ACL not ready - but soon
The most important reason for the delay: The code was not ready. Particularly the ACL system (Access Control Level system - to control user and group access to elements in Joomla). Hannes stats personal circumstances for not being ready. As you know, the development of Joomla is entirely based on volunteer work, so I understand why people sometimes has to prioritize differently. Apparently he's now working on the code and soon be ready to deliver his work.
Some final decisions have yet to be made on the Joomla ACL system, which should be made by the team during the next week. After that, these decisions have to be implemented into the trunk, as well as as many of the other features on the feature list.
Google Summer of Code
Apart from the ACL delaying the process, there was other reasons for the delay. The Joomla 1.6 team wanted to give the work from Google Summer of Code a chance. They wanted to see if it wise to include some of the new development into the Joomla 1.6 release.
After lenghty decisions on the developer forums, the team decided to stay true to the original feature list for Joomla 1.6, with some modifications. The introduction of new features this late in the process is called feature creep. Although tempting, it delays the release and overall development. This is not unknown to the developers. The same happened both during the development of Mambo, and later when working on Joomla 1.5. Not wanting to repeat this, the decision was made not to include any new features in the Joomla 1.6 feature list.
So, the main features of Joomla 1.6 are still ACL, nested categories, comment system and the finishing of some of the features that was not done before the Joomla 1.5 release. Among them the task of making all extensions use the MVC (Model View Controller). Most of the back-end components have MVC file structure, but they are not fully MVC yet.
Some of the features that was proposed for inclusion in Joomla 1.6 will be included in the feature list for version 1.7. This includes:
- Complete overhaul of com_content where they can properly fit in taxonomy/tags, multi-language content and version control.
- Other features that were discussed on the developers list
Updated Feature List
You can find the feature list of Joomla 1.6 with the individual progress on each item here:
Joomla 1.6 beta 1 - release in 2-3 weeks from now
So what does all this mean? According to Hannes, the release of Joomla 1.6 beta 1 will happen in about 2-3 weeks from now.
Some additional articles about Joomla 1.6: