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Why Developers Should Upgrade Sooner Than Later
Written by Ron Severdia   
Friday, 04 February 2011 21:29

There has been some debate and a little confusion (and some misinformation) about whether or not extension developers should upgrade their extensions to Joomla 1.6. The short answer is "yes, except if you have an extension that is now ruled obsolete by the new functionality."

With the release of Joomla 1.6, the Production Leadership Team embarks on time-based release cycles. In the past, features would be worked on in the development trunk and when complete, the release was declared "ready." So a new version of Joomla is never released until all the planned features are set and stable. This is the reason why both Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.6 each took three years to complete. This results in a long lag time for third-party developers to update their extensions to work with three years worth of core changes. That can be a daunting task for even the smallest of extensions.
Time-based release cycles are a totally new approach for Joomla. The way it works is there's a vision/theme set for the next release around six months in advance. For the July 2011 release, the theme is "Rediscover Content."
This vision is what the Production Leadership Team has outlined as top priorities for the release and comes from community ideas in the Joomla Idea Pool (or the Joomla Feature Tracker) in accordance with what the development team determines as in line with the vision. That doesn't mean that all the goals listed will make it into the next release or that nothing except those goals will be included, but it provides a focused path for the team and those in the community who want to help contribute. 
Once a new version is released, there's a period of maintenance and bug fixes. Then the teams go into the next development phase of working on the next version. During this phase, features are worked on and stable branches are merged into the code trunk. Anyone who wants a code branch to work in can request one and it's their responsibility to ensure what they're working on works with the latest stable code trunk. This improves the likelihood it will get merged into the core and means that developers can work on anything they want all year round, regardless of release timing. Once it's ready, it can go into the trunk which prevents the "coding frenzy" that happens in the period leading up to a release (instead of a "stabilization frenzy"). Then there's a merging phase around 6 weeks before the release date where the code is stabilized up until the final date.
All this ensures the trunk is constantly stable and a release theoretically can happen on any given day. So every six months to the day, there will be a Joomla release. The contents of that release (which will obviously vary from release to release) will determine the numbering structure. So we have to refer to future releases by their dates, not numbers (therefore, that doesn't mean Joomla 1.7 will be coming out in July 2011, or ever). 
The changes from Joomla 1.5 to 1.6 are huge (in my humble opinion it should really be called Joomla 2.0) mainly because of the change in ACL and the new content structure—it's been three years in the making. But going forward, the changes needed in extensions to make them compatible with upcoming releases should be much smaller due to the shorter release cycle. This means this is the last time extension developers should have to "bite the bullet" in the time needed to update their extensions.
That also means extension developers will need to switch to a more progressive development process—doing smaller updates and incremental development work instead of a huge chunk of time every few years when a new version is released. In the past, it was a stretch to have an extension compatible with two different versions of Joomla. With this new model, an extension may be compatible with five or six versions due to the shorter cycle. Extension developers will be able to better plan their own development effort and costs (subscription-based sales will likely increase under this model since users won't take the tact that they'll only buy when there's a new version, but instead will keep a continuous subscription). Some of this also applies to site builders and administrators. The incremental changes from version to version will make life much easier for those folks upgrading from release to release (whether a long-term release or not). 
So if you're a Joomla extension developer, it actually does make practical and business sense to upgrade to Joomla 1.6 since roughly the same amount of work will be needed to upgrade to the July 2011 version of Joomla. The work to upgrade to the July release will likely be trivial, you'll be one of the first group of extensions on the cutting edge, and your customers will certainly be happier.





The Path Forward: Migration and the Future
Written by Ian MacLennan   
Thursday, 20 January 2011 04:09

 So we're now about one week into the stable cycle for Joomla! 1.6 and it seems that the biggest question that is on people's minds is upgrading/migration. There is a great deal of interest from people who want to keep their existing sites, but who also want to try out the latest and greatest features that Joomla! 1.6 has to offer.

When the Production Leadership Team met in San Francisco last September, the release of Joomla! 1.6 was one of the big topics we had to grapple with.  We had made good progress already, but there was still a good amount of work to be done.

Given the situation we found ourselves in, together with the fact that there was already a community member (Matias Aguirre) who was working on a migration tool, we decided that it was better to support the effort already in progress than to spend time duplicating what was already in progress.

So, the bottom line is this:

  • Migration to Joomla! 1.6 - We recommend people interested in migrating to use Matias Aguirre's jUpgrade extension.  Testing and feedback from the community will play an important role in perfecting this extension.
  • Migration to the July 2011 release - We are planning to implement a site importer in this release that will allow you to import your data from either Joomla! 1.5 or Joomla! 1.6.
  • As per the Development Strategy, we intend to manage change much more carefully moving forward. This, combined with our shortened release cycle means that upgrades and migrations will go a lot smoother. 
  • Joomla! 1.5 is a Long Term Support (LTS) release. This means that it will be supported for approximately 15 more months. That makes the estimated date for End of Life of Joomla! 1.5 to be April 11, 2012.
  • The next LTS release will take place in January of 2012.

Joomla! 1.6 not only marks the introduction of major features that people have been waiting for (granular access control, unlimited category depth), but also the shift to a new development strategy that will enable us to release continual updates on a regular basis while making the upgrade process as painless as possible.






Joomla 1.6 Presented at CodeMash
Written by Matt Lipscomb   
Thursday, 13 January 2011 18:53


Watch Live here!







Joomla! 1.6 arrives - thanks for a job well done
Written by Andrew Eddie   
Tuesday, 11 January 2011 05:46

It is with great pleasure and pride that the Joomla Production Leadership Team (PLT) announces the release of Joomla!® 1.6. Our community has been anticipating this milestone for many months. As we celebrate the arrival of the new version, we wish to recognize the many people who have made this day possible.






OSM Nomination and Election Process
Written by Alice Grevet   
Thursday, 18 November 2010 12:39

The following draft text has been drawn up in order to clarify and further define the nomination and election process to OSM board positions. We invite you to submit your feedback via the Joomla! People site link at the bottom. Thank you! 

Elections: Two calendar periods are generally planned for elections each year: April and October. Exceptions can be made if the board vitally needs specific skills (for example, if the Treasurer leaves).

Number of Board members: The recommended number of board members to carry out the responsibilities of OSM is 13. This number may fluctuate up to 15 or down to 11.

Term Limits: Board appointments will be for one 2-year period with exceptions possible if the board vitally needs specific skills (Treasurer, Legal Council). OSM may renew terms when it is determined that continuity in a role will best ensure the success of current projects. All board members should maintain instructional documents for the smooth transitioning of new members.

Selection Criteria:

  • Community: nominees should have a strong track record of successfully collaborating with, enabling others, and earning the respect of the Joomla! community.
  • Character: nominees should have demonstrated integrity, with a history of acting honestly, fairly and openly when in leadership roles.
  • Experience and Expertise: nominees being proposed for specific roles should have strong experience and expertise in those areas.
  • Success: nominees should be able to point to a history of success and leaving previous roles in a better state than when they arrived.
  • Diversity: our goal is to work toward, and honor gender and cultural diversity. We are committed to seeking nominations from all talented and dedicated members of our international Joomla! community.

Election Procedure:

  • Public nominations open on the 1st of the month and close on the 14th. Nominations must be made with the agreement of the nominee.
  • The OSM board examines the candidates and suggests names to the Community Oversight Committee (COC) before the end of the month.
  • The COC approval takes 10 business days to approve or reject the names.
  • OSM contacts the successful and unsuccessful nominees. 

Click here for discussion and feedback on the Joomla! People site.


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