For some time now we have been working on streamlining our workflow and in particular consolidating some of our core code base. The unified Zen Grid Framework Plugin we released along with the Responsive Joomla template were the first wave of the consolidation and I am happy to say that stage two is now here.
The Zentools module is a flexible (read responsive) Joomla module that can deliver some stunning content and image galleries from a range of content sources.
The beauty of the Zentools module is that it is 100% responsive. All of the layotus whether it be a slideshow, carousel, list, grid or accordion will respond to the width of your template and if your template permits to the width of the browser.
This means that you can now use a slideshow in your content that will scale beautifully on mobile platforms (if your template supports it). Check out the Slideshow demo and resize the browser to see whta I mean.
Drag and Drop
It features a super simple drag and drop interface which controls the various content elements available in the module. This gives you unprecedentated flexiblility when it comes to determining how and where items in your gallery will be laid out.
Gone are the days where you had to sift through acres of settings in order to control your content. The Zentools module dynamically populates the relevant settings in your module based on your layout selection, content source and element selection. So if you are using Joomla as your content source then you wont see any settings that relate to K2 and vice versa.
Images from a directory as a source
One of the limitations of the current stock of modules has been that we haven't had a simple way to populate a slideshow from images in a folder and then attach it to your content. Slideshow3 certainly has that ability but the Zentools implementation makes this almost effortless.
A unified Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.7 module
In keeping with all of our recent releases the Zentools module will install on either Joomla 1.5 or Joomla 1.7 from a single package with no trouble.
Recently expired members can get a copy
I spoke last week about the various interuptions to our development process over the last month to six weeks and as a way of making this up to recently expired members, we are going to make this module available to you. So if your membership ran out from the 1st November to today just send us a note via the contact form and we will pass a copy of the module on to you.
After we get the next theme out the door - which I hope will be available by Friday - the plan is to retrofit all of our old templates and quickstart packages with the Zentools module.
And then once that is done I will be adding support for some more content sources such as flickr, twitter and perhaps some more Joomla ccks.
Also on the cards is the addition of some new layouts to choose from such as content tabs and another variation on a slider.
We are certainly keen to here what you would you like to see in the module? So if you have some ideas - let us know in the comments.
One of the things I don't enjoy when using Joomla 1.7 is navigating through the module position options in the admin when trying to assign a module to a position. There is plenty of stuff I like about Joomla 1.7, but this one has me regularly venting in frustration at the screen when it comes time to open that modal box.
I know that displaying the module positions like that really showcases the flexibility of template assignment and module positioning in Joomla 1.7, but I see complexity rather than flexibility. In fact I often resort to typing the module position in the combobox rather than opening that dreaded dialogue.
In some of our recent Joomla templates like Newscycle and as far back as Rasa, you may have noticed that we implemented some subline styling ion the menu items. A design element that has gained a fair amount of attention and use from the design community in the last 12 months or so.
Up until now we have relied on a small modification to the awesome bbcode plugin from YV to do the heavy lifting. It always seemed like overkill to us to draw upon such a small part of that plugin's feature set and also add to the general memory load that comes with using multiple content replace plugins on a Joomla site, so a few weeks ago we decided to bundle those styles into our versatile and free JB Type plugin.
Our free Joomla extension CaptifyContent is now available for Joomla 1.6. If you haven't seen it before, Captify first made a splash on the front page of our Grid Joomla template and it is basically a module that can create a lovely grid layout for images from your content items or category images. The implementation in Joomla 1.6 has changed slightly so please make sure you read the docs on the Captify page for an update on how to use the category image option.
jFlickr is our free Joomla jQuery driven Flickr module - and it is now available for Joomla 1.6.
We have also updated the Joomla 1.5 version to fix an issue with jQuery 1.4+ and fancybox so if you are experiencing issues please grab the latest release of both JB Library and jFlickr and everything should be working swimmingly.
Our free jQuery system plugin - JB library - has just been updated to include the latest version of jQuery. jQuery v1.6.1 was released a little over a month ago but you can read about the new goodies and updates in the library on the official jQuery blog.
You can download the JB Library plugin via the JB Library extension page.
One of our most neglected Joomla extensions, Hoverbox, has just been recoded from the ground up and is now compatible with Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.6. Hoverbox was one of the extensions I cut my teeth on and I used it as a bit of a tool for learning when I first started working with Joomla. Unfortunately the module has laid a little dormant - that is until this past weekend when it received a whole lot of love and a much needed overhaul.
You can see an example of the Hoverbox in action on the Hoverbox overview page where you can also download the module for Joomla 1.5 or Joomla 1.6 for free.
Please note that this module also requires the JB Library to be installed.
We are gradually moving through all of our Joomla 1.5 Extensions and porting them across to Joomla 1.6 and today I am happy to announce that one of our gallery workhorses - prettyBox - is now available in Joomla 1.6 format.
PrettyBox is a simple to use module that generates a grid of thumbnail images from a folder that you specify. The module provides an assortment of display options and can display the full image in a lightbox gallery as well. For more information and download (for club members) please check out the prettyBox overview page.
Please note that you also need the JB Library plugin to use this module.
Our Microblog Joomla module can now be used to create a lightbox video gallery using your K2 content. The module can now display the video that you specify in the K2 video tab within a colorbox lightbox.
K2 + Microblog
This is a flexible solution for creating a video gallery as you get to combine the power of the K2 componentwith the flexibility of the Microblog module. All of the "on page" display is controlled via the Microblog module which offers numerous layout types for displaying the content - Columns, Flat, Leading, Filtered, Maxbiz and New media. Each of those views also gives you control over the display of the k2 content, k2 images and titles.
Last time I checked there was no reliable or perhaps easy to use and style video gallery component for Joomla, (although that was sometime ago so please correct me in the comments if there is something out there that is easy to use and style). Microblog may well turn out to be the perfect interface for grabbing videos from K2 and displaying them in a gallery format.
You can see a demo of the gallery view on the microblog demo site or check the details below for information on how to go about setting it up.
I have just released the Joomla 1.6 version of JB Type which in the end only needed a few lines of code changed in order to make it compatible with Joomla 1.6. I have also pushed through some additions to the styles that will be used in the upcoming Element Joomla template which is due for release in the next day or so.
As you can see from the screenshot above I have added some lovely coloured disc styling that should be useful additions and pretty additions to this plugin. You can see the updated style list on the JB Type extension page - I hope you enjoy the new additions.
You can download the JB LIbrary plugin on the JB Library information page.
I've just rolled out the first of our Joomla 1.6 extension releases. First cab off the rank are the powerhouses behind our Joomla templates - JB Slideshow3 and Microblog - plus the popular and, might I say, very handy JB Library plugin.
The rest of the catalogue is also on the production line so it shouldn't be too long before we have the whole Joomlabamboo extension catalogue ported over to Joomla 1.6. I'm hoping to have jFlickr and jTweet out in the next few days and the rest should follow shortly after.
I've just released v1.2 of our free JB Type plugin that sports some swanky new icons from the Iconic icon collection. This icon collection sports 136 lovely high contrast and very useful icons but for the sake of overload we have managed to cut down the new additions to 25 icons. You can see the new icons featured in our latest Joomla template release - Shop Ignition - or just go straight to the JB Type download or the JB Type documentation for the JB Type Plugin.
Please note that this plugin is not yet Joomla 1.6 compatible but we are working on it. Ill be posting some information regarding the 1.6 status of our offerrings in the next few days.
Be sure to check out a screenshot of the new styles after the jump:
It is unavoidable that as Joomla! extensions develop, new features are missed by end users. You only need to look at Microsoft word as an example of an application suffers from feature creep - common requests for addiitonal features often include requests for features that already exists in the program.
There are some Joomla extensions that I am using that I know that I am not taking full advantage of. While the feature I found in sh404 yesterday is a new one (I think - I hope) it has still made me feel like I've been using a ferrari to drive to the supermarket.
We have just released some non-critical fixes and a small handful of feature updates for three of our Joomla Extensions.
JB Library v1.2.9 has just been released which adds jQuery v1.5.0 and v1.5.1 plus the ability to set the jQuery version to the latest which will always load the latest jQuery version via the Google repository. The image resizer has also been updated to fix a few small caching issues that have recently popped up in a small number of situations.
A few days ago I rolled out a simple Last FM joomla module that uses this neat Last FM jQuery script created by Jeroen Smeets. The module is showcased on the recent Journal Joomla template and as you can see from the demo the module very stylishly showcases a selection of albums or tracks from your Last FM music profile. For a full run down of the features and settings be sure to check out the jLastFM documentation page where you can also download the module for free.
Please note that you also need to use our free JB LIbrary plugin with this module.
In the past if you wanted to use JB Type there was no way of seeing the end result without hitting apply and then navigating to the front end of your website. This JCE plugin is the missing link for the JB Type plugin and will change the way that you style your content.
A few days ago I started to roll out the first stage of updates across our Joomla extensions and Joomla template catalogue. As you may have seen we released v1.1 of the Zen Grid Framework with the release of the Powerplay Joomla template but it's yet to be made available for the rest of the Zen Grid framework compatible templates. The process in moving to v1.1 for the rest of the templates is a little complex due to the fact that we are also rolling out a new version of the JB Library plugin, as well as some major updates to all of our core extensions so the rollout is going to be a little staggered. I had planned to release all of this earlier this week but decided to hold off releasing templates and their quickstart packages until everything was absolutely ready.
So if you want to cut to the chase we have updates for the following modules and plugins: