The Joomla! Project is pleased to announce the availability of Joomla! 1.7 Alpha 1 for download - on time and on target. This is the first release made within the new six-month release cycle that started with the delivery of Joomla 1.6 in January this year.
What is this release for?
There are several goals for this release:
- To allow advance testing of sites and custom extensions so that site administrators and developers can report any problems before the final release.
- To raise awareness that the end of the current development cycle is fast approaching.
What is this release NOT for?
This alpha version of Joomla 1.7 is not suitable for production sites. It is to be used for testing only.
When is the final release due?
Joomla 1.7 GA (general availability) is due to be released on or about the 10 July 2011. The planned milestone before and after this date are:
- 05 June - Joomla alpha 1 released for public testing
- 10 June - Feature freeze to prepare for beta release
- 13 June - Joomla beta 1 to be released for public testing
- 27 June - Joomla beta 2 to be released for public testing
- 4 July - Version 11.1 of the Joomla Platform to be released
- 10 July - Joomla 1.7 GA released
- 10 August - Joomla 1.6 reaches end of life and is no longer supported
- January 2012 - Next version of Joomla is released
- April 2012 - Joomla 1.5 reaches end of life
Please note that dates may be subject to change depending on availability of volunteers and circumstances beyond our control.
How do I upgrade to Joomla 1.7?
Upgrading from Joomla 1.6 to Joomla 1.7 will be relatively easy. You will just use the Extension Manager just like you would upgrade from, for example, Joomla 1.6.2 to 1.6.3. This feature is not available for the alpha version of Joomla 1.7.
If you are using Joomla 1.5 then you will still be required to migrate your site using the jUpgrade component. When Joomla 1.7 GA is released you will be able to migrate directly from Joomla 1.5 straight to Joomla 1.7 (you can conveniently skip migrating to Joomla 1.6).
What’s new in Joomla 1.7 so far?
One of the major goals of Joomla 1.7 was to separate the Joomla Platform, that is the engine upon which the Joomla CMS runs, into it’s own product. The separation of the platform from the CMS, and its subsequent reinsertion, was completed last month. The new Joomla Platform includes many new features that will be of interest to developers. More information about those features and the platform will be made available closer to the release date.
Other features have been submitted to the Joomla Feature Tracker by members of the community and several of those are being reviewed for inclusion. Some have already been added to the 1.7 alpha package.
Compared to previous huge releases, such as Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.6, Joomla 1.7 is going to be a relatively gentle release with no big surprises.
What happens to Joomla 1.6?
Joomla 1.7 is the direct upgrade for Joomla 1.6. Joomla 1.6 will be supported for critical security issues only for a period of one month after the release of Joomla 1.7. After that time, only Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.7 will be available for download and will be supported by the Joomla project.
How can you help Joomla development?
The great news is you don’t have to be a developer to help build Joomla. The Joomla Bug Squad is one of the most active teams in the Joomla development process and is always looking for people (not just developers) that can help with sorting bug reports, coding patches and testing solutions. It’s a great way for increasing your working knowledge of Joomla, and also a great way to meet knew people from all around the world.
If you are interested, please read about us on the Joomla Wiki and, if you wish to join, email Mark Dexter.
You can also help Joomla development by thanking those involved in the many areas of the process. Since the release of Joomla 1.6, a whopping 375 issues have been fixed by the JBS. The project also wants to thanks all of the people that have taken the time to prepare and submit work to be included in Joomla 1.7, and to those that have worked very hard on the Joomla Platform separation project.
If you are an extension developer, please make sure you subscribe to the general developer mailing list as this is a place where you can discuss extension development and news that may affect custom development will be posted from time to time.
Following is a list of previous news and information about Joomla 1.7 and other sites of interest:
- Wanted: New features for Joomla 1.7
- Working with the Joomla Feature Tracker
- New features for Joomla 1.7
- Potential backward compatibility issues in Joomla 1.7 and Joomla Platform 11.1
- General developer mailing list
- Joomla developer network
New features - CMS
- Add support to log deprecated API (Andrew Eddie)
- JToolBarHelper functions for Save and Create New and Save as Copy (Joseph LeBlanc)
- Mod_custom with backgroundimages (Angie Radtke)
- Allow preselection of categories in com_content (Peter Kneisel)
- Add JFormRuleOptions rule to validate type="list" parameters (Mark Dexter)
- Make copy/move consistent across components (Michael Babker)
- Update TinyMCE to version 3.4 (Rouven Weßling)
- New parameters are present for the language switcher (Jean-Marie Simonet)
- Translation teams can now include a css file in their admin pack to change the fonts used in back-end (Jean-Marie Simonet)
- Language manager now displays installed language in tabs (Michael Babker)
- (and a few more are under review ...)
In addition, a number of new features have been added to the Joomla Platform. These will be discussed in a future article.