Discussing Joomla!

One of the neat things about managing a site like CMSReport.com is that discussion on a topic can happen when you least expected. This is exactly what happened in the comment section of a rather benign post regarding a Latin American University's use of the content management system, Joomla! I was thanked by Open Source Community's Amy Stephen, also a Joomla! user, for posting an excerpt from one of the Joomla! working group blogs. Instead of a "you're welcome" I decided to ask some questions that have been puzzling me about the Joomla! community for some time.

Instead of hiding that discussion, I've attached the comments so far in the conversation. I'd really like to continue the discussion further with other Joomla! users. I think this is a good discussion for anyone like me who is trying to get to know Joomla! and its community better. Before I continue, let me share with you two personal motives for why I want to strike a conversation about Joomla!

  1. I'm considering using Joomla! for a project. While I've installed and played with Joomla! many times (mostly 1.0.x though recently 1.5), I've never actually used Joomla! for a live production site.
  2. Converstations with Joomla! user now using Drupal. While attending a recent Drupal Meetup, I spent my time talking about Joomla! and SharePoint. There was a new Drupal user at the meeting who was frustrated with the short-comings of Joomla! and was beginning to migrate over to Drupal. However, he still spoke highly of Joomla! and its community. It was an interesting one-on-one converstation in that while he wanted to like Drupal, he didn't quite get Drupal. It struck me that while I have wanted to like Joomla!, I have never really understood Joomla!. I left that Drupal meetup wanting to know more about Joomla!

So there is there is my motive for wanting to have more discussion about Joomla! In a nutshell, I want to like Joomla!, I just don't quite get it. Let's continue the discussion we've already started and help more non-Joomla! users like me out.

The new dotCMS 1.5

A new version of dotCMS, an open-source J2EE enterprise class web content management system, was released this week. dotCMS 1.5 incorporates web content management with CRM, eCommunication tools and ecommerce.

New features introduced in dotCMS 1.5 include:

  • Content "Triggers" using JBoss Rules to allow rule based user segmentation by usage.
  • Business Intelligence Reports - Integrated with Jasper Reports and iReports allow detailed and customized reporting on site usage, transactions and content activity.
  • Improvements to User Search Segmentation, Permissions and Management.
  • Revamped Campaign/Communication Manager.

Quoting IT: Windows Vista and Linux

"At day's end, what I found was that Vista SP1 really has not improved that much from Vista. The Linux desktop, on the other hand, has improved since I first compared MEPIS 6 to Vista. It's not so much Linux has improved its performance as it has increased its ease of use and hardware compatibility. The Linux desktop of early 2008 is clearly better than the Linux desktop of early 2007. The same cannot be said of Vista."

- Steven J. Vaughan-Nicholas, "Vista SP1: Still lagging behind the Linux desktop", DesktopLinux.com, March 4, 2008

WordPress goes social

Matt Mullenweg, founder of the WordPress blogging application, recently announced on his own blog that his Automattic company has hired Andy Peating. Andy Peating is the creator of BuddyPress which is a WordPress Multi-User based social network platform.

It’s clear that the future is social. Connections are key. WordPress MU is a platform which has shown itself to be able to operate at Internet-scale and with BuddyPress we can make it friendlier. Someday, perhaps, the world will have a truly Free and Open Source alternative to the walled gardens and open-only-in-API platforms that currently dominate our social landscape.

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Microsoft reverses IE8 compatibility decision

On Monday, Microsoft announced from their IEBlog that they were reversing their decision for how Internet Explorer 8 would be compatible with Web pages designed for Internet Explorer 7 as well as Internet standards. You may recall that earlier this year Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer 8 in "Standards Mode" would actually be rendering pages in Internet Explorer 7's "Standards Mode". If you really wanted to have IE8 follow the latest standards then you would need to insert a special tag to your pages.

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Acquia unveils enterprise support for Drupal

Last December, I mentioned my excitement about Drupal's project lead, Dries Buytaert, along with Jay Batson starting a company called Acquia. While it was known that the $7 million startup would focus on Drupal for the enterprise, what was not known was the products and services that would be offered by the company. In a press release today, Acquia finally unveiled its roadmap to commercially support Drupal.

The company announced the two initial products and services it will be offering, Carbon and Spokes. Carbon is Acquia's commercial supported version of Drupal which will focus on social publishing applications. Spokes is an update will be an enhanced update notification sercice that provides "site owners personalized alerts with actionable recommendations". At this time I'm, not clear as to whether Spokes will be available for just Carbon or for all Drupal distributions. Both services will be available through a subscription offering.

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Joomla.org converts community forum from SMF to phpBB

The Joomla! community just completed migrating their forum from SMF over to phpBB3. Brad Baker posted some of the details on Joomla.org's use of phpBB3 for their forum. In part, some of the move to phpBB stemmed from Joomla.org's discomfort from bridging GPL applications with non-GPL applications. Baker answers the question in his own way.

Why did we move to phpBB3?
Good question, and there is a simple answer. Whilst SMF was great for us, it is not licensed under GPL, and as a result many of our users who like to follow the choices we make were going to run in to integration issues in the future. As well as that, the team at phpBB have been great, with many of them offering to help, especially with the conversion.
In any case, we’re not going back, and the future is phpBB3!

My first Drupal Meetup

Last night, I took the opportunity to spend some time with the Drupal community at a Twin-Cities Drupal Meetup. My trip to Minneapolis for the meetup was on the tail-end of a 1300 mile drive. Those miles covered a drive that looped me south to the state of Missouri and then eventually back north. My activities during the past week ranged from sleeping in the Missouri woods at an old scout cabin with outhouse included...to having conversations in Minnesota with some of Drupal's brightest and most active members. This was a week of contrasts for me and now that I'm back home, I can't help but acknowledge that there was something different about attending a Drupal meetup in comparison to other meetups, workshops, and conferences I've attended in my fields of interest, information technology and atmospheric science.

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Windows Vista equals Windows ME

I have a long history of using Windows and Linux systems at my place of work. I'm not into Windows bashing as the operating system and other Microsoft software historically has been a much needed standard for the business world. When my workplace had a choice of either installing a Windows 2003 server or a Linux server to support administrative functions, I chose Windows over Linux. However, as much as I wanted to see Windows Vista succeed in the office, I just don't see a future with Vista. Vista reminds me too much of Windows ME.

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Plone Professional Development Book

Last October, Packt Publishing sent me one of their latest books on the Plone CMS, Professional Plone Development. This is a book I had been saving for review until I had a chance to install and use Plone myself. Plone is one of those CMS that I've really wanted to learn more about by installing it on the server myself. Unfortunately, too many things on my "I want" list have had to compete with my "I need" list and I never got around to installing Plone. With no Plone on the server, I unfortunately never got around to reviewing the Plone book written by Martin Aspeli either.

This book is aimed at "developers who want to build content-centric web applications leveraging Plone’s proven user interface and flexible infrastructure". Given the fact that I haven't installed Plone myself, I can't honestly give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on the book. However, what I can do is talk a little about the book and let you decide for yourself if this book is worthy of your hard earned money.

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