Social responsibility or WTF am I making Joomla! 1.6 software

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?

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Packaging Titanium desktop applications on Windows

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 Appcelerator’s documentation on manually packaging applications is sketchy and outdated.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.

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Your essential Joomla! cookbook

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.

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Tools of the trade – Mac OS X edition

I’ve written in the past about the various tool I had been using to produce the web software I publish. I have recently converted to Mac OS X. I had promised you that I’d evaluate my web development experience on that platform and come back with a blog post about it. Here you go! This post is about all the tools I am using day after day and how they improved my productivity as a web developer.

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Myths and Facts on Site Synchronization

Time over time, users make an unsurprising feature request on the AkeebaBackup.com forum: “Can you make it so that I can synchronize a live and dev site without a full backup?”. The typical answer they get is “No, because of technical issues”. I was surprised to see that a trending idea in ideas.joomla.org is exactly that – not to mention that it was submitted by one of the people very actively engaged with core Joomla! development. In the hope that anyone cares to read, I am going to make the case against such a feature, proving why it is a Really Bad Idea™.

Disclosure: I have the know-how to create such a feature and make it work on most servers and most sites. I even have code infrastructure in place to easily make it happen, without having to start from scratch. This article is a breakdown of my research and spec notes when I was doing the feasibility study of such a feature. After reading this lengthy article, you’ll hopefully understand why I decided to never put it to code and, most likely, agree with my choice too.

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Why non-developers should not touch framework code

When I roam around the open Internet I sometimes find myself in front of nasty surprises. No, I don’t mean what you think… I see code written so badly which, despite the author’s best intentions, manages to somehow introduce more problems than the single problem it tried to tackle. One such case was a set of patches regarding alternative layouts about to make it in Joomla! 1.6. Since the author of the patch doesn’t get the damage caused, I’ll take the challenge to explain it.

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How off-line is Joomla!’s off-line mode?

Joomla!’s temporary off-line mode is a very handy option to temporarily take your site down while performing maintenance —e.g. updating the Joomla! core or an extension— and is even suggested by the official documentation for the unfortunate time that your site has been compromised. However, is this really off-line, or are there any pitfalls you should be aware of?

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Do you need a blueprint to build a site?

Most of us are already very experienced with Joomla! so as not to require any help building our own sites. Listening to the client’s objectives we can intuitively translate their needs to extensions and potential set-ups. This knowledge comes from years of experience in doing this kind of work. However, this isn’t always the case with those who are fresh to the world of the Joomla! CMS. What they need is some guidance or, if you’d like, a way to “seed” their brains with adequate ideas to get them started. I was recently reading Packt Publishing’s new book, “Joomla! 1.5 Site Blueprints”, which seems to fit nicely this bill.

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777: The number of the beast

I promise you, this article doesn’t have to do anything with religion. It talks about site security. The beast I am referring to is unwittingly opening a back door to your site to potential hackers. You may not know it, but you could be a sitting duck. It all lies in the dark world of ownership, users, groups and permissions. This is a long article, but I promise you to learn things you would have never imagined. Let us shed some light to the mystery of the 777 number and kill the evil beast!

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