Tim Plummer's Joomla blog

Attention Australian Joomla Users - Help us plan Sydney Joomla!Day 2013 by completing this survey. http://tamlynsoftware.com/sjd2013/

Are you just starting out with Joomla and want some training in person? Richard Pearce from Build a Joomla Website is a leading Joomla trainer who I highly recommend. If you don’t want face-to-face training or can’t make it to Sydney, his website http://www.buildajoomlawebsite.com has some great free online training, as well as some paid courses for those that want to learn even more.

On 27th January 2013, Andrew Eddie announced that his Joomla developer training website http://learn.theartofjoomla.com/ is now free (as if free beer). Andrew Eddie is one of the Joomla founders, and has contributed a significant amount of code, so who better to learn from than the masterchief. Previously this training was only available on a subscription basis, I know because I’ve been a long time subscriber. I highly recommend his training and look forward to seeing more videos added in the near future.

Have you dreamt of making your own Joomla extensions but really don’t know how to get started? I’ve just launched a new training website which will teach you the basics of developing a Joomla component in a step-by-step way that you will understand.

Have you gone through the hello world tutorial on docs.joomla.org? After hours of work you end up with a component that doesn’t even have the basic functionality that most of the core components have. Simple things like a status column where you can publish & unpublish a record are just missing, which is really frustrating. In this course, you will learn how to add all that missing functionality and develop a component that is more like the core extensions, so people will be able to use your extension straight away as it will already be familiar.

All the code used in the videos can be copied and pasted, no need to retype it all out as you learn. You can even download the final outcome of each section so you can compare your code to mine to make sure that you haven’t missed anything. I’ve now run this workshop at three JUG groups and two JoomlaDays, and I aways get lots of positive feedback. This is a complete step-by-step Joomla development tutorial, at the end of which you will have a complete working component that you can install on a Joomla website.

With the skills you learn in this course, you could potentially earn some extra cash in your spare time by selling extensions you’ve developed and doing something you enjoy. With Joomla having been downloaded well over 30 millions times, there is a huge market, and there really aren’t that many extension developers out there, most Joomla businesses focus on site building. So what are you waiting for, check out the Tamlyn Software Training site now.

http://training.tamlynsoftware.com.au/

I used to be a regular listener to JoomStew and The Bob Bloom show, which were the two most frequent Joomla podcasts. They were a great way to keep up to date as to what was happening in the Joomla community, and also to learn more about people involved with Joomla with some in-depth interviews. Recently I’ve been disappointed by the lack of new episodes, so I was delighted to find out about a new Joomla podcast that has started up in 2013 called Joomla Beat, which is hosted by a friend of mine, Peter Bui from PB Web Development. I even got a mention in the first episode, thanks Peter. So what are you waiting for, go and listen to the first 3 episodes now. There is a good interview with Anthony Olsen from Joomla Bamboo and some more Joomla celebrity interviews from Joomla!Day Melbourne coming up soon. http://joomlabe.at/

Should I upgrade from Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2.5?

Recently a lot of people have been asking me if they should upgrade their Joomla 1.5 website to the latest long term release Joomla 2.5, so I thought I’d share some thoughts that might help you make a decision.

Joomla 1.5 has an end of life set for April 2012. What this means is that the bug squad will no longer be fixing any bugs or making any improvements (which probably hasn’t happened for a while anyway), and more importantly the security team wont be releasing any more security fixes. Essentially if there was a security vulnerability identified after April 2012, there will be no official update, however I suspect if it is serious then there will be some unofficial fixes/work arounds. That said, Joomla 1.5 has been going since Jan 08, so the chance of any major flaws now being found is pretty low. I suspect many people will continue using Joomla 1.5 for quite some time, and projects such as Nooku Server are based on Joomla 1.5 code so this may help extend it’s life even further. It should be noted that
there are still people using Joomla 1.0 which has been end of life since
July 2009.

After April 2012, you’ll probably find that the Joomla Extension Directory (JED) will start unpublishing Joomla 1.5 only extensions, and many developers will stop supporting their 1.5 products. Also most new extensions will only be developed for 2.5 or greater. This will make it harder to find new extensions when you want to add new functionality to your site in future. The greatest risk you will have is if there is a vulnerability identified in a third party extension you are using, and the
developer has stopped supporting it.

The other thing to consider, is if you stick with 1.5, it’s going to make it much harder to get to 3.5, as I suspect the official upgrade/migration path will be only from 2.5.


So if you don’t need the new features such as ACL, smart search, article images, ReCAPTCHA etc, and you are unlikely to be adding any new functionality to your site, and you don’t mind manually applying security fixes, then you should be fine sticking with 1.5. I personally have several sites still running 1.5 that I have no plans to upgrade at this stage, but I also have several that I have already upgraded or plan to upgrade over the next couple of months. I think the decision should be made on an individual basis dependent on what the site is used for, who uses it, and what are the future plans for it.

I suspect many people will make the decision to stick with the currently supported long term release, where they will plan to upgrade every 18 months or so. It should also be noted that due to the shorter release cycles, the future changes will be more evolutionary, not revolutionary, so future upgrades should be less painful.

In this presentation, Tim Plummer explains what are the new features in Joomla 2.5 compared to the previous version Joomla 1.7. It was presented to the Sydney Joomla User Group on February 14th 2012. This presentation demonstrates how to set up the new features including smart search and ReCAPTCHA, as well as how to repair your database and other useful tips. It covers how to upgrade, potential problems to avoid and solutions to common Joomla 2.5 upgrade issue.

The stable version of Joomla 2.5 has now been released. Joomla 2.5 is a long term release supported for at least 18 months, and is the first long term release since 1.5.

Those people currently using Joomla 1.6 or 1.7 should upgrade before 24th Feb, when Joomla 1.7 becomes end of life. Although there are a lot of improvements and new features, there is not a lot of core changes that will break things, so most Joomla 1.7 extensions will continue to work fine.

If you are using Joomla 1.5, you’ve still got until April 2012 before it becomes end of life, so there is no urgency to upgrade yet. Even when Joomla 1.5 becomes end of life, it’s not going to suddenly stop working, it just means that the Joomla project wont be releasing new versions, so potentially if there is a security vulnerability identified you might have to manually fix it. Also many new extensions will only be available for the latest version, so by continuing to use 1.5 you will limit your future possibilities.

The first Joomla Wolrd Conference will be on16 - 18th November 2012