What is the difference between Joomla! 1.5 and Joomla 1.6?
The biggest changes are a completely new user rights management and the possibility to create nested categories. In addition to that, there are many "small things" that make switching to Joomla! 1.6 attractive. The biggest "small thing" is probably that the source code has been simplified, reduced and is therefore more consistent now. Developers can now be more confident with the behavior of the Joomla! 1.6 framework.
New access concept
The Access Control List (ACL) has completely been changed in Joomla 1.6. The existing user groups used in Joomla! 1.5 are still the same in Joomla! 1.6 but they can be enhanced and renamed. Unlimited access levels can also be defined there. User groups can be assigned to access levels (Figure 1) and different groups can then be assigned to various access levels.
Figure 1: user groups refers to access level
New category system
There will no longer be any sections. Categories can be nested as deeply as you would like. (Figure 2)
Figure 2: Nested Categories
Copy and move operations, and the allocation of access levels can now be done in a batch process (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Multiprocessing
Users can be activated in batch processes.
Updates per mouse click
A simple feature. The system detects available updates and initiates them by clicking on the corresponding button.
There have been many changes in the area of templates. There are two administrator templates and three website templates. The Blue Stork template is the new standard for the administrator area; an alternative is Hathor (Figure 4). Beez2 is the default website template and Atomic (Figure 5) is a good base for your own template project.
Figure 4: Hathor Administrator Template
Figure 5: Atomic Website Template
Beez2 is now standard
The XHTML-conform template Beez developed by Angie Radtke is now the chosen standard template once you have installed Joomla!. This means, Joomla! 1.6 is accessible by default.
Beez5 is based on HTML5
The new Beez5 template is compliant with the new HTML5 standard. HTML5 succeeds HTML4 and is currently still being developed.
Sometimes you may want to display a template with different options. You may want to create a page with a red background and another page with a blue one. Therefore, you will need template styles. Create as many versions (styles) of a template with different settings as you like and assign them to a menu link.
Modules can now have different layouts which have to be applied in the template.
Joomla! now offers the possibility to create articles, categories and modules in several languages. With the new language switcher plug-in module you can filter the entire site for the selected language.
Creation of a consistent user interface
This feature sounds simple but is difficult to implement. The Joomla! team has tried to simplify the user interface in all areas and has created a more consistent shape.
A successful example is the general save dialogue.
If you are in editing mode, you will see articles, categories and modules as shown in Figure 6.
- Save: content will be saved, you remain in editing mode
- Save & Close: content will be saved, you leave the editing mode
- Save & New: content will be saved; a new, empty editing mask appears
- Save as copy: content will be saved as a copy, you remain in the editing mask
Figure 6: Save dialogue in article
The parameters known from Joomla! 1.5 are now called options - continuously.
The minimum requirements regarding your server environment and concerning your visitors' web browsers have increased.
- Internet Explorer, version 7 or higher
- Firefox, version 3 or higher
- Safari, version 4 or higher
- PHP: minimum version PHP 5.2.4
- MySQL: minimum version 5.04
The legacy mode from Joomla! 1.5 is no longer necessary. Legacy mode allowed the execution of components originally developed for Joomla 1.0, which have 'only' been adapted to Joomla! 1.5. The procedure of adapting old components is offset by the development of 'native' Joomla! 1.5 and 1.6 components, which use the Joomla! Framework.
Search engine optimization
- You can now use unicode in URLs, which means you may now use special characters like 'ö' and 'ä' or Arabic or Hebrew characters in the URL.
- You can allocate meta text and keywords to categories.
- A title of a site will be displayed following the name of the website in the browser.
Figure 7: Page title in browser
- Modules can be published time-controlled.
- The assignment options to menu items have been extended.
Code Mirror is the new editor, which is supplied in addition to TinyMCE. It is not a WYSIWYG editor but offers a convenient way to work with 'code-like' content, which will be displayed in color and structured (Figure 8).
Figure 8: Code Mirror
- The new redirect component enables redirections to URLs in order to avoid '404 not found' errors.
- The new search component provides an overview of the searched keywords and display results.
- The survey component has been eliminated.
The basic configuration has been "purified" and many options can now be set in the appropriate manager, e.g., the user options.
The cookie settings now allow the storage of browser cookies in one place. This is important, for example, when working with country-specific sub domains.
All changes and news can be read in the documentation wiki of Joomla!.