Archive for the 'joomla' Category

Update Manager 1.5.1 Final Released!

July 27th, 2009 | Category: joomla

Hi all, I’m happy to announce that I’ve released the final version of the update manager. I would kindly ask all those who downloaded and installed the beta versions to update to the final release going forwards. There is a small introduction with links to the latest release on my open source consulting site as well as a walkthrough of the process. This is the first stand alone release of the tool from the Advanced Tools package and I’m going to update the Advanced Tools package to incorporate this update sometime tomorrow. I’ve also applied to have this extension listed in its own right on the JED as well to make it even easier to find. Check it out and as always if you have any issues, let me know through the comments.

For those who had earlier versions of the extension installed, you will probably be getting the following message (or have issues updating to 1.5.12): Parsing XML Document Failed: Not a JUpgrader definition file!

Updating to this version of the update manager will resolve those issues, so what are you waiting for? Update!


Update Manager 1.5.1b3 Release

July 26th, 2009 | Category: joomla

As I edge closer to a release I have what I hope will be the close to final. So far I have one outstanding issue with parsing XML files which I hope to have resolved with an alteration of the XML file. So you can download the Joomla! Update Manager 1.5.1 Beta 3 which now has displays for issues where your temporary path might be wrong (unfortunately it isn’t easy to handle detecting if something is writeable when in FTP mode so when I work that problem out things will be solved). As always, comments welcome!

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Update Manager 1.5.1b2

July 24th, 2009 | Category: joomla

Some more updates and fixes including a message display system, the ability to force upgrade a site with a full patch and some minor bug fixes. Again, this release requires PHP5.

Download Joomla! Update Manager_1.5.1b2

If you have any issues, feel free to submit comments. So far I have one outstanding issue with some sites with FTP enabled not downloading files properly – I think it is a permissions issue but I’m still investigating this.

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Update Manager updates!

July 21st, 2009 | Category: joomla

I’ve done a major update to the update manager that is distributed with the Advanced Tools pack. I’ve also released it as an individual download as well that you can get and update your Advanced Tools install or just install individually if you want. However the side effect of this is that I’ve killed the old version. It was a hard decision because at one stage I was going to have a new file location and have the old software work going forwards as well as the new software working fine. I thought I’d force the update though to bring things forward. But its a big change.

First if you’re on the old version, you will get the following error message:

Parsing XML Document Failed: Not a JUpgrader definition file!

Complete with a shiny red font and the like as well. Once you’re at that point you aren’t going to be able to continue with the old tool. It has reached the end of its era. The tool itself is a slight modification of the 1.0 version that I wrote a few years ago – so I guess its fitting that it gets a bit of a rethink into a new 1.5 like version with features backported from 1.6’s tree. Part of this means that I’m really only supporting PHP5 or greater any more. I don’t have PHP4 handy for me to test any more and really, its getting beyond a joke now. Joomla! 1.6 will require PHP5.2+, however most of what I’m working on should work fine with PHP5+ without issues.

So what features do we have:

  1. The ability to update the updater itself? Check!
  2. The ability to switch between the 1.5 extractor, a backported 1.6 extractor and 1.5’s built-in PEAR Archive_Tar? Check!
  3. The ability to manually upload files and use those instead of requiring an internet connection? Check!
  4. The ability to specify a HTTP proxy to download updates through? Check!
  5. Support for fopen and cURL for downloads? Check!
  6. Support for working with FTP mode as well as without? Check!

I’ve got a beta release that if anyone is interested in testing ready to go, just download the “Joomla! Update Manager 1.5.1 Beta” by clicking the link (or copying it) and installing it into your own site. It’ll work for new installs or update existing installs.

Let me know if there are any issues as comments here. Once I’ve finalised this release, I’ll switch over the paths from update2.xml to update.xml and get everything squared away all nice and tight.


Ban IP Address and Range 1.5.2 released!

July 15th, 2009 | Category: joomla

Progressing forward with my releases, Ban IP Address and Range has just received an update to allow it to redirect to a location instead of just displaying a message. This means you can redirect to a static page somewhere with more details, an image or something similar like that.

As always you can check it out on the Joomla! Extensions Site and there is some documentation online as well (needs to be updated still though!). Downloads available from JoomlaCode.

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Migrator 1.5 released

July 15th, 2009 | Category: joomla

Today i released an update for my migrator extension to 1.5 due to a fix to a subtle bug that I introduced with the configurable batch sizes that I introduced in Migrator 1.3 release. This is would cause weird SQL duplication for tasks that were suspended due to the timeout avoidance code. The change was pretty sime, a but of code that I had forgotten to update when I was doing some other changes. Next on the release list for tomorrow is an update to the ban IP address or range extension.

You can download Migrator 1.5 from:

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Migrator 1.4 released

May 06th, 2009 | Category: joomla

I missed a loop when adding my increment code which lead to some weird results for large data sets. This update fixes that loop to remove that weird issue. As always the latest updates are available at

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Migrator 1.3 released

May 04th, 2009 | Category: joomla

After a couple of months I’ve released another update to the Migrator tool. This is a minor update to support the ability to reconfigure the increments that are used to handle transformations – this should help users with larger data sets when exporting as they can configure up a larger number. As always the latest version is available at the FRS site:


Summer of Code Mentor Observations for 2009 – Part 3

April 07th, 2009 | Category: joomla,soc

More observations from the front line as I finish up my first pass:

  1. Use formatting sparingly!
    Don’t make your entire proposal bold, it doesn’t help. Excessive font sizes for headings doesn’t help and all sorts of weird fonts through out also don’t help. Additionally some proposals seemed to have a fixed width set for them which whilst not being their major malfunction (they were junk proposals in reality) it would have detracted from a better proposal. Also using excessive tables doesn’t help as well. Excessive capitals is also just as bad as using too much bold text.
    The converse is true. If your proposal looks like a big chunk of text then this is a serious lack of formatting and should be resolved. Basic use of a paragraph (general rule: at least 3 sentences in a paragraph!) will help and for something like SoC you need at least three paragraphs: who you are, what you’re going to do and convincing me you can do this. The first and last can usually get away just one paragraph though the middle could easily fill out to be an A4 page or more of content (think around three, plus you’ve got to have a timeline in there somewhere).
  2. It is Summer of Code
    This means you need to at some point write serious amounts of code. And I mean “serious”. Language packages don’t cut it and nor does sample content. Neither have code in them and neither are relevant to the program as a whole.

I’m starting to reduce my nag points which I think means I’m almost happy with things. I’ve read every proposal at this point and thrown out a whole heap more. Time to work through ranking the remainder slowly.

Edit: Updated to add more to the formatting heading. Not always is less more even though quite often more formatting is less.

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Summer of Code Mentor Observations for 2009 – Part 2

April 07th, 2009 | Category: joomla,soc

Some more observations as I’m going:

  1. If you have to put your CV in, put it at the bottom.
    I saw one proposal I didn’t mind and was structured nicely. They broke rule 2 and 3 from Part 1 (CV elsewhere and majority proposal) however they made up in some other areas. However as annoying as their CV being there was, it was done in a way where I mostly glazed over it because it was formatted well that I was happy I could ignore that section.
  2. Work towards defining a timeline you expect stuff to be done in.
    If you haven’t got a timeline (or haven’t worked out from rules 6 and 7 in Part 1 that you need a timeline) then you need one now. Timelines are great for adding a bit of extra bulk to your application and you can then link it in with the ideas you’re talking about to provide a framework in which we can evaluate what you’re doing, when you’re going to do it and later evaluate if you’re on track or not. Without this then we’re not in a position to work out if you’re not going to finish something on time or keep you on track and we have to work it out again and that usually doesn’t go well. So we avoid that.
  3. Be Different in being the same.
    So you’ve picked an idea from the ideas page and that itself isn’t such a bad thing to do. But personalise it and make it your own. Find something unique in the proposal that isn’t on the ideas page and you think might not be picked up by others. When I’m sitting reading through similar proposals having something unique helps me differentiate you from a pack of proposal that look very similar. It may be something really small but it will stand out.
  4. When given the option to write, write.
    I’ve seen a few proposals where they are too short and wonder why they have so much space left. Use it. Write something useful and detailed about your proposal. You’ve got space for a reason. Don’t pad it out with something useless and irrelevant to your project (e.g. how many awards you’ve had, a copy of your academic transcript, a full listing of all of your previous positions) but make sure its something useful like maybe a thought out database schema, a minor class diagram or an interaction diagram of some variety. Basically put some thought into it if you think you’re horribly short. Mind you if you’re a brilliant writer some of this might apply but if you can throw in some extra detail demonstrate your skills that way not by how many positions you’ve had.

I’ve passed the 100 mark so now I’m into the final stretch of evaluating everything so it will be interesting to see how I go.

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