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Community Blog

Mon

30

Jun

2008

JoomlaCode Maintainence - 1st July, 2008
Written by Sam Moffatt   
Monday, 30 June 2008 14:26

JoomlaCode is scheduled for some database maintainence for an hour at 2am GMT on the 1st July, 2008. This is to keep JoomlaCode running as efficiently as possible. We are also planning for some downtime for this Saturday for some further work however this has not been confirmed and we will release more information as it comes closer. Check out http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=406 for up to date information on down time.

 

Mon

30

Jun

2008

Joomla!, Languages, Success
Written by József Tamás Herczeg   
Monday, 30 June 2008 13:34

This is my opening blog entry here what I would like to celebrate with a special topic. I will sketch you a picture about the popularity of Joomla! from the viewpoint of the languages.

The internationalization is a hinge of the Joomla! 1.5.x release. The user interface of Joomla! 1.5.x is available in dozens of translations. You can obtain them from various resources, but if you are looking for a particular language, your first step should be to visit the Translations Project at JoomlaCode.

We have learnt that the search engines are our friends if we need something from the web. I read some blogs utilizing Google's services, I will do the same now with the global Google Search. Power users surely often turn to the Advanced Search feature. You will find a Language dropdown in this screen. Currently 43 languages can be selected to filter the results of the chosen language. I played it over with the keyword 'joomla' entered in the this exact wording or phrase field.

Read more...
 

Mon

30

Jun

2008

The JED, reviews, voting, and you
Written by Toni Marie   
Monday, 30 June 2008 00:55

Many Joomla! users don't know what goes into the administration in order to make the voting system in the Joomla! Extensions Directory valid and meaningful.  For example, it might surprise the average directory user to know that every single review is read, its entirety, and evaluated for relevance, honesty, tone and validity.   Not only that, but the votes themselves are regularly scanned for anomalies.  After all of the voting administration, of course there is the handling of the report system that keeps the directory as free of broken links and misinformation as possible, publishing of new extensions and more.

As of this writing there are more than 70,000 users of the JED. Those users have placed more than 100,000 votes and favorites, and among them nearly 27,000 written reviews.  There have been more than 3,900 reports resolved in the JED.  It's easy to see that there are currently 3,300 extensions available in the JED, but there are also many, many more that never see the light of day for one reason or another.  At least five, but sometimes 15 or 20 extensions are submitted each day.  Each of those extensions is tested to see if it will download, and then install properly.  We don't actually test to see if the items "work" per se, but we do want to make sure they're valid extensions.  With all we go through, I'm still amazed every time at the attempts to skirt the rules of the voting and review system.

Read more...
 

Fri

27

Jun

2008

Help Screens Project
Written by Marieke van der Tuin   
Friday, 27 June 2008 18:07

At the first DocCamp the idea came up that it would be nice to have all Help Screens for 1.5 created, accessible by the Help buttons at the Back-end of your Joomla! site. Four months later, I'm happy to announce that all Help Screens are done, and everyone is able to access all Help Screens at there Joomla! Back-end. The story of an enormous project, with lots of teamwork, discussing, learning and last but not least.. fun!

Google Highly Open Participation contest

It all started with GHOP. During the contest we chatted a lot with each other at the IRC channel. We knew that we did not want to just 'stop' after GHOP. These chats should be continued! Yes, they did, at the Skype Group Chat.

Some GHOPers also joined the Doc Camp, starting at the 19th of January. I did as well (of course), having fun while creating documentation. I choosed to do both Developer Documentation and User Documentation. There my interest began to grow for creating User Documentation, especially the Help Screens.

I noticed a few weeks later, after GHOP was finished, that there had not be any progress anymore on the Help Screens page. Asked Chris Davenport whether I was allowed to go on working them, and of course I could continue.

Help Screens Project

Because there were lots of them to be created, I started to contact some GHOPers, whether they would like to help me. A new project was born! We thought it would be useful to organise a (digital) meeting, to discuss about who will do what, and what would be a useful layout of a Help Screen. Thinking of the idea was much easier than getting it planned. Timezones are really challenging!

After the meeting, we started to work on the Help Screens. There were actually three 'parts' that needed to be completed per Help Screen: Creating (at the Docs), reviewing and moving them to help.joomla.org, so they will be accessible by Joomla!'s Back-end.

It went quite well, but very slow! There are more than 60 Help Screens, and we were working on them with (only) the three of us. Luckily, Mark joined us when we were about halfway. He just came in, without an 'announcement', and we were all suprised. Still remember the PM 'Who is Mark Dexter?' from Max, our reviewer.

Making progress..

With the help of Mark (still wondering how come Mark has that much time), things went faster and faster. A few changes at the SVN had been made to split up some Help Screens, combine them, and to create a few that were missing.

And now.. everything is done! At the end, after four months. How great!

Contributors

I would like to thank everyone who joined the Help Screens Project!

  • Chad Windnagle (drmmr763) for his great ideas and creating some Help Screens
  • Max Shinn (trombonechamp) for reviewing nearly all Help Screens
  • Mark Dexter (dextercowley) for creating Help Screens and moving them to help.joomla.org
  • Chris Davenport (Documentation Working Group Coordinator) for his assistence where needed and for creating a White Paper about the Help Screens
  • Amy Stephen (AmyStephen) for ideas, communication and just being there
  • CirTap for his enormous MediaWiki knowledge
  • Ian MacLennan (ianmac) for fixing keyreferences at the SVN

Without you this project could not have been completed, thanks a lot!

 

Marieke van der Tuin
Project leader 1.5 Help Screens Project

 

Tue

24

Jun

2008

Testing User Interface Code
Written by Alan Langford   
Tuesday, 24 June 2008 23:21

Recently Ross Crawford asked a question on the developer list about testing User Interface code. Little did I know that I'd be putting my response to him into action the very next day.

Today I was adding a module to one of my sites, and I decided that the module list should be alphabetical by column, rather than by row as it is now. A simple change, I thought, why not take a few minutes to implement it.

Naturally my first run at this had bugs. In this case, it was an infinite loop. An infinite loop with infinite output that gave my Firebug-enabled Firefox a really hard time. A restart the browser with 20+ open tabs hard time. Not fun.

There is a simple fix for this, I thought... unit tests! After all I'm going to wind up writing tests for it before I propose it as a change, because being able to prove that a change works is (or should be) one of the best ways to get a change approved.

A couple of glitches with mocking JText and trying to get the Windows CLI version of PHP to not dump captured output to the console, and I was ready to write some tests. A short time later and the time for a revise/test cycle was down to a minute or so, eliminating the painful need to kill and restart Firefox. Shortly thereafter the bug was fixed and everyting was looking good.

Then I decided to validate the HTML with Tidy. It failed pretty badly. It seems a misplaced /> was causing a span element to become unbalanced and an input element to be malformed. I fixed this up, eliminated all of the other warnings that I could, and created a patch.

That's the power of testing. I found previously existing but undetected bugs, significantly reduced my cycle testing times, and now the project has a tool that gives every other developer the same advantage with no additional investment in time.

See the documentation wiki for a discussion of the specifics involved in this type of test.

 


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