This week I have the pleasure of chatting with the creators of the directory component - turn content construction kit called SobiPro.
Radek & Sigrid Suski, a husband and wife power team, created SobiPro out of their own needs and the user's needs of the extension. It grew over the years as a simple directory component into something quite a bit more complex and Radek and Sigrid share that journey and story with the Joomla Beat listeners.
Here we see the Joomla media manager redeveloped and better than ever before. Developer Buddhima Wijeweera, from Sri-Lanka has been working on this particular project.
Some new features include;
A new interface, where you can browse all images and interact with images on your server
New thumbnails that will display images
New category manager within the media manager itself. It is also now database driven which is great.
Use of the ajax style of dragging and dropping images onto the server
Image editing functionality, when you upload the image onto the website, you can edit the image straight from the uploader, e.g. crop, resize etc.
Metadata - tag all the images, provide labels and alt descriptions
New MVC structure behind the code
This update will revolutionise the way Joomla handles media in the backend of the CMS.
Joomla Day Russia
This is the first Joomla Day for the Russian community. It is exciting to see the growth within the Russian Joomla community. Check out joomladay.ru - let Google translate it for you if your Russian isn't up to scratch! Also you can check out the “Hello Video” submitted by Joomla users from around the world, saying hello to the Russian Joomla community.
Joomla Day Mexico
We have a special guest on this segment, welcome Carlos from Joomla Day Mexico. This Joomla Day is being held on the 17th and 18th July in Santa Fe, Mexico City. You will find different kinds of workshops at the event, which is sponsored by Microsoft. Tickets to this event are free!
Welcome Sigrid and Radek from SobiPro
History of SobiPro
Back in 2006, Radek and Sigrid wanted to create a website for their town and began searching for something to create a yellow pages type directory. They found two extensions that would work somewhat how they wanted but took one and adjusted it to cater to their needs. Thus creating Sobi. They shared it with the community and it became really popular.
People began asking for new features so they wrote a new extension completely called SobiTwo. They then gradually realised that it still wasn't flexible enough for their users needs so re-wrote it and created SobiPro.
History of Using Joomla
Back when Radak was in university, he was in a lecture and saw another student updating their website. He asked what he was using and it was Mambo. And from then on he used Mambo through the transition to Joomla.
For Sigrid, she found out about Mambo from Radek, and they built websites on Mambo and then on with Joomla.
Features of SobiPro
The first edition of Sobi had some issues, including that it was designed for the European market with a specific address format. This made it difficult for people around the world to use it to suit their location. Then Sobi2 addressed this problem, with custom fields.
It was actually the first CCK (Content Construction Kit) for Joomla ever. Originally it was designed as a business directory style extension but people began using it for other purposes, e.g. a company in the UK used it for a website listing cows.
It was written in XSLT, which Radek explains is a readable way of defining things. It is very popular in the design world. If a template developer were to add functionalities to SobiPro by using PHP, they would need to call PHP from the XSLT template.
There is extensive documentation of SobiPro itself, which they are continually working on. For XSLT you can find a lot of resources such as w3.com,
There is a subscription based forum for club members for SobiPro, and another forum which is community based. They recommend the subscription based forum to get high quality and precise answers to any questions people may have.
Working from a Home Office
Radek tells us that both himself and Sigrid work from their home office environment. It takes discipline from them as there are no pressures to get up, so they sometimes end up sleeping in.
Both Sigrid and Radek are involved in the Joomla community. Sigrid works on the social media side of things by helping to managing the Facebook account. Radek was in the social media team, but now is a Open Source Matters Board member, he works with project leadership and is a leader of the events team.
Sigrid explains that she checks the Facebook fan page for spam, helps people who asks questions and publishes articles from the Joomla magazine.
Thanks Radek and Sigrid from SobiPro!
Peter made a guest appearance on a podcast episode from WP Tavern with Jeff Chandler and Marcus Couch. They had an interesting chat about the differences between Joomla and WordPress.