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From the announcement:
The Joomla project is pleased to announce the immediate release of Joomla 1.6 alpha 2. This release contains many new features requested by the community; most notably, ACL. Other features are listed below as well as what you can expect in the future for Joomla 1.6.
This is an alpha release. It is intended to be a developer/hobbyist preview and is not intended to be used on a production web site.
New improvements/features since alpha 1 include:
- ACL: access management for global permissions as well as content item specific permissions, variable usergroups, users member of more than one usergroup, permissions are inherited, really fast
- Extendable user profile, profile view in frontend, extendable user parameters
- Tableless com_content layouts
- Improved com_content modules (mod_articles_archive, mod_articles_latest, mod_articles_popular)
- Article linker plugin for editors
- New frontend template (atomic)
- New backend template (bluestork)
- New uploader for media manager
Other Joomla 1.6 improvements that existed in alpha 1:
- Mootools 1.2
- Refactored backend
- Nested Categories and category parameters
- New views in frontend: categories, category
- Lots of small code improvements, almost cut the code size in half while adding to the functionality
- PHP 5.2 required, huge performance improvements, partially eaten up by new features => 1.6 will be faster than 1.5
After alpha 2, the Joomla community can expect a beta release. There are no intentions for a 3rd alpha release.
You can also expect to see the following future improvements:
- Commenting solution is going to be added
- Additional DB drivers
- Lots of small performance/UI/code improvements
We would like to thank all those involved who helped make this release possible.
Discuss here: http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=454211