Joomla! 1.5

Just when you thought it was time for a Joomla! release increment, we've decided to take FIVE in one go!

During the past few months, we've been discussing the versioning of the forthcoming Joomla! release.  We have decided to call the upcoming beta release "Joomla! 1.5 Beta", not Joomla! 1.1 Beta.

The sheer volume of changes in the Joomla! core (Joomla! framework) made a minor point (.1) increment inconsistent with the amount of work undertaken.  While it may not be obvious by simply looking at release dates, today's Joomla! core has multiple technology shifts under the engine.

Much of the work reflects meeting the expectations from requests by the international community, to make Joomla! fully internationalised — and this was given the highest priority.  Lead developer of 1.5 Johan Janssens said the development issues involved in implementing internationalisation required "significantly more developer muscle compared to what shipped in Joomla! 1.0".

"With the commitment to internationalisation to make Joomla! fully capable of multi-lingual support we began in earnest to provide support for Unicode (UTF-8)," he said.  "This decision alone required mass chunks of the core to be refactored, and then some third party libraries were found to be incapable of supporting the UTF-8 character set and had to be either customised or replaced."

"Our strategy has been to take Joomla! to a completely different level; overcoming the technical issues which came with each challenge during this development cycle have been considerable," he said.  "We recognise some Joomla! fans are keen to use this next generation CMS — however delays reflect countless hours of the development team drilling down to obtain optimal results."

"We're extremely happy with where 1.5 is and the team should be proud of its work, particularly in the refactoring of the codebase into a complete application framework."

The forthcoming version is much, much more than a minor update — it's a complete rework of the underlying codebase, yet it keeps a high level of backwards compatibility expected for a minor release.  No mean feat!

Joomla! 1.5 beta will be released this month.