A few days ago I started to roll out the first stage of updates across our Joomla extensions and Joomla template catalogue. As you may have seen we released v1.1 of the Zen Grid Framework with the release of the Powerplay Joomla template but it's yet to be made available for the rest of the Zen Grid framework compatible templates. The process in moving to v1.1 for the rest of the templates is a little complex due to the fact that we are also rolling out a new version of the JB Library plugin, as well as some major updates to all of our core extensions so the rollout is going to be a little staggered. I had planned to release all of this earlier this week but decided to hold off releasing templates and their quickstart packages until everything was absolutely ready.

So if you want to cut to the chase we have updates for the following modules and plugins:

JB LibraryMinimoo2, PrettySlider, Captify Content, jTweet, Slideshow3, Microblog, Bamboo Box

So what is in the new releases?

A new image resizer for JB LIbrary.

JBLibraryWe have previously had all of the extensions that resized images handle the resizing and cropping by themselves, but the recent updates now use JB LIbrary to do the heavy lifting. Using a core image resize script means that the processing is now more efficient and reduces redundancy by utilising a single pool of resized images. We also now use Joomla's own media folder which should reduce a lot of permission errors we were seeing on different server setups.

In addition to this the new script also cuts down the confusion of the old crop ratio setting and gives you a few different options for deciding how the image is resized. You can select between smart crop, portrait, landscape, auto resize or exact size. We will be updating the documentation for the individual extensions shortly.

The other benefit is that the resize class is now native to Joomla which is available for other extension developers to use along side the JB Library plugin. You can expect a tutorial soon for instructions on how to implement the image resizer into your Joomla extension.

The library is also going to store common script files such as the prettyphoto lightbox and other scripts common to our extensions.

Other updates to the library include:

  • New language file

  • All assets are handled in the media folder

  • New installer that sets default settings and publishes the plugin during the installation process.

Other notable updates to the extensions include:

All extensions are now MVC compatible.

This update is a little late to the party as far as Joomla 1.5 is concerned but since all of the modules are mvc compliant it means that if you want to create your own layouts then you can follow the standard Joomla guidelines for overriding extension views.

Implemented accordion in the admin parameters

As well as updating all of our extensions to use the standard Joomla accordion in the parameters we have also spent a good deal of time reordering the parameters to make using the modules a little more logical and user friendly.

Added caching to all modules

This was another "feature" that had been dropped in the past from some of the modules but have now been reinstated across the board.

K2 and Joomla modules now have a list of articles in the admin

Our microblog and slideshow modules previously had the ability to specify id's of articles and items to include in the output of the module. The latest updates now list the articles or k2 items available to the module which makes it a lot easier to draw specific items into your content.

There are a few bug fixes in this roll out as well so be sure to check the changelogs on the forum for a guide to specific changes per module.

Please note that in order to install the new version of the JB LIbrary plugin you need to uninstall the previous version first. Since the architecture has changed so much in this version it made sense to remove the upgrade feature for this and the next release just to ensure there wasnt any cross contamination of files across the 1.1 and 1.2 versions.

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