Joomla! 3.0 Brings Mobile Administration and Twitter Bootstrap To Open Source CMS

Long list of new features in Standard Term Support Track release

Last week, Open Source Matters released the latest version of the popular Joomla! open source content management system (CMS). The new version 3.0 is the first in the community's plans for Standard Term Support releases, which complement the Long Term Releases. The big news among the many new features in this release is the mobile administration capabilities and the deep integration and support of Twitter's Bootstrap framework (which enables much of the mobile admin).

Of course, Joomla! is one of the top open source CMS in the world, along with Drupal and WordPress. However, the CMS space is one where there are many great choices from the open source community. According to the company, about 3% of the sites on the web run Joomla!. The package is available in many different languages. There are probably more sites running Joomla! outside the U.S. than there are inside, so Joomla! is truly an international phenomenon.

Getting on a regular release cycle was very important to the community, according to Mark Dexter, one of the leaders of the Joomla! community. By having both a standard-term release and a long-term release cycle, enterprises can plan their upgrades and support needs months and years in advance. Also, developers of the thousands of templates and extensions can plan their development around these release cycles as well. 

With the new release, many of the extensions and templates will need to be upgraded. For this reason it is not recommended for users of version 2.5 of Joomla! to upgrade right away. However, users of Joomla version 1.5 should upgrade as support, for that version will cease with the 3.0 release. New releases under the STS model will come out every six months. Version 3.1 will be the next one. Version 2.5 users will not have to upgrade until version 3.5 is released and version 2.5 will be supported until Spring of 2014.

The full laundry list of new features in Joomla! 3.0 are:

  • 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 standardisation 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

To demonstrate just how popular Joomla! is, Mark provided me with a some metrics:

  • Joomla Downloads: 3,4635,938 as of 9/24/12
  • Joomla Forum Members: 580,387 as of 9/24/12
  • Joomla Forum Posts: 2,670,464 as of 9/24/12

No matter how you slice it that adds up to a lot of users and Joomla! sites. I wrote a few weeks back about Cloudaccess.net hosting the Joomla demo sites that are set up and that amounts to about 20,000 sites a month. While WordPress claims more sites using it than Joomla! does, these are very impressive numbers.

What is even more impressive is the totality of open source content management systems. This is really an area where open source seems to rule. With this new regular release cycle, it also seems that Joomla! has taken a big step into being a reliable, enterprise ready partner for organizations to build their web presence around. All in all a very impressive release from the Joomla! community.

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