Our responsive video plugin for Joomla is now available for Joomla 3.0.

As I discussed in the Zentools post all Joomla 3.0 packages will be available combined with the Joomla 2.5 version while the Joomla 1.5 version is in it's own separate package.

You can download the fitvids plugin on the Fitvids feature page.

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I've just uploaded an updated version of our Zentools module which fixes an issue with K2 2.6. Perhaps more importantly though it also able to be installed on Joomla 3.0. Members can download the package from the Zentools download page.

Combined packages for Joomla 2.5 / Joomla 3.0 ...

Zentools is now available in two different packages. New code in the Joomla 3.0 installer makes it challenging to create a combined Joomla 1.5, Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3.0 installer and so rather than waste valuable development time on working around that we decided to combine the Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3 series packages and section off the Joomla 1.5 package.

For the record I think this is a good decision, but it just means some slight discomfort while we still support Joomla 1.5. This will make it easier to drop the Joomla 1.5 version when we eventually stop support for Joomla 1.5 with our templates and extensions.

This is also the case for all of our extensions which we will start rolling out in J3.0 versions in the next day or so.

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The more I dig into Joomla 3.0 the more I love this new version of Joomla.

Rather than compiling all of these things into a single ten things about Joomla 3.0 type post, I'm going to start a new series of microblogs around Joomla 3.0. It's easy enough to read the specs on the Joomla 3.0 landing page, but how do these new features bear out when you are actually using them?

Using Joomla 3.0 in the real world.

I've just spent the last hour or so preparing the sample data that we use for our Joomla templates and in that time I've found a new appreciation for the work that the Joomla 3 UX team have put into revamping our much loved CMS.

While I think that, in general, there could be a little more visual hierarchy employed in the interface - I'm sure that will come as the 3 series develops - there are some things that are simply 1000% better than the preceeding versions of Joomla.

Selecting a menu type is number one on my list.

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Ascent is our October Joomla template release and the latest in our range of responsive Joomla templates.

It is a business oriented Joomla template that features a clean design which combines subtle background textures, elegant drop shadows and gradients with some eye popping colour combinations.

Some crucial links before we get into some of the detail

Ascent Features | Preview | Documentation | Download | Zenkit K2 Demo

Another responsive Joomla template to add to the mix ...


Ascent is our sixteenth responsive Joomla template and in all honesty probably one of the most enjoyable designs that I've coded in recent history. I think one of the reasons for this is that it's the first theme developed on one of the new Zen Building block starter templates.

If you missed the announcement last month about the building blocks they are basically a collection of Joomla template skeletons that are ideal precursors to commonly used patterns in web design and can really help to speed up the development time on Joomla projects.

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Joomla 3.0 is here


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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A few weeks ago we released the Zen Building Block templates and to compliment that set of starter Joomla templates I am releasing the Responsive Jomsocial template.

This theme for Jomsocial is much like our original Responsive template we built back in October last year. It's a no frills vanilla starter skeleton designed for Jomsocial developers to dig in to and get their hands dirty. The theme has a limited amount of styling so it will fit perfectly in to any Joomla template and it will scale to fit the limitations of your design - responsive or not.

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[I'm often surprised by how popular our simpler and more minimal Joomla templates are. Along with themes like corporate, lifestyle and the recent Highline I often see less complex themes like simpleshop, zen default and rasa featuring at the top of our download stats.

So this month rather than bringing you a single template release, we would like to introduce Zen Building Blocks. The Zen Building Blocks are a set of five responsive Joomla templates that are designed to be ideal starting points for your Joomla web projects.


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Responsive Jomsocial Template


I have wanted to create a Jomsocial template for such a long time that I feel like I have just ticked something off my bucket list. I'd be surprised if you didn't already know about Jomsocial but for those that don't - Jomsocial is the premier social networking extension for Joomla.

Building the demo site for the Highline Jomsocial Template was the first chance I've had to play with Jomsocial (at least for an extended amount of time) and I have to say that this is a really solid piece of software. While I recognise that not everyone needs a social app on their website, I can certainly see why this is the chosen extension among Joomla web site builders for creating social or community driven websites.

Did I mention it's responsive ...


The key point for the Highline Jomsocial template is that in keeping with all of our Joomla template releases since September last year - it is responsive. This means that with the help of the Highline template, the Jomsocial component will morph and scale according to the width of your users browser. This essentially means that within this one joomla template you get an elegant, minimal Jomsocial template that will work across any browser - large or small.

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Two new Zenkit demo sites

Way back in April we released Zenkit - a collection of responsive K2 templates and I've just taken the covers off two new demo sites that showcase what you can do with Zenkit.

If you missed the announcement, Zenkit is a small set of stand alone K2 templates that can be dropped into any Joomla template.

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Despite the fact that our Zentools module can handle responsive video natively we still needed an option that was easy for users to implement responsive video in their sites.

Once installed and published the Fitvids plugin transforms any video added to your content into a fluid / adaptive video elem…

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For a sneak peek at some sneaky dribbble shots check out the Highline project page on Dribbble.

As of Zentools 1.5.5 it is now possible to target featured items in any zentools layout. The update adds no inherent styling to the module but creates a hook for us to target in our themes and for those of you who are building your own.

For a full run down on the new functionality check out the document over at the Zentools documentation area.

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