Open Source CMS Joomla Introduces the Latest Release
Open source content management system Joomla! has announced the release of Joomla! 3.6 as the latest release of the Joomla! CMS, with 3.6 being the seventh standard-term support release in this series.
“Joomla! 3.6 is a release focused on listening to our users. We’ve listened to our administrators who said that removing uploading Joomla! packages caused issues on intranet sites. We’ve listened to developers who were having practical issues with repeatable form fields," said Production Team Leader George Wilson. “We’ve listened to site administrators who wanted an even simpler article and category creation workflow. Finally, we’ve fixed large numbers of bugs affecting our users and administrators.”
Going from 3.5 to 3.6 is a one-click update and is not a migration. The same is true for any subsequent versions in the 3 series of the CMS.
Joomla! 3.6 contains a lot of UX improvements. Now users can find their modules faster, have tasks done by dropdown and experience improved user management. With the new Sub Form Field function, some extra additional functionality next to "repeatable fields" has also been added. Now you can nest XML forms inside each other or reuse your existing forms inside your current form.
Another upgrade which will make the Joomla! community the most happy is that Joomla! Update has been improved. The platform now enables users to reinstall Joomla’s core files at the click of a button, overwriting any modified file(s) and reverting them back to the default.
Joomla has addressed one of the users’ experiences that can be frustrating when they create a new item, and they realize that they haven’t created a category yet. To solve this issue, new upgrade will allow users to create a category on the fly for articles, contacts, newsfeeds and banners.
This is also a sort of security release for the 3.x series of Joomla which addresses a critical security vulnerability. Joomla strongly recommends that users update their sites immediately. This release also contains the security fixes which is timely as, according to a blog post by Sucuri, a malware campaign’s point of infection for websites built on Joomla! is a remote command execution vulnerability that was detected in December 2015. As a solution, the Joomla team created a patch, but also offered a way to block this specific attack through web application firewall ModSecurity rules so, Joomla! website hosts that applied the patch are safe. Sucuri also claims that the malware campaign has affected thousands of websites built on Joomla! and WordPress.
From the business perspective, the company has been struggling with an unfavorable reputation of its platform as the perception in the market is that Joomla is difficult to use. The most common downsides are that the platform is:
• Hard to find the modules for users to make it do exactly what they want.
• Not easy to customize, certainly harder than its competitor Drupal.
• Everything Joomla! provides a user just to build an ultra-simple website might get overwhelming.
In reaction, Cliff Pfeifer, Joomla UX Team Lead and a member of the Joomla Marketing Leadership Team, published an article titled “Changing the Conversation about Joomla” in an effort to respond to all articles regarding “how bad Joomla is” at once. Here’s what he had to say:
“We are aware that Joomla is not the #1 CMS platform in the world and it’s no secret that our community has gotten smaller over the past few years. I think we all agree that Joomla is complex and can be challenging to learn. We all know that some areas of our platform need improvement and that we as community can do better.
None of that changes the fact that Joomla is still one of the most powerful and sophisticated CMS platforms in the world. Joomla provides a solution to countless people, businesses, governments and organizations from every corner of the globe. The Joomla community is filled with fun, talented and dedicated people with a passion for helping each other and we have a camaraderie and spirit that many other communities envy. I personally can't think of anything in the world that means more to me.”
Overall, Joomla took a leap forward in the right direction. It is also very nice for its community to hear that it has been listening to them and working on various UX improvements. As Pfeifer puts it, Joomla has got their eyes on the future.