Over the last few months we have been working on the next major update to our Joomla template framework, which was released as a beta a few weeks ago. Over the last few days I've spent a bit of time redesigning the interface to make it a little more 'bamboo' and the screenshots below are the end result.
It always feels a little bit like cheating to use display: none in any css declaration, but its such an easy and useful tool that sometimes it's the best (read easiest) way to add some flexibility to the way certain content gets displayed on the page.
As you are probably already aware, the Joomla module class suffix system is a seriously powerful system and in my opinion really underpins Joomla templating and opens up a world of flexibility and configuration for the end user.
The following is a really simple hack that allows you to hide certain modules on small screens using the magic of media queries combined with a module class suffix.
The Responsive Joomla Template is a new skeleton template for Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.7 that we hope to unveil early next week. Over the last few days Ive plugged into development of v2.0 of the Zen Grid Framework and have made some real progress that should mean that we will see a stable release next week as well.
The Responsive Joomla template will be the first template released on the new version of the framework and as you will see from the screenshots its a mobile friendly clean skin for you to start developing your sites with.
The big news is that v2.0 compatible Joomla templates will be a unified package - ie they will work on both Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.7. This is a massive boon for us as it will speed up the development and release process, but it also means members will no longer need to worry about discerning between J1.5 and J1.7 packages in our download area.
I'll post more on whats in the new version in the next few days and weeks but for now - take a look at a few snippets of the Responsive Joomla template's layout.
Im happy to announce the availability of our September Joomla Template, Focus. Focus is available as a Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.7 template and also comes in quickstart packages.
Focus combines the power of the Galleria full screen jQuery slideshow with an intelligent responsive layout to deliver a stunning folio theme that is ideal for photographers and artists alike. Focus will render beautifully on all good desktop browsers and scale to suit the smaller iPad and iPhone screen sizes.
You may have noticed I said "good" browsers - unfortunately IE6 couldn't come on the whole journey with us this month but dont worry we have implemented some changes to ensure it degrades gracefully for all of those users.
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.
I have been spending a lot of my time lately, while doing design research for Joomla templates, checking to see if the website I'm viewing scales according to the browser size. I think I'm addicted to seeing the design morph and unfold as I move the browser window back and forth. I love the power of media queries.
If I'm honest I get a little disappointed when I see an awesome design that doesn't scale to match browser width these days. (Oh before you try, this design will not scale but I have a redesign in the works that will make use of media queries.)
If you havent met Tienda yet it's a promising ecommerce solutions for Joomla, which is feature rich and loaded with potential. The latest update includes tons of bug fixes and what look like some really handy feature additions - new payment processors, a one step checkout page and oodles of other useful additions. Tienda is available for free download from Dioscouri.
Please be sure to check the changelogs for the updates as they contain instructions on how to update from the previous version of the template and their corresponding overrides.
Last week I posted how and where to check out which of our Joomla templates are compatible with Joomla 1.7 and today I thought I would point out that I have added a page where you can see which of our joomla templates are compatible with K2.
We have been diligently supporting K2 in our template releases since January 2009 and while the original claims were that K2 was Joomla 1.6 for Joomla 1.5, we think it's actually quite a lot more.
While Joomla 1.6 / Joomla 1.7 brought us acl, nested categories and other improvements, K2 offers (in my opinion) some key features in addition to these that are necessary for an all in one blogging / magazine publishing package.
Features like integrated author profile, latest comments modules, social links, image and video galleries are crucial for running and maintaining a blog. Certainly you can add some of these extra features to your Joomla site via other 3rd party offerings however K2 does this in a single package and within a single admin interface.
I've just uploaded a beta of the second version of our Joomla Template Framework - the Zen Grid Framework. The new version still has some known issues which you can read about on the forum announcement, however much of the core work has been done so we felt it was time to throw the new version over to our members to try out.
I will be writing about the new framework extensively in the next few weeks but until then if you are a member of the Joomlabamboo template club and are feeling adventurous, take a look at the new framework and tell us what you think on the forum.
I am hoping to have the stable version of the Joomla 1.5 version of the framework out in a week or so and then we will start work on the Jooomla 1.7 version. Please stay tuned for more news on the framework.
In general we like the way paypal works (despite the horrendous UX in their admin area) however there are occasional hiccups in their system that are inconvenient for us and of course inconvenient to you. We figure adding the option of using 2Checkout as a payment processor will help to ease any of the pain that these occasional problems with Paypal may present.
2Checkout also accepts payments from users in more countries than Paypal and they also have a better vetting system against fraud.
As a side note the nifty new buttons are taken from the css button tutorial over here.
Because of the way that AEC (our subscription component) handles the add to cart buttons when there are multiple processors available we had to mock the buttons up in css first and then grab a screenshot and turn it into an image.
This was the first time I have gone from using css to a graphic in web design - normally it's the other way around.
While I can't listen to Mouse on Mars everyday there are some days that they hit the spot just nicely. I generally post soothing, inspiring or somewhat moody music in the Music to Design to series but Mouse on Mars don't always fit in that box.
The tracks below are a bit of a mix of their repertoire - from noisy gritty, to almost dub-like house with some more low tempo wandering electronica. It's not really something you want to listen to while trying to perform anything that involves higher brain functions like filling out your tax return or operating the dvd player, but on the off chance you are in the mood for some noodling, semi-abrasive, and gritty electronica check out the clips below.