It's a party in the Joomlasphere today, and you're all invited. Joomla! 1.5 Stable has been pushed out the door. The release marks a new dawn in the evolution of the popular free open-source Web CMS.
There are two related reasons why it's a big deal. The first is mostly symbolic: 1.5 marks the end of the road for a great deal of the old Mambo code. Second, there's a hell of a lot of architectural and cosmetic changes.
So let's have a look under the hood of Joomla! 1.5.
* User UI is given a makeover: Administrator is 'more refined' and the main menu has been simplified
* Language support for Administrators: The admin interface can be rendered in the language of your choice with a language pack from joomlacode.org
* New image manager: "allowing you to browse media folders to select and insert images into your article as you write"
* New menu manager: Change menu type, contextual tool tips, collapsible parameter sections and more
* Search engine-friendly URLs and fewer system-generated content duplicates.
* "100% control" over presentation - "template designers can use custom layouts... instead of the typical table heavy output from Joomla! core"
* Nested tables are history
* Edit any CSS file for a template with the refreshed Template Manager
* More control over the look and feel of your site - new options for layout overrides and template parameters
Much of the fundamental rebuilding work has been undertaken with the development community in mind. Joomla has been separated into a three-tiered stack to allow developers to leverage the different layers as necessary. In short, "the most dramatic improvements to Joomla! 1.5 exist for developers."
* New object-oriented API that is designed to make applications much easier to build
* PHP 4.3 - PHP 5 supported
* A new Document package gives developers "control over the entire document rendered on any given page load whether it be an atom feed, a PDF document, or a standard HTML page"
* MVC (Model-View-Controller)-based component objects - a "clear separation between logic and presentation helps ensure code re-usability and maintainability"
* Reworked events system, allowing a new level of interaction with the application stack
One small snag for all you users who want to go grab 1.5 straightaway - upgrading from 1.0.x seems like a wee bit of a chore. Which is probably inevitable taking into account the number of changes.
Unless you want to lose a bit of data and pick up the pieces later, you'll have to follow the migration instructions posted at Joomla!'s documentation center. Bet you just can't wait.
A real red-letter day for FOSS CMS. One of the industry monsters has been torn apart and rebuilt. Now we have to wait and see whether what wakes up is a dog or a roaring lion.
We'll be keeping you posted about how Joomla! 1.5 works out. Anything you want to say on the matter, go right ahead. Download Joomla! 1.5 from headquarters and go read the full SP, should you wish.