In 2000, the Australia-based company Miro developed a proprietary CMS called Mambo and, a year later, released it for free to the public under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Mambo quickly garnered a lot of community support and enthusiasm in a short period of time. But in 2005, a copyright dispute with the Mambo Steering Committee caused most members of the Mambo Core Team to resign. The result was a new entity called Open Source Matters and a code fork (a point at which a new version of the source code “forks” in a different direction) of Mambo called Joomla. Joomla, which is a phonetic spelling of the Swahili word “jumla” (meaning “all together”), was officially launched with version 1.0 on September 16, 2005. The first version was primarily a rebranding with a few bug fixes, but 14 updates and numerous open source awards followed over the next two years.
On January 21, 2008, the first major revision to Joomla was announced: Joomla 1.5. It was a monumental effort on the part of many and brought a whole new level of power and features to the open source CMS world. Joomla received a new API and became a truly international CMS with support for extended character sets and right-to-left languages. It grew by leaps and bounds in areas like usability, extensibility, and template control—where it was already superior to other options.
In July 2009, the Joomla Project announced a restructuring of its management to increase productivity and efficiency. The Joomla Leadership Team has now replaced the Core Team that originally led the project. This redefined the role of the team leading the project and structured it more around community involvement in events, the Google Summer of Code projects, and other activities. This somewhat federative approach to team building is also an effort to increase community participation in the development process instead of relying on a small group of coders to do most of the work.