January 15, 2011 - Version 1.6 of Joomla, the open source CMS (Content Management System) hit the market this week. Together with Drupal and WordPress, Joomla joins the “Big Three” club of open source CMS apps. As per the statistics revealed by W3Techs, approximately two percent of web share and eleven percent of CMS market share is captured by Joomla.
Companies including Citibank, eBay, General Eclectic, etc use Joomla for their front-facing as well as internal websites. Joomla 1.6 renders the package user-friendlier and more powerful.
Around 3 years ago, Joomla 1.5 was released which shows how much time and effort has been invested in this newer version's release. If reports are to be believed, then Joomla team is planning to come up with newer releases every six month implying that users won't need to wait longer for updates. The team of Joomla has spent quite a long time exploring newer features along with the improvements that Joomla 1.6 offers.
New ACS (Access Control System) - The new ACL (Access Control List) has replaced the user manager that was present in the older versions of Joomla. The ACL would render more granulose control while offering user permission and creating user groups. This is something really great, particularly with Joomla being so popular in the intranet environs.
Since Joomla is know for building a solid Access Control List into the system than merely depending on the third-party extensions is truly an appreciable step for this platform.
Updates in Joomla
Template Styles - While earlier, altering a template for merely one aspect of the website meant creating a completely new template and then changing the options that were to be changed manually. That was fine though, but the bundle of troubles unfurled the moment you try to update a design or template as a whole. Using Template Styles, designers are allowed to make multiple variations of the existing template which can be easily applied to particular sections or page of the website.
'One Click' Extension Updates - Like WordPress has auto update tool and plug-in manager, Joomla would also offer the same now. This is something really helpful for the admin in managing multiple websites and several extensions.
Besides the above mentioned features, Joomla 1.6 brings to you innovative features encompassing Sections Be Gone, Template and Layout Overrides, Package Installation Feature, and Better Media Manager.
Though when it comes to the 'ease of use' WordPress excels Joomla even today, but as a content management system, Joomla can be remarkably more powerful than the rest. The new ACL of Joomla is great, especially for the large scale websites that have a vast user base. For the designers, layout overrides and template styles would facilitate faster customization and modification of smaller aspects of a page or a website. Though differences aren't going to be drastic for the end users, but the software is faster and crispier when compared to Joomla 1.5.