Today marks the official release of Joomla 1.6 stable. The release brings us ACL out of the box, no longer installing 3rd party extensions to achieve this! It also gives us more powerful SEO options throughout to give you control on how your site appears in the search engines and many other features. For more info, demo and download check out: http://www.joomla.org/announcements/general-news/5348-joomlar-16-has-arrived.html
Although this is the newest release for the Joomla world and it's marked as stable we at Shape 5 do not recommend rushing to upgrade and convert over to it right away. Why do we say this, we do believe (as seen in many industries) it's best to wait a few weeks or so and see how this version plays out. Bugs can still arise and things may need to be ironed out before you take the jump to 1.6. The bug squad with Joomla has done a tremendous job ironing out as many bugs as they could find to this point, we are simply offering a word of caution that could be applied to any first release of software. In addition to this there are over 6,000 extensions currently available for Joomla 1.5 and very few have been converted and tested with Joomla 1.6. If you need Joomla for a bare bones system with no third party extensions then 1.6 may be right for you but if you need flexibility and access to thousands of extensions it's best to still use 1.5 for a little while.
So where is Shape 5 at in the whole scheme of things and 1.6?
Although we haven't said much we've been working hard and have the majority of our extensions converted to 1.6 as you may have already noticed in the downloads area, with only 3 pending conversion, with the exception of Virtuemart extensions. Over the next few weeks we will be hard at work converting and releasing our templates to the 1.6 platform and finalizing the rest of our extension conversion. Our monthly template release this coming Saturday the 15th will include a 1.6 ready version of the template. Virtuemart extensions will be converted after Virtuemart 1.5 becomes stable.
Ok that covers 1.6 but what about a framework for Shape 5?
As you may have noticed the template parameters area of our recent templates has become quite extensive! The eShopper template is the first release that includes a naming scheme, robust module layout, mobile version, custom widths, and so much more. These features will be carried in to future templates. This framework first released in eShopper gives unlimited possibilities and flexibility for site layouts. We just wanted to give you a heads up. No ETA is set but we are planning on an official release of a the Shape 5 "Vertex Framework" in the near future that will be packed with features! In the mean time our in-progress templates will include many of the features that will be included in the finalized framework.