Why we're not porting K2 for Joomla 1.6 (just yet)...
First and foremost... What does 1.6 bring to Joomla end users aside the new version number? It brings ACL (damn acronyms), nested level categories for core Joomla articles (but just that, don't expect tags, comments or other integrated stuff), sub-template overrides, it's removed the useful Polls component (but the VERY useful Weblinks and Newsfeeds components are still there - please don't laugh)... For real...
Let's see what K2 and Joomla 1.5 have compared to 1.6. Well, it's like a whole new CMS! But there's no ACL, some will say... Ok then, for the 100 people of the 10 million who're gonna download 1.6 in the coming months, and actually make use of the ACL... guys, there's a solution for you in K2 and J1.5. You probably don't need to re-do your entire site (which costs money and time)...
Why? Let's face it... when you give access to your backend, you give it to people you trust, your close partners. Joomla 1.5's ACL is pretty good for that. "Managers" for content writers and "admins"/"super admins" for a couple of people who control the site. It's worked amazingly well for years now... For 99,999% of people, ACL is not required in the backend if you think about it.
But you'll probably need ACL for the frontend and control who gets to see (or input) what. If you're using K2, it's got you covered already. You provide "frontend editing access", which allows people to input/edit content in your site with a proper ACL system provided by K2... A "done deal" for many popular Joomla sites like Gazzetta.gr or even the Joomla Magazine.
Now that 1.6 is out and to further prove our point on "practical ACL", we plan to roll either a new component or a system plugin to allow Joomla 1.5 and K2 users to control even "content viewing" in the frontend for guests or registered users. Maybe we'll even work on a cool solution for the backend of Joomla 1.5 as well...
Still not convinced? Here are some questions to consider:
- How many popular extensions are available or will be available for 1.6 until 1.6 development is ceased for 1.7... We see many big ones not even 1.5 native up until now (cough, VM, cough). Support for 1.6 is probably a joke, not cause the extension dev is not capable of the conversion, but because 6 months are a small timeframe for FREE extensions, maintained by people for no compensation in their FREE time.
- How many extensions would practically make use of an ACL system. Most that require ACL already got it built in (see K2 or forum components). You probably don't need ACL for Polls or Weblinks, right?
- Would you invest money in developing a site now based on 1.6 and see it become obsolete by July 2011? If 1.6 changed so much from 1.5, why won't 1.7 do the same?
What about supporting Joomla 1.6 in general?
There's no doubt for that. We will support Joomla 1.6 for our commercial and free (smaller) extensions, but it's because they're small and therefore easy to convert/maintain. I built the 1.6 version of Simple Image Gallery v2.0 in just one day...
So what next?
We go on with 1.5 for K2. It's a solid platform to develop websites and with the right combination of extensions, it can drive websites that are visited by millions of people per month, when Drupal or Wordpress would sweat the least (without a massive server cluster that is, haha)...
But there is something really new coming along, something that does redefine many elements for developers, which in turn would benefit end-users. Enter "Nooku Server"!
Nooku Server is a Joomla 1.5 distribution, slimmed down from legacy code, better caching, packaged with the powerful Nooku framework, from the man who already built the Joomla 1.5 framework. We see Nooku Server, we see what amazing extensions people have built for Nooku and Joomla 1.5 (see NinjaBoard, Anahita etc.) and we believe there is a better ecosystem for K2 already available.
We already plan the migration of our SMF forum to Ninjaboard and maybe the new site is powered by Nooku Server by the end of the month. The Nooku Server approach is far more realistic, as a) does not demand any code change to 1.5 extensions and b) offers a powerful framework if you want to extend programming to new levels. And I hear something will be arranged for ACL as well.
Sorry folks, but unless something significantly changes on how Joomla perceives the life cycle of a version, we do not plan to port K2 to Joomla 1.6. It's wasted time for a product which will last 6 months. It will be at least 40 days down the drain for us.
I know it's a tough decision, but websites are not desktops to release a new major version every 6 months, like Ubuntu does... Websites take time to build... Proper websites (to which 1.6 features are targetted ;) ) take from 30 to 90 days to build...
What's your say? ;)
You can leave a comment or place your vote in the poll I created regarding K2 and Joomla 1.6 in the K2 Community website: http://community.getk2.org/#pollFor16
1. There seems to be a "response" for the Joomla team. Kind of bashes extension devs in my opinion, which is very unfair, especially to other projects who are not even now native to J!1.5 but have a huge user base... K2 is 100% native to Joomla 1.5 and can easily be ported to 1.6 in a relaxed timeframe of a month. Other projects need to re-write everything. Our decision however is based on "practical" terms and features, not version numbers.
2. Nooku Server is now available to download and test. It's Joomla 1.5, slimmed down, legacy code out, junk stuff out, includes the powerful Nooku framework, amazingly fast admin backend and a lot more... Since this is a release for testing, the Nooku team allows you to connect to their dev server and download the release via SVN. But to make life easier, I created an automated script that will grab the latest SVN snapshot and create a distribution ready to be installed. Grab Nooku Server 0.7 alpha here: http://nuevvo.com/nookuserver/
3. I see people divided in 2 groups already. So to be fair to everyone, a poll is now setup in the K2 Community for people to voice their opinion more properly.