Joomla! 1.5.4 Released

Created on Monday, 07 July 2008 17:39

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The Joomla! community is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Joomla! 1.5.4 [Naiki]. This is a normal maintenance release which includes a few low to moderate security issues, many bug fixes, and several very nice improvements. It has been a little over ten weeks since Joomla! 1.5.3 was released on April 24, 2008. The Development Working Group's goal is to continue to provide regular, frequent updates to the Joomla! community containing the latest bug fixes and minor enhancements.


Download Joomla! 1.5.4 and update packages

Want to test drive Joomla!? Try the online demo. Documentation is available for beginners.

Release Notes

Bug Fixes

  • Major Cache overhaul, including unit testing for quality assurance
  • Router issues related to extending the router
  • Menu ordering issues when nested menus were used
  • Several Search component fixes, including the removal of HTML tags as possible search results
  • Menu permissions issues
  • Unpublished menu item issues, including fatal errors and allowing an unpublished menu item to be selected as default
  • Banners can handle Flash items
  • Polls and Latest and Most Popular articles listed in the Administrator now support GMT dates
  • Page titles now follow more consistent rules (see Page Title Parameters for more information)
  • Several OpenID improvements

Security Fixes

  • LDAP security fix to prevent unauthorized access to administration
  • Added security to file caching to prevent unauthorized access to cached pages
  • User Redirect Spam fix
  • htaccess global variable security fix when SEF is enabled (See .htaccess Security Fix)


  • OnBeforeContentSave and onAfterContentSave Event Triggers added (See Content Trigger Additions for more information)
    • Ability to abort a save by returning false in the onBeforeContentSave trigger
  • Added JA_Purity template (See JA_Purity Template for more information)
  • Help screens updated (See Help Screens for more information)
  • Supports installing site and admin languages in one package (See Language Installation Improvements for more information)
  • All line endings changed to \n instead of a mix of \r\n and \n


Thanks to the Joomla! Bug Squad for their dedicated efforts investigating reports, fixing problems, and applying patches to Joomla!. If you find a bug with Joomla!, please report the bug using the Joomla! tracker.

Statistics for the 1.5.4 release period

  • 83 Issues fixed in SVN
  • 52 Open issues
  • 29 Pending issues
  • 155 Closed issues
  • 36 Confirmed issues
  • 234 Reported issues
  • 84 Commits

Active members of the Bug Squad, include: Anthony Ferrara (lead), Akarwuth Tamrareang, Amy Stephen, Andrew Eddie, Elin Waring, Ercan Ozkaya, Hannes Pappenberg, Ian MacLennan, Isaac Shabtay, Jennifer Marriott, Jens-Christian Skibakk, Joseph LeBlanc, Kevin Devine, Mati Kochen, Michael Casha, Pieter J. van Horssen, Samuel Moffatt, Shantanu Bala, Tomasz Dobrzynski, and Wilco Jansen.

Warm welcome to the newest members of the Bug Squad: Airton Torres, Arno Zijlstra, Ben Cessa, Esban Bahnsen, James Anastasios, Jeetu Kataria, Omar Ramos, Robin Muilwijk, and Witchakorn Kamolpornwijit

With great pride, we recognize contributors to the second Pizza, Bugs and Fun event for fixing bugs and helping make Joomla! better in many ways. Thank you, very much!

Joomla! 1.5.5 goals

  • Profiling and performance optimization
  • URL unit testing and improvements for SEF URLs
  • Recruit Bug Squad members who use Joomla! with non-English languages to help ensure localization continues to work correctly
  • Plugin refactoring and introduction of unit testing (see Unit Testing current status and background info)
  • Continue working on the //TODO tags in source code
  • Update of the OpenID library to 2.0
  • Replacement of the Pear library

Additional Documentation

Several nice enhancements are available in Joomla! 1.5.4 including the Language Installation Improvements, new JA_Purity template, recently completed Help Screens, Content Trigger Additions and Page Title Parameter consistencies. More information on each of these topics follow.

.htaccess Security Fix

A change was made to the htaccess.txt file to move the rewrite rules that block common exploits above the SEF URL rewrite section in order to force SEF URLs through the security checking. This is considered a minor security inprovement.

If you are upgrading your Joomla! 1.5 Web site, you are encouraged to use the Joomla! 1.5.4 delivered htaccess.txt file as your .htaccess file and reapply any changes you might have added for your hosting environment. If you have questions, please use the Joomla! 1.5 Security forum.

Language Installation Improvements

Improvements have been added to the Language Installation process so that the Site and Administrator languages can be installed as one package. Look for more information from the Bug Squad and the Translations Working Group blogs for how to use this new capability. Thanks to Jens-Christian Skibakk for his work in this area. If you have questions, please use the Translations forum.

JA_Purity Template

The Joomla! 1.5.4 release has a very special addition. For the first time, the JA_Purity template is now available in core. Last fall, Joomla! announced a Template Contest, requesting submissions from anyone interested. Early in January, five finalists were announced from a field of 30 templates and the community was invited to select their favourite. Over 50% of the votes went to JA Purity. Since that time, the template design has been updated to meet core standards and has undergone rigorous testing. It is now ready and included in the core distribution as one of three templates available for your use.

Thanks to JoomlArt for this fabulous design.

To use this new template:

  • Logon to the Administrator.
  • Select the Extensions-Template Manager menu option.
  • Click the option button to the left of JA_Purity and press the Default button at the top of the Web page.

The JA_Purity template will then be available in the frontend of your Joomla! Web site.

If you have questions or need assistance with this template, please use the JA_Purity Template forum.

Help Screens


Joomla! 1.5.4 ushers in another important improvement. The Joomla! 1.5 Help Screens have been completed and are accessible from the Administrator. The Documentation Team has carefully explained how to use each element of the Joomla! user interface. Each function in every Administrator Manager has been meticulously documented to help Web site integrators and administrators understand the numerous options available and the implications of each choice.

This work is outstanding and professional. Special thanks to Chris Davenport, Joomla! Core Team member and Documentation Working Group Coordinator and to Marieke van der Tuin who led this team effort. Please take time to read Marieke's announcement and to thank her and the rest of the team for their considerable contributions to the Joomla! community.

If you have questions or find errors in the Help Screen documentation, please use the Documentation Suggestions, Modifications, and Correction forum.

Content Trigger Additions

One of the most exciting improvements Joomla! 1.5.4 brings is incredible potential. Those who are Joomla! extension developers are encouraged to take a look at two new functions in the Example Content Plugin for a glimpse of new capabilities made available in this release. Consider what is now possible with event triggers that fire before and after content is saved.


The onBeforeContentSave and onAfterContentSave event triggers open doors to all kinds of new innovation. Look for new third party extensions that will likely appear quickly offering extensions with email notifications for new articles, ping, automatic posting of articles to social networks, news services, or group blog environments, archive development, and easy to use version management. These triggers are very powerful and will prove to be an important improvement to Joomla!.

Special thanks to Anthony Ferrara for this work.

If you have questions about how to use these new event triggers, use the Joomla! 1.5.x Development forum.

Page Title Parameters

Numerous inconsistencies have been identified in how page title parameters are handled in Joomla!. One of the goals of this release is to ensure consistency for page titles across all core menu types, for each core template. This work has been completed and is available in the Joomla! 1.5.4 release.

It is always important to test a release before applying it to a production environment. For this release in particular, pay close attention to page titles during testing as there are likely changes you might want to review and possibly adapt.


To understand how consistency has been built into Joomla! for the page title parameters, some background information might be helpful.



There are two places where the page title is displayed. The page title will always appear in the upper left corner of the browser bar and the page title can appear on the actual Joomla! Web page. The same value is always used for the page title whether it prints on the browser bar or the Joomla! Web page.


The page title parameters are set for each menu item in the Parameters (System) section. There are two parameters:

  • The Page Title parameter, which is a text field. In this example, the Page Title parameter value contains the legendary "Welcome to the Frontpage" greeting.
  • And, the Show Page Title parameter, an option field allowing choices of "Yes" or "No."

Displaying or hiding the page title on the Joomla! Web page


Show Page Title Parameter. The Show Page Title parameter determines whether or not a page title is displayed on the Joomla! Web page. This example demonstrates Show Page Title set to "No." In this case, the "Welcome to the Frontpage" page title is not printed on the Joomla! Web page. Compare this with the first image in this article where Show Page Title is set to "Yes" and the "Welcome to the Frontpage" page title is displayed on the Joomla! Web page.

The page title always appears in the browser bar. When Show Page Title is set to "Yes", Joomla! uses the same page title value for both the browser bar and the Joomla! Web page.

Each Joomla! menu type now implements these principles consistently.

Controlling the value used for page title

There are three rules to determine what value is used for the page title.

Rule 1 - If the Page Title parameter has a value, then that value will be used as the page title.

If you enter a value into the Page Title parameter, then that value is now consistently used as the page title. The examples, above, demonstrate the Page Title parameter value of "Welcome to the Frontpage" correctly used as the page title.

Rule 2 - If no value has been provided for the Page Title parameter and the menu type requires selected content, then the name of that content is used as the page title.


If you do not provide a value for the Page Title parameter, then the value used for page title depends on whether or not the menu item displays selected content. For those menu items where content must be selected, Joomla! uses the name of the content selected as the page title.

For example, if the menu type is an Article Layout, and no value has been provided for the Page Title parameter, then the name of the selected article is used for the page title. The example pictured above highlights this rule for the "Joomla! Overview" article. The same type of logic is used if the menu type is a Category Blog Layout and no value has been provided for Page Title parameter. In that case, the name of the selected Category is used for the page title.

This rule is now consistently applied to all menu types that require specific content, including Articles, Newsfeeds, Polls, Web Links, and so on. 

Note: In this example, the Show Page Title parameter is set to "Yes" so the page title value is displayed on both the browser bar and the Joomla! Web page. Setting the Show Page Title to Yes or No will not impact the value used for the page title.

Rule 3 - when no value is provided for the Page Title parameter and the menu type does not require specific content, a specific value associated with the menu type is used as the page title.


When the menu item does not require specific content and there is no Page Title parameter value, the value used as page title depends on the menu type, as listed below:

  • Archived Article List - the word "Archives"
  • Article Submission - the phrase "Submit an Article"
  • Front Page Blog Layout - the site name, as specified in the Global Configuration
  • Newsfeeds Category List Layout - the word "Newsfeeds", as pictured above
  • Web Links Category List Layout - the phrase "Web Links"
  • Web Links Submission - the phrase "Submit a Web Link"
  • Search - the word "Search"
  • User menu types - text reflective of the purpose of the form, including "Login", "Registration", "Forget your username?", "Forget your password", and "Edit your details"
  • Wrapper - the Menu Item Title value

Review and Assistance

To review, here are the basic rules for page titles:

  • The page title always displays in the browser title bar.
  • The page title can be displayed on the Joomla! Web page if the Show Page Title parameter is set to Yes.
  • If the page title displays in both places, the same page title is used in both places.
  • The value used for page title is determined using these three rules:
    • Rule 1: If a value is entered for the Page Title parameter, that value is used as the page title.
    • Rule 2: Otherwise, the name of selected content is used as the page title when the menu item requires specific content.
    • Rule 3: Otherwise, a specific word or phrase is used as the page title, depending on the menu type selected.

Consistency with these rules will make it easier to build, maintain, and use Joomla! Web sites. Special thanks to Elin Waring and Ian MacLennan who headed up this task for the Joomla! Bug Squad. A lot of effort went into implementing and testing these changes but it is possible something was overlooked. If you find a situation where these rules are not consistently applied, or if you have questions about the page title changes, please use the Joomla! 1.5 Administration forum.

For more details, see this spreadsheet showing new and old behaviors. For fun, see the blog.