Joomla, for the un-initiated, is a free, popular and user friendly open source Content Management System with which you can publish content to the web; in that respect it is somewhat similar to WordPress. It is written in PHP and utilizes object oriented programming techniques.
Joomla 3 was a major update to the platform, and now another update, as a support for Joomla 3 has been rolled out. The beta version of Joomla 3.1 has been recently released; and in just a couple of days the stable version is expected. That means that till the stable version is released, Joomla 3.1 can only be used for testing and not on production sites. So if you are using Joomla on any of your sites, please wait for the stable version to be released before you decide to upgrade. When you do, all it requires is a single click; it’s not a process of migration. It will also be backward compatible.
This means that there will now be 3 supported version of Joomla: 1.5, 2.5, and 3.0 (3.i is seen more as an update to 3.0 and not a separate version of Joomla in itself). Basically you can be sure that 3.1 will include fixes for bugs in Joomla 3.0; and for this reason, it has already created a buzz in tech circles.
Before we go into what is special in Joomla 3.1. Let us first see what Joomla 3 was all about.
Joomla 3 brought Joomla up to date with the mobile revolution that is storming the web. It is intended for developers and those who would be able to adopt early itself. If you have been using Joomla 2.5 , you have support until 2014, so you don’t have to worry. If you want to upgrade, however, you can do it from the site’s administrator area.
In a limited amount of time, the visitor and admin area were both functioning smoothly on mobile phones. Bootstrap is among the most common mobile frameworks; Since Joomla uses Bootstrap, designer’s task is simple. In Bootstrap you have a similar interface for all the extensions so that your admin area is not cluttered with dozens of different interfaces. Basically, the fundamental interfaces don’t have to be reinvented by the developers, thanks to Bootstrap taking care of most of their work.
Here are the Joomla 3 innovations:
- The Twitter Bootstrap has been incorporated into a jui media parcel
- A brand new interface and responsive admin template called Isis was added
- The Twitter Bootstrap template Beez 3 was used to create a new template for the front end, and was named Protostar
- The inclusion of the Postgre SQL Driver means that you can use the Postgre SQL database to run the sites based on Joomla 3.
- Feed management will be performed using JFeed, and not SimplePie.
- Language packages will be installed straight from the extension manager.
- Default presentation of Guest User
- No permission for saving blank articles
- A new module for admin stats was introduced
- Clean up of older code, databases and files that were unused was continued, and consistency of tables was improved greatly.
- TinyMCE was updated to version 3.5.6
- Smart Search was enhanced
- A lot of work went into standardizing code style and keeping it consistent
- Testing the unit in the CMS was introduced as were updated tests for the system
- In the remaining core components, addition of items associations for Multilanguage was introduced.
- The Joomla Installer has been given a language installation tool
- Items association was included in multi language
So what’s new in Joomla 3.1?
- The Tags functionality for content elements allows tagging of any content element like contact, article and so on, and searching for all elements with a particular tag. Extensions developers will be able to easily tag their extensions. (tags are meta data that allow developers to include keywords, and being meta data, it is possible for the organization and display of data in various styles)
- Missing triggers to the com_config component have been added
- Showing logs in the debug console
- Addition of pagination in the COM_SEARCH component
- The GeSHi plug in has been removed