Joomla has been around for a little over 10 years. in that time much of the code base has benefited from extensive development, to get it to the current version 3.5. Some parts however, have seen very little change, the router is one such area of code, now that's about to be overhauled....completely!
Roughly 2 years ago a small and overlooked project was started on Indigogo, we first mentioned it in our JUGL overview in June. The reason we were excited was the potential of the project. An overhaul of the Joomla routing system. A bulky section of code that had long been lambasted and blamed for some of the "unwanted features" of the Joomla CMS.
The new router promised much, in fact it sounded like it might just launch Joomla into the stratosphere, at least that's what we hoped. 2 years on the fruits of the Indigogo funding are finally being merged into the Joomla core code. Following the difficulties encountered during the shift from 1.5 to 1.6 which saw a drastic, albeit necessary, backward compatibility break in the software. This jump not only lead to implementers having to migrate(not update) to the new platform, it also meant drastic re-writes of extensions to work with the new features provided. This hurt many and lost Joomla many followers to the project. As s result, the Joomla project has been extremely reluctant to implement any such drastic changes since. Backward compatibility is a functional necessity and underlies most development work. Nevertheless we are in a time when the web waits for no man, woman or OpenSource project. Progress simply has to be embraced.
The new router is progress and it is going to cause some difficulties for some extension developers and possibly integrators alike. In the main, a huge amount of time and effort has been put into making the router as backward compatible as it can be, while creating a platform to build on for the future. Will it be worth it, following a review of the features and flexibility it will bring, we think so. We're also proud to have been able to support, the testing of the router, to help get it into core.
We'd like to share with you, a recording of the overview of the router, provided by Hannes Pappenberg, the main developer, at a recent Joomla London meetup. This was enabled by a generous donation to the Indigogo project by the guys at Softforge, who then donated one of their bonuses rewards to JoomlaLondon, so big thanks to them. Anyway back to the video and your host Joe from Softforge.
The video is quite long and quite technical but essentially what it is alluding to is a much more robust routing system for users and developers. This can only be a good thing. While performance no longer seems to be a bye product as it was hoped, the other benefits will far out weigh that.
Joomla will finally, out of the box, be able to work without any negative impact from it's structural workflow and allow developers to build better extensions with less effort. Expect the router to be implemented in Joomla release 3.7.