- Created on Monday, 21 January 2008 13:44
Site Administrators - Simplicity & ControlAt first glance, you will appreciate user interface improvements. The Joomla! 1.5 Administrator is more refined and the main menu simplified.The global configuration was substantially reworked for simpler presentation and greater control.  An important improvement for our international community is having Joomla!'s entire Administrator available in one's own language using language packs made available at joomlacode.org.
Joomla! administrators will find a number of improvements in ease of site management. A single installer is available for all extension types, including languages.  The media manager is improved visually and functionally. Images, documents, presentations, and more, can now be stored. Other improvements include multi-delete capability, batch file uploads, and an ability to view media in icon and list formats. 
The core article manager is simpler. Gone are dual editor areas from Joomla! 1.0. Now, a single editor with a "Read More" button for separating the introduction from the full article, supports a more natural writing process. A very popular improvement is Joomla!'s new image manager enabling you to browse media folders to select and insert images directly into your article as you write. There is also more control of article pagination than before.
The complexity of choices and steps in the menu manager for Joomla! 1.0 have been completely redesigned for 1.5 in favor of simplicity and elegance. Usability improvements, such as the ability now to change the menu type, make changing your site much simpler. Any menu item can now be used to designate the default page. Selecting menu types is now an elegant drill down process supported by a new navigation tree; collapsible parameter sections simplify choices and increase productivity. Other helpful interface improvements include contextual tooltips and the ability to sort any menu manager column. 
One of the more significant functional improvements are search engine friendly URLs, easily implemented within the global configuration. With SEF URLs in place, system generated duplicate content is eliminated, greatly improving site search engine optimization.
Designers - Freedom & Imagination
Designers will notice marked improvements
with Joomla! 1.5. Under the hood, the code base was better organized
by separating program logic from presentation logic. What this does is
empower designers with 100% control over how Joomla!'s content is
presented. Now, template designers can use custom layouts, often
referred to as template overrides, instead of the typical table heavy
output from Joomla! core. The designer's imagination is the only limit
and implementation could not be easier since simply placing a layout
file into a designated place makes this possible. This model is being
adopted by third party developers who want to offer the same
flexibility for their extensions.
Another new addition for template designers is an ability to create custom module chrome. Module chrome is how module output is wrapped in a template. While Joomla! 1.0 has a handful of ways to render modules Joomla! 1.5 gives the designer ultimate freedom in the ability to create whatever chrome is appropriate.
With 1.5 the need for end users to manually edit variables and settings in template files is ancient history. Template parameters are a new feature that allow designers ability to construct templates in such a way that users can change settings from within the template manager interface. The template manager has also been freshened up with features such as the ability to edit any CSS file for the template.
Developers - Rapid Development & Logical Structure
But, the most dramatic improvements to Joomla! 1.5 exist for developers which means good news
for future enhancements. The design and architecture of the code base
has been planned and executed using current development methodologies
and design patterns. Joomla! has been separated into a three tiered
stack to keep the internal structure clean and allow developers to
leverage the different layers as necessary. The first and most
interesting layer for developers is the new Joomla! 1.5 framework.
With Joomla! 1.5, developers have an object-oriented, pattern based API that follows best practices and is organized into well structured and logical framework packages.
The Joomla! framework is built to support backwards compatibility to PHP 4.3 while also supporting the most current versions of PHP 5. Developers leveraging the framework will have easier transitions with newer versions of Joomla! since underlying classes have been designed with forward compatibility in mind. The idea is to ensure we have a solid foundation for future development while taking advantage of as much code reuse, as possible.
Some highlights of the new framework include the document package which gives the extension developer 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. The parameters system gives developers a simple, yet extensible way of generating XML based HTML forms for display. The extensibility of the parameters system allows developers to create their own form control objects as well as leverage the many core control objects, ranging from date selection calendar widgets and menu item selection boxes to standard text input fields.
Perhaps one of the most powerful features of the framework is the new MVC based component objects. Developing using the MVC design pattern gives developers a platform for rapid application development and prototyping. The clear separation between logic and presentation helps ensure code reusability and maintainability. Developers can hook into nearly any part of the application stack using Joomla!'s newly reworked events system, implemented according to the observer design pattern.
- Created on Sunday, 13 January 2008 16:33
The Joomla! Project today announced the immediate release of Joomla! 1.0.14 RC1 [Daybreak], the first and hopefully singular release candidate for the 1.0.14 release cycle. Several security issues have been discovered and addressed for this release. While the required changes are not significant, the number of impacted files are significant and we need your help. Before this release is declared stable we need to ensure that it works as well for you as it does for us.
Those of you that are able and willing please download a copy of 1.0.14 RC1 and test it on a backup copy of your live site. Make sure that the system works as good or better than Joomla! 1.0.13, our current stable release. Any issues that you find please report in the 1.0.x Bug Tracker. If you have questions on how to report a bug you should read the how-to and then if you still have questions please feel free to ask them in our 1.0.x Quality and Testing forum.
Since this release fixes security vulnerabilities, once you have verified on a backup of your site that everything works as expected we suggest that you upgrade your live site to this release.
- Created on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 05:28
Just a week and a half ago people from all over the globe gathered in various locations to do a little Bug Squashing... today the fruits of their labour can be revealed as we announce the release of Joomla! 1.5 RC4. This release is code named Karibu which is Swahili for nearby, close, close by, at hand... all terms that we feel reflect the nature of this release.
Karibu marks an important milestone in 1.5's development, as barring any major issues we believe it will be the last release candidate, with the next release being the big one... Joomla! 1.5 stable. When that happens will in part be influenced by the Joomla! community...
More so than any previous, this release really has been one of unprecedented community involvement with people from all the various Working Groups as well as others banding together to help increase momentum as we head for a stable release. There is an enormous amount of energy building up around the 1.5 release and it is inspirational being a part of the process.
How can I be a part of the stable release?
The first and most important thing you can do is test the software with us. Download a copy of RC4 and install it somewhere to test it. Go through all the different areas of the software looking for things that do not work. If you come across something that is broken then please file a bug report on our tracker. If you come across something that seems to not work but you are not sure, ask a question in our Quality and Testing forum. If you have the ability to solve the problem, let us know how you would solve it by fixing it and providing a patch.
Rule of thumb: a bug report is great, a patch is even greater.
Almost as important as making sure the software works is making sure that people can learn how to use it. We try to make Joomla! as easy to use as possible, but even the easiest to use software requires documentation. Because Joomla! 1.5 is a complete rethink and rework of so much, the documentation for 1.0.x is no longer relevant. One of the things that we can use a lot of help with is writing documentation. At nearly every event we have gone to we have heard that people want to help but feel that they really do not have the expertise to do so... well this is your chance to help! We need volunteers to write up documentation on how to use nearly every part of Joomla! ... help screens ... development tutorials ... anything and everything you can think of to help people learn about Joomla!.
Teaser: Building on the huge success of the Bug Squashing event, in the coming weeks we will announce a Joomla! Documentation Boot Camp.... stay tuned for more.
How do I find more information on Joomla! 1.5?
Most of the resources with information on 1.5 is a work in progress, but that's where you come in. Help us make these resources better so that everyone that comes after you doesn't have the same problems finding information that you might have.
- Developer Network Wiki
- Joomla! 1.5 API Reference
- 1.5 Development Forum
- Developer Documentation Forum
Joomla! 1.5 RC4 is by far the most stable release of version 1.5 to date. It has undergone a great deal of testing and bug fixing since RC3 and is considered very close to stable. In our continuing efforts to provide the most secure code base we can 4 security issues have been identified and fixed since RC3. For this reason is it strongly advised that you upgrade any sites running RC3 to RC4 as soon as possible. As always when doing upgrades make sure you make backups of your existing site and test the upgrade first in a sandbox environment before you upgrade a live site.
A list of the known issues and security fixes for RC4 is shown below. Due to how fast things get fixed in our code base, those of you actively testing should be using updated nightly builds or copies checked out from our subversion server both of which can be found here.
- There is an issue with the URL rewriting plugin that affects links embedded in articles in some cases. Make sure you test this thoroughly before updating a live site.
- SECURITY [HIGH] Critical CSRF allow portal compromise - Administrator components.
- SECURITY [HIGH] Fixed registered user privilege escalation vulnerability.
- SECURITY [MEDIUM] Fixed administrators can promote other users to administrator group.
- SECURITY [LOW] XSS vulnerability in com_poll
Although a complete re-installation is recommended, it is possible to upgrade from RC3 to RC4 with the following procedure:
- Backup all files; backup your database.
- Delete all Joomla! core files, but leave any third-party extension files in place, including your configuration.php file.
- Upload/copy contents of RC4 package.
- Execute the MySQL commands to be found in /installation/sql/mysql/diff.sql to implement the necessary database changes.
- Delete the entire /installation directory.