This week, the Joomla! community took a huge step forward toward mobile devices and usability with the release of the latest version of their content management system, Joomla 3.0. The Joomla CMS can now display content on mobile devices as clearly and distinctly as it does on a personal computer or Mac. This innovation makes Joomla the first major CMS that includes the Twitter Bootstrap framework (yes, that Twitter) that enables it to be 100 percent mobile-friendly by default. So it is no surprise that the Joomla! project is highlighting Joomla 3 as a CMS that's mobile ready and user friendly.
"As accessing the Internet via a mobile device is becoming more common than accessing it via a desktop computer, the mobile version of a company's website will soon be more important than the desktop version," said Paul Orwig, president of Open Source Matters, a non-profit created to provide organization, legal and financial support to the Joomla project. "With every version of Joomla, we use feedback from our community of more than a half a million contributors to add new features that will keep those who use our CMS ahead of what trends will impact the way their content is experienced. By optimizing Joomla 3.0 for mobile devices, there is absolutely no doubt as to whether what was designed for the desktop will transfer seamlessly to a phone or tablet."
Joomla is one of the world's most popular open source CMSs used for everything from websites to blogs to Intranets. In total, there are more than 15 new features to Joomla 3.0 with the most noticeable difference being the totally revamped administrator, which is updated to a modern design with many simpler and more friendly user-interfaces. Joomla administration has a brand new look and feel, built with the power of Bootstrap responsive framework, and integrated with deliberate improvements in the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) through the Joomla JUX team. The entire backend of Joomla has a brand new look and feel that will improve your workflow with any type of device. For example, in addition to the redefined administrative user experience installs have also been streamlined to a "30 second install".
A word of caution here though is that Joomla 3.0 is still bleeding edge and is intended for early adopters and developers that need Joomla 3's features now. As we mentioned last week, Joomla 2.5 is the still the recommended version for most existing sites and will remain so for another year. The Joomla project recommends that you update from Joomla 2.5 only when Joomla 3.5 is released around September next year. Joomla 2.5 will continue be supported until spring of 2014 and you can update directly to Joomla 3 once it’s tried-and-tested thoroughly by other users.
If you do decide to move forward with Joomla 3.0, there are plenty of other advancements in Joomla! that you're bound discover. For instance, another brand new features with Joomla 3.0 is the addition of the PostgreSQL driver. This addition means that the CMS is truly database independent, as it already is integrated with MySQL and SQL Server. Other key features include the ability to copy a template, the option to disable the ability to change the Username in Profile and the installation of language packages directly from the extension manager, which makes it easier to manage other languages. Many of these new features have been introduced incrementally since the launch of Joomla 2.5 in January.
While Joomla 3.0 places special emphasis in mobile device compatibility and user friendliness, there are plenty of improvements for developers to also look forward to with Joomla 3.0. Joomla developers should be able to spend less time coding and building interfaces with Joomla 3. The Joomla User Interface (JUI) library gives you a standardized backend and frontend interface. LESS CSS and jQuery means developers will write less code and the Icomoon font icon library provides a wealth of retina-optimized icons.
What follows is a more detailed list of significant additions and changes in Joomla 3.0:
- Incorporation of Twitter Bootstrap into a jui media package.
- A new responsive, mobile device friendly administrator template--Isis-- and interface.
- A new front end template--Protostar-- built using Twitter Bootstrap.
- Updated accessible template called Beez3.
- A simplified 3-step installation process.
- PostgreSQL Driver. You will be able to run Joomla 3.0 sites using the PostgreSQL database.
- PHP Memcached Driver
- Use of JFeed for feed management rather than SimplePie
- Installation of language packages directly from the extension manager
- Guest user group present by default
- Saving blank articles allowed
- New administrator statistics module
- Update TinyMCE to version 3.5.6
- Continued clean up of older unused code, files and database fields and tables and improved standardization of tables.
- Improvements to Smart Search
- Extensive work on code style standardization and consistency
- Unit testing in the CMS
- Updated system tests in the CMS
- Custom active menu item for menu module
- Let the SEF plug-in add the canonical url to the head
- Version 12.2 of the Joomla Platform
Joomla 3.0 is truly a collaborative community-driven software project developed with the feedback gathered from more than 2.6 million Joomla forum posts, nearly 580,000 Joomla forum members and data from more than 9,900 Joomla extensions. Joomla 3.0 can be downloaded for free through the Joomla.org download page.
[Image source: http://www.joomla.org/3/]