The next major update to Zentools is now available and although it's not the major v2 milestone I was hoping for it's a worthwhile update for anyone using Zentools.

There are a number of important bug fixes in this release and importantly some fixes for the lightbox which seemed to have some trouble in some browsers (not mentioning any names) when it came to keeping track of responsive images and dynamic lightbox resizing.

The update also includes a couple of new effects (including a grayscale option for images) but the main focus of this release is to decouple it from the JB Library and the Zen Grid Framework. So now Zentools is a completely stand alone extension and handles all of the image processing and asset management by itself. We have also reorganised the asset location so it's all located in the media/mod_zentools folder.

This new version also loads the cached images in the core Joomla cache folder which means that you can now clear old images from the cache folder using the core Joomla cache function. This is also important for users of Admin Tools as Zentools will work out of the box now with it's htaccess rules.

Members can download v1.10+ from the zentools download area now and if you are new to Zentools check out the Zentools demo site.

Zentools v1.10 changelog:

  • Remove the Zen Grid Framework and JB Library requirement
  • Restore the keyboard navigation for lightbox
  • Add lightbox settings to enable/disable thumbnails tooltips
  • Add version number to the module description
  • Move JS, CSS and Images to the media folder
  • Add grayscale hover effect to images
  • Fix some strict standard PHP warnings
  • Fix lightbox width issues for IE
  • Fix lightbox preventing to "jump" while browsing through the items
  • Fix some PHP notices about non static methods for image resizer class
  • Fix the resize helper exception when we don't have any images to display
  • Fix filters for K2 as content source
  • Fix the "title tag" param label, to "title class"
  • Fix the cache folder conflict with Admin tools custom htaccess feature, moving the cache files to the media folder

So what is happening with v2?

Zentools v2 is effectively a re-write from the ground up and as such it's taking a little longer than expected. We have developed a plugin based architecture which will allow us to do a lot of extra new and exciting things.

Streaming multiple streams

The module will be able to reference multiple content sources within one instance of the module which will make it alot easier to create an all in one activity feed. So think Joomla content merged with K2 merged with Zoo content, merged with Sobi pro merged the latest image from a folder merged with a tweet merged with a flickr upload, dribbble shot, facebook status etc. Each stream will be referenced by it's own plugin so it will be easy to add new content sources simply by installing a new plugin.

Layouts are now plugins

In addition to opening up the content source, Zentools will also draw it's layout functionality from a plugin as well. So this will make it alot easier for us (and developers) to release new layouts for Zentools, breaking open the current restrictions on the Zentools layout options.

More drag and drop

The drag and drop fucntionality has also been improved and rather than a vertical list of tags the module will house an interactive grid of elements that can be dragged and resized. Making it alot easier to fine tune the placement of the elements within each instance of the module.

New Galleries

I also have some plans for some new gallery types that I think really open up what you can do with Zentools.

When is it coming?

My hope i that we will have a beta testing within the next four weeks so stay tuned for updates. If you'd liek to get in on the testing let us knwo via the forum and we will update you when test packages are available.

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