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Joomla 3.9 Alpha released for testing

The Joomla Project is pleased to announce the availability of Joomla 3.9 Alpha release. Community members and extension developers are asked to download and install the package in order to provide quality assurance for the forthcoming 3.9 release.

Joomla 3 is the latest major version of the Joomla CMS, with 3.9 being the tenth minor release in this series.

Please note that going from 3.8 to 3.9 is a one-click upgrade and is NOT a migration. The same is true for any subsequent versions in the 3 series of the CMS. That being said, please do not upgrade any of your production sites to the alpha version as this alpha is ONLY intended for testing and there is no upgrade path from Alpha.

What’s new in Joomla 3.9?

Joomla 3.9 main purpose is to introduce a Privacy Tool Suite into Joomla CMS to facilitate the compliance of your sites and to make developers’ life easier to get their extensions compliant with laws and regulations such as GDPR.


To make your life easier, we are pleased to inform you that you can also test Joomla 3.9 Alpha directly at launch.joomla.org.

New Extensions

Privacy System

This is the heart of law and regulation related capabilities and provides several subsystems. Note that this system on its own does NOT make your website compliant with any laws and regulations but is a tool to assist site owners with compliancy. Work in progress documentation can be found at https://docs.joomla.org/J3.x:Privacy.

Privacy Component

The main interaction point for privacy actions and management. The component offers several functions to help site owners with privacy related matters.

Capabilities List
To assist with informing site owners of privacy related capability concerns and data collection, a capabilities screen will display information reported by extensions through a dedicated plugin event. Unlike other events which are generally targeted to single plugin groups, the model here explicitly imports plugins from several different plugin groups which commonly collect or process data (such as the captcha group as the Google reCAPTCHA integration processes a client's IP address). Consent Tracking
The component supports an audit log tracking all consents given on the web site, in core this is used for the consent plugin (see below) to track consent to the privacy policy but extensions can log their own consents here as well. Information Requests
Rights given under GDPR and similar privacy regulations include the right to access your data and the right to be forgotten. The information requests system is used to track and act on these requests.
A request can be created in two ways: By a site administrator through the backend By a registered user through the frontend Once the request is confirmed, the site admin will have action buttons appropriate to the request available to them to act upon the request. Processing for requests is plugin driven, all actions are performed by plugins to allow maximum flexibility and configuration for each affected extension.

Privacy Policy Consent Plugin

When enabled, the plugin can be used to mandate that registered users consent to the site's privacy policy (defined in the plugin) before doing anything else on the website.

Confirm Consent Plugin

For our email related forms (contact, email to a friend, and the privacy policy form), this plugin adds a required consent checkbox to the form for the user to agree to processing the form's information.

Terms and Conditions Plugin

When enabled, the plugin can be used to require newly registering users to agree to the site's terms and conditions (defined in the plugin).

Privacy Dashboard Module

An admin module showing a summary of the information request data is available.

Urgent Requests Notification

A quick icon plugin is available which can be used to alert the site admin to requests which are considered urgent (confirmed and older than the age configured in the component settings, default to 14 days).

Action Logging System

This is the finalization of the "Recording Action Logs" project from GSoC 2016. This system provides an infrastructure to create an audit log of activity performed on a website and can be fine tuned to the site admin's preferences. Extensions are able to hook into this system to add custom messages or have the system process standard CRUD actions. Work in progress documentation can be found at https://docs.joomla.org/J3.x:User_Action_Logs.

Action Logs Component
The component allows site admins to review the action log, export it, and purge entries. Action Logs Plugin
The "Action Log - Joomla" plugin is used to log CRUD actions for supported content related extensions and miscellaneous actions such as extension management. Latest Actions Module
An admin module showing the latest logged actions is available.

New API Features

XMLDocument Supports Downloaded Documents

Joomla\CMS\Document\XMLDocument previously only supported an inline document disposition, only displaying the document in the browser. A new setDownload() method is added to the class to set whether the document should be downloaded (true) or displayed inline (false). A new isDownload() method is added to check this status.

com_messages Send Message to All Super Users

We have introduced some notifications with the tool suite that called for sending messages to all super users. We elected to use the capabilities present in com_messages to support this, and we have added MessagesModelMessage::notifySuperUsers() to support this capability.

Miscellaneous Extensions

Log Rotation Plugin

When enabled, this implements a log rotation capability to log files created through the Joomla\CMS\Log API and stored to the configured log path. This allows log files to be rotated and removed.

Other features not related to the privacy tool suite have also been merged to Joomla 3.9.
A full list of features and issues resolved can be found on GitHub.

What is this release for?

This is an ALPHA release, that should only be used on test sites. Alpha releases cannot be upgraded.

Extension and template developers are encouraged to work with this release in order to prepare extensions for the stable release of Joomla 3.9, though there shouldn't be any backward compatibility issues.
Users are encouraged to test the package for issues and to report issues in the Joomla CMS Issue Tracker.

Please do not upgrade any of your production sites to the alpha version and do not start a new site on alpha as alpha is ONLY intended for testing and there is no upgrade path from alpha.

When is the stable release due?

The present expected schedule is this:

September 11th, 2018 - 3.9 Beta October 2018 - 3.9 Release Candidate October 2018 - 3.9 Stable

Please note that the specific date of releases depends on availability of volunteers and circumstances beyond our control. The most up-to-date information regarding this timeline can be found in our project roadmap.
You can join the testing and reporting to help ensure a solid, timely delivery (see "How can you help…" below).

How can you help Joomla development?

There are a variety of ways in which you can get actively involved with Joomla. It doesn't matter if you are a coder, an integrator, or merely a user of Joomla. You can contact any one of our Production members, to get more information, or if you are ready you can jump right into the Joomla! Bug Squad.
The Joomla Bug Squad is one of the most active teams in the CMS development process and is always looking for people (not just developers) that can help with sorting bug reports, coding patches and testing solutions. A great way for increasing your working knowledge of the Joomla code base, and also a great way to meet new people from all around the world.
If you are interested, please read about us on the Joomla Documentation. If you wish to join, email Niels Braczek (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), our Bug Squad coordinator.

You can also help Joomla development by thanking those involved in the many areas of the process.

A Huge Thank You to Our Volunteers!

This Alpha release is the result of thousands of hours of work by dozen of volunteers.
A big thank you goes out to everyone that contributed to the 3.9 release.
A special massive thank you goes to Michael Babker, Tuan Pham Ngoc, Nicola Galgano, Brian Teeman and Hannes Papenberg who did an amazing work on making the Privacy Tool Suite a reality.

Help the Joomla 3.9 Marketing team!

The copywriting for the forthcoming landing page for Joomla 3.9 will be soon available for translation at Crowdin. Stay tuned!
We have also a wide range of "coming soon" imagery you can share and translate, which can be found here. We would love you to spread the Joomla love and get the word out to your network.

Original author: Michael
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