A few months ago Jisse Reitsma of Yireo told me about a book he had just written, called Programming Joomla! plugins. He asked me if I was interested in reviewing it. I did, mostly because I was curious what a book on plugins would look like. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. By all accounts, it's one of the best Joomla! development books I've read and one I highly recommend to anyone who's serious about doing heavy customizations in Joomla! or writing extensions for it.

Debugging email sending can be notoriously difficult. There are too many moving parts: the extension you are using, Joomla!'s mail setup in Global Configuration, your web server, your mail server, the other party's mail server and their mail client. Between them it's nigh impossible to know where a problem occurs. It would be of immense help being able to isolate just the code running on your web server when debugging email. This is done with MailCatcher.

I am the happy owner of an Intel NUC dual booting Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu, hooked up to a great-looking Apple LED Cinema Display. The only problem is that the Apple display comes with no physical controls for brightness and Ubuntu doesn't seem to be able to adjust it either. Being a geek I was anything but content with this situation. I finally found a solution to control the brightness using keyboard shortcuts.

As much as I love Joomla!, there is a shortcoming compared to the other two major Open Source PHP CMS, WordPress and Drupal: it doesn't come with a command-line interface like wp-cli or drush. This is a bit of a problem when you're in need of mass-provisioning sites with extensions or updates in an unattended manner. Using a CLI tool is the only way to provide a scriptable, efficient and unattended method of doing so. In this post we'll see a practical way to overcome this limitation.

Hello, I'm Nicholas. Most of you know me as the author of popular components like Akeeba Backup and Admin Tools. Some of you know me as a frequent code contributor to Joomla!. I'm very outspoken to the point that people think I'm an asshole. Most likely I am. I was working as a business consultant long before I turned to full time software development and, as you know, business consultants are always seen as assholes, usually ranking lower in being well-liked than accounting and legal departments. But you know what else business consultants do besides being assholes? They know how to make an organisation do more with the same people (or even less, which is why people think we are assholes). So there you have it, I was refactoring businesses before I got to refactoring code. This is my take on refactoring Joomla!'s organisation structure. It's a long read, ideal for a Sunday morning.

You're wrong. Some rudimentary A/B testing led me to a counter-intuitive result about e-commerce.

My last week's blog post on running Apache, MySQL, PHP server on Windows with multiple, simultaneous PHP versions seems to have been a smash hit. This week we'll be doing the same thing on Mac OS X. For those of you who didn't click the link, I decided it would be a cool, geeky project to implement an Apache-MySQL-PHP web server without using a pre-packaged server like MAMP or Zend Server. My goal was to have the same sites run under different versions of PHP by just visiting a different URL on my browser. This makes cross-PHP testing of sites a piece of cake.

I just bought an Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) mini-PC to serve as my secondary, Windows-powered development machine (the primary is an Apple Mac Mini). I decided it would be a fun* weekend project to implement an Apache-MySQL-PHP web server without using a pre-packaged server like XAMPP, WAMPServer etc. My goal was to have the same sites run under different versions of PHP by just visiting a different URL on my browser.

* for extremely geek values of "fun"

Two weeks ago we transferred our business site, AkeebaBackup.com, to a new host with a downtime of less than 15 minutes. The transfer of course took longer than that. Many people asked how we pulled this off. Keep reading on to find out!

I'm quite sure that most of you wouldn't bat an eyelid on losing a pro bono job. You proposed to do some work for free, the other party didn't agree for some odd reason, less work for you, end of story. But once in a while there's a lesson to be had from such an experience, leading to interesting ripple effects. For example, a Joomla! guy ended up with a WordPress blog. Intrigued?