For everyone who has read the latest Joomla! Developer Working Group notes, there is one thing which instantly became apparent: Joomla! is like a patient on life support.
Let me explain this as best as I can. The last major release of Joomla! was 1.5, made over two years ago. The code base is starting to show its age. There is an immediate need for a new release if Joomla! is not to lose anymore traction. However, there is a shortage of developers who work on the Joomla! 1.6 code base, in order to bring it out of the door any time soon.
How does this affect us? We are all professionals working with Joomla!, building Joomla! sites, developing Joomla! extensions, providing Joomla! training and support or creating Joomla! templates. Like it or not, our core business revolves around the CMS. Bluntly put, if Joomla! becomes irrelevant in the global web market, we become obsolete. Having Joomla! around for a long time to come is in our best interest. Even more, it is absolutely essential to our very existence.
This is where community involvement is necessary. We are the Joomla! Community. We have the development skills to help Joomla! get out of its current state of stagnancy and bring it back where it belongs: the front line of the global CMS market. However, we all know what happens when we do solo attempts to help the project. The bureaucracy we have to go through usually kills off our passion very quickly. But, there has always been a remedy for bureaucracy, known to the world for centuries.
The plan is to get 10-20 developers and offer our help as a team. Bureaucracy can be tackled much more easily by volunteering en masse. ATAAW, a neutral ground where Joomla! developers share their concerns, will serve as our home base and provide us with the much needed community feedback. If you choose to join this effort, I can’t promise you glory and retribution. I do promise you a 5 hours per week schedule of bug hunting and fixing for each one of us, so as to get 1.6 out really soon. I firmly believe that once 1.6 is out, we can actively contribute to shaping 1.7 (or 2.0, version numbers don’t matter) to what we know that the market wants. Each one of us has a unique perspective. Let’s get this vision to a team level and make it happen. This is what all together, as a whole, really means.
There have already been volunteers, recruited from private contacts, willing to be part of this effort. But, our personal contacts are only so many. There are just a handful of us right now and we could really use some more. We need you. Joomla! needs you!
So, who’s with us?
You can sign yourself up to our effort at the forum thread we started for this purpose. For any question, remark and what not, just post a comment here.