First, let’s take a look at the release dates.
Beta 2 came out on February 3rd, and these release dates may change depending on the bugs that are found. In just a few days we’ll have a release candidate and, hopefully, a stable release a week after that.
This is actually the first step in a series of changes to core Joomla. Right now, Joomla comes with many pre installed components that can, under certain circumstances, cause issues during updates. Weblinks will be the first component to go. But don’t worry - all of the core components that will be removed in this release and in future releases will still be maintained, updated, and easily installable using the “Install from Web” tab in the Extension Installer. They will also be listed in the Joomla! Extensions Directory (JED) under a yet-to-be-named category, which will probably be called something link “Core Supported Extensions”.
In Joomla 3.3, the Joomla Framework was merged with the CMS itself. However, according to the findings of Joomla users and developers, the method in which it was installed into the filesystem wasn’t consistent with how Composer installs code. To remedy this problem, the Composer itself will be recoded a little and integrated into the Joomla! CMS to provide better code integrity and stability.
During the Google Summer of Code 2013, the JMicrodata library was built and later implemented into Joomla 3.2. This allowed users to place microdata (contextual data information allowing search engines to better understand the content of your site improving overall SEO) into core components’ layout. With Joomla 3.4, the library will be widened and steps will be taken to ensure its ease-of-use. If you’d like to learn more about microdata or how to use the JMicrodata library, see the comprehensive Microdata guide in the Joomla Docs directory.
Many of us use Google’s ReCAPTCHA API and the related Joomla plugin to provide security for our contact forms, registration forms etc. Recently, Google introduced a new version called NoCAPTCHA. It does basically the same thing, but instead of typing in a series of characters, users will now be able to simply click a button to prove that they’re a human being and not a robot. Personally, I can see how users might thnk that would make the form less secure. That’s why I am happy to report that support for ReCAPTCHA 1.0 (the one we know and love) will not be dropped. Joomla 3.4 will support both ReCAPTCHA 1.0 and 2.0 (NoCAPTCHA).
Considering the friendly competition between major CMSs, I am personally a huge Joomla fan, but I have to admit that I love how Joomla has taken a page from the WordPress book by making everything easier with front end module editing.
Right now, to make a change to a module we have to log into the back-end, open the Module Manager, locate the module (a pain especially for less tech savvy users or people who started managing an already developed site), make changes, save the work, go back to the front end and refresh the page. That’s a lot of clicks! With this innovation, all we have to do is log into the front end, click the edit icon, make changes, refresh the site and presto-chango! I see this saving users a lot of time! Maybe before the stable version comes out somebody will even find some magical way to refresh the module in real time without refreshing the entire site.
So those are the major changes and additions in the upcoming Joomla release. I hope you’re as excited as I am! Of course, these aren’t all the changes we can expect in the upcoming release. There are many other little, important coding changes that have been done to ensure Joomla’s security and stability. View a full list of the changes to expect in Joomla 3.4.