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Joomla 2.5 - new features and version system

Rated 5 stars based on 11 votes

I/ The Joomla! 2.5 is coming!

As you know, we've just welcomed the release of Joomla! Version 2.5, And I know when you read my first line, many questions related to this problem will come to mind, such as

  • Why a Joomla! Version upgrade so quickly?
  • What happens if we don't upgrade to the latest version?
  • Should we consider upgrading to Joomla! 2.5?
  • What new features have been added to Joomla! 2.5?
  • For a technician, how to persuade customers to spend money to upgrade to version 2.5 while their website is working properly and with no errors?

I/ The Joomla! 2.5 is coming!

As you know, we've just welcomed the release of Joomla! Version 2.5, And I know when you read my first line, many questions related to this problem will come to mind, such as

  • Why a Joomla! Version upgrade so quickly?
  • What happens if we don't upgrade to the latest version?
  • Should we consider upgrading to Joomla! 2.5?
  • What new features have been added to Joomla! 2.5?
  • For a technician, how to persuade customers to spend money to upgrade to version 2.5 while their website is working properly and with no errors?

The problems happen when we use open source (OS) software. And of course, the OS software will be upgraded to a version in every so often. I wrote this article give my personal opinion, advice, and what I have research about the latest news from Joomla!, with the hope that it will help you grasp the latest information on the changes in Joomla! versions.

II/ New features in Joomla! 2.5 and related questions

1 / Why is the version number 2.5, not 1.8? Where is version 2.0?

This is an excerpt from The Joomla! Community Portal to explain the change in the Joomla version

"This is a report from the Joomla Leadership Summit now underway in San Jose, CA. Members of the Community Leadership Team (CLT), Production Leadership Team (PLT) and the board of Open Source Matters (OSM) are busy discussing the best foot forward in all areas of the project.

The PLT had our summit in the days leading up to the overall Leadership Summit. We'll share shortly the results of that summit, but we wanted to get some direct feedback from the community on an issue that affects many.

We decided to make a small change to the way Joomla versions are numbered. If you have read about the new development cycle, you know we now have a new Joomla version every six months and one long-term-support (LTS) release every 18 months. Versions 1.6 and 1.7 are six-month releases and the next release in January 2012 will be an LTS release. This way, users have a choice. They can get the latest and greatest version by updating with improvements every six months, or they can have a more stable feature set with updates every 18 months. Maintenance and security releases will be done as necessary for both LTS and STS releases during their support periods.

To try to make this as clear as possible to users, we have decided that the long-term releases will always be labeled as x.5 releases. For example, 3.0 and 3.1 will be regular, short-term six-month releases. The following version would be 3.5, indicating that it is a LTS release. Version 3.5 will be supported for 18 months. In the meantime, we will release 4.0 and 4.1. The LTS replacement for 3.5 will be 4.5, 18 months later".

As you can see Joomla! changed the version release for the LTS and STS, the reason such a change is due is to hit the Joomla! milestone for a LTS, as well as ease of the direction and management of versions, as you can see in the picture below

Joomla 2.5 released - Joomla version diagram

Joomla version diagram

Source: http://community.joomla.org/blogs/leadership/1472-vote-for-the-version.html

You can also watch a video that explains the change to Joomla! versions in the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCrbPZpek3s

Source: http://community.joomla.org/blogs/leadership/1472-vote-for-the-version.html

2/ The new features in Joomla! 2.5

The new features that Joomla! 2.5 will have, or is planned to have in Joomla! 2.5

  • Module to automatically notify users when an update is available
  • Implement Open Search in the search component
  • New search engine in Joomla! core
  • Improve the update process to support updating of LTS and STS versions
  • Component to make it easier to create and maintain update sites
  • Possible performance enhancements
  • Implement image manipulation in media manager based on new platform features
  • Fix lots of bugs!

Why do I say "will have, or is planned to have" - because this will depend on the people from the community (see Part 3: JIP and JFT). However, I think it is realistic to aim some or all of these features available in time for the next release. View the full article at here http://developer.joomla.org/news/13-january-2012-release-objectives.html

3/ About The Joomla! Idea Pool (JIP) and the Joomla! Feature Tracker (JFT)

JIP and JFT are two tools which allow the Joomla! Community to monitor the selection of new features for the next versions, and these features will be selected based on the number of votes they receive. As you can see, the "auto update version" is a most anticipated feature in version 2.5. I think it is easy to understand why it is most expected, the upgrade Joomla! of versions is not easily. The daily update check would be great solution>

JFT is a tool that allows communities to participate in the testing, and fixing of the bugs before a new version of Joomla! is published. It is similar to the bug tracking and interaction with JIP. The problem, or comment in the JIP will be discussed and approved based on the number of votes, and any bugs will be posted on the JFT.

4/ The problem/question related to customers in the new version

May-be you think it's a marginal issue, but I think you would be interested, especially you need to consult for customers that are using open source to build their sites. Of course these are some observations based on my experiences when I have met with some clients about changing from version 1.5 to 1.7. You know, to convince them is a big problem for us. Here are a few problems that you can rely on to convince customers who are willing to spend money to upgrade the version of Joomla!.

  • Problems with security: Customers are very interested in this problem, so you can raise this issue to persuade them to spend money on upgrading.
  • our version will be out-of date and poorly supported: there are certain risks for any product that uses a technology that is considered outdated, and emphasized that "outdated software will eventually get hacked".
  • New features: Highlight the new features in Joomla! 2.5 for customers
  • Performance problems: this is an issue for OS software in general and Joomla! in particular.
  • On-site search: if you read through the new features of Joomla!, you can not ignore the vast improvement of the search features, it contributes to increased performance of display content, enabling content filtering quickly and most accurately

Of course there are countless other issues you can use to convince customers who are willing to spend money to upgrade to the latest version. Besides, the issues of preparing customers for the implementation of the new version is also very interesting, and you may refer to the article "Nine Questions When Preparing Clients for Joomla 2.5" by author Jen Kramer". This article presents some experiences in the preparation of deal a price, execution time, the compatibility with extensions while updating the new version.

III/ Summary

Any product has its development-cycle, with Joomla!. I feel that it is developing so quickly with continuously updated versions. Joomla! releases a new version every 6 months, whereas other products, such as Magento, Drupal, WordPress, etc., only release a new version every 1 or 2 years. These differences in the development cycle cause problems in the compatibility of Joomla! extensions and Joomla! templates with these products.

And about you? Are you prepared this change? No matter who you are, if you have an interest in this event, please share it with us your comment about the new features of Joomla! 2.5.

Rated 5 stars based on 11 votes
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