Finally, Joomla 1.6 Beta has been released! This new version of Joomla CMS has some great improvements: Access Control, Unlimited Category Nesting, and One Click Extension Updates
- Access Control System – With the new Joomla access control system, you have much more control of access to Joomla content. For example, you can create user groups, assign users to groups, and then assign the user group to specific areas or specific articles.
- Unlimited Depth Organizational Model – What this means is that you can now add sub categories to categories. Also, in previous versions of Joomla, categories had to be contained by a sections. In the new model, sections are eliminated and categories can be at the top level or contained in another category. Hurray! This makes creating your content structure much easier.
- One-Click Extension Updates - WordPress has had this function for quite a while. Finally, Joomla adds this great feature. Whether you maintain one site or several, this feature will make it much easier to keep your Joomla extensions current.
- Semantic XHTML Layouts – The default Joomla templates will finally be xhtml. Although the Beeze template was close, this is a great improvement. Of course, if you buy a third-party template, you need to verify that the template is built this way.
Should you upgrade to Joomla 1.6?
Joomla 1.6 is beta. That means it’s still being tested and could have bugs and significant changes. As a result, DO NOT INSTALL JOOMLA 1.6 ON A PRODUCTION WEBSITE. Only install Joomla 1.6 on test sites.
When Will Joomla 1.6 Be Available for Production Sites?
It will probably be a few months before Joomla 1.6 Stable is released. Once a stable version is released, I recommend waiting at least a couple months before using it on a live site. Unless you are a developer and are ready to handle frequent updates and maybe a few emergencies, it’s best to wait for an update to the first stable version of 1.6. Just like any major operating system released by Windows or Macintosh, early adopters of Joomla 1.6 could find problems.
In addition, once a stable version of 1.6 is released, all of the Joomla Extensions will need to be updated to work with 1.6. Since 1.6 does not have a legacy mode, extensions built to work with previous versions of Joomla will not work with 1.6 until the extension developer upgrades it.
BOTTOM LINE: Expect to wait about 3-6 months before upgrading to Joomla 1.6, and then you will have to verify that all the extensions you use on your current site will work on Joomla 1.6. Be patient.
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