Joomla 1.5 was a giant leap for Joomla-kind. And with the upcoming 1.6, Joomla users will be even more addicted to this CMS than before.
Join me as we explore some of the goodies you can expect from Joomla 1.6, and what it will mean for your site.
These are some of the features that will appear in Joomla 1.6. There are of course several other improvements as well, but those are mostly under the hood, and I've focused on the features more understandable for the rest of us ;)
Unlimited depth categories (but not multi-mapping). This means that we can get rid of the section-category-article structure, and use only categories and articles (for instance, category1-category2-category3-article).
Access Control (ACL)
This is huge! This new technology from JExtended will form the backbone of the Joomla 1.6 access control system and new member manager (replacing the current user manager). This system will be extendable allowing such things as custom user fields.
ACL means that you can create user groups, assign users to these groups and grant or restrict access to certain functions. For instance, you can use this to restrict a certain user group from editing any content on your site except their own category and menu items. This is a huge improvement over the current user management system, which is too simple.
Comments as standard component
Thanks to JExtended, comments functionality will be standard in Joomla from version 1.6 onwards. This will also include ping and trackbacks, making Joomla even better for blogs than it already is.
Improved frontend editing
There will be enhancements to the frontend editing, giving us inline editing of article titles, menu items and module titles. There's also work in progress on making article editing appear in a modal window (floating window in your browser - just like article parameters).
Captcha as standard
Captcha are those images in a form containing letters and numbers you need to input for the form to be passed to the server. There are many captcha plugins available, but Joomla 1.6 will have this as a standard feature, protecting your forms from spammers.
All layouts wil be converted to semantic, XHTML Strict. Great news - those table-based layouts were SO 90's :)
In Joomla 1.6 you will have an easier way of updating your extensions. Today, you need to remove the extension before installing a new version. From version 1.6 you'll have an update function available in the Extension Manager, which will make it much easier to work with extensions. As far as I know, the extension needs to be adapted to use this new feature, but that shouldn't be too hard for the developers.
Other features coming in Joomla 1.6
- Implement a new JForm library package [complete].
- Implement new controller dispatchers for more robust request routing [complete].
- Implement and standardise several new event triggers [in progress].
- Implement a JContent class that will be used by content plug-ins and views [in progress].
- Upgrade to Mootools 1.2 [in progress].
- Menu manager re-work -- added since it's broken in 1.6 [in progress].
- Implement queued redirects (allows you to, for example, return to the previous page you were on after you edit something).
- Refactor parameters and make them more extensible (for example, plugins could allow you to add additional custom parameters to articles).
- Finish MVC-ing the Administrator components (we need lots of help here).
- Implement systems whereby external authentication systems, such as LDAP, can map to our new Joomla user groups.
- Re-implement the ability to select multiple categories for some views in com_content (was in 1.0, got dropped in 1.5).
- Implement a database driven installation log.
- Refactor JError.
- Examine the PDF generation system in detail and see if we can make it work properly (otherwise we will look at dropping it if we can't make it work well).
- Localise the Invalid Token messages.
- Drop the Polls component because the quality of that extension is pretty bad and there are much better third-part alternatives available.
- Convert all layouts to semantic, XHTML Strict.
- Convert of ini-based "params" fields to use JSON instead of INI format (huge technical and performance improvements). Note, the language files will remain in INI format.
Wilco Jansen, head of the developer team, says this about the feature list:
It is important to understand that we will focus on the features listed above. There are no doubt lots of ideas for what could be implemented, but it is very important to understand that this is the list of features we will focus on. The features that make it into the final Joomla 1.6 release will depend upon what the Joomla Development Community contributes.
Other improvements suggested for 1.6 (might not make it into first version)
- Backend content search
- Option for "expiration date" for frontpage articles
- Recurring articles (publish/unpublish with intervals)
- Start / stop date for publishing of modules
On this page you can follow the progress of the Joomla 1.6 development process
You can also read the update from Wilco Jansen regarding Joomla 1.6 feature patches
Joomla 1.6 will be great. Seeing what I'm able to do with 1.5, I can't wait for this update!