As a part of the gradual re-alignment of the main Joomlabamboo site I've updated the styling for the quicklinks drop panel. The panel is really a simple way to display all of the key links and areas on the site and its certainly a feature that I use personally on the site.
I've got plans to create a blog post highlighting how to go about creating a drop panel like this using jQuery but for the time being Im keen to hear from you if there are any other areas on the site that should get some attention in the panel. Im sure the design might change slightly over the coming weeks but for the time being we are goign to stick our heads down and push on with the July template release.
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 joomla 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.
Thanks to the iso50 blog I came into contact with this Emeralds track called Candy Shoppe. Its a beautiful blippy piece of beatless electronic music that has got some great chord changes amidst the squelches that prove to be inspirational if you can stay within the chaos of the overlapping textures (huh? - Have a listen and you will see what I mean).
A few days ago while scouring the web for new Joomla extensions I came across this amazing little BBcode plugin for Joomla. At first I wasn't really certain what the benefits to using the plugin were - I initially thought why not just use html - but after digging a little deeper I discovered the real power of this plugin and how easy it is to create two line menu items with it.
For those of you who are new to bbcode, its the code that is traditionally used in forums and some comment systems - or a more in depth explanation from the BBCode website:
"It is similar to HTML in the sense that in BBCode one does also use tags to format something specific (contained within the tag). In BBCode tags are indicated by rectangular brackets surrounding a keyword, which is in turn transformed into HTML before being delivered to a web browser."
As a part of the recent changes to the site as described in the realignment post the RSS feed for the site has been moved to a dedicated account at Feedburner. You can now hook up the Joomlabamboo blog and get your feed via this url and view it via your favourite RSS reader. This is a dedicated feed for the blog and is the best place to pick up on our joomla template releases, joomla tips and other design related musings.
You can get the feed via the rss icon underneath the twitter icon the top right of the screen.
Some of you may have noticed some changes in the overall site design here at Joomlabamboo, and while I have a few incomplete mockups for a total reconstruction laying around for the site, I've decided to give the site a little spruce up rather than a total reconstruction. It's more of a realignment rather than a redesign with just some minor tweaks to the colour scheme and general layout but I thought it worth acquainting you with the changes. I think the end result is a much sharper and crisper site design, which will hopefully translate into better usability.
Some of the changes aren't 100% locked in or confirmed and the quicklinks panel needs a little fleshing out but these things can wait until after we release the Newstream Joomla template in a matter of a week or two. So if you are keen to see whats new then check out the info after the break.
Ive just finalised the Joomla template design for July and its another gem from the Melbourne designer David Vuu. I think he has captured the bamboo aesthetic perfectly and delivered an amazingly simple but powerful news portal / magazine style theme with some thoughtful colour hierachies and interesting styling for the Slideshow3 module.
You can check out a full screenshot of the new template after the break.
As a bit of a light hearted end of financial year competition I announced late last night the Best avatar competition on our forum. The idea is that all you need to do to win a 12 month subscription to our Joomla template club is to say hi on the forum thread and the best avatar in the thread will win the membership. The competition is open to existing as well as non members so if you dont currently have a membership you can sign up for a free account on our template subscription overview page.
I really enjoy working on our forum and seeing the personalities that come through the photos and images that our members upload - a lot can be read and mis-read from someone's avatar. Web design forums can sometimes be overly technical and faceless places so avatars are a great way to build personality and add colour. There are a few folks on the forum that have them lifting a glass of beer to the camera - that never fails to make me thirsty :)
Check the rest of the details after clicking read more.
Im sure most people reading this will have experienced being logged out of a Joomla site. Its a great piece of security that gets built into the core but it can be incredibly frustrating if you are prone to losing track of time, getting distracted or you just take your time while writing an article, creating a support ticket or a responding to a forum post.
This little tip should hopefully restore some sanity and while it doesnt always work its certainly helped me recover some well thought out prose that I thought I could never rewrite after being unceremoniously logged out of the Joomlabamboo back end.