As mentioned earlier, Joomla! 1.5.x restricts content structure to a simple section-category organization. Experiences show this type of structure is adequate for most small sites, yet becomes a severe limitation for some more complex cases. To address this issue, Joomla! development team now presents us with a multiple level categories hierarchy.
Section will be a thing of the past. You will structure your Joomla! 1.6 site with levels of categories. All core extensions support nested categories. Theoretically you have unlimited levels of categories, but they may become unwieldy with more than 4 or 5 levels. Third party extensions will need to be updated to take advantage of this improved feature.
An article can still only be assigned to a single category. A tagging system may be used to emulate multiple categories for an article.
What's on the Menu?
Menus are important to your Web site because they provide navigation to visitors. Whiile the new Menu Manager is mostly similar to the one in Joomla! 1.5, there are some changes and additions to it. One welcome addition is the batch processing for menu items that allows selecting multiple items to perform an action, e.g. move and change access.
Another potential helpful addition is the Rebuild button for menus. By choosing a menu and hitting the Rebuild button, the system will recreate the menu and thus fix any corruptions.
The development team is currently experimenting different interfaces and processes for menu management, so you can expect to see more changes in that aspect.
Joomla's popularity can largely be credited to its easy-to-install and simple-to-use. Yet Joomla's true power, from a user's perspective, should be in its vast extensibility. For any features you may want to have on your site there are possibly a few extensions already developed by third parties. Joomla! 1.6 is going to keep this tradition, and provides us a better extension management tool.
The new Extension Manager will unify all types of extensions on one page. Filters can be used to restrict the list to specific extension type. Two tabs on the page show interesting new features in Joomla! 1.6. The first is the Update tab. It is supposed to be the place that will show and make available new updates for extensions installed on the system.
Occasionally you have a collection of extensions you want to install onto a newly created site. Wouldn't it be easier to upload them in one shot, and then have them properly installed individually. The Discover tab on the Extension Manager will help you with that. You can first upload those extensions to your site, then use the new Discover feature to let Joomla! find and install them. This may prove to be a neat feature.