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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.

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Our Joomla template framework - the Zen Grid Framework - has just been updated to v1.1.15. This is a minor update but will probably quite useful to most people using the framework as we have now added all remaining fonts from the Google font library.

I was a little skeptical of how useful this service was going to be in the beginning, as the first fonts on offer were OK but really didn't warrant the extra work or overhead involved in implementing the font into your site. However the directory has of course grown and there are some quality fonts available now so I thought I would update all of the fonts for this release and also group the fonts into their respective categories.

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I'm happy to announce the availability of our Joomla template release for April. Pure is a simple, clean cut web design that is ideal for business but is flexible enough to cater to a lot of different uses. It comes with a K2 Joomla template, a multitude of bold colour options and is of course built on our flexible Joomla template framework - the Zen Grid Framework.

To find out more about the Pure Joomla template you can view the feature overview, cut straight to the demo, read the docs or if you are already a member head straight to the download area, or if you want to become a member you can sign up here.

Another small update on Joomla 1.6 compatibility.

We will have a Joomla 1.6 version of Pure available early next week and hope to knock off quite a few more of the recent template releases by next Friday. It's certainly been an interesting journey (and certainly much longer than anticipated) for us in terms of porting the Zen Grid Framework and our extensions across to 1.6 but my hope is that most of the work will be behind us and we can start releasing parrallel releases for both Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.6 for the next template.

Don't forget that you can follow the JB Activity stream on twitter to keep up to date with releases, updates and anything else that relates to life at Joomlabamboo HQ.

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We are currently putting together a list of features that will start getting added to our Joomla template framework in the next few weeks - that is once the Joomla 1.6 version and templates have been released. So I thought this would be a good time to canvas for some features, changes, improvements or whatever you would like to see incorporated into the zen grid framework.

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I have been meaning to improve the style and design of our subscription pages for a few months now and have finally had a chance to implement the new layouts.

Check out the screenshots below or go straight to the subscription page.

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Yann Tiersen is high on my list of music to design to - especially if I want something more organic and less electronic. I'm a huge fan of movie soundtracks and one of my favourites would have to be Goodbye Lenin. The film is beautiful but the soundtrack is sublime. A quote from the youtube page I referenced the clip from sums it up perfectly:

{jb_quote}Listening to this song is like being dumped and having your first kiss at the same time.{/jb_quote}

Anyway ... see for yourself below.

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Over the last few months we have been debating about potential improvements to our Joomla template club from both a user and developer perspective (that's us) and I'm relieved to say that we have come to a decision and have started to roll out some of the changes.

We pride ourselves on the level of support we provide via our support forum and ticket system and the quality of the support is one of the things that people remark upon the most - the other being our beautiful joomla templates of course. But in the last few months the load that support represents to our daily workflow has been steadily increasing and we have found ourselves having to draw a line in the sand over what we will and wont offer in terms of customisation requests.

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When we moved the blog into its own domain we faced a few technical issues that I had hoped that I could solve without changing comment systems - but alas it wasn't to be. So I have just rolled out a new comment system - well new to the blog anyway.

The Disqus commenting system offers a lot more functionality than is provided in the core K2 commenting system but there is one major drawback for us - and that is that we have lost all of the existing comments. We still have them in the database but its not possible (as far as I know) to port the K2 comments across to Disqus so given some of the usability issues we were seeing I think this is a necessary sacrifice for the life of the blog.

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Our April Joomla template release, Easy business, is a solid and simple business base template that is going to be perfect for those of you who need an easily configured and easily customisable Joomla business template for your clients. The big focus is of course on the slightly outlandish sidebar but beneath that is a stylish design that draws upon soft gradients, with edgy bevels and some bold colour schemes. We are gradually reigning in our release time frames so Im hoping to have this one ready early next week.

For a screenshot of the current work in progress check out the grab below.

A note on Joomla 1.6 compatibility.

Over the last few months we have been working on porting the framework, templates and extensions across to Joomla 1.6 but due to a few factors its taken a little longer than we had anticipated. The good news is though that we hope to be able to roll out the core build templates starting from next week and ideally we will start to be able to have some of the recent Joomla 1.5 templates released for Joomla 1.6 either at the end of next week or the start of the following week.

A few of our smaller extensions are going through last minute testing and so Im hoping to be able to bring you some Joomla 1.6 extensions hopefully as soon as tomorrow.

We know that you are itching to try out our designs in Joomla 1.6 so we are very appreciate your patience ... check out the screenshot below.

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Joomla 1.5.23 Released

If you missed the announcement that Joomla 1.5.23 was released today then we recommend grabbing the update from the mothership or if you have installed Admin Tools simply head on to the admin tools page in your site's admin and go through the update process from there. A few updates ago I wrote this blog post regarding the various update options for Joomla that new users may find useful. Because this is a security update we recommend all users update their Joomla 1.5 installations.

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I've been meaning to implement a better way of browsing our Joomla templates for almost a year now and I'm slowly eating away at the todo list and have just released a simple categorisation system which should help you to quickly find the Joomla template you need for your projects.

You can see the list of categories in a popup overlay on the Joomla templates page by clicking on the "View templates by category link". The new landing pages are just simple Joomla content pages but have an instance of our microblog module serving up specific content. The result is kind of like a manual tagging system and while it took a bit of configuring it allows me to create related or deeper groupings of content without resorting to another content extension. All of the pages that get delivered from those links are default Joomla content.

For those that are interested see the overview of how to use microblog to do this below.

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It's been sometime since we released an ecommerce Joomla template and i've certainly had some fun exploring what two "newish" commerce extensions for Joomla have to offer Joomla users. Shop Ignition is another inspiring David Vuu creation that comes with two tailor made templates for both Tienda and Redshop as well as the obligatory k2 template for those that want to extend their Joomla 1.5 content.

The template itself is a simple theme with some subtle css3 shadows (for those browsers that are brave enough to display them) which combine with some sparing and yet bold splashes of colour used in key places to give your online shop a little lift.

You can see the Tienda version of Shop Ignition or checkout the Redshop template version of the template as well. Or if you have seen enough checkout the Shop Ignition feature overview, documentation or download area.

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