Seems like I start all my postings here with "It's been a long time since I last wrote here" or something similar. This project has been really long, it was really complicated and it was often enough really hard to pull through.


After almost two and half years as a crowdfunding project and after 7 years in the making, the last code changes that were supposed to go into the Joomla core have been accepted both for Joomla 3.7 and 4.0. I'm so happy!

Today three important Pull Requests were merged by the Joomla team, one closing a bug in non-SEF mode, one cleaning up routing further in Joomla 4.0 (thus completeing the proper implementation for this in 4.0) and the last one making it possible to remove IDs from URLs in Joomla. With that and after around 500 hours of coding, explaining and defending, the work for the Joomla project in this crowdfunding project is finished.

I still have to provide you with perks and fullfill that part of the campaign, but with these things now finally under wrap, I can also now focus on this and move forward on this front. Thank you for sticking with me through this long time.

But now lets celebrate that we finally got to this point. I know I will.

Hi folks,

just trying to keep everybody in the loop. Since my last update 12 days ago I did a few more PRs and 2 of those are routing related. Not only that, but these are major ones, which are the bread and butter of this whole project and which are the parts that will help component developers out there to write high quality component routers in no time.

The first one is the PR with the number #5444: Routing: Implementing JComponentRouterAdvanced
This PR implements a new base class for component routers that allows for rule based routing. It has a lot of abstraction in it. Most of it is described in the PR itself, so please read up and comment there.

The second one is the PR with the number #5446: Routing: JComponentRouterRulesMenu to find right Itemid
This implements the first router rule, which basically makes the *HelperRoute classes obsolete. In that PR in the testing instructions, you can see how your router would have to be changed to take advantage from this. The code that I've provided there will also be the code that in the end will make your router. Everything else can be removed.

I'm currently really busy, but I thought I'd throw that update out there and hopefully sweeten your holidays. :-)

Happy new year folks. It's been a crazy one for me. I had to move, I married, I did this crowdfunding campaign... I hope that you had at least as good a 2014 as I had.

But you are not here for some best wishes, but for an update regarding the campaign and routing in Joomla. In that regard I have quite a bit of good news for you. These are the Pullrequests, that I made production ready in the last few weeks:

Especially the last one is important, since this one finally implements all the behavior of the core routers in one easy-to-use rule. Most of these Pullrequests have not only the actual code, but also full code coverage via unittests in them. You might be wondering why the PRs contain so many changed files and seemingly the same changes all over, but I can guarantee you, that this is intentional. The changes that I did are building upon each other, so the changes in #5604 require the changes in #5446 and #5444. So the PRs are done in a way that when the first PR is accepted, I will update the others and the changes that have been accepted will vanish from the other PRs.

So now that the code is ready, this could go into Joomla 3.4.0, depending on the PLT, but more importantly depending on you. To get this into Joomla core, we as a project need more feedback on these Pullrequests. They need to be tested and a code-review needs to be done and developers have to take a look if they think this whole thing is sane. So please spread the word and help out yourself to make this happen.

Again its been quite some time since my last update regarding this crowdfunding campaign, but I have good news for you all out there. The project is progressing and we are reaching points where actually something significant for everybody is happening. But before I get to the good parts, I wanted to apologise again for the totally screwed up schedule. I was hoping to get this all done a lot quicker and have this project be finished almost 6 months ago, but I simply miscalculated the necessary work by several orders of magnitude. Each step, be it analyzing the existing code, writing new code (in bite sized pieces that can be digested by the project) or getting that code tested by others and convincing people about the direction this is going and last but not least merging the change in, took infinitely longer than I hoped. I hope that you can accept this apology when you see the work that has been done in the last 1.5 months.

First of all, let me list all the PRs that resulted directly or indirectly from this campaign since my last update:

What do these links mean?

Each of these links is a contribution that I made to the project since the last update mid-October and that is related to the URL routing in Joomla. Every link with the prefix "Routing:" is directly related to the campaign that you funded, while the others are basically bugs that I found on the way to writing the new system. Most of the other bugs are related to issues where our current API was not correctly used in Joomla itself or overly complex code was used.

There is however one PR that I want to draw special attention to: Language: Refactoring the language system to simplify the code This PR not only cleans up the multi-language implementation in Joomla greatly, it also allows to do some major change inside of Joomlas routing. One of the main problems in Joomlas routing right now are the *HelperRoute classes, like the ContentHelperRoute class. These classes are doing something that actually should be done by the router directly, namely to calculate the right Itemid. The Itemid is a major part of the URL and defines the menu item that the URL should point to and thus the modules that should be displayed on the page (and several other things, but that would go too far in this post). Sometime during Joomla 1.5, these *HelperRoute classes were introduced and have been a problem ever since. First of all, you have to correctly use them everywhere that you are creating a URL (Which you can see here, seems to be a problem on its own already: ContentHelperRoute::getArticleRoute needs to be called with catid and language) and second of all, the router does not know about those classes. They are arbitrarily named and called BEFORE the router (which begins when JRoute::_() is called) and their return value (normally something like this: index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=42:galaxy&catid=23&Itemid=15) is handed over to the router. Now, if you have such a URL in your article, Joomla will properly convert it to the "right" URL. If you however change the menu item in some way, that link will not be the right link to that article anymore. If the link will work or not, is mostly luck. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, that the Itemid should be dynamically calculated by the component router. With the Language: Refactoring the language system to simplify the code PR, it is now possible to move that part from the HelperRoute classes into the respective component router, like you can see here: 

This will make sure that all your links across your site have at least the right Itemid for these 3 components. (The rest of the core components will follow shortly) This will also soon be changed into generalized code so that this code does not have to be added to each and every component separately, but can be used by all components in Joomla, be it core components or third party extensions. This will then also be the first component router rule that shows the new rules based component router system and which implements the respective interface: Routing: Implementing an interface for component router rules and Updating JComponentRouterRulesInterface

Your question will most likely be, why I did not write that component router rule directly and instead am creating yet another interim solution. At the time of writing this post, Joomla 3.4.0 is close around the corner and I wanted to get this change into the system as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the base-class that would implement the rules based component routers is not ready yet. The code is written, but I'm not happy with it yet and have to give this some more thought. You always have to remember that we will have to live with every class, method and function and their respective behavior that I'm introducing now until at least 4.0. So when I screw up here in some aspect, we might even go further down the backwards compatibility hell that we are already in.

How can I help?

One thing that stalls development the most is the lack of testing. I, and the Joomla project in general, need more people that test the existing code-proposals. So if you want to support this effort further, please look at the link list above and test those proposals that have not been marked as "merged" yet.

What is with my contribution perk?

When you donated to this campaign, you selected something that you wanted in return, be it the plugin to get these changes in Joomla 2.5 or a router for your component to use this new system. I can assure you, that I will honor each and every of the promises that I made and deliver the perks to you as soon as the project is in a somewhat stable phase. But as I described above, the schedule was to optimistic and it will still need more time.

What is the further plan?

I'm working hard on getting more and more code done and getting people to test the stuff that is there. Depending on how much more Joomla 3.4 is going to be delayed, some of the stuff that I described above could go into this version. Otherwise it will most likely be released with Joomla 3.5.

If you have further questions, feel free to write me a mail.