 5 pm.  The same Second Wednesday of the month. The session will include Bring Your Questions from 5 to 5:30 pm, followed by the presentation and Q&A.

The upcoming sessions we've planned are:

  • Oct 13th: Dynamic Content for Joomla 4
    Showcase how to use Custom Fields with YooTheme Pro inside of Joomla 4
  • Nov 10th: A Blog Two Ways
    Blogging using the Joomla core vs an Extension
  • Dec 8th: Holiday Social
    A social to close out the year
  • Jan 12th: New Year, New Site
    Debut of the new JoomlaDayChicago.com website in Joomla! 4 with highlights from update from 3.x to 4.x
  • Feb 9th: Joomla4Lawyers
    A case study of using SP Page Builder and Joomla! 4 for lawyers or a law firm

Please send any suggestions for future sessions. Our sessions are geared toward beginners and implementators, often showcasing no-code solutions. 

The sessions are longer, with more time for your questions, the schedule will be:

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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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