Tag Archives | joomla

Notes from MonadLUG, 10-April-2008: Guy Pardoe and Joomla

Sixteen people were present for the April Meeting of MonadLUG, the Monadnock Area Linux User Group meeting, held as usual on the second Thursday of the month at the School Administrative Unit #1 main office off Hancock Road in Peterborough.

As is usual with most LUG meetings, we spent the standard ten minutes wrestling with monitor settings for the cool new projector. We couldn’t do better than 640 x 480 so Guy was a trooper and persevered through the presentation at teeny resolution. Ouch. We’ll have to do some research to figure out how to get this new projector system to rock and roll.

Guy reminisced about his last presentation, (February last year) where he had talked about the new version of Joomla, which was due Real Soon Now and how he had promised to be back when it was released. In April of 2008, he was back to report that 1.5 is released, and the wait was worthwhile. In fact, version 1.5.2 is out now.

There was a discussion of the many new content management systems – Drupal is another one that’s received a lot of attention. Guy had also heard another one – ModX (http://modxcms.com/) that he hears all the cool kids are playing with.

Guy talked about how the web grew up in a table driven layout just to get positioning right, and that as css came along, that was prefered. Joomla templates are nearly always 100% CSS and valid HTML with few or no tables, and how there’s a lot of advantages from better accessibility, easier localization, better search engine optimization and fewer cavities.

As part of his presentation, Guy downloaded the .zip from the web site www.joomla.org, un-zipped the package, copied to an install directory, ran the installation (a pre-flight check, verified versions, etc.) and he was up and running (Joomla reminded to remove installation). Members noted that Guy showed them things about file management using the GNOME file manager that no one had bothered to try, since they would have all done it from a shell. Guy didn’t apologize for being a Windows refugee. There’s more than one way…

Guy talked about the first presentation of Joomla we saw, from Barrie North on 7 September 2006 at DLSLUG. Barrie has recently published a book, which Guy had with him and praised.

Guy gave us tour of the interface, both the public presentation and the administrative interface. Built-in default templates are pretty slick. The setup wizard was quite graceful. And addons and replacement templates seem to be available in huge quantities (Ted: downloading code off the internet and installing it to run on your computers without inspecting and understanding the code is a Bad Idea. Use only trustworthy sites and review what you get.)

Finally, Guy showed off a site he is developing for a client at Bristol Elder Care and talked about what was involved in getting the site up and running.

Thanks to Guy for a great presentation, to Charlie for organizing the meeting, to Ken and the SAU for the great facilities.

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MonadLUG notes, 13-March-2008, Philip Sbrogna on WINE

Twelve people attended the March meeting of the Monadnock Region Linux User Group, MonadLUG, held as usual on the second Thursday of the month at the SAU 1 offices on Hancock Road in Peterborough.

Charlie called the meeting to order at 7 PM and we had the usual round of announcements. One member offered an HP LaserJet 4L and a new cartridge to anyone interested. There’s problems with the paper feeding, likely the rollers, and he didn’t have the inclination to fix it himself and went out and bought a new duplexing laser. If anyone’s interested, we can try to get you in touch with him.

Philip Sbrogna was the main presenter, speaking on Wine. Philip works as sysadmin for a local company, and has past experience as a game software developer (as well as a nuclear power
operator, a past profession we share) and is very interested in getting games working well under Linux. Wine Is Not an Emulator, but a API layer that provides the resources Windows executables need to run under Linux. The main page is at http://www.winehq.org and there’s a lot of information available there. Philip was running OpenSuse 10.x and demonstrated how easy it was to use the built-in YAST tool to locate, download and install a current and stable Wine release, version 0.9.42. Despite having practiced it several times, things don’t work the same during a presentation, and Philip was great about rolling with the punches and showing us how to configure, troubleshoot and tweak on Wine. We talked about the commercial alternatives, CrossOver Office from CodeWeavers and Cedega’s work with getting high-end games working, the Application Database at WineHQ where you can examine the list of programs known to work or known to have limitations and pick up suggestions on how to tune the application to your needs.

Ken got a chance to show off the new facilities of the meeting room. A new hi-tech podium’s in place that supports two projector screens, one of which is a touch-screen, dry-erase screen. The project supports computer video, TV tuner, DVD, videotape and a color video camera that can scan and preserve on memory cards,a 21st century opaque projector. Beautiful equipment! It may take us a while to learn the magic X configuration to get it working, so be prepared for a little struggling at the beginning of the meetings.

Next month, Guy Pardoe will demonstrate Joomla 1.5, the newly-released (and significantly re-engineered) content management system written in PHP. There’s a book on Joomla 1.5, written by Barrie North, who’s spoken at the Dartmouth – Lake Sunapee Linux User Group. It’s published by Prentice Hall PTR, an imprint of Pearson Education. Attendees to the recent CentraLUG meeting may recall we had a copy raffled away.

Thanks to Philip for a great presentation, to Ken for providing the space and facilities, to Charlie Farinella for organizing, promoting and moderating the evening, and to all for attending and participating!

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.