Over the New Year we promoted our commitment to third party developers (3PDs), where we hinted at creating a cool hangout for all 3PDs to learn, exchange, mentor and explore their creative ideas. Well, today, as promised, we're delivering our Developer Network Portal.
The Joomla!™ Developer Network Portal, is, we believe, a first in the Open Source world. "This idea has been driven by both core development members and third party developers," said Joomla! project leader Andrew Eddie. "It represents another milestone in the maturity of Joomla! and there is no doubt from the feedback we're receiving it's a benchmark worth having."
Joomla! lead developer Johan Jansens said he wanted to see the portal become the "hangout" for developers to support each other and be free to explore the full power of Joomla! and its many innovations. "This is particularly true of Joomla! 1.1. We've already been working with 3PDs to help them make their components work well and draw from the power of the new API."
The portal includes:
- Core developer blogs
- Working group outlines
- Detailed documentation for developers
- Framework overview and API detail
- A development wiki
- Regular third party developer IRC chats
The Joomla! Team makes this announcement in concert with the delivery of Joomla! 1.1 Alpha 2. "Not only does the developer portal network allow third party developers to grow as we grow, the tools we've provided have been created to make the transition to the next generation of Joomla! more seamless," Johan said.
"We have had a team of people working behind the scenes to bring this development portal to life," he said. "We had looked at numerous ideas from both the FOSS (free and open source software) world and commercial software world to build this portal. This springboard provides the perfect platform for 3PDs to express their ideas and questions where all can benefit."
Note : The developer network is accessible at http://dev.joomla.org . The Joomla! Forge can be accessed using http://forge.joomla.org .
Joomla! 1.1 Alpha 2 Release
Our 1.1 Alpha 2 release is now frozen and this announcement means it is feature complete. The next phase of work will see core team members and third party developers collaborating to ensure compatibility and extensibility of their wares.
As mentioned earlier, Joomla! 1.1 will be far more powerful than anything previously on offer. It provides an entry into object orientated development, with inbuilt internationalisation (multi-lingual support), a refactored core and FTP extension installation. Some other innovations we've not mentioned include the inclusion of XML-RPC and LDAP, and the introduction of a unified installer for components, modules, mambots (re-named plugins) and templates as part of our extensions suite of tools.
In addition to all of this we have also included a new PDF library which will be able to handle UTF-8 and can use different fontsets to cover a very wide range of languages. It will also be possible to generate images on the fly.
"The release of 1.1 is a big step," Johan said. "It takes Joomla! to an entirely different plane ... more power, flexibility and developer focus. Joomla 1.0 (with its Mambo heritage) did not take a framework approach — which has its limitations. With Joomla! 1.1 the framework will be seen as 'candy' to developers, allowing incredible scope for the 3PD to harness the power that's inside. This also means we've worked very hard to 'future proof' as much as is feasibly possible, so 3PDs don't suffer breakages with future releases of Joomla!"
Andrew Eddie has received high-level feedback from many 3PDs. "I've been working through the new structures with third-party developer eyes and I must say that I am extremely impressed," he said. "Many of our legacy scalability and flexibility issues have disappeared. This release marks a new age that will empower developers and no longer hold them back."
Reminder: The Joomla! Alpha 2 release is not a production release and should be treated as such. As good as it is, it is an alpha. Do not upgrade your live Joomla! site with this version.