This is a question I have been asked too many times ever since I announced I would be refactoring the component to not use Nooku anymore. Well, it all boils down to stability and compatibility of the framework. And it's finally time to write down everything I have in my mind and promised to put on a blog post many times during the last three weeks.

As you all know, Joomla! 1.7 brought a major change in the direction of the project. The self-developed libraries upon which the Joomla! CMS is built on are now spun-off as a separate project, called Joomla! Platform. The goal of this split is to allow developers to built applications on the Joomla! Platform without having to install the Joomla! CMS and all the unnecessary cruft this brings with it. The vision is to have a standalone framework, much like Zend Framework, CakePHP, CodeIgniter or Symphony, with a twist. It will be equally easy to create a component for the Joomla! CMS, a standalone web application or a CLI (command-line) application without much changes in the source code or, at least, reusing big portions of it. A mighty, noble goal. Is it possible? Are we there yet? Is it worth it?

If you are into Joomla! extensions development you are undoubtedly familiar with the rule of index.html, that is the necessity to put a “blank page” index.html file on any and all directories containing PHP files. This habit is so ingrained to the mentality of Joomla! developers that it’s now dubbed a “security feature” and made a prerequisite to publishing your extension in the Joomla! Extensions Directory. The thing is, is it really a security feature or are we trying to solve the wrong problem?

As you already know, I am a big fan of Ryan Demmer's JCE (Joomla! Content Editor). It's the one and only editor installed on all of my sites. I am also a huge fan of Nuevvo/JoomlaWork's K2 CCK extension. It's what powers this blog as well pretty much every other site I have ever and will ever build. Almost two years ago, I had written a nifty AdvLink plugin which enabled JCE 1.5.x to link to K2 categories and articles. Now that JCE 2.0 is being released, that plugin ceased to work. Guess what? I rewrote it and put it on steroids!

It's mid-May now and we're less than a month away from Joomla! 1.7's release. As you may have already heard, Joomla! 1.7 is more or less the same as Joomla! 1.6 with a few additions for developers. With Joomla! 1.8, the next Long Term Support release, closing in it is a good time to start considering the improvements in the new generation of the CMS and preparing yourself for a migration. What you need, as a site integrator and user, is a guided tour of Joomla! 1.6 and beyond.

I have already talked about Appcelerator's Titanium in a previous article. One of the things that I found extremely hard to accomplish is downloading very big files with it. Using Titanium.Network.HTTPClient blocks the user interface and makes the application seem "hang" while the download is in progress. So, how can you download big files in Titanium without causing the whole application to freeze? The solution is easy; just use Web Workers!

There has been a lot of controversy over a number of changes introduced in Joomla! 1.6. One of the top ones (in my humble opinion, the least significant one nonetheless) is about the changes in the language files in Joomla! 1.6. People argue that the new scheme provides less flexibility and doesn't allow using a single extension installation package for Joomla! 1.5 and 1.6. To cut a long story short, this is utter bullocks and I'm going to tell you why. If you are a Joomla! developer, you'd better read this post. After all, I do offer unified Joomla! 1.5/1.6 packages for all of my extensions for the last nine months.

Update, May 2012: This information can now be found in the Joomla! documentation wiki (and this page).

You may have seen me on quite a few occasions advising against using Joomla! 1.6. You have most certainly seen that I was the first developer to embrace Joomla! 1.6 and my extensions were among the first to fully support Joomla! 1.6. Actually, Akeeba Backup was the first major extension and the first third-party extension ever to run natively on Joomla! 1.6. So what is that? Am I hypocrite? Am I suffering from schizophrenia? Or is it something more unalarming?

Maybe you have already tried Appcelerator’s Titanium. If not, you should have. It’s a very easy to use RAD framework for creating cross-platform desktop and mobile applications based on HTML, Javascript, PHP, Python and Ruby. However, I was having a grave issue lately with their desktop builds. No matter what, I could not build the Windows installation package of my applications. Appcelerator’s documentation on manually packaging applications is sketchy and outdated. So I did what any self-respecting hacker (in the good sense, i.e. geeky developer with a strong aspiration to solving complex problems) would. I figured out a solution myself and documented everything in the process.

The Christmas season is linked with people making gifts to each other, or even themselves. What's a better gift than a book? I was fortunate enough to receive a free copy of Packt's new book, Joomla! 1.5 Cookbook, a great resource for Joomla! site owners written by a knowledgable member of the Joomla! community and personal friend Tom Canavan. Let's take a more in-depth look at it.