The reason for this new design is simple: It's much easier to display controls in a reactive design when the content is displayed vertically. The net effect is that controls and tools are formed to fit in much narrower areas in order to work better on screens that are taller than they are wide, like those on mobile devices.
Navigating around Joomla's new interface is like visiting a remodeled home. The walls are moved and repainted, and the furniture is restored, but all the familiar things of the home are still there. Article Manager, Media Master and Menu Manager are still there and, surprisingly, function very much the same, despite their new look and feel.
There's good and bad in this. The good news is that all of the old favorites in Joomla are still there, ready to go. The bad news is that some of the old idiosyncrasies of Joomla seem to be there, too, like Joomla's one-menu-item-per-page limitation that you have to design around.
Exploring the specific content tools, I was happy to see that the new design layout went beyond making Joomla suitable for the small screen. Configuration options and filters are much more accessible and stand out more than the smaller icon and text control links in previous versions.
The overall effect of this redesign is not to add new functionality to Joomla so much as to make the old functionality much more obvious. To change the name of a site, you used to have to drill down a couple of screens to make the change. Now it's right in the Global Configuration screen.
At a Glance
Pros: Design elements better suited for mobile platforms; controls much easier to find, making it better for beginners; installation simpler and faster
Cons: Not many new features past design; still need to wait for extensions to catch up with this version
One of the really great aspects of this redesign is that extensions and plug-ins all have a similar control interface. The old inconsistencies between extension controls used to drive me nuts.
Building a test site was, as usual, pretty straightforward. Once you understand the use of categories and menus within a Joomla site, getting things organized is a snap. I got the sense that the new interface will actually help newer users build their sites, because controls are so easy to find. That's a very subjective statement, mind you; my strong familiarity with Joomla in general makes that theory hard to prove just from my observations alone.
In the past, I recommended Joomla for sites that are somewhat complex and are going to be managed by someone with strong technical skills. That recommendation still holds, but the new design of the back-end elements makes the system a bit more accessible to beginners, especially when the sample content is used.
Now that the responsive design features have been baked in, Joomla has a lot going for it for mobile developers as well. With a huge community, plenty of extensions and many templates, Joomla 3.0 has a lot to offer developers. I am looking forward to watching this platform mature.
Brian Proffitt is a veteran IT writer with experience in open source, mobile and big data technologies. An unrepentant Hoosier, he can be followed on Twitter: @TheTechScribe.
Read more about Content/Document Management in Computerworld's Content/Document Management Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Unlocking the Promise of Demand Sensing and Shaping through Big Data Analytics Many organizations have limited insight into big data. These limitations have significant opportunity costs and can have a negative effect on identifying and...
- Intelligent Imaging for Improved Banking Performance and Profitability A new generation of "Intelligent Imaging" solutions has emerged that is helping banks remove the burden of paper in legacy processes, like loan...
- The Total Economic Impact Of IBM Datacap Taskmaster In April 2012, IBM commissioned Forrester Consulting to examine the total economic impact (TEI) and potential ROI that enterprises might realize by deploying...
- Winning the Paper Wars - capture the content and mobilize the process troops In this report, AIIM looks at the reasons for this poor progress, measure the adoption of digital mailrooms, chart the progress of mobile...
- Next Generation SAM Managing software assets and licenses is a time-consuming job that can drain IT resources. When this is not done properly, a company might...
- Streamline Software Asset Management, Compose a software Management Symphony Keeping track of your organization's software is easy with effective software management solutions from CDW. View the videos in our software solutions channel All Content/Document Management White Papers | Webcasts