Joomla! is a free, open source content management system for publishing content on the world wide web and intranets. Joomla! includes features such as page caching to improve performance, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, website searching, and language internationalization. Joomla! is licensed under the GPL, and is the result of a fork of Mambo.
It is written with the PHP programming language and uses the MySQL database.
Joomla came into being as the result of a fork of Mambo by all of its then-core developers on August 17, 2005. At that time, the Mambo name was trademarked by Miro International Pty Ltd, who formed a non-profit foundation with the stated purpose to fund the project and protect it from lawsuits. The development team claimed that many of the provisions of the foundation structure went against previous agreements made by the elected Mambo Steering Committee, lacked the necessary consultation with key stake holders, and included provisions that violated core open source values.
The development team created a web site called OpenSourceMatters to distribute information to users, developers, web designers, and the community in general. The project team leader at the time Andrew Eddie, A.K.A. "MasterChief" (who rejoined the team as of 15 August 2007), wrote an open letter to the community which appeared on the announcements section of the public forum at mamboserver.com.
One thousand people had joined the opensourcematters.org forum web site within a day, most posting words of encouragement and support for the actions of the Development Team. The web site received a slashdotting and news articles regarding the event appeared at newsforge.com, eweek.com, and ZDnet.com. Miro CEO Peter Lamont gave a public response in an article entitled "The Mambo Open Source Controversy - 20 Questions With Miro".
This event has stirred deeply held feelings in the free software community regarding what shall constitute "open source". Forums at many other open source projects were active with postings for and against the actions of both sides. Rumor and accusations of wrongdoing by Miro and the Mambo Foundation were rampant.
In the two weeks following Eddie's announcement teams were re-organized and the community continued to grow. On September 1, 2005 the new name, "Joomla", which is the English spelling of the Swahili (and Urdu: جملہ and Arabic: جملة) word jumla meaning "all together" or "as a whole", was announced to a mixed reception of 3000+ faithful followers of the Development Team. It was chosen to reflect the commitment of the development team and community to the project.
The first release of Joomla (Joomla 1.0.0) was announced on September 16, 2005. This was a re-branded release of Mambo 126.96.36.199 combined with other bug and moderate-level security fixes. In the project's roadmap, the core developers say Joomla 1.5 will be a completely re-written code base built with PHP 5. It was announced in 2006 and has been nominated for the vaporware award 2007, but since a third release candidate has been published on 6 October 2007 (RC3), supporters expect a final product within the next years.
Joomla won the Packt Publishing Open Source Content Management System Award in 2006 and 2007
The Joomla package consists of many different parts, which are built to be as modular as possible, allowing extensions and integrations to be made easily. An example of such are extensions called "Plugins".(Previously known as "Mambots".) Plugins are background extensions that extend Joomla with new functionality. The WikiBot, for example, allows the author of Joomla content to use "Wikitags" in Joomla articles which will auto-create dynamic hyperlinks to Wikipedia articles when displayed. There are over 2,300 extensions for Joomla available via the Extensions Directory, a site that OpenSourceMatters runs as an official directory of extensions.
In addition to Plugins, more comprehensive extensions are available. "Components" allow webmasters to perform such tasks as build a community by expanding user features, backup a website, translate content and create URLS that are more friendly to search engines. "Modules" perform such tasks as displaying a calendar or allowing custom code like Google AdSense etc to be inserted within the base Joomla code.
Joomla has an official and many unofficial communities. As of July 2007, the official Joomla forums claims more than 200,000 threads and over 1 million posts from over 138,000 members in 40 languages. Unofficial sites are published in many languages, often with Joomla extensions that are region specific. Bi-directional text support for the Hebrew and Arabic languages, for example, can be found on 3rd party community portals. Unofficial web developers also build extensions and web templates for commercial sale and offer freelance customization services. Usually a template is distributed as a zip file which can be installed using the Joomla installer.