Joomla 1.6 Beta Ships

The Joomla Project has announced the release of the beta of version 1.6 of the open-source Joomla content management system.

The Joomla Project has announced the release of the beta version 1.6 of the open-source Joomla content management system.

Joomla 1.6 brings a variety of new tools to improve Website management and access, including new features such as a new access control system and simplified extension updates, among other changes. Joomla is a free, PHP-based content management system that enables users to build Websites and online applications.

"The release of Joomla 1.6 will raise the bar of success for our community's users, and enable our developer community to build even more exciting and compelling solutions," said Ryan Ozimek, president of Open Source Matters, the not-for-profit organization that supports The Joomla Project, in a statement. "New features and capabilities - such as the hierarchical design of the access control system, semantic XHTML layouts and one-click extension updates - usher in a new set of tools that open doors for more effective online engagements. Whether building a personal Website or a next-generation Web application for an enterprise environment, Joomla 1.6 offers the most compelling solution for easily building and managing powerful online solutions."

Key features in Joomla 1.6 include: A new access control system; an unlimited depth organizational model; one-click extension updates; and semantic XHTML layouts to provide a better baseline for content presentation.

Open Source Matters officials said Joomla's ease-of-use and extensibility have made it the most popular and downloaded open source Website software in the industry today. It has been downloaded more than 16 million times. It is used for everything from small, personal Websites to the backend management for some of the largest enterprises and highest traffic sites on the Web, including sites operated by Citibank, IHOP, Harvard University, the Baltimore Police Department,, Smart Car of America, The Guggenheim Museum, and many more.

In addition, developers and implementers will enjoy the new ability Joomla 1.6 provides in allowing extensions to be built with granular control and permissions, Joomla Project representatives said. This will make it easier to create more advanced, enterprise-focused applications and extensions for Joomla. Furthermore, there are numerous improvements in areas like code reuse, and considerable success in ensuring the stability of application programming interfaces via unit testing.

"With the release of 1.6, The Joomla Project is transitioning the development process to a more iterative, time-based release cycle," said Louis Landry, a lead developer and community member of The Joomla Project, in a statement. "This new approach will help streamline the production of new code and better ensure timely releases around product updates. I'm very excited about the beta release and look forward to working with the entire community as we continue to refine the system."

In April, Microsoft announced that it had contributed to the Joomla Project. Indeed, Microsoft code found its way into the Joomla 1.6 trunk.