We'd like to thank everyone who participated in the experimental Joomla Roadmap Meeting that was held last Friday live in NYC and virtually via live streaming on Ustream and twitter. This meeting was looking at the next major revision of Joomla after the long-term support release 2.5 comes out in a few months.

As discussed in previous communications, the PLT will try to come up with a high-level vision for each major version. For 3.x, the vision is Bowerbird / rediscover content. We had originally planned this for release this year, but delayed it to 3.x so we could concentrate on stability and a better upgrade experience. You can see the details at https://www.joomla.org/announcements/general-news/5321-rediscover-content-the-vision-for-next-years-release.html.

However, there are two very important points about this. First of all, this no way limits the possible features that contributors can propose for a version. The vision is just a statement about an area that we want to emphasize for the version. We are always open to any code contributions that include good features that are implemented in a sound manner and otherwise follow the correct standards (code style, documentation, and so on).

Second, it is up to the community to contribute the code for any new features. If people don't write the code, the feature won't get in.

In short, features that are part of the vision are not guaranteed to get in and good features that are outside the scope of the vision are quite welcome. The key thing is that stuff has to get coded.

The purpose of the meeting was to share ideas and information about possible 3.x features and hopefully move the process forward to some degree. It was not expected, nor did it happen, that we came to any definite conclusions about a fixed list of features for 3.x. If someone has a great idea for a 3.x feature and wants to code it, it will be considered whether or not it was discussed at the meeting or was listed as part of the vision.

In the morning we looked at what were some of the features we wanted to see. Those features came from the high level vision for rediscovering content, from input from everyone at the meeting, from some virtual attendees and from ideas.joomla.org. The main interests centered around content (unified content model, CCK's, tagging, multi-lingual as content), multi-site, flexible distributions of Joomla, and usability.

In the afternoon, one group attacked the content question while another looked at the different meanings of multi-site and some different solutions. Because each of those areas was pretty extensive, we didn't have a chance to go on to the other two topics.

The content group talked about a unified content model and what options that would open up for the CMS. A UCM is where all content has the same base fields along with a content type field. Any additional fields for that particular content type can be stored in a secondary table. The advantage of doing this is that you don't have to create new extensions to do the same thing for each type of content. For example, if you have an extension that tags content, you write it once and you have tags available for all the different types content on the system. It makes creating new types of content much easier with less duplicated code.

The multi-site group found that when people say “multi-site” they could mean very different things. The working definition that they used was that a multi-site used one set of Joomla files to run multiple web sites with the ability to share content across the websites. If you updated the version, you'd only need to do it once. You could push articles out to multiple sites.

They identified three ways of doing this.

  • Separate databases
  • One database with separate tables with different prefixes
  • Using the ACL to limit the access to each site based on the user profile with the different domains mapped to specific user groups.

We are planning to have roadmap meetings every six months or so where we can get together to work on the future releases. We hope that they will evolve and become even more productive. We will announce future meetings in this Leadership Blog and in the News at developer.joomla.org.

Despite considerable challenges with the Internet connection, we were able to live stream and record a good portion of the meeting. So if you want more details on what occurred, check out http://www.ustream.tv/channel/joomla-roadmap.

Thanks again to everyone who participated!

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