Written by Peter Bui Follow on
Published: 05 April 2014

Just this week Joomla 3.3 BETA has been released and the community is getting behind it to test and get the it ready for final release.

This episode I go over a few of the new features that have been added to the latest release and how they work.

Very excited to see all the new security features that have been added into the latest release. The release is a little behind the initial planned schedule but has been planned for release on the 22nd of April.

  • Security updates
  • Router update
  • Microdata
  • JQuery improvements
  • Storage API
  • JLayout improvements
  • Front end editing

Joomla News Updates

Joomla Framework changes license to LGPL

The license has changes

Joomla Community Google+ Hangout

The Joomla Community has a new initiative. Thanks to Russel English who came up with the idea of creating an online monthly hangout for the Joomla community for all of those that don't have the time or do not have a Joomla User Group or Joomla Meetup close by.

You can check out the Joomla Google+ Hangout page and subscribe for future updates.

SiteGrounds Ins and Outs of SiteGrounds Staging Tools

Going along with the trend of Google Hangouts, SiteGround also organised a Hangout to talk about the staging tools that are available on their hosting environments.

Check out the event.

 

 

Coding Standards

Did you know that Joomla has coding standards? If you are to build an extension for Joomla or write some code for the Joomla project, you should look at these coding standards that have been put together by Michael Babker and the Joomla Production Leadership team.

https://github.com/joomla/coding-standards

 

Joomla 3.3 BETA Release Updates and Features

A whole lot more included into Joomla 3.3 to improve it just that little more.

Michael Babker's presentation at JoomlaDay Boston 2014

 

Security Updates

Increased PHP version to minimum of PHP 5.3.10

There are a few new included features into the release of Joomla 3.3 that will make it more secure.

Increased need of the PHP version. This has been mentioned in previous podcast episodes before, but if you are to upgrade to Joomla 3.3, you must first make sure that your PHP version is up to date and ready for it. If the previous release, 3.2.2, there was an extra PHP version checking step added to it to stop users from upgrading to Joomla 3.3 or higher if their PHP version doesn't meet the requirements.

The PHP version minimum requirements are not PHP 5.3.10+.

It is important to note that the PHP 5.3.x family is not also no longer supported as of March 2013 and it is encouraged for users to upgrade to a later version.

http://php.net/archive/2012.php#id2012-12-20-1

This will mean that people on older web hosting environments will be stuck on Joomla 3.2.x until they can upgrade their server environments. The Joomla project will be supporting the Joomla 3.2.x branch until October 2014 which should be more than enough time for users to upgrade their hosting environments to upgrade to Joomla 3.3.

Bcrypt hashing for passwords

The PHP change also allows for the proper change over of Bcrypt hashing on Joomla websites.

This added security ensures that it is that much harder to crack a Joomla password.

 

Replacement of Mootools with JQuery

As a part of the Google Summer of Code Project in 2013, there was an initiative to rewrite a lot of the core Mootools based functionality and replace it with JQuery equivalents.

With this update there are 25 new updates that have been rewritten and replaced in Joomla 3.3. 

 

Search Engine Optimisation Improvements

For years we have seen Joomla lag a little behind in regards to search engine optimisation.

https://github.com/joomla/joomla-cms/commit/5adbd015b77faba434b94a1d1ff2d5a5bc45d68b

Routing Changes and Improvements

The routing, SEF URLS are changing to help improve the SEO and organise data.

This came from a lot of work from Hannes Papenberg from Germany who put in the time mid 2013 to have the routing system rewritten into a more modern programming style so that the old code that had been around for so many years wasn't used anymore.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/joomla-dev-cms/Lnyo5JLtwlU 10th if June

https://github.com/joomla/joomla-cms/commit/5adbd015b77faba434b94a1d1ff2d5a5bc45d68b code committed 

Microdata Additions

Microdata is the biggest change in Joomla 3.3.

https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/176035?hl=en

 

Front End Editing

Improved front end module editing

There has been a lot of work done in regards to simplifying the workflow and management of Joomla from the front end of the website. With less and less need for going into the backend of the website and making modifications, it will make things more user friendly for website editors and site administrators.

 

JLayout Improvements

JLayouts, created by Yannick Gaultier the same person that created SH404SEF, allows you to customise a part of Joomla's output functionality in an overriding way. Similar to how you can override a 'view' of a component, module or even a plugin, you can now override certain functionality in the output of Joomla and JLayouts allows you to do this.

This opens up a whole lot of options when it comes to customising Joomla and not hacking the core of the CMS.

http://phproberto.com/en/blog/13-jlayout-improvements-for-joomla-3-2

http://docs.joomla.org/J3.2:JLayout_Improvements_for_Joomla!

 

Cloud Storage API

The addition of an API that can connect with various third party storage services means that many developers can do some fancy things from pulling in extensions and services on these storage systems or throw files and backups to the storage systems.

The only limitation is our imaginations.  

The API will allow connection to:

  • Amazon S3
  • Dropbox
  • Google
  • Rackspace

http://magazine.joomla.org/issues/issue-july-2013/item/1370-cloud-storage

Google Summer of Code

http://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/org2/google/gsoc2013/joomla

 

Help by Testing!

So now what? You know that Joomla 3.3 is coming. It is one of the best tested releases of Joomla ever and is getting better and better. If you want to help out, you can download the BETA and test it for yourself. Provide feedback and let the development team and leadership know exactly what you think.

http://developer.joomla.org/cms-packages/

 

More Reading about Joomla 3.3

 

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Peter Bui

Peter Bui

An all round web specialist with years of experience in web design, development and open source solutions at PB Web Development

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