The Joomla! Project is pleased to announce the availability of Joomla! CMS 3.5 Release Candidate 4. Community members are asked to download and install the package in order to provide quality assurance for the forthcoming 3.5 release.
Joomla! 3 is the latest major release of the Joomla! CMS, with 3.5 the sixth standard-term support release in this series. Please note that going from 3.4 to 3.5 is a one-click upgrade and is NOT a migration. The same is true is for any subsequent versions in the 3 series of the CMS. That being said, please do not upgrade any of your production sites to the release candidate version as a release candidate is ONLY intended for testing and there is no upgrade path from a Release Candidate.
What is this release for?
This is a RELEASE CANDIDATE release, that should only be used on test sites. Release Candidate releases cannot be upgraded. Please note that you cannot upgrade from previous beta releases to this release.
Extension and template developers are encouraged to work with this release in order to prepare extensions for the stable release of Joomla! CMS 3.5, though there shouldn't be any backward compatibility issues. Users are encouraged to test the package for issues and to report issues in the Joomla! CMS Issue Tracker. Please do not upgrade any of your production sites to the Release Candidate version and do not start a new site on Release Candidate as a Release Candidate is ONLY intended for testing and there is no upgrade path from a Release Candidate.
When is the stable release due?
We were sure that everything was fixed and ready to go, but apparently good things take time. We have one of the world's greatest CMS and it gets better every day in every way. Due to some unexpected issues in our last Release Candidate we have to postpone our Joomla! 3.5 release by 5 days.
As George Wilson, Production Leadership Team, explains the issue is related to multilingual extensions joining over the core language table on old MySQL versions that don’t support UTF8MB4. As a result we are releasing an extra release candidate tonight to fix this bug but want to give extension developers some extra time to check their extensions with this extra code.
So, the new release date will be March 21st 2016 to make sure that we can Do More with Joomla!.
Please note that dates may be subject to change depending on availability of volunteers and circumstances beyond our control.
Which bugs have been fixed in Joomla! 3.5?
A full list of issues resolved can be found on Github.
What’s new in Joomla 3.5
The big question is, what is new in Joomla 3.5? We have the following features:
Update emails plugin by Nicholas Dionysopoulos
Joomla! issues bug fix and security updates every few weeks. However, many (most?) of its users are completely unaware of this fact unless they log in to the back-end of their site and notice the update nag message at the top. This PR adds a plugin which periodically checks for updated Joomla! versions and, when one is found, emails the Super Users of the site to remind them.
Plugin to gather basic anonymized data as an opt-out feature by Don Gilbert
In order to better understand our install base and end user environments, this plugin has been created to send those stats back to a Joomla controlled central server. No identifying data is captured at any point.
One of stated goals for the last couple of years has been to try to understand our users better. In line with that goal, we want to better understand the sort of environments and platforms that people are using to install and run Joomla. This will enable us to make more informed decisions about which platforms we need to support, minimum version requirements, the pace at which we can encourage people to upgrade, and so on.
In order to gather this information we will be including a new plugin with the Joomla 3.5 release that will automatically gather some very basic data points, noted below. This plugin will be enabled by default, but can be disabled at any point in time. A post-install message will be shown to make site owners aware that the plugin has been installed and will include instructions for disabling it.
The privacy of all Joomla users is important to us and we want to allay any fears that we are collecting personally identifying information. The source code for both the plugin and the server code that gathers the data can be seen in our GitHub repositories https://github.com/joomla-extensions/jstats-server and https://github.com/joomla-extensions/jstats-plugin. The plugin configuration screen will also show exactly what information is being shared by the plugin.
Access to the raw data collected will be restricted. Only statistical results extracted from the data will be published on the developer.joomla.org website. Categories with small numbers of entries will be gathered into an "Other" category. The unique id used to prevent duplicate entries will be carefully generated to ensure that it cannot be used to deduce the identity of any individual site. These measures should ensure that individual websites cannot be identified from the published data.
The plugin will collect anonymously the PHP, Database Type and Version and Joomla Version a user is running so that the project can set PHP and MySQL versions more accurately for future Joomla Versions.
Count items by Peter Martin
This PR adds the number of published, unpublished and trashed articles in the Category Manager for the articles, banners, contacts and newsfeeds.
Added site and admin links to Module User Status by Rick Spaan
Adds switches to the mod_status module to show/hide links to the frontend and backend of the site.
Ability to add a user CSS file to Protostar by Roland Dalmulder
Adds a check to see if the file user.css exists and loads the file to allow user customization.
Download system/environment information by Radek Suski and Roberto Segura
Implementing a possibility to download system/environment information for support purposes.
TinyMCE drag and drop images by Dimitris Grammatiko
Adds the ability to drag and drop images into the tinyMCE editor that comes with Joomla.
Backwards Compatibility break
We have a backwards compatibility promise to make sure code doesn’t suddenly break. However there are circumstances that can force us to no longer keep this promise. In Joomla 3.5 this is the case. Due to changes in PHP 7, we had to rename the String class to StringHelper otherwise Joomla! cannot run on PHP 7. This is a very minor change and we don’t expect any issues from it. For those interested, you can read more about it at Update to String package 1.3.
Modules in Articles
If you want to add a module into an article, Joomla! 3.5 makes it really easy with a button directly on the editor toolbar. You don’t need to learn any syntax or remember the module details as the user interface does it for you.
A note on routing
The new routing system will not be merged into the 3.5 release. The routing has since been merged into the Joomla 3.6 branch due to a lack of testing before the first 3.5 Beta. The production leadership team understands that the change in features can be disruptive and is an inconvenience to the developers expecting new routing we are truly sorry.
How can you help Joomla! development?
There are a variety of ways in which you can get actively involved with Joomla! It doesn't matter if you are a coder, an integrator, or merely a user of Joomla!. You can contact anyone of our PLT members, to get more information, or if you are ready you can jump right into the Joomla! Bug Squad.
The Joomla! Bug Squad is one of the most active teams in the CMS development process and is always looking for people (not just developers) that can help with sorting bug reports, coding patches and testing solutions. A great way for increasing your working knowledge of the Joomla! code base, and also a great way to meet new people from all around the world.
You can also help Joomla! development by thanking those involved in the many areas of the process. In the past year, for example, over 1,000 bugs have been fixed by the Bug Squad.
The project also wants to thank all of the contributors who have taken the time to prepare and submit work to be included in the Joomla! CMS and Framework.
A Huge Thank You to Our Volunteers!
This Release Candidate release is the result of thousands of hours of work by dozens of volunteers.
A big thank you goes out to everyone that contributed to the 3.5 release! Right now we're nearly at more than 2100 commits since 3.4.8's release with over 50 different people contributing to those commits (not including testers and other non-coding activities). Best of all is that the new features are awesome!