After months of not touching my school’s Web site, there is finally hope as to when things will get rolling again. Currently, I am running it on Mambo 4.6.x series, which is deeply incompatible with many components and such. Too keep at least the SEF URLs running, I had to hack up one of the Mambo core files, which involved commenting out a certain function that 404 SEF doesn’t like. In other words, my Mambo install is a mess.
I’m anxiously awaiting the release of Joomla 1.5 Stable. Right now, it is up to RC2, which is very good progress. The Joomla team’s says that they will be putting out at least one more release candidate before the final version is ready, but I’ve got some time to spare. Keep it up Joomla!
Somehow, I have a knack for finding the ups and downs of the design and architecture of Web sites. Some sites (like Gmail, a true G-dsend for nerds like me) really work well and look nice, but others (like Boost Mobile’s site) are horrible. How is it possible to ruin a design? Keep reading.
Light Text On Dark Backgrounds
This just may be the killer. After reading a particular blog that follows this practice, I was seeing white lines in my eyes after getting up from the computer (a rare occurance, but I gotta use eventuallyventually). Sure this might be good for some who need high contrast, but for the rest of us, it’s just plain ol’ bad.
Although this doesn’t really make or break anything, it’s nice to show a user addresses that make sense. And for some (err, many, especially those using Mambo/Joomla with one of several SEF extensions, or WordPress) people, it’s a piece of cake to set up your site with this in mind. Hint: look for mod_rewrite when buying your hosting.
Stupid HTML Errors
Now for the killer. There are so many sites that have bad HTML clogging up our precious bandwidth, yet their admins refuse to clean up after their act. I have experience with this, in the form of at least two sites of my own, and one forum (whose name is withheld for the admin’s well-being), that suffer from some simple HTML invalidation. What’s even worse is that the admin of the forum refuses to clean up after himself :
I don’t care about these things. Please stop pestering me with this nonsense.
If you take a look at his code Continue reading »
Having been a user of Joomla, and it’s predecessor, Mambo, I can easily tell you that the two products are very powerful. Mambo and Joomla are content management systems that help even novice users manage the content on their sites easily. In this review I will be focusing on the strengths of the powerful Joomla framework and how it can be used for a community site.
Joomla by itself is one immense package, giving you lots of features right out of the box. Aside from content management, you get a links system, contacts pages, an RSS reader and several other basic components. If you are looking to build a small site for your business, this will often suffice.
With some extensions (as they are formally known, and include modules, components and plugins) you can transform your site into a powerful community or intranet. Joomla provides the framework for components like Joomlaboard (a fully-integrated forum) and Community Builder (for user profiling and member lists). Hundreds of third-party components exist, and cover dozens of applications, from help desks to event calendars.
If you already use certain tools on your web site, like Simple Machines Forum or Coppermine Gallery, there are components released by the community to integrate them with the Joomla environment.
For changing the look and feel of your site, Joomla has a templating system that uses PHP for its template tags. Although many people find this to be rather annoying, the next major release (Joomla 1.5) will have an new system with designer-friendly tags. However there will also be backwards compatibility for current templates as well.
For many kinds of sites, simple static HTML won’t make the cut. Communities and enterprises need more that the traditional web-site building tools. Content management systems like Joomla will fulfill many needs of these organizations, and can be easily extended to fit their needs.
Everyone has some kind of talent (although, I admit, some people’s talents aren’t always useful or appreciated, without going into specific details). One of my talents is working with the Mambo and Joomla content managment systems, and the Simple Machines Forum package. But what good is a talent if nobody knows about it? In this case I used my talents to show off my talents, in the form of the Michael P. Web Solutions Web site, which was setup in Joomla. At MPWS, you can read about what I can do to help your site (or even start it), and how your community can benefit from my services. If you need help building a web site or a forum, take a look, since (useful) talent doesn’t happen every day.
Visit Michael P. Web Solutions
I started using Mambo, an open-source content management system, for my own personal web site, after discovering it while exploring CMSs on Wikipedia. After first installing it, I was intimidated by the abundance of menus and icons scattered around the interface. A small while later, I learned the ins and outs of how everything worked, from menus to components to modules. There are many decent templates for Mambo available, but I can’t really find any (if you have any suggestions, make a comment below). When it comes to components, there are ones that do the most bizarre things. I found a school component, which organizes students, classes, and tests. Of the more common ones are myPMS, a private messaging system. Modules are little widgets that sit on the top, sides and bottom of pages (as defined by your template). Mambots are little programs that search through the contents of text and can replace certain strings with images, code highlighting and more. Templates are – you guessed it – the skin of your site, defines the look and feel of your pages and also the possible module positions. I do have some complaints: I wish that the administrator console would be somewhat faster and that good templates would be easier to find, but pretty much everything else is good. My conclusion: Mambo is an excellent product, with just a few rough edges.
After a week and a half of downloading and uploading templates, modules and components, my new site is finally up. You can visit it by clicking this link [broken link removed]. You’ll notice that it has a nice design (from a template), a login… form, and a poll. The sond two of these features are implemented through Mambo’s included modules, which are small items placed on the sides of the page (or at least most of the time; the navbar menus are also modules). You can get modules for your Mambo site from dozens of places, one of which is MamboForge.net, the Mambo equivalent of SourceForge. In addition, there are components, which are applications that fit in to your site, and range from forums to support ticket systems (examples: Simpleboard Forum, WebAmoeba Ticket System).Lastly, there are mambots, or small snippets that insert something into a content page (ex. images, page breaks). For more on the dozens of features of Mambo, visit www.mamboserver.com
I am new to CMS. I never really used a CMS before, so all of the things involved in using one are a foreign thought to me. I was doing some searching on Friday afternoon, first for an ASP.Net CMS, then a free one, and eventually came across Mambo. This one is Open Source… (and therefore free) and rather powerful. It uses PHP and mySQL and is cross-platform.
The problem was that I did not have a place to host Mambo. I looked around for free Mambo hosting on Google, but didn’t come up with much. Eventually, a friend of mine told me about 100webspace.com, a decent free (and ad-supported) host that meets the requirements.
On Saturday night I uploaded all of the files and spent about 15 minutes first getting it up. the majot problem was with the MySQL database, which Mambo couldn’t connect to. I fiddled around with various settings and finally got it right.
I spent today setting up and customizing Mambo, installing templates, publishing and un-publishing modules, and playing around with a half-dozen other things. Mambo includes decent documentation, so once you get used to the way things work around Mambo, reference is always one click away (or at least in the administrator console).