In my ponderings about WordPress and PostgreSQL I was challenged to consider Joomla. Believe me, I have considered Joomla and rejected it, at least for my use. Let me give you a brief history of Joomla and me.
Possibly the first CMS I ever used was Mambo, the predecessor to Joomla. It was one of the tools with which my web development company used to create client sites. One of my employees was very adept at Mambo. I remember quite clearly the day when practically the entire Mambo development team up and quit Mambo, announcing they were going to create a fork which became Joomla. It was the buzz of the office. We recommended Mambo, then Joomla to our clients. Even today, I believe Joomla is a good solution for some situations.
Fast forward a several years., circa 2007. One of my old clients approaches me to help them out with their web site, it is a Joomla 1.0.x site. That client knew I was familiar with not only their company but with Joomla. I have worked now on that site and a couple others over the past three years. We have changed themes, migrated from Joomla 1.0.x to 1.5.x and added or removed countless extensions. I have even worked on a custom Joomla extension. All this work, has given me a fairly good perspective on Joomla and what I don’t like about it.
- jQuery 1.2.6 minified
- jQuery 1.2.2
- jQuery 1.3.2
- jQuery 1.2.6 not minified and modified specifically for the extension that includes it (we finally disabled this extension because it was causing too much problems)
Now let me say I understand on one level why the extensions do what they do and why Joomla is designed the way it is designed. The extensions are self-contained. They can be installed and uninstalled without affecting other extensions or the main Joomla core. But this self-containment allows for completely divergent and sometimes conflicting code to be introduced. Some extensions just can’t be installed with others because they step on each other, either because they haven’t used namespaces of some sort or they introduce incompatible code of another sort. An extension that expects and requires jQuery 1.3.2 gets broke when another extension loads jQuery 1.2.6 later. I am just waiting for one of the multitude of extensions installed on this site to suddenly upgrade to jQuery 1.4.x and watch the entire site burn down from the total chaos.
While I am on the extensions rant, there is a trend in the Joomla development community that really irks me. I am seeing more and more Joomla developers move to a subscription model. Oh, it isn’t a subscription for the extension itself in most cases, rather, a subscription to access the support and download sections of the web site. I understand the need to make money doing what you do but this really gripes me at one level. To get simple bug fixes a year later one needs to pay for the subscription to be able to access the download. It drives one to piracy… almost. In at least one case, digging in and fixing the bug myself was the cheaper solution. But of course, then there is the one developer who uses IonCube to encrypt the php so one can’t even go in and fix a bug! If I could get my client to abandon that extension, I would be so happy. Closing access to the php source code should result in that code being boycotted *cough* SEF Advance *cough*.
- WordPress and PostgreSQL (part 1)
- Lunch at Biaggi’s