What am I working on?

It's that time again for another update of what's going on behind the scenes. My current focus is on improving the usability of our site itself and following that will be a major focus on pushing towards Community Builder 3.0. Check out the details below!

First and foremost we need to improve the flow of our own site. It has been too confusing for users to navigate to products and determine what they need to even buy. So to help with this we've dropped the Products menu, redesigned the Memberships comparison page, and made that the focus on our top menu.

We're also working on modernizing all add-on pages and more. You'll notice the Add-Ons menu item has been redesigned and every add-on page itself has been redesigned. The add-on pages are 100% powered by CB Package Builder in an attempt to automate more of our site and reduce our time investment to maintaining those pages.

We still have a few older pages to go through and clean up, but so far we hope things are easier to use and understand even if just a little bit. Once the remaining pages have been improved we will be going through every single add-on page and giving them new screenshots and new up to date information so everyone can be more informed on what features an add-on more specifically provides.

Once all of this is done our focus is pushing towards Community Builder 3.0. Plugin development will still progress as normally with feature and bug fix releases, but we'll be trying to avoid any major rewrites to keep focus on CB 3.0 development. CB 3.0 will be a complete face lift of our internal APIs as we shift towards using Symfony as much as possible for our framework. What this means is CB will be thrust into the future utilizing modern frameworks and that will extend to all of our plugins.

We have a lot of great things planned for CB 3.0 as we shift towards being more of a web application. The idea is to leverage Twig for any server side rendering and VueJS for any client side rendering while completely removing jQuery and our dependency on it in favor of native JS. In addition to this there are plans to standardized most, if not all, endpoints to output JSON data when requested. This should, in theory, also improve performance even more as some rendering shifts to client side instead of server side. We have a lot of work to do in this regard as we need to maintain a legacy layer so existing implementations don't just suddenly break. We expect this to take a significant amount of time (we're talking 6 months to a year of development work as this is effectively a rewrite of core CB). We had hoped to be further along with CB 3.0 development, but due to the state of the world things have been delayed significantly (at this point in time we had hoped to have a large chunk already rewritten), but we're going to keep pushing forward.

You may wonder.. why? Well the reason is simple. We want CB to move forward to a more modern coding structure for easier maintainability and so we can deliver stronger features as after all our plugins are built on top of CB. We'd also like to eventually reach a point that CB can work on other CMS platforms (e.g. Wordpress). The end goal is to eventually reach standalone. This means you'd be able to have a site built entirely of CB, but that won't be in CB 3.0 and is a more distant goal. For now our sights are set on improving the core so we can deliver even greater functionality throughout CB and our plugins.

As a side note yes we are preparing for Joomla 4. Core CB is already officially been improved to be Joomla 4 ready, but we won't be releasing that until we've done some more testing, improvements, and likely changes in several plugins. So yes we are absolutely going to be ready for Joomla 4.

I hope that clears the air a little bit as to what is going on internally and we look forward to bringing you an even better Community Builder. I also hope this makes it very clear that we intend to be here for a very long time.

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