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5 Things You Should Know Before Update To Joomla 3.8

Uzzal Raz Bongshi

4 mins

Joomla is getting better and smoother everyday, and upcoming release is no exception of that. Joomla core team put a lot of effort to bring us a powerful cms everyday… hats off.

Joomla 3.8 is scheduled to be release on this month and there are few awesome features we are really excited about.

Let's take a look what's the plate : 

New Routing System

You may have experienced number in Joomla URL on previous version. Looks really odd, isn't it ? Actually that is 'Item Id' which is not very easy to remove without re-writing the codebase.

Hannes Papenberg started a crowdfunding project to get rid of this problem and proposed a better routing system for Joomla. That's now become the part of Joomla from v3.8 onward. 

1. Router For Webmaster/Site owner

 No more ID's on your url and you can remove the 3rd party url rewrite/seo extensions. Means more performance improvement plus, seo enhancement.

2 Router For Developer

For new or inexperienced developers, writing a good router is very difficult with the current system. Current codebase is pretty slow and not written on proper object oriented manner. This leads to bad components and frustrated end-users.

If you are a component developer, you can take advantage of the routing system and update your component with minimum effort. This will also lead your component to future ready.

Follow this step by step tutorial on how to enable this new routing system.

​3. Compatibility Layer Added for Joomla 4.0

As a website owner this may not very fascinating feature to you but updating to Joomla 3.8 first will help you to jump on Joomla4 when it release.

For developer, we all get a handsome amount of time to make our component ready for Joomla 4. If you start now, your component will get ready for Joomla 4 before it's release.

The development on Joomla! 4 has made some changes in how the core code is structured by migrating classes to use PHP namespaces. Joomla! 3.8 includes a mapping layer to allow developers to use the older class names while being able to take advantage of the new class name structure.

From Joomla Website

4. Enhanced Support for Sodium Encryption

The another shiny feature for Joomla 3.8 is that it's going to be supported with the sodium extension. By polyfill of sodium extensions library, it processes encrypted data. Before upgrading to PHP 7.2, Joomla 3.8 makes this new API available for all users.

In short, if you are using PHP 7.2+ on your server Joomla now can take advantage the new encryption feature PHP is offering. 

5. Always Take Backup

Backup is always said as savior. Anything can go wrong during an update or any feature that can go missing on the new update. So it is wise to take backup.  

​After the release of a new version, wait for few days. As Joomla is a huge product, there might be some bugs even after release. For fixing those bugs, patches are released after some days. If you do not like the new update or find something wrong, you can always go to the previous version by restoring from backup.

Last But Not Least...

That's not all; there are more additional features that I can't but mention below. 

Sample data information improved : Now users can make their own generic data sets. Users can install sample data in the back end of the site after installation process finishes. This also makes developers work easy to install sample data for the extension they are working with.

CSS class to menu item images : More styling options are available for the images on menu items.

Customizable menus and modules : Joomla 3.8 allows the administrator access to customize modules for each language and menu items similar to the front end.

Expandable module mod_stats : With custom statistics from any source user can expand this module.

Reviewed general code : For efficient processing and more performance a vast majority of the general codes has been reviewed and updated.

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Comments (2)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I've just installed PHPStorm and created new Joomla Component with built-in boilerplate. Well... I'm very confused. I built many components for Joomla 1.5, 2.5 and 3.x. But this is something new. MVC paradigm redesigned. They have added layouts. And there's no official documentation on Joomla 4.x Component Development. Looking through API doesn't help much...

Should we wait official documentation about "J3.x > J4.x component migration" and "J4.x component development from scratch"?

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Migrating J3 > J4 shouldn't be much difficult. Make sure to migrate to new Router first.

Joomla team is working on the new doc for J4 development.

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