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:
This is just a short note to let you know that the JB LIbrary plugin has just been updated to include jQuery v1.4.3. I haven't had much time to delve into the new stuff in this release but from the jQuery 1.4.3 release notes the overhaul to the way the library handles css looks pretty amazing.
It looks like the folks over at Joomlaworks have been working over time with the latest incarnation of K2. Ive just checked the release notes and it looks like an incredible maturation of an already established component for Joomla. I cant wait to get my hands dirty with this one.
One thing I like about Joomlaworks' releases is their attention to detail and the new templating workflow looks like its going to save a lot of time when it comes to building overrides into our themes. The new version also has a new view which according to the notes will be perfect for magazine and portal layouts which is just in time for our July release of the Newstream Joomla template.
It may take a little while to go back through our catalogue but you can rest assured that all of the K2 Joomla templates that we have released will have all the necessary updates to work seamlessly with K2 v2.3. Im really looking forward to upgrading the blog here to v2.3 as well, but that will have to wait a little while as we get up to speed with our catalogue first.
You can download K2 for free from here.
I had originally thought about writing this post as a comparison of the various backup solutions available for Joomla, and while there are plenty of Joomla backup solutions out there, over the last few months Ive been using Akeeba Backup and like it so much I can't really recommend it enough.
One of the issues that I have with backing up the Joomlabamboo site is that because it's such a large site it often proves problematic when it comes to easily downloading and storing the backup zips. As you probably know the backups rarely get touched and in Australia bandwidth and download quotas are prized posessions, so to download almost a gig per day just for a backup is foolhardy to say the least ... Enter Akeeba and the cloud.
Our free jQuery JB LIbrary plugin is looking like getting major release later this week or early next week. One of the things that gets in the way of using jQuery within Joomla is that there are often issues with multiple instances of the jQuery library loading on the page. These extra versions of the library get loaded via modules and major components alike (community builder and jomsocial both load the jquery library).
Our aim with this plugin is to replace the need for other Joomal extensions to load jQuery. While I've written about our reasons for doing this before I thought I would highlight the changes and updates to JB Library that will add more flexibility and hopefully work with greater compatibility with components that do not have an option to switch the loading of the jQuery library off.
We recently released a new version of our JB LIbrary plugin that adds the ability for lazyload to target specific content on your page. One main complaint we have had since implementing Lazy Load on this site is that it tends to really mess with forums due to the number of avatars and other images that might be on the page. The latest version allows us to specifically target the html markup in our articles to avoid this affect from occurring on the forum.
If you are unfamiliar with Lazy Load you can see it in action on this page by scrolling to the bottom of the page and if you are quick enough you will notice that the images fade in. Using Lazy Load means that each page load will be faster since the browser doesnt have to wait for each image to load on the page.
Lazy Load comes bundled with our free jQuery plugin for Joomla called JB LIbrary and you can visit the Lazy Load home page for more information.
Ive just thrown the switch on a pretty major update to the captifyContent module. The biggest feature update is that the module is now K2 compatible. This means that you can use the captifyContent to display images from your k2 content items in a flexible and slick gallery-like module. Other features include more effective handling of layout parameters, lighter weight code for the actual captify effect, as well as the ability to specify article id's and K2 item id's so you can really fine tune which items are displayed in the gallery.
For more info and for the download please check out the main captifyContent page or stay tuned for the release of the Grid2 template in the next few days which features captify on the front page.
Ive spoken in the past about the power of twitter for helping to connect members of the Joomla community and today's post is a guest posting from K2Joom's Simon Wells - someone I met on Twitter. Simon is what's probably best described as a Joomla and K2 fanatic and so it's no wonder that he created his K2Joom site to showcase the power of K2 as a content construction component for Joomla. I recently asked him to list his ten favourite things about K2 (via twitter) and here is his response.
We are a big fan of the Extended menu module and use it to generate both the panel and superfish menus you can see on our templates. We recently found a bug that basically adds the menu title alias to the home menu which results in a url like this - mysite.com/home when you click on the home menu item.
Understandably this leads to both seo and general usability issues so you will be happy to know that we have an update for the Extended Menu that we have called Extended Menu v1.0.6 (Fixed).
You can download it from this link.
The JB LIbrary plugin has just been updated to v1.0.7. While this is only a minor increment in versioning we added some new functionality that really warrants a bigger version change.
The free Joomla plugin in addition to loading the jQuery library and providing an ie6 browser warning to ie6 users, now loads the Lazy Image Loading script to speed up page load as well as a slick Scroll to top button which appears on the screen after the user scrolls down.
Check the roadmap below to see whats in the works for this powerful plugin with humble beginnings.
We are happy to announce the release of an update to two of our older extensions. JB FAQ is a significant update to Bamboo FAQ and Moo FAQ and is designed to work with Joomla 1.5 only.
Its driven by Jquery and delivers questions and answers based on your Joomla content rather than inputting the information in the module admin as per the previous FAQ modules.