Last Tuesday Joomla 2.5 was released, this is a Long Term Support version that is using the same code base as Joomla 1.6 and Joomla 1.7. It will be supported until at least December 2013. Joomla 1.7 will reach the "End of Life" status on February 24, 2012. Check the Infographic I've created for more information about the development strategy of Joomla. Visit the special Joomla 2.5 page on www.joomla.org/25 for a general overview of the main new features of Joomla 2.5.
There is no need to update ACL Manager first before upgrading to Joomla 2.5. The latest ACL Manager release is working perfect on Joomla 2.5 as well! Meanwhile the aclmanager.net website is using Joomla 2.5. The single click upgrade process went very smooth and is a great feature that makes it easy to keep your Joomla website up to date.
The advanced Joomla permission system is introduced just a year ago with the release of Joomla 1.6. Meanwhile several bugs were reported and fixed, but others were not solved yet. I have created an overview of the fixed bugs, added features and other changes related to the permission and user system in Joomla 2.5 below.
Related bug tracker item: #27723
This is probably the most visible ACL change for site administrators. The "Access Component" action you will find on several places is renamed to "Access Administration Interface". This action should be available for each extension you install to be able to set the access permission in the backend. The extension will not be visible for an user without the access allowed. Please read "How to add basic ACL support to your extension" to learn how to add this basic action to your extension.
Related bug tracker item: #23890
While working on ACL Manager I noticed that the Edit Own action in com_users wasn't working as expected or a useless action. Users can edit their profile via the "My Profile" option anyway, so it was decided to remove. I have created a patch to remove all references so it is no longer available as an action to prevent confusing.
Related feature tracker item: #27221
Many people asked in the past if it was possible to move, assign or delete a group of users without the need to edit one user at a time. Michael Babker contributed code that improves and add the batching process for many backend extensions in Joomla 2.5. This also includes the User Manager, so you are now able to batch process users. Thank you for this Michael!
Related bug tracker item: #24602
A user with the permission to create subcategories were not able to create any new category. The user was only able to add new categories when the global component permission for Create was allowed. During the Pizza, Bugs & Fun event I was able to create a patch for this to fix it. The patch is included in Joomla 2.5 and it is now working as expected.
Related commit on github: added art of user filtering to cms
A new filter is available in the User Manager of Joomla 2.5. You can now also filter your users on the Registration Date by choosing between several default date selections: today, in the last week, in the last month, in the last 3 months, in the last 6 months, in the last year and more than a year ago.
Quite a log of bugs were reported around the Edit State action on both frontend and backend. Empty dropdowns, greyed out fields, unable to save, etc... After several patches and tests it looks like most bugs are now solved in Joomla 2.5. Users can now correctly save the changes to the state and forms are now showing the correct information for user that is allowed to change the state only.
Related feature tracker item: #27306
In Joomla 2.5 it is now possible to add notes to a user. This feature is contributed by Andrew Eddie and is also available as a Joomla 1.5 extension. An "Add Note" icon is visible next to each user. This links to a create note form where you can add a note with a subject, description, category and review date. In a separate view you can view a list of all notes and you can also create user note categories. Other icons in the overview will indicate that you have added a note before and you can click on the filter icon to see all notes related to the user.
As we can see the Joomla ACL system became better and more stable over the past months. If you find a bug, please add it to the Joomla CMS Issue Tracker so we (the community) can work on a fix for it. You contribute to Joomla by reporting it!
Joomla 3.0 will be released in autumn 2012. It is not clear yet what ACL improvements will be made, thats up to the community. What ACL improvements would you like to see in Joomla 3.0?