The release of Joomla 1.7 is not far away. In fact, the stable version (1.7.0) is scheduled for release on Tuesday, July 19 (new date!).
In this post, you'll find some dates and information on upgrading to Joomla 1.7 from versions 1.5 and 1.6.
The Alpha version of 1.7 was released on June 5th.
Joomla 1.7.0 beta is targeted for release on Tuesday, June 28.
Automatic upgrade from 1.6 to 1.7 alpha or beta will not be possible.
The goals for the alpha release are:
- To allow advance testing of sites and custom extensions so that site administrators and developers can report any problems before the final release.
- To raise awareness that the end of the current development cycle is fast approaching.
Thus, the alpha and beta releases are mostly targeted at developers for testing, and for site admins to be able to preview the new functions.
Upgrading from Joomla 1.6
Joomla 1.6.4 will be released Tuesday, June 28. This update is required for automatic update to Joomla 1.7.0 stable.
The upgrade from 1.6.4 to 1.7.0 will be done automatically and inside the Joomla administrator. This means that from 1.7.0 onwards, you will not need to download a patch package and upload via FTP. You can do it all from within the Joomla administrator.
As Joomla has moved into time-based release cycles, Joomla 1.7.0 will be the major version. That means that Joomla 1.6 will reach end-of-life a month after the release of 1.7. After that, there will be no more patch upgrades to 1.6.
Migrating from Joomla 1.5
If you're on Joomla 1.5, moving to 1.6 or 1.7 is more of a migration than a straight-forward upgrade. Database tables and other things in the Joomla installation needs to be changed. Patch upgrades to 1.5 was simpler (files were updated and replaced). 1.5 to 1.6 is a bit more complicated.
Luckily, Matias Aguirre from Argentina has developed jUpgrade, an upgrade script for Joomla 1.5 to 1.6.
Mathias has confirmed that his upgrade script will have support for direct update from Joomla 1.5 to 1.7. This will be a reality as soon as Joomla 1.7.0 stable is released on July 19th.
The current version of the jUpgrade script can be found here.
UPDATE: Here a blog post about jUpgrade 1.1.1 and 1.7 support
Compatibility with Joomla 1.6
I've heard directly from PLT (Production Leadership Team) members and others involved in the Joomla project that Joomla 1.6 extensions will work without problems in Joomla 1.7.
I will assume that the same applies for templates, but I don't have a confirmation on that yet.
What’s new in Joomla 1.7?
The press release for Joomla 1.7.0 Alpha states:
One of the major goals of Joomla 1.7 was to separate the Joomla Platform, that is the engine upon which the Joomla CMS runs, into it’s own product. The separation of the platform from the CMS, and its subsequent reinsertion, was completed last month. The new Joomla Platform includes many new features that will be of interest to developers. More information about those features and the platform will be made available closer to the release date.
Other features have been submitted to the Joomla Feature Tracker by members of the community and several of those are being reviewed for inclusion. Some have already been added to the 1.7 alpha package.
Compared to previous huge releases, such as Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.6, Joomla 1.7 is going to be a relatively gentle release with no big surprises.
- Add support to log deprecated API (Andrew Eddie)
- JToolBarHelper functions for Save and Create New and Save as Copy (Joseph LeBlanc)
- Mod_custom with backgroundimages (Angie Radtke)
- Allow preselection of categories in com_content (Peter Kneisel)
- Add JFormRuleOptions rule to validate type="list" parameters (Mark Dexter)
- Make copy/move consistent across components (Michael Babker)
- Update TinyMCE to version 3.4 (Rouven Weßling)
- New parameters are present for the language switcher (Jean-Marie Simonet)
- Translation teams can now include a css file in their admin pack to change the fonts used in back-end (Jean-Marie Simonet)
- Language manager now displays installed language in tabs (Michael Babker)
- (and a few more are under review ...)
You can read more about the proposed features in this blog post. If you have an account on JoomlaCode.org, you can check out the feature tracker.
Timeline for Joomla releases (subject to change)
- 05 June - Joomla 1.7.0 alpha 1 released for public testing
- 10 June - Feature freeze to prepare for beta release
- 28 June - Joomla 1.6.4 to be released
- 28 June - Joomla 1.7.0 beta 1 to be released for public testing
- 4 July - Version 11.1 of the Joomla Platform to be released
- 19 July - Joomla 1.7.0 GA (stable) released
- 19 August - Joomla 1.6 reaches end of life and is no longer supported
- January 2012 - Next version of Joomla (1.8) is released
- April 2012 - Joomla 1.5 reaches end of life