Ep13 - Big news updates with Joomla Beat, News from around the web, big Joomla Extension Reviews
This week on the Joomla Beat Podcast we have some exciting announcements and change to the Podcast. Things are going to change for the better I hope!
We also have a round up of news from around the web about Joomla.
We also have no interview this week. Instead we're doing a big session on the Joomla extensions reviews where I go through a few interesting Joomla extension picks from the Joomla Extension Directory.
Lucky episode number 13, Joomla beat updates, Joomla news topics, and a huge Extension review and roundup!
This week we’re also going to look at doing a big focus on a big extension review, so no interview lined up this week but I do have one for next week already recorded.
Firstly we’re going through a complete rebuild of the website, rebranding of the website as well as audio branding for the podcast, which is something we’ve never done before.
The design of the website I think is going well and the team here should get that together in a few hours after I release this podcast and the implementation of the design can start and I’m pretty excited about that.
The audio branding on the other hand, we’ve engaged a UK based audio branding team called Music Radio Creative who have been doing the audio branding for a whole bunch of other podcasts that I’ve been listening to lately and I think have been doing and amazing job so I’m really excited about getting that all done for the podcast. I had a Skype interview the other night with Izabela from Music Radio Creative and I know I’m in good hands! We’re getting a new intro done, a new outtro, and a whole bunch of transitions to use through out the show too, so if you liked the production value and quality of the podcast so far, it’s just going to get better and better. All I have to do is keep the quality of the content for the podcast up as well :).
Secondly, as some of you may know, SiteGround have been hosting the podcast show for the past few months on their servers and have been doing an amazing job handling all of the bandwidth that we’ve been chewing through to deliver the podcast to all the networks out there.
SiteGround have put together a prize for the best podcast interview of the year. All you have to do is vote on your favourite podcast interview from all the episodes that have been recorded this year.
The interview winner will be revealed in November this year at one of the major Joomla conferences and the prize from SiteGround will be given away to one of the voters of the competition as well as another specific prize for the person who was interviewed. I hope that made sense.
What is the prize you may ask?
Well SiteGround have kindly donated a VPS hosting package as the major prize, It’s not just one of their small hosting packages its one of their top of the line hosting packages valued at $493.95. So it’s quite a hosting package. You’ll get their awesome hosting support, awesome services and awesome hosting environment.
I’ll put up more details about that in a separate blog post on the Joomla Beat website so check that out when you have a moment.
Voting will start when the new website is launched.
In the meantime you can always get a hosting account from SiteGround (affiliate link) to get 60% off your hosting account when you sign up!
Win a one year Joomla optimized semi-dedicated hosting from SiteGround" (value $493.95, includes SSL)
This first story comes from the Joomla Magazine and outlines some of the work by the Joomla Development team.
http://magazine.joomla.org/issues/issue-apr-2103/item/1240-leadership-highlights-april-2013 A new developer website has been created by Mark Dexter and David hurly to help guide developers in the right direction when working with Joomla. How cool.
http://developer.joomla.org/ The website also features notes form the Leadership team meetings:
http://developer.joomla.org/news/79-plt-meeting-notes-april-2013.html I love seeing the transparency of what exactly is going in within the community and what the leadership team is doing and what they’re talking about when they are meeting.
Lastly the cool activity tracker that shows what users are up to in the project and what is being committed to the project in terms of code, testing and wiki updates.
Kunena 3.0 BETA Released
This is a very popular forum component that has been around for a very long time, it follows a more traditional form layout that you might see with forum software such as PHP Bulletin Board.
If you’re using Kunena on another website it might be worth getting a copy of the beta and testing it out on a local or test environment. Now from what I have read about the component, it is a full rewrite of the entire thing. All of the Joomla 1.x code has been removed and the visual layer has been all Bootstrapped meaning it is using a responsive visually layer which means it will be a completely responsive forum component. Nice.
Now there is a huge features table that compares all the different versions of the component and you can see them all on the Kunena website and I’ll post links to that as well.
There is a lovely write up from Dianne Henning who I interviewed in Episode 9 about JoomlaDay Boston: http://magazine.joomla.org/issues/issue-apr-2103/item/1245-joomladay-boston-no-blarney
Happening this weekend on the 13th of April
StackEnchage the Area 51 for Joomla Code Answers
Extension Round Up!
Tweet Display Back
Twitter has discontinued their Twitter API 1.0 and now everyone that has been using old Twitter modules on their websites will have to change and upgrade to a later version. This version here uses the new Twitter API 1.1.
http://mashable.com/2012/09/05/twitter-api-rss/ The module doesn’t support Joomla 1.5 so if you’re trying to find one for a 1.5 website this one won’t work unfortunately.
Strangest Extension I’ve Come Across
This extension will make the letters or words on the screen disappear as you hover over them with your mouse!
I can’t figure out a practical reason to use this extension just yet but it would have been made for a reason. If you can think of a practical use case for it please tell me, its a strange one but interesting never the less.
This is a component that I just came across under the database management section of the Joomla Extension Directory and it looks like it was put together by Craig Phillips who I’ve actually met in the Joomla circle here in Australia. It’s always pretty cool to bump into work that other shave done and you actually know them as well.
Now the cool thing within the extension is that you can create Plans and give permissions to different plans to different users on the website. The different “plans” can then perform different sync functions from copying only certain files from staging to live or sync on certain database tables from staging to live. You could also just setup a “plan” that will just copy everything over as well.
EasyStaging Plans allows you create Plans for specific users groups using Joomla! 2.5+ ACL model and control what the Plan will let them copy
all files or just those in a specific directory e.g. /images/dept/joes-files/ all files that match a specific regex pattern or even exclude from the copy files matching a pattern copy all tables in a database copy a specific set of tables or copy a table only if it doesn't already exist on the target site This is definitely something to check out and perhaps implement on a large website where a staged environment is needed.
It works in a very similar way to one of our applications called Push to Live but I think this one might do it even better than what we’ve put together and I think we can use this to improve some of our work flow processes of managing code in GitHub and distributing it to a live environment.
Better Open Graph Tags
This is a goodie if you don’t manage your open graph tags on a macro level. It will add the right Open Graph metadata to your website so that when you share content on Facebook it will pull in the right data for you. If the data isn't there it won't just pul in random images from your site, it will pull in the right ones or a predefined default image for your posts.
This one is great and when we finish rebuilding the Joomla Beat website we'd most likely use this one in the site as well.
Latest Version of SH404SEF for Joomla 3.0
Hurray, this is a component that we’ve been using for years and one that I do quite like. I like being able to control everything about the site’s SEO all from one place from the SEF URLs, to the metadata, canonical URLs on your website and much more.
The team at Anything Digital http://anything-digital.com/ have been working quite hard on a lot of projects lately from their website management tool Watchful.li to all of their upgrades on their extensions. It seems that Victor and the team there don’t sleep.
If you haven’t used SH404SEF before, check it out at http://anything-digital.com/
I do however had had issues using SH404SEF on really really large sites. Sites with 50,000+ pages, its seems to not be able to handle things too well but that might also be server limitations I’m not entirely sure and I’ll have to ask the guys that built it what's the deal is there and if a higher specced server will help with that.
Log In As Any User
Very useful extension, especially if you have a website that has a whole heap of different access level controls for different users on a website and you need to login as a different user to see what they’re seeing in terms of modules, content and access to components.
This will let you login as them with the same permission levels so there is no need to call up the user, asking for their password to gain access OR creating a new user and figuring out the exact permissions and access levels of their account that you need to mimic to troubleshoot their issues. Now Ian Scott from the Joomla User Group here in Sydney told me about that one at the last Joomla User Group meeting here and its definitely a goodie. It’s great. Very easy to use and very useful!
DJ Media Tools
This is a feature rich image gallery slide show that allows you to add an image slide show or even a video slide show to your website into an article, module or component. It is so flexible and is also responsive ready. Probably the most flexible slide show component/module/plugin I've ever seen for Joomla.