Ep46 - Changing, Updating and Testing Your Joomla Website
Michael Babker, one of the Joomla Production Leadership Team members joins me on the podcast this episode to talk a little about how he got involved with Joomla and furthermore got involved in the Joomla PTL.
Michael didn't have much development knowledge but slowly got into Joomla by submitting bugs that he would come across. Other Joomla members started encouraging Michael to create simple patches to fix some of the really easy issues in Joomla and from there the rest was history.
The next patches and releases of Joomla will be (if they haven't yet) be released for the Joomla 2.5 and 3.2 branches. That is versions 2.5.17, 3.1.7 and 3.2.1 will be released to fix various bugs and security holes that have been found.
It is well worth updating to these latest versions but of course you should also test your site with the updates before moving forward with them.
An interesting move which I think will benefit everyone in the Joomla industry is crowd sourcing test sites to test website patches and Joomla releases. There have been releases in the past where some issues hadn't been tested in real world environments causing headaches for the website owners as well as the code committers and testers alike.
If the Joomla project could get a nice crowd sourced collection of websites in real world hosting environments to test these updates on it could help with testing releases for everyone.
If you want to be a aprt of it and volunteer your website or a staging version of your website to test releases then please volunteer your website by submitting it to Watchfu.li - https://watchful.li/volunteer-your-site-for-testing-joomla-updates
Volunteering your website to the project will give the Joomla development team test beds to trial their releases in real world environments.
Follow the conversation on the Joomla forums: http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=728&p=3118352
If you want to find out some more background as to why some people are trying to push towards this, then read this post by Michael Babker where he explains some of the issues that arose in the release of Joomla 3.2: Update on Joomla 3.2.1 and Security Enhancements.
Joomla on Stack Exchange
Stack Exchange is a question and answers website where users can come along and get their questions answered by a really active community that have committed to responding to these questions. The Joomla project at the moment has one of these sites in the commitment phases at the moment which means it is looking for people committed to answering questions. It doesn't mean you have to answer something EVERYDAY but it does mean you should be jumping on as often as possible to help out. Just the the Joomla forums, StackExchange can help out the project by helping inexperienced Joomla users. So if you're new to Joomla, check it out, and if you're a pro or a veteran then join in and commit to the project to get it up and running for everyone to use.
Winners of the "Learning Joomla! 3 Extension Development" books Congratulations to the winners of the competition. You can find out who won the competition and find out how you can still get a copy of the book at our announcement blog post about the competition.
Changing, Updating and Testing Your Website
Now the main topic of this podcast episode is all about testing your website when doing a major update such as a Joomla update before doing it on a live website.
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Interview with Michael Babker
Michael started on Joomla 1.5 in 2010 where he didn't know much Joomla code or development at all. Over time he built up his skills and knowledge in Joomla by submitting bugs, testing patches and then eventually writing his own patches to fix various bugs that existed. Michael only had basic web development knowledge such as HTML and CSS before getting into Joomla.
Joomla Issue Tracker
Michael has spent a lot of time reworking the Joomla Issues tracker. He laid down some of the initial code to get the new issue tracker working on the Joomla Platform and then later moved it to the Joomla framework. It has now since been released and being used by many people and you can check it out at http://issues.joomla.org
Joomla Pizza Bugs and Fun Session
On the second night of the Joomla conference there was a huge bug squashing session where many developers and new committers go together to test, squash and apply patches to Joomla. Michael was one of the co-ordinators for the night helping our Javier who was leading the session.
Joomla Patch Tester
The Joomla patch tester is by far the easiest way to test a patch in Joomla that has been fixed by another developer. It's well and good to test a patch yourself but with more people testing a patch the better the patch is. One person testing it may not have seen or may have missed something that the patch inadvertently caused somewhere else on a Joomla website.
You don't need any development knowledge or knowledge of how Git works to be able to use the patch testerd.
Download it via Michael Babker's GitHub account, or from the Joomla GitHub account when it moves there.
If you'd like to find our more about Michael, his experiences and what he has done, or if you just want to reach out to him, you can do so via his blog, and social media accounts.
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