After a long wait, Joomla! 1.6 beta 1 will be released to the public today. This version arrives almost 7 months after Joomla! 1.6 Alpha 2 was released. It's been a long wait - but as it seems - it is worth it.
This beta version marks a huge step forward in the development of Joomla 1.6. The features in this version are the ones that will be found in the final, stable version.
Joomla 1.6 has been designed to offer enhanced site control and a more polished user experience. It will deliver a variety of new tools to improve website management and access, a more robust organizational structure for content control, and various other user- experience improvements throughout the system.
No comments in Joomla 1.6
As people have blogged about elsewhere, Joomla! 1.6 will not include comments functionality. For me, this is not a huge loss. I use Disqus with Joomla anyway, so I don't really see why we need comments in the Joomla core.
The comments functionality will most likely be included in Joomla! 1.7.
A huge step for Joomla!
Ryan Ozimek, President of Open Source Matters, the not-for-profit organization that supports The Joomla Project says the following about Joomla 1.6:
"The release of Joomla 1.6 will raise the bar of success for our community's users, and enable our developer community to build even more exciting and compelling solutions. New features and capabilities – such as the hierarchical design of the access control system, semantic XHTML layouts and one-click extension updates – usher in a new set of tools that open doors for more effective online engagements. Whether building a personal website or a next-generation Web application for an enterprise environment, Joomla! 1.6 offers the most compelling solution for easily building and managing powerful online solutions."
Joomla's ease-of-use and extensibility has made it the most popular and downloaded open source website software in the industry today. Joomla has been downloaded more than 16 million times. Joomla is used for everything from small personal websites to the backend management for some of the largest enterprises and highest traffic sites on the Web, including sites operated by Citibank, IHOP, Harvard University, the Baltimore Police Department, Linux.com, Smart Car of America, The Guggenheim Museum, and many more.
Key Features in Joomla 1.6:
- New Access Control System (ACL) - Allows site administrators control over who can view and manage content.
- Unlimited Depth Organizational Model (nested categories) - Gives site administrators and content creators user-defined category levels that allow for the creation of a category tree with as many or as few levels for organizing articles and other content as needed.
- One-Click Extension Updates - Allows users to keep sites secure and controlled by simplifying the process of updating extensions.
- Semantic XHTML Layouts (templates) - Provide a better baseline for content presentation.
In addition, developers and implementers will enjoy the new ability Joomla 1.6 provides in allowing extensions to be built with granular control and permissions. This will make it easier to create more advanced, enterprise-focused applications and extensions for Joomla. There are numerous improvements in areas like code reuse, and considerable success in ensuring the stability of application programming interfaces via unit testing.
Louis Landry, a lead developer and community member of The Joomla Project, is excited about the beta release and states:
"With the release of 1.6, The Joomla Project is transitioning the development process to a more iterative, time-based release cycle. This new approach will help streamline the production of new code and better ensure timely releases around product updates. I'm very excited about the beta release and look forward to working with the entire community as we continue to refine the system."
(remember, this is not for a production site - it's still a beta version!)