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.
Today Joomla! turns 5. It was five years ago when a handful of individuals decided to put community engagement and Freedom of Choice above profit and fork the Mambo CMS, forming one of the most successful 100% community-driven projects in the world: Joomla!
Like all of you, I just found out that the upcoming Joomla! World Conference in Melbourne was postponed due to… a rain forecast?! I understand that this is a figure of speech (OK, I’m Greek, I’m not stupid). The “rain” is used metaphorically and this is exactly why I tweeted yesterday that “It takes more than a website and a joomla.org announcement to organize a world conference. It requires COMMUNITY involvement”. Some people mistook my tweet as a bad take on the Australian and Asian Joomla! Community and the event’s organizers, implying that they’re incapable, or unimportant, or something like that. On the contrary! This is why I am writing this blog post.
Unless you live under a rock, you already know that the past three days J and Beyond 2010 was taking place in Wiesbaden, Germany. The fact that it was the first international Joomla! event was further stressed as it was organized (impeccably!) by the community, for the community. It has been an amazing experience and – certainly – the best three days of my Joomla! life.
For everyone who has read the latest Joomla! Developer Working Group notes, there is one thing which instantly became apparent: Joomla! is like a patient on life support.
Whenever someone decides to launch a website, or hired to do so for a client, he’s given three broad choices which will define how they’ll proceed: static HTML, a CMS or Flash. The former being practically dead due to inflexibility and the latter being not only inflexible, but extremely costly to produce, the CMS route seems a dead end; more specifically, the Open Source CMS route.
Dead end it is. Try raising the simple, innocuous question “Which CMS should I chose for my site?” on any public forum and a war seems to spring right out of nowhere. The fighting fractions are what I usually call The Big Three: Drupal, Joomla! and WordPress fans. But is this all there is to it? Does the Open Source CMS universe revolve around only three players? Given the Open Source spirit of Freedom of choice, one would hardly expect this to be the case. In fact, it isn’t. There is more to Open Source CMS than meets the eye.
As the maker of JoomlaPack Akeeba Backup – the Open Source utility to backup, restore and migrate your Joomla! site – I often have to face certain challenges. Like when a user told me that as soon as he transferred his site to a different domain, all links in his content would link to the “old” site. Fighting the temptation to dismiss it as a user error, I did some digging around. Throughout this journey I found out some of Joomla!’s link handling deficiencies, their repercussions and coded a workaround.
In this article I am going to talk about how Joomla! handles the link base and canonical URLs, as well as what happens when you migrate your site to a different domain, subdomain or even a subdirectory.