Great news came in numbers this week from the world of open source content management: Joomla! downloads surpassed the 25 million mark, while a handful of other key milestones made their way into the news:
- More than 225,000 registered developers at the joomlacode.org site where open source developers work together to build extensions and the core codebase.
- 852 commercial development firms and individual developers serving 2,714 commercially supported Joomla extensions registered at Joomla's extension directory. There are more than 8,000 extensions available for Joomla.
- About 3,000 individuals who have directly contributed to the development of the core codebase via project tools at joomlacode.org.
These figures certainly mean good things for Joomla!, but they also illustrate the sustainable impact of free, open source CMS.
"What makes Joomla unique is that it has attracted a community of hundreds of thousands of developers over a relatively small amount of time, many of whom make a good living off the project," said Ryan Ozimek, president of Open Source Matters, a not-for-profit created to provide organizational, legal and financial support to the Joomla project. "Being able to contribute to so many people's livelihoods around the world and seeing the project grow despite the economic downturn is not only rewarding -- it is a testament to the community and the product that community has built."
Joomla 1.7 and Beyond
The latest release of the platform, Joomla 1.7, is a true testament to the community Ozimek speaks of, as it features improvements based on the feedback from over 2 million posts and almost 500,000 forum members, as well as data collected from Joomla! extensions.
The release includes an impressive number of productivity, architecture and security improvements such as:
- One Click Version Updating — This enhancement not only makes upgrades faster but can also improve CMS security because users are more likely to perform upgrades
- Pre-Defined Search Options — Improves search effectiveness for end users by allowing developers to define options that automatically complete search fields in the user interface
- Automatic Form Data Validation — Improves security by protecting against malicious input from forms
- Automatic Article Categories — Improves productivity for administrators by allowing site administrators to restrict the articles users post to a defined set of categories
- Improved Multi-Lingual Support — Language packs now support selecting the best font for the language without additional user intervention
- Architectural Decoupling — The core Joomla! libraries have been separated from the CMS core. This will enable use of the Joomla! platform to be used in other types of development projects without requiring deployment of the entire CMS platform.
Going forward, the Joomla! team claims releases will be in development for six months and then be retired one month after the next release. However, long-term support will last for 15 months starting with the next release, 1.8.
While a fixed delivery cycle is unusual for an open source project, the strong focus on operations planning may give Joomla! an edge over other such CMS options in enterprises.