Two little words that will change many things in the Joomla eco-system after the release of the new 3.7 version planned for 28th march 2017. The new com_fields component will give us the capability to add any type of custom fields to articles and users. I wrote « any » even if there are, for the moment, a limited number of fields, which will be sufficient for most use cases but a new field plugin category as been added where any developper will be able to put his own home-built custom field. As you read, the com_fields is like the com_categories, a cross-component component that will give the opportunity to developers to use custom fields in their own components.
Template developers will not be left behind as custom layout for the display of fields will be needed.
Now, what about the title of that article?
Well, some of the smartest or the most forward-thinking early developers provided extensions that filled the lack of custom fields in Joomla: K2, Seblod, Zoo, FlexiContent, Form2content and more, accompagnied by dozens of specific extensions. These CCKs, or Content Creation Kit, are, for some of them, really disconnected from the operation of Joomla, they act as independent components with no link with there host, even with the framework.
They won’t disappear like that because they offer a lot of layout possibilities Joomla com_fields won’t propose for the moment, but Joomla has a great community of developers and you can be sure they will develop advance tools very quickly. This new com_fields will change many things in our usage of Joomla as simple user, as developer and will change the environment of Joomla, and that’s a good thing, Joomla! will be stronger against its competitors with this new feature. It has been a while since real big changes have not been made to Joomla, and this one is a Huge one.
The best is yet to come!
For your information, here are a list of fields you’ll find in Joomla! 3.7: