The Joomla! Community Magazine™

20 New Things: Joomla 2.5 vs. Joomla 3.0

Written by | Thursday, 01 November 2012 00:00 | Published in 2012 November
Joomla has recently released the Joomla 3.0.0 version on September 27th, 2012 with significant updates and major developments. Following right up with the immediate upgrade version Joomla 3.0.1 for security fix on October 9th, Joomla 3.0 is indeed the hot spot for this month. If you haven’t become familiar with it yet, here are the 20 things that are worth taking note in Joomla 3.0.
20 New Things: Joomla 2.5 vs. Joomla 3.0 20 New Things: Joomla 2.5 vs. Joomla 3.0

1. Non-Responsive vs. Responsive

Yup, Joomla is now officially responsive – mobile device ready, due to the help of Bootstrap. The front-end will have the responsive built-in feature, the back-end also inherits this tweak. You will NOW officially be able to get your site under control even when you are ”on-the-go” with just a mobile device!

The Joomla 2.5 Front-end

The Joomla 2.5 Front-end

The Responsive Joomla 3.0 Front-end

The Responsive Joomla 3.0 Front-end

The Joomla 2.5 Back-end

The Joomla 2.5 Back-end

The Responsive Joomla 3.0 Back-end

The Responsive Joomla 3.0 Back-end

2. Without bootstrap vs. With bootstrap

The big word for Joomla 3.0 is Bootstrap. With basic CSS already integrated into Joomla 3.0, it is aiming for a much better UX for the end-user.

Bootstrap for Joomla 3.0

Bootstrap for Joomla 3.0

3. Non+ -LESS CSS vs. LESS CSS

LESS is a dynamic stylesheet language designed by Alexis Sellier and has recently been integrated into Joomla 3.0. The development of a template has significantly changed by the use of LESS. All the website templates and backend will include /less directory and template.less files. Those two are meant for importing both Bootstrap and JUI (less files and media/jui/less files). That enables the template designers to define which file should be applied to their template, and which one will be imported to the LESS JUI.

Without Less, Joomla 2.5 uses CSS to style

Without Less, Joomla 2.5 uses CSS to style

vs. Less in Joomla 3.0

vs. Less in Joomla 3.0

4. Without JUI vs. With JUI (for Extension Developers)

The Joomla User Interface (JUI) library provides a common set of tools that enables component developers to share a common ground of elements, drastically reducing time in coding, without having to innovate and create their own library but still having a clean, nice looking interface. In addition, the loading time is dropped dramatically for users who are surfing around from one Joomla 3.0 site to another, as the javascript and css files are already loaded, adding an extra fast loading speed for the Joomla 3.0 CMS.

5. The Mambo days vs. the Great UX

No longer will you be bored with the old-fashioned interface, Joomla 3.0 did a major improvement on UX that would amaze and make all of us – the fans – fall in love all over again, starting with:

  • The Main Menu
    The Joomla 2.5 main menu

    The Joomla 2.5 main menu

    Main menu in Joomla 3.0 back-end

    Main menu in Joomla 3.0 back-end

  • Dashboard with the new look for administrator statistics module
    Joomla 2.5 dashboard

    Joomla 2.5 dashboard

    Joomla 3.0 dashboard

    Joomla 3.0 dashboard

  • Administrator submenu is now located in the left panel
    The only menu style that you'll find in Joomla 2.5

    The only menu style that you'll find in Joomla 2.5

    Complemented menu on the left panel in Joomla 3.0

    Complemented menu on the left panel in Joomla 3.0

  • A redesigned footer menu for quick status view of your site and a new location for the preview link
    footer

    Footer menu in Joomla 3.0

  • The right panel includes a list of commonly used features
    Commonly used features quick icons are located on the right panel in Joomla 3.0

    Commonly used features quick icons are located on the right panel in Joomla 3.0

 

6. 7 steps vs. the faster 3 steps installation

Right off the bat, you will immediately feel the ”difference" in UI of the complete redesigned installation screen in Joomla 3.0. The installation process is now simplified in only 3 steps compared to the 7 steps procedure we had with joomla 2.5.

Joomla 2.5 installation screen with the original 7 steps procedure

Joomla 2.5 installation screen with the original 7 steps procedure

The 3 steps installation for Joomla 3.0

The 3 steps installation for Joomla 3.0

The installer will auto-detect your language from your browser and the "Yes | No" option is now designed in a color coded button: Yes (Green) | No (Yes)

The old days Yes | No check-box style

The old days Yes | No check-box style

vs. New design for your Yes | No button

vs. New design for your Yes | No button

 

In this new version, Joomla supports five sample data sets instead of only three in Joomla 2.5.

Three sample data sets on Joomla 2.5

3 sample data sets on Joomla 2.5

vs. five sample data sets on Joomla 3.0

vs. 5 sample data sets on Joomla 3.0

 

The whole process has tremendously cut back installation time to less than 1 minute, which is a huge improvement for the installation process. Plus, you can save the installation settings for later use by sending it to your email address.

Get the installation settings sent to your inbox

Get the installation settings sent to your inbox

 

7. Article Manager interface: boring vs. polished

In the back-end, you’ll find a completely refreshing look and feel starting with the Article Manager which now includes a better organized filtering system with more options available, and better defined icons.

The old Article Manager look

The old Article Manager look

Filter friendly and defined icons in Article Manager

Filter friendly and defined icons in Article Manager

 

Article edit screen has had its own redesign with Publishing Options, Article Options and Metadata Options tabs moved from their usual right panel to the top, the text editor is now up-front and centered.

Article edit screen in Joomla 2.5

Article edit screen in Joomla 2.5

vs. Article edit screen in Joomla 3.0

vs. Article edit screen in Joomla 3.0

 

8. Guest user group: Manually creating as needed vs. Automatically available by default

Now you don’t need to bother creating a “guest” level group in Joomla 3.0. It is now available as default upon installation.

There is no sign of Guest user group upon the complete installation of Joomla 2.5

There is no sign of Guest user group upon the complete installation of Joomla 2.5

Guest user group is present as default in Joomla 3.0

Guest user group is present as default in Joomla 3.0

 

9. Non-responsive Front-end template vs. Responsive Front-end template

This new responsive minimal front-end template – Protostar – powered by Bootstrap that you’ll find to be versatile and it is simple to customize the template colors by taking advantage of the color picker. Google fonts are allowed in Protostar with a parameter for your heading tag (h1-h6) and site title. You can toggle on or off the parameter in deciding whether or not to use Google fonts for your site, meanwhile that means you are giving up a wide range selection of 500+ google fonts to choose from. Protostar also has a completely natively clean bootstrap customized grid-layout look, it sets a new standard for Joomla template itself.

Brand new Protostar template

Brand new Protostar template

advance-setting

Protostar offers a variety of customisation options for users

 

10. The same old admin template vs. The slick admin template

Joomla 3.0 named its new administrator template after the Egyptian goddess Isis. Compared to the Bluestork administrator template in Joomla 2.5, Isis has been perceivably designed differently. Since the Isis template is built using the flexible Bootstrap grid layout, the administrator interface Isis is also responsive.

Isis - The Joomla 3.0 administrator template

Isis - The Joomla 3.0 administrator template

 

11. Template Beez3: Updated

If you would like the traditional look for the front end, an updated Beez3 template is the other template option which is still available.

Beez3 template in Joomla 3.0

Beez3 template in Joomla 3.0

 

12. Joomla Platform version 11.x vs. 12.x

The new Platform has removed numerous deprecated classes and methods from version 11.4. However, for extensions developers, your components would require reasonably small changes for compatibility with Joomla 3.0. It is advised to stop using deprecated classes as they are meant to be removed in a future version anyway. Several changes in extensions installation (usage of base tag in replacement for, stop supporting install/uninstall scripts, com_install/com_uninstall methods in promoting the usage of scriptfile instead, etc...), components (admin.*.php and toolbar.*.php are no longer supported), classes (renamed JFTP as JClientFtp, JLDAP as JClientLdap, JWebClient as JApplicationWebClient, removed and adjustment to number of classes), plugin events (onContentBeforeSave event receives $article by value not by reference as well as onContentAfterSave event), and etc... More details are listed at Joomla Documentation section.

13. Mootools vs. JQuery

Joomla 3.0 is packaged with JQuery in the core. Though the Mootools option is still available in the back-end, it will be initially available for the sake of backward compatibility and is no longer the primary javascript library interface.

14. Manual rearrangement vs. Drag & Drop feature

Thanks to JQuery, Joomla 3.0 finally supports a Drag & Drop sorting feature in the back-end.

Remember the time when we have to re-order it

Remember the time when we have to re-order it "manually" in Joomla 2.5?

Say

Say "yes" to the new Drag & Drop feature for sorting elements in Joomla 3.0

 

15. Lower vs. Higher PHP/MySQL requirements

You must have PHP 5.3.1 and MySQL 5.1 or newer to get your Joomla 3.0 up and running while Joomla version 2.5.x only requires PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0.1.

16. Normal settings vs. Advanced module option

The advanced module settings allow you to modify:

  • Module tag: to change the div in section
  • Bootstrap size: changing Bootstrap span grid class
  • Header tag: which aims for better SEO
  • Header class: adds the Bootstrap class in the page header
  • Module style: to inherit the Joomla installed template for the module styling.
Your usual and limited module settings in Joomla 2.5

Your usual and limited module settings in Joomla 2.5

Advanced module settings in Joomla 3.0

Advanced module settings in Joomla 3.0

 

17. Simple Pie vs. JFeed

Switch the feed management from SimplePie to JFeed to get rid of several existing strict error, due to the fact that Simple Pie has been quite old and no one has really done any update on its library for a while now. On the other hand, Simple Pie’s users are confronted with its crucial errors and lack of flexibility for the current version. This encourages Joomla 3.0 to step up with the use of Louis Landry's JFeed, which is claimed to be simple, extensible and native Joomla contribute to the enhancement of feeds generator in a better and powerful way that Simple Pie wouldn’t allow.

18. Non-supported vs. A new PostgreSQL driver is included

You are now able to run your Joomla 3.0 site using PostgreSQL database which further makes the platform ”database independence" for the very first time as it is only integrated with MySQL & SQL server by default.

19. Saving full-detailed articles vs. Saving blank articles

Surprisingly, Joomla 3.0 allows administrative users to create and save blank articles. This feature strives for support users to create articles with even images only and no text content as needed.

Articles with no content will not be allowed to save in Joomla 2.5

Articles with no content will not be allowed to save in Joomla 2.5

No worry! Saving blank articles are NOW acceptable with Joomla 3.0

No worry! Saving blank articles are NOW acceptable with Joomla 3.0

 

20. Updated unit testing in CMS

Unit testing is aiming for testing small chunks of code (or we can call them units) on the lowest level possible, usually are methods without including any other classes or methods, to ensure those methods are working as expected. The old unit test was untouched sometimes between version 1.6 and 1.7 which suited the PHPUnit version 3.4. With the updating of CMS version Joomla 3.0 which requires the minimum of PHP 5.3.1 as a minimum version, the new unit test will be developed to prevent backward compatibility from being broken and other cases as necessary (e.g security problems). The Unit test has set its goal to automate the testing process and achieved 100% unit test coverage for the CMS library classes. Details on the phases of the unit testing for Joomla 3.0 can be found at Unit tests for CMS Working Group.

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Tagged under Sitebuilders, English
Hung Dinh

Hung Dinh

To be short, Hung is the awesome Joomla guy behind JoomlArt.com

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Great article, thanks. In the first point, Non-Responsive vs. Responsive, it seems that the illustration of Joomla 2.5 is also responsive, is this the case?
VOTES:4
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Thanks for the article. Very informative.

One objection though... I find the Joomla 3 backend looks horrible. There's a lot of text, and minimal graphic/color/visual information and separation. I hope this is seriously improved in future updates.
VOTES:13
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I agree, the backend looks too full plain text. Besides the fact the esthetically is not too appealing. People are visual, don't forget...I think it should change back to a mix of both, to make things more intuitive for users.
VOTES:0
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Now the administration is awkward and confusing. Displayed in the foreground features that are rarely used. Why should the admin panel is so so messy? I am very disappointed!!!!!!
VOTES:3
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This list is very good. If anybody want know the main differences, this is what he looking for. So thank you Hung.

And one more point, but it is not related to your great work, I hate the new admin panel. Because this is not an admin panel. This is pain, frustration and confusion. Definitely not for humans.

It is a good idea to make things responsive, but please(!), for who?
Some users - okay, maybe a lot - want to use the admin from mobile. But I can not understand why we don't have desktop template and mobile template for backend.

The 1.5 and 2.5 admin panel is great. Both of them usable. Both of them user interface. Joomla 3 admin is not a user interface and the user experience score is -1000.

I LOVE Joomla and I LOVE the new improvements - but the admin is...
VOTES:4
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So far I find the J3.0 backend to be a nice improvement. Switching between views is very fast and I don't have to keep going back to menus.

Migrating my custom extensions for clients was a painless process and I easily ran my unit tests to ensure sneaky problems weren't lurking beneath.

The one thing I am really happy about is JQuery at the core!

I have noticed that some portions/features do not seem to be fully "upgraded" to 3.0 in the core. However a lot of things were corrected in 3.0.1 and I'm sure the bug hunters will continue their quick work!

Looking forward to the life-cycle updates on this version!
VOTES:4
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Great Article Mike...Love it..
VOTES:0
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Thanks Hung Dinh for this clear article.

Cheers!
VOTES:2
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I can agree that 3.0 is an improvement from 2.5 - but to say jQuery allowed for new features like drag-and-drop sorting is a stretch. I've been using Mootools drag sorting for years. I've used it in Joomla extensions for my clients and it's a great UI feature, but it's not unique to jQuery.

I haven't sipped the jQuery cool-aid yet because I feel that Mootools is far superior.
VOTES:0
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Frankly speaking i do not like at all the 3.0 backend. The user experience, imho, is much worse than the 2.5. I've got crazy and i uninstalled it. In addition i don't think 2.5 is boring, but simple and effective.
VOTES:5
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Well, so why is 2.5 still "recommended and intended for most websites" if it is so "boring"...
2.5 was released just 9 months ago...but in your article it sounds like it is very bad and old. :-(
VOTES:0
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OK, many improvements, i have not seen the 3.0 version in action and i can't judge it yet! But having experience with previous upgrades off joomla (version 1.6) on a clean install it was a mess! Nothing was working correctlyuntil 1.7 was released! The developers didn't have nothing ready for must have extensions for a joomla site! After 9 months of joomla 2.5 is released i am now going to upgrade my customers websites, because now i know that everything is where it should be (extensions and know-how).
Yes i have setup some dummy sites for my own usage and to learn the new interface but never to a live site!
Bottom line! ?
I think that Joomla is an awesome CMS with great support and many proffessionals around it! BUT the joomla team needs to culm down and go slower on new releases! I do not care if i need every week to upgrade to a newer version of joomla (for security perposes) but to alter an entire webpage from scrap (most of times) is a loss of time and money! That's why i don't bother to run, get and apply a new verion of Joomla!
I must aggre with axel
Well, so why is 2.5 still "recommended and intended for most websites" if it is so "boring"...
2.5 was released just 9 months ago...but in your article it sounds like it is very bad and old. :-(
He does have a point! :D
VOTES:4
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"Thanks to JQuery, Joomla 3.0 finally supports a Drag & Drop sorting feature in the back-end."

So are you trying to say that it was impossible to do that with mootools??

Sorry to say this but I think that this article is really biased and pretty shallow with its statements.
VOTES:1
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I really miss the 1-click-switch-from-2.5-to-3.0-button :-

whatever. thanks for the article!!
VOTES:1
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Great, thanks for sharing!
VOTES:0
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Pretty cool updates! I also miss an easy update from 1.5 and 2.5 :)
VOTES:2
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After reading the article and the comments, I also need to chip in about the admin area - my first thought was that it's not finished yet (eg: no icons in the component dropdown menu). After using it for a while on a test site, I decided to wait a while until I start making production sites out of it - no doubt it will only get better with time :)
VOTES:1
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The JQuery use is just awesome! It is great and saves us a lot of bandwidth in the final product. I started to use it, but nothing so deep...
What I can say is that it's far better and faster, mainly in the administrator area, but it's backend interface is not really great. Why? There's almost no icons and colors. The few icons left are really small and it just not cool in an backend. It makes work slower, because we have to read.
When you just have a clear picture of what you need, you'll work pretty fast because you just assimilate images much faster.
To me it's a vital drawback of this version...
I think that a certain point someone will just make a bakcend's template similar to the old one, just because you can work faster.

But honestly, if you get over it, you'll see that this is the most awesome version to the day :D
VOTES:3
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I like the Joomla 3 backend, many thanks to Joomla team!
VOTES:0
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olubukola adeboye Sunday, 25 November 2012
havnt really define my time for responsive design, my short time with 3.0 has. Changed all that.. Thanks for the article
VOTES:0
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hindi font is showing ???? in my website gurusiyagyoga.com/

i am using joomla 2.5 .can it will be solve after upgrade to 3.0 .
or any one help me to find a extension or plugin that will change all table in my databse to utf8. in WordPress there is a plugin utf-8 databse converter .
VOTES:0
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My experiences with 3.0:
-Site is faster
-Code is more cleaner
-More freedom to present site template
-Great with site template for mobile
-Waste time with backend (I think Joomla team should not invest time for this backend.
VOTES:1
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Nice article, thank you :)
VOTES:1
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Thanks Hung for the great informative article. Very much appreciated, as I was lost in the new 3.0 back end without it.
VOTES:0
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This information is very helpful for me. It is very great information.
VOTES:0
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really a good and informational article,thanks for publsihing,
if possible please publish a detailed article for template creation in joomla 3.0 from scratch.
VOTES:2
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Thank you for this interestion article about the new features of Joomla 3.0. I am sure I will love it, as much as I love joomla 2.5.
VOTES:1
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To me, the only thing that 3.0 added is a responsive front-end template, ability to drag and drop, and the ability to save blank templates. The rest is garbage, I want the old Joomla back.

The new admin is non-intuitive and not user-friendly. I didn't like it when Joomla switched the Template Manager, and now I don't like everything about the backend. I loved the old backend because it was well organized and separated out, this new one is hard to read (where are the UI designers who know user-interaction design???) and locate things. The best thing to do is have a responsive backend template and non-responsive old Bluestork template. Then have a different username to login with mobile versus desktop and assign the template to that user. Or have two templates come with Joomla for those who don't use mobile to access their Joomla sites. That's what I'm doing now, find a new backend template or if Bluestork is 3.0 ready.

I don't like the top menus either, now I have to click to have them drop down? Seriously?

I feel like this is the same failure in design of Windows 8 trying to be responsive, you end up screwing up all the people who actually use the non-responsive design to it's advantages.

I've been a huge Joomla supporter and user for many years since Joomla 1.0, but I've started moving to Wordpress lately because of the direction Joomla seems to be heading in, which is even less user-friendly than it always has been. Clients complain all the time about how difficult Joomla is to begin with, and it continues to get less user-friendly with each upgrade (well besides the main backend menu organization which was a great improvement).
VOTES:8
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Awesome enhancement....:)

Thanks
VOTES:1
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i love joomla :)
VOTES:1
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in joomla 2.5 i have to write googlemap iframe url in module at html editer but working map how can i solve this problem?
VOTES:0
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That awkward moment when 3.0 back-end looks like 5 years downgrade from 2.5 back-end. So bad. I hope that MissionControl Theme for 3.0 comes out fast, because default 3.0 back-end theme is really bad.
VOTES:1
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Ive done it,but how can i web host my joomla website from a wampsserver? Cause im using a wampserver in making my website.
VOTES:-1
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Joomla 3.0 backend sucks. So ive made mine all 2.5
VOTES:1
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Shogu Dianimum Friday, 18 July 2014
The new admin is a step backward for 'front page' navigation, though there are many new features, as the article says.
VOTES:0
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PLEASE READ, My Opinion About Joomla 3. I am a huge Joomla Fan and small time web developer. I been building Joomla Sites since v1.5 to v2.5. When Joomla released 2.5, a few weeks later I had a Car crash which made me almost handicap. I lay in bed for almost 2.5 to 3 years without being able to use my hands and fingers. I also lost 30% of my memory. I have finally recovered after 3 years bit by bit, and I finally came to check Joomla. After Downloading Joomla 3.x waiting with a happy face, after Installation was utterly surprised seeing Joomla 3.x Backend. The Bakend is horrible and very confusing. Every mod has now 5 Extra TABS with more than 5 to 15 different options under each Tab. While befor a Module was on a single Page with all its options. I cannot say how much I regret now that I ihave been using Joomla all these years.

Right now I am affraid to use Joomla 3.x because. Its not the Joomla version that scares me, But the Developers and the Team who makes the desicions for Joomla that scares me. I dont wanna use Joomla v3 because they have been releasing 3 x Versions in a very short period. Who knows whats going to happen next.

As a Joomla Developer and User I simply cannot believe who made the decissions to make joomla's backend this horrible and so hard to setup for users like myself who has been dealing and building Websites for years. I wish that Joomla 3's Backend will come to an end very soon. And that they start providing some Icons or Graphics for all the Extensions for all Joomla 3 Extensions.

Thats all what I have to say. And I think I will stick to Joomla 2.5 eventho I know there are issues with J2.5.
VOTES:1
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Thank you very much got this information, I had an little idea of the differences but this one really helped me out a lot. I would to know if you can publish another one but specifically about the "technical" details differences. Thank you again.
VOTES:0

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