Joomla 4 was released on August 17th. As a new major version, it brings its share of new features (you can have an overview of these novelties at joomla.org/4).
Simon Grange, CEO of Cinnk, well-known contributor in the French Community, wrote a book, available in French and English, to help newbies and usual users to learn how to use the new features and create a website using Joomla 4. Let's talk about this book with him.
Simon, can you tell us a bit about you? Who are you?
First of all, thank you very much, Sandra, for inviting me to this interview.
My name is Simon Grange. I live in France, between Paris and Grenoble, in the heart of the Alps.
I am almost 40 years old, I am married to a graphic designer, and we have five wonderful children!
I founded Cinnk in 2010, an online media around the CMS Joomla. I have written several books about Joomla! and its components (HikaShop, 100 tips and tricks, Joomla! 4 The Book, ...).
In the past, we have published a magazine, in digital and paper format, with a print run of several thousand copies and freely distributed at various community events (JoomlaDay Paris, JoomlaDay London, Joomla World Conference in Rome, ...).
What's your story with Joomla?
I discovered Joomla! in 2008 with version 1.5. I was then living in Ireland. I was looking for a solution to create a website (easily, as I was not a computer scientist!), allowing me to help French people organize a trip to this beautiful country.
While searching among the existing solutions at that time, Joomla! quickly appeared to be the most appropriate for the functionalities offered and especially for its large community via forums.
One evening, after many hours of research and experimentation, I finally managed to install a local server. I fell in love with Joomla! When my eyes left the keyboard, it was already daylight!
So I started to visit the forums and answer questions from users. Some questions came up often, so I had the idea to create a website that would offer tutorials with the answers to these redundant questions. Cinnk was born!
After writing a few tutorials, I got the idea to group them and structure them in a book (ebook): "Joomla! 3, the book for everyone". This first book was an immediate and great success.
This pushed me to continue to create new content and to think about what to do next.
Throughout these years, my involvement in the French-speaking community has not been reduced to the forum. I took part in the Board of Directors of the Francophone association and even became its President.
At some point, and for personal reasons, I withdrew from the community and devoted myself to my family.
I withdrew from the associative and community life, which did not prevent me from continuing to use Joomla! as a (very good) tool.
In June 2020, with a friend, we decided to relaunch and develop Cinnk. The website has been updated, and we have taken over the content creation.
The release of Joomla! 4 has launched a new dynamic. This is excellent news!
You just wrote a book about Joomla 4? Can you tell us a bit more about it?
I have been carefully following the development of Joomla! through the alpha and beta versions for several years.
This version brings new features compared to Joomla! 3. In my opinion, the principal asset is the new administration organization and its new template.
This allows non-developer users to easily and quickly create "simple" websites without having dozens (hundreds?) of parameters permanently in front of them that they will never need.
Therefore, the aim was to offer a book as soon as Joomla! 4 was released: a simple book that gets straight to the point and allows any novice user to create and publish an online presence quickly.
What challenges did you face while writing the book?
With my last book on Joomla! 3, I had written a 250-page book that reviewed all the features offered by this version. The feedback I got from readers was excellent. Still, I regularly received emails explaining that Joomla! was great but too complete/complex for simple websites and that the time spent/expended to create a website while reading my book was very long.
With Joomla! 4 The book, I wanted to write a book that would get straight to the point and allow users to have an online, functional website in a very short time.
Joomla! 4 allows you to create simple websites quickly, but this new version still allows you to create any type of website. This will be the subject of future books ;)
In how many languages is it available, and where can our readers buy it?
The book is currently available in English and French. It can be purchased from the cinnk.com website in both print and digital versions.
We are also open to proposals from community translators who would like to help us translate our book into their language. Please do not hesitate to contact us ;-)
Who is this book for?
I have written this book so that anyone who knows how to send an email can easily create a website.
This book is also intended for users of older versions of Joomla! (1.5, 2.5, 3) who wish to discover this version 4.
I also hope that it will be possible to reach people unfamiliar with Joomla! to show them how easy it is to use this CMS via its new version.
I also noticed you created some short tutorial videos. Where can our readers watch it?
Since the creation of Cinnk (10 years ago now), I have always wanted to offer free resources (articles, tutorials, tips & tricks) to users. With the release of Joomla! 4, we published a knowledge base for this new version. This knowledge base now contains more than 100 short tutorials in French. We are working daily to translate them into English.
Nevertheless, times are changing, and in 2021, soon 2022, if Joomla! wants to attract new users, it is important, in my opinion, to offer video tutorials. So our goal is to move our entire written knowledge base to video format.
For the moment, we offer this in French; English will undoubtedly come later!
Joomla 4.1 is announced in February 2022. Do you intend to publish updates of your book?
Yes, the goal of this project is to always keep the book up to date. If Joomla! brings interesting features, they will, of course, be integrated into our books!