By Robert Deutz on 2018-12-11 13:03 in J4 Backend Template Working Group

In a production department leadership meeting is was clear that the backend template is something that needs a lot more attention and work. After nearly 12 months the progress to implement the concept was literally not existing. 

After some investigation of the options by Robert Deutz and a discussion between George Wilson and Robert Deutz it was decided to mandate Robert Deutz to build a team and take the lead for this specific area of the Joomla4 development. Elisa Foltyn and Benjamin Trenkle had already discussed with some people if they have interest in joining a team to push the Joomla4 Backend template forward. So it was quite easy to build a team. With 10 people covering all needed areas like a11y, javascript, css, design and php. The initial team is from Germany what some discussion makes a lot easier. It was soon very clear that there is some frustration all around that the backend template for 4.0 was not progressing to a state that was presentable. 

There is a concept by the designers Elisa and Lukas and we have also several people who are willing to do the work necessary to create a consistent backend experience. Part of the frustration was that working on GitHub in the main repository is far from fun. So the team members asked for saver environment to work, without to much interruptions from other people 

I decided to create a playground for that group where they could test out their ideas and collaborate, all with a bit more authority than just a private project of just someone from the community, but also without any guarantees that the code will end up in 4.0. It was also decided to keep the project private for now to allow those that commited to this project to work productively and not get lost in endless discussions with otherwise uninvolved persons. The basic concept are the mockups from Elisa and Lukas and together with feature requests, developers, a11y experts and several iterations they are working on reaching a consistent, working and feature complete backend template which allows users to work quickly, is mobile ready, is a11y and looks good, while using modern techniques. This work will at one point be made available to the public and also be open for criticism and after another (hopefully short) round of iterations, can be accepted into the Joomla project as the finished Joomla 4.0 backend template.

To be crystal clear there is no intention to keep this project private till it is "ready". We have here a new team and this team needs some time to find a way to collaborate and working together. The often toxic environment we have is not the right setup to build a team and make it successfully. It should be also clear that, if we come to situations where we have to make conceptual decision we will report back to the public space and let the wider community make the decision. 

It might sounds odd when a team asked for some privacy in an open source project, but having in mind that the last 12 months didn't work so well, it is something we have to try.

Robert Deutz