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The etiquette of emoticons

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Hi there! smile

Did that smiley face annoy you?

Probably not.

On the contrary, several have asked how to do it so they can follow suit. It’s easy in MS Word and many other common applications:

  • Type : then ) to get smile
  • Type : then ( to get frown

I won’t try to cover the full range of emoticons, as it’s very broad.

My rule of thumb is to use emoticons as I do actual facial expressions.

So, if I’m chasing an invoice payment, I might start with smile and move to bored before resorting to frown.

On the other hand, I’d never write: ‘Hey, I heard you got sacked from your dream job today! smile

Some say you shouldn’t use emoticons on Twitter. My view is that when you have just 140 characters with which to convey complex thoughts, clarification of intent is particularly vital.

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Joomla 3.0 is here

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Who is Joomla 3.0 for?

You can read the full Joomla.org announcement regarding Joomla 3.0 on the Joomla.org site and if you missed it originally, this Joomla magazine article covering Joomla release schedule and version numbering is a thorough and easy to understand overview.

j releasecycle

In a nutshell, all versions of Joomla that end in .5 are advised for users that prefer to work with a stable code base - ie Joomla 1.5, Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3.5

These releases are known as the long term stable releases and aim to have a solid and consistent code base with few major changes.

In between each long term release there are two scheduled short term releases - ie Joomla 3.0 and Joomla 3.1. This is the first time that we are seeing the .0 and 0.1 versions in action because before Joomla 2.5 the two short term releases were Joomla 1.6 and Joomla 1.7.

The two short term releases are viewed as more experimental, in that major changes are made to the Joomla codebase and these changes are then bedded down and stabilised for the long term stable release.

These short term releases are designed for developers to get up to speed with the new code base, for Joomla pioneers who like to live at the bleeding edge of Joomla development and for those of you that really want to start using the new features available in Joomla 3.0. That being said though, Joomla 3.0 promises to be a lot more stable than Joomla 1.6 was when it was first released.

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In one word it means Bootstrap.

Initially I wasn't particularly fussed about adding bootstrap to the Joomla front end but after looking through the work done in the strapped Joomla 3.0 branch I've been sold.

I could see the case for adding bootstrap to the admin - It makes sense to keep a uniform admin experience and to make css and javascript available for developers within the Joomla framework to avoid any extra overhead to the admin. However, I couldn't quite see how adding bootstrap to the Joomla front end made much sense if we wanted to maintain the diverse design focussed eco system that currently exists for Joomla.

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In the last week, two of our fellow Joomla template makers have announced that they will be dropping support for Internet Explorer 7 and so after looking at the browser statistics for IE7 use over the last few months I think it has come time to say goodbye to IE7 support.

Just as the folk over at Joomlart have mentioned Google, Facebook, Drupal and even Microsoft have dropped support for IE7 and given that the upgrade path for IE7 is considerably more mature than it was for IE6, we think that IE7's time has come.

Dropping IE7 support means that we will ensure that the page degrades gracefully for IE7 users, but we won't go to great efforts to get it to reflect the same cutting edge performance we are getting out of modern browsers.

This change will come into effect on August 1st.

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We are looking for a motivated and talented developer to join the Bamboo team.

What you need.

The ideal candidate has been working with Joomla for at least 3 years, has a deep knowledge of PHP and jQuery and lives and breathes html, css and web standards.

Work in a remote team.

We are a remote team so there is no need to move "down under" but you must be motivated, organised and have an eye for detail.

Scope

Please note that this is a junior part time position with a view to moving full time.

Make contact.

If you have the skills and want to join us in creating cutting edge Joomla templates please send your contact information, link to your portfolio and relevant work experience via the contact form.

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2011 has been a big year in the Joomla world.

The year that was ...

With the rise of Joomla template frameworks and Joomla CCK's, a new release cycle, two new Joomla versions, and download numbers hitting a staggering 27 million, Joomla's position and reach in the competitive open source CMS market hit new heights and the Joomla ecosystem itself became richer and even more diverse.

What's not in store for 2012 ...

So in the spirit of predicting and forecasting for the year ahead - here are ten Joomla headlines that you are not likely to read on blogs and press releases in 2012.

Special mentions

With thanks to Steve Burge, TJ Baker, Corey Webb and Michel van Agtmaal for helping to curate and refine the list.

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Bamboo christmas coupon

It's that time of the year again where we get to say thanks to all of our members for their support throughout the year.

The coupon "christmas" will add a 25% discount off any new subscription. In addition to this current members can add another 20% off that reduced price when they use the member coupon "jbrenewal". If you are a lapsed member you can also use the coupon "jbrenewal2" and add 10% to the reduced price.

You can see a list of plans on offer on our subscription page.

Platform is coming ...

In other news I hope to release the Platform template later on today and the aim is to have the December template available by the end of December.

Once we have Platform released I will give you all a thorough overview of why we have been so heavily delayed with the November template, but for now I'll keep my head down and keep working on releasing the Platform theme.

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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.)

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Our K2 Joomla Templates (updated)

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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.

Why do you need K2 if Joomla 1.6 / Joomla 1.7 is here?

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.

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Does blogging bring you business?

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In my experience, yes.

I know this for sure, because one prospect contacted me and said:

blog for some time. And, having seen what you’ve written about various topics, and how you interact with your readers, I’ve formed the opinion that we can do business together.{/jb_quote}

She was right.

And it sure beat the crap out of me cold-calling her.

Such explicit blogging-for-business wins are rare.

To the intense frustration of old-school marketing types, it’s very hard to calculate return on investment for social media.

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Last week I made a revolutionary choice (for me anyway) and switched from using a light Textmate theme to a theme with a dark background.

In the past whenever I have fooled around with the preference settings in textmate I've always felt that there could be no way that I would choose a theme with a dark background over a light background. The high contrast of the dark background always seemed far too intense for my eyes and made it almost ridiculously hard to follow text on the page.

But now - for good or bad - I am sticking with the unmodified Textmate theme called twilight. The contrast is less severe than some of the other dark themes and it may turn out to be a useful way to make a small change in my workflow.

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