Joomla 3.0 and Bootstrap

The information in this article has been transcribed from the Joomla! User eXperience (JUX) Webinar. This was a webinar upload in early June of 2012, in which Kyle Ledbetter (lead of the Joomla JUX project) discusses upcoming changes in Joomla 3.0


General ideas behind Joomla 3.0 and bootstrap


Another thing that we’re doing is we’re talking with developers while we’re making the JUI, which is the Joomla User Interface library. This is going to be the common set of tools built on bootstrap that we all can share. We don’t want people to have to go and innovate outside the core. We want everybody to let us know what they need or what they’re missing. Like one of the things that bootstrap doesn’t have is the activity stream, so a lot of components are going to be using that. So that’s why one of the reasons one of the first things I was working on was some mockups for an activity stream and things like that. These are going to be common elements that all components are going to want. We want to work with the community and build these things out together instead of everybody creating an island where there’s repetitive code, there’s extra file libraries that have to load extra javascript. We can centralize these things and do cool things like have a CDN hosted version of this JUI with bootstrap. Imagine a Joomla user going from site to site and the loading time is virtually none because they’ve already loaded the javascript and css. So it’s really a shared community effort.

Variation and creativity is great, but we also need to make sure that we have a connected user experience.



For extension developers, what do you believe is going to be the average time for conversion of their basic interfaces to bootstrap?

That’s a complicated question. It could be as simple as changing a table class from admin list to class table table striped. But then it could get very complex but the good news is that you might perceive that as a pain transition but it’s a good thing because all of these component developers that load their own frameworks and their own themes on top of joomla… They’re super excited because they can finally ditch this. We had the same problem in project … where we had our own UI library and our own framework and we ended up supporting that more than adding features to project … So component developers can now use Joomla as an SDK. They don’t have to throw in all their own things and build everything them self. They can focus on the code and just role out the UI that’s already available for them there. It’s going to be a transition – I’m personally working hand in hand with the more popular component devs, but we’re just making sure we’re doing everything on the UX forum so we can list out all of the best practices and kind of help each other out. I think it’s going to be a transition but it’s going to be a fun transition. It’s going to be focusing on UX and programming instead of disjointed user interfaces.

Bootstrap is really tiny and if we’re not loading all of our own independent libraries, it’s really tiny and even more tiny because you don’t have every component loading its own thing. I want to make sure a base set of css and javascript is fully there for all components.


Are you customizing bootstrap with LESS modification or can we just drop every new bootstrap version in Joomla?


That’s one of the things we need to figure out. Because we’re extending bootstrap for all the various UI elements that they don’t have that Joomla component developers will need, and things like right to left support, and accessibility, we’re adding to it. We’re not touching the core of it, so potentially people could just drop in the new base bootstrap css and it won’t touch our extended… so that’s something we need to figure out the best practice for. That’s in our mind, we’re building with that in mind. And for LESS, we’d like to have all of our extended bootstrap styles for Joomla in a LESS compiler as well.



Bootstrap and Joomla 3.0

For 2.5 one of the things we’re going to do is we’re going to roll out a core version of bootstrap with the same JUI for 2.5. It’s going to be a little watered down so that it doesn’t fight the cramped styles of 2.5, but our goal is to make all this available for those component developers that want to support 2.5 and 3.0 with the same component. So we don’t want you to have to do that double work so it’s going to be of course after 3.0, but it’s going to be a secondary focus. But we want to make sure to take care of those people so we can focus on one component and not two completely separate components.


Joomla 3.0 is a short term release. Is it possible to use the new UI n Joomla 2.5 as an additional template?

That’s actually a little bit of a complicated question. Yes, like I said before the core is going to work on releasing bootstrap for 2.5. Also right now there are several efforts going on right now with bootstrap for 2.5 where people are making bootstrap templates. I know that that HWDMediaShare has a free one called strapped, I know that Phillip Block has just rolled out a club that releases bootstrap templates for Joomla 2.5 and bootstrap modules for things like menus and slideshows. Myself, we’re going to release some Projectfork, these are bootstrap templates. So I think this is going to be a real common thing that you’re going to see bootstrap everywhere in Joomla 2.5 now that this is all happening. The concern I have is that I want to make sure we don’t all have fighting versions of bootstrap in Joomla 2.5. We need to make sure that we work as a community and come up with the best solution so our versions are not fighting each other.

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