We use Joomla here quite a bit as the content management system (CMS) of choice when we build a customer’s website so I got excited when I saw the new release. In case you are wondering, as we were, what happened to versions 1.8 -2.4, the answer is “they skipped them”.
There are a number of features that are great steps forward and reasons why I continue to use Joomla as the CMS of choice.
The automated notification of Joomla! core and extension updates is a new built-in feature that simplifies site maintenance and management of updates.
A major usability enhancement, this auto-updating feature eliminates the need to manually transfer and replace files on the server, converting a time-consuming, error-prone process into a seamless, effective, and time-saving experience.
Based on Finder, which was developed by jXtended, Joomla 2.5 has added an exciting new natural language search function. This feature incorporated auto-completion and stemming. Stemming is the ability for the search to use the root of the word you entered to locate matches. While there is still work to be done, this search is also much better at searching in languages other than English.
This new search is faster and more versatile that the standard search. The data is indexed to get this flexibility and speed. New plugins are required to use this search. Joomla ships with the new core extension plugins, but other extension developers will need to create their own plugins to work with this new search. By default, the standard search is active and this new search is disabled. You can enable the plugin and index your files when the extensions you want to search have the new plugins.
Multiple database support is a new feature that makes it possible to run the Joomla! CMS on many different databases, not just MySQL and MySQLi. This facilitates integration and update management processes. Joomla! now allows different drivers to be written that will support different versions of SQL databases. Current drivers exist for the MySQL and MS SQL databases, with PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQLite and PDO drivers close to being ready.
CAPTCHA in Core
CAPTCHA uses scrambled text to prevent robotic spammers from submitting forms. Joomla 2.5 gains an API that lets you use CAPTCHAs in your forms. The core comes with a a plug-in that gives you the ability to use reCAPTCHA, the most accessible of the CAPTCHA services. Once you sign up for free with reCAPTCHA and enter your keys, you can enable CAPTCHA on new user registrations. It could also be used by other extensions needing CAPTCHA. CAPTCHA has been available in non-core extensions, but this enables the feature in core.
Use the Images and URL Fields to Create Simple Standardized Layouts
In 2.5 you can choose to use the existing image and URL fields in the articles to set up a simple standardized layout for blogs, news reports, etc. These are fields that existed in the database but were never used. After you activate the feature in the Article Options Editing Layouts, you will be able to specify an image for the introduction and an image for the full article, as well as 3 links. This means that your content creators won’t have to fuss with an image in the text (you can even disable the image button in the editor) and your article format will be cleaner and more consistent.
There are many additional features so check out the entire list for more Joomla 2.5 details.