joomla 3.3With the lockdown of Joomla 3.3’s feature set, and with its Release Candidate set to come out within days, this is a good time to understand the ins and outs of this new version of Joomla, and what it may mean for you, whether as a user or as an extension developer, moving forward from here. Joomla 3.3 is not the massive upgrade that Joomla 3 was. It does not feature any significantly different ways of doing things, nor does it introduce any new libraries or paradigms that would force you to rethink the way you’re working now; Joomla’s core developers are focussing on working on their feature requests backlog and on code optimisation. Nevertheless, there are a few aspects that might be worth your while investigating:

Moving from MooTools to jQuery

One of the bigger issues you may have to work with is the migration from the MooTools Javascript framework to jQuery (which was done back in version 3, to support Bootstrap). As we’ve mentioned in an earlier post, and amply supported by the Joomla support forums, the migration process is not without its challenges. Joomla’s core developers are likely to take a couple of iterations before everything that used to be done using MooTools is now done in jQuery. Nevertheless, at some point, Joomla will likely drop support for MooTools altogether, and so it might be a very good idea to figure out how to deploy using jQuery yourself.

Cloud Storage APIs

With the increased prevalence and reliance of not only home users but also large corporations on services that offer mass storage online (or in the cloud, as it is commonly called), support by Joomla for the more well-known cloud storage providers would be a highly welcome feature. But this means that there would also exist much opportunity for extension developers to craft value-added features; for example, through the use of GnuPG or other Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) systems to provide at-rest encrypted storage for services lacking this facility, or the transparent integration of multiple cloud vendors into a single virtual storage space. You can even create an extension that extends such cloud storage support by Joomla to lesser-known providers.

Microdata library implementation

With the widespread support of major global search engines (including Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Yandex) for microdata formats to enrich and enhance search engine results, the Web is coming back to the roots of the Internet, which was primarily a tool for academia. Microdata formats and structured data (such as that defined by Schema.org) make it easier for machines to understand your Joomla website’s content. Given how database-centric most CMSes (including Joomla) are, and how critical search engines are in exposing websites to the world, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the basic concepts behind structured data, and how to best use Joomla’s upcoming support of microdata to make your website shine (at least to the search engines).

As you can see, much of what Joomla 3.3 has to offer is iterative and incremental, rather than profoundly game-changing (and, in fact, is heavily based on what came out of Google’s Summer of Code 2013). Given that a Joomla 3.2 update is going to be released on the same day as the final version of 3.3, this is a great time to brush up on what will become Joomla’s future.

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