Sit back, and read all new stuff below
Will try to make a blog entry of the text below asap.
* Extension manager
o unified installer
o ability to disable components (security)
* Article manager
o content items are now called articles
o only uses one editor to save screen realestate
o new image manager that allows u to insert images on the fly
o simplified interface
o on the fly-preview (u don't need to save first before u can preview your changes)
o archive functionality has been moved into the article manager
o improved pagebreak and readmore handling
* Menu manager
o set a default menu item
o three-click process to add a new menu item
o easily edit a menu item without the need to remove it
o u can link to anything
o vastely simplified interface
o ...and lots more
* Media manager
o Improved user interface, thumbnail and detail views
o Easily upload multiple files at once
o Added configuration settings
* Template manager
o Improved template preview, show module positions and names
o Support to edit multiple css files
* Full support for feeds (atom 1.0 and rss 2.0); In Joomla! 1.5 feeds are generated for all article categories and sections, weblinks and contacts.
* Improved error handling; Joomla! 1.5 outputs correct 404, 403 and 500 error messages. These message can be customised by the template designer.
* Improved lost password handling; Joomla! 1.5 makes it easier for users to retrieve their lost pasword based on username or email address.
B. Designer features
Accessibility in Joomla! and Mambo has always been a much debated topic. It an area that covers lots of different issues and as a result it means different things to different people. The major issues that are discussed frequently on the forums are :
* hardcoded tables in Joomla! code
* unflexible SEF (search engine friendly URLs) solution
* different issues with metadata (keywords, description and site titles)
* compliance to different accessibility standards (508, WCAG, ....)
These issues have been adressed in the design and accessibilty workgroup and most, if not all, of these issues can be solved within the new 1.5 framework. In this paragraph we will shortly describe the features that have been built into the 1.5 framework.
2. Accessibility in 1.5
Accessibility is a topic that much depends on the client's demands, the goals of the website designer, the audience of the site etc... It seems there is no one solution-fits-all. This awareness made us shift strategy from 'putting it all in the core' to 'making sure designers can do it themselves'. This approach is exactly what we did when we developed the framework; for Joomla! 1.5 we have done the following :
1. All html output has been moved into extension templates. These templates can be overridden in your own site template, allowing a designer to completely change the generated html markup to his liking. He can change css classes, remove tables, make the template compliant to accessibility standards etc...
2. A designer can define his own module wrappers in his site template. In 1.0 there were only 3 hardcoded options, in 1.5 a designer can define his own option to wrap his modules.
3. The menu module in 1.5 now renders as unordered lists by default, the old menutypes are still supported for backwards compatability reasons.
4. The pagination output can be overriden in the site template by a designer.
5. The whole SEF system has been revamped. The core SEF support has been improved and can easily be extended by plugins. No core hacking is needed.
What does this all mean? In 1.5, a designer can change every little bit of html the system generates, the standard output however is still the same as in 1.0 to retain backwards compatibility with 1.0 site templates. This allows the creation of accessible, standard compliant, tableless, whatever-the-designer-thinks-is-important, websites.
We are currently trying to create a semantic site template that will act as a proof of concept to demonstrate how people can use the new features in 1.5. The goal is also to make this template an offical package. Template designers can then use it as the basis for their own accessible and standard compliant templates. The template will be fine-tuned based on feedback gathered from the community and the idea is to move it into the core for 2.0.
C. Developer features
A lot of effort has been put into internationalisation. The framework offers the following additional features:
* Full UTF-8; It is able to represent any universal character in the Unicode standard, yet the initial encoding of byte codes and character assignments for UTF-8 is coincident with ASCII (requiring little or no change for software that handles ASCII but preserves other values). For these reasons, it is steadily becoming the preferred encoding for email, web pages, and other places where characters are stored or streamed.
* RTL support; This option stands for Right To Left support, simple making it possible to reverse rendering order of content. This is option is valuable for languages where right to left is used, like Arabic.
* Translation using INI files:
+ Translations of extensions is now fully supported within the core framework by INI files.
+ Very easy to add new languages because of INI structure.
2. Application framework
o FTP filesystem;
+ Allows admins/users to maintain their site without having an ftp server/client around, ease of use and maximum flexibilty
o LDAP support;
+ with this you can connect Joomla! to an enterprise directory like Microsoft's Active Directory or Novell's e-directory
+ move credentials maintenance outside the Joomla! environment.
o New PDF library;
+ more powerful
+ more performant
+ now fully OO based, fits perfectly into the framework
o XML-RPC support;
+ this enables us to make the Joomla! CMS webservice aware
+ opening up all kind of new functionality that can be incorporated into Joomla! or 3rd party extensions.
* Component framework
o MVC pattern support;
+ A basic approach to develop full OO based extensions to Joomla!
+ All classes to support easy, quick and almost out-of-the-box extensions development are around.
+ Standard separation from logic and representation.
o Pathway support;
o Improved SEF
+ Now supported by plugin extension, no need to do core hacking.
+ Only limited by the needs of the end-user/developer.
* Improved caching;
+ general improvement of caching mechanism, speeding up website performance
+ Implemented template caching.
+ Implemented extensions caching (component, module, plugin etc.)
+ Improved page caching.
* Database drivers;
+ Foundation layer for independent database support.
+ Core framework does not need to be changed when new RDBMS will be added in future (maybe some refactoring of queries needs to be done then).
Extendibility was one of the major design goals of Joomla! 1.5. By no means it is needed to doa core hack when you want to add functionality. The framework holds a very powerful mechanism for the extendibilty; The New event-driven plugin framework.
* User authentication;
+ If you want to replace the standard way Joomla! does user authentication, you can catch this event and implement it through the plugin system.
+ GMail and LDAP authentication is implemented this way.
+ Also very useful for bridging solutions.
* User synchronisation
+ If you have a separate user source, you can synchronise user credentials in a very easy way.
+ Extending through the plugin logic.
+ Also very useful for bridging solutions.
* XML-RPC integration;
+ Enabling web-services for the Joomla! framework.
+ J!Explorer is a nice example that enables the power of this extendibility option.
* Simplified user interface;
+ Re-organisation of logical menu items.
+ Brand new admin template.
+ Ajax in the installer simplifying the installation process.
* Unified installer;
+ Upload, select a directory or direct url to install extensions.
+ No need to select extension type, installer determines which type of extension is installed and does the job with a one-click install.
* Reduced choices;
+ For instance, interface design of content editing is simplified dramatically.
+ Unified logic centered at one location, for example; all extensions information in one menu item.
In short the features can be described as follows:
* Integration of patTemplate for the site templates;
+ Adding incredible flexibility in building form, pages etc. etc.
* Complete separation of logic and output;
+ This option enables new features like a PDA alike output without adjusting functional logic.
* Accessibility improvements
+ See section B.
* Template parameters;
+ Offering full control to templete developers (and of course) users to overide any part of the web-page.
Most of the features added are described in section B, designer features.
6. Backwards compatibility
Info about migration can be found in this blog post : http://dev.joomla.org/component/option, ... ,33/p,107/
Joomla! 1.5 has been build to deliver a smooth migration path to the next generation Joomla! versions and for that it holds backwards compatibility for previous versions in the 1.0 release. We have been testing a lot of 3rd party extensions, most of them will work without pain in 1.5, but there are also some 3rd par ty components that need a fix. The backwards compatibilty requirements have led to a Joomla! version that will not hold certain functional logic that a lot of community users and 3rd party developers are asking, especially some of the features researched in the Joomla! Google Summer Of Code event will be included in the 2.0 release which has no development schedule set currently.