[Pro] [ann] Joomla! Actions

HI,

just to let you know that a project I have been tinkering with in the virtual shed has come to fruition.

Today, I have released a suite of Actions that let you build Joomla templates with Freeway 5 Pro. The Actions will create all you need to install the template on your Joomla install, as well as using Freeway’s excellent preview system to let you design menus, module styles and main content styles all within the Freeway design interface!

Other Actions let you insert slots for modules, as well as other scaffolding that may be needed depending on your design.

There are also “hooks” in this system that will allow Action writers to target their output for inclusion in the Joomla Template (Joomla requires the location of images, CSS files etc. to be re-written). A sample version of the Rollover Action is provided as a fully useable example.

I also supply a template with the Action suite as I am aware that working in the box model in Freeway can be challenging, and Joomla functions at its best when sites are built this way. This can be installed and used in the normal way.

For more on this, head on over to http://www.actionsworld.com/Actions/joomla/ where the Actions are detailed, as well as a download of the manual which I hope will be more illuminating.

If you want to see a Joomla powered web site built with these Actions, then http://www.ukcrossfires.co.uk/ is the place to go (that is if the hinky DNS settings that someone else has set up is working).

Making these Actions has been a fun and challenging task I set myself, and I hope that others will find the useful.


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Paul, if you know, how does your action differ from the two already available on Action Forge? Just for comparison purposes.


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Also, which version of Joomla! does your action suite work with? Both?


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I haven’t done a feature comparison with the other Actions. There’s not much info available on the other to be honest.

My Actions are for Joomla 1.5


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I’ve been asked to look into using Drupal for a friends website. Any reason you chose Joomla over Drupal? Any plans for something similar with Drupal and Freeway.

To use your action how much knowledge of Joomla does one need.

Jeff


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Hi,
Joomla is a popular CMS. I know Drupal is too, but at the time I started these there was a Joomla project in the offing.

The Actions are not a Joomla “magic wand” - they help you build the template, but you obviously need to know how Joomla works and you will still need to use the back-end to administer to site, add content etc…


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Thanks Paul

I know Joomla is also popular. Was mainly curious if you had any preferences of Joomla over Drupal. Since I would have to learn either, your Action is tempting since it has the Freeway tie-in.

Any thoughts of providing a 30-day trial to give people a chance to see how it works in practice?

Jeff


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At the moment, a 30 day trial is not possible. Sorry.


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Has anyone purchased this, and if so was it a worthwhile purchase?

I obviously mean no disrespect Paul, I’m just looking for some feedback before I buy.

Thanks
Steve.


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On 10 Dec 2009, 5:49 pm, Steve Wright wrote:

Has anyone purchased this, and if so was it a worthwhile purchase?

Yes and it works as advertised, however heed the words of Paul:

The Actions are not a Joomla “magic wand” - they help you build the template, but you obviously need to know how Joomla works and you will still need to use the back-end to administer to site, add content etc…

Not to be taken lightly. A good book on getting started with Joomla! is definitely worthwhile.

The action makes certain styling choices a snap to implement…while neglecting others. This being the first iteration of the action it has it’s limitations but Paul is pretty good about updating his work to add new features.


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HI,
what other features are you looking to be implemented? I’ll take any suggestions on board and see if they can be added in to the Freeway way of working.


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I’d be all about doing some demo Joomla screencast’s on my new site. I’m always looking for more topics.

I’d have to buy the actions or trade screencast’s for some free promotion. We shall see. I will say that these ExpressionEngine screencasts are a beast!


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What I would find useful is some overview of using the various CMS options that are available for Freeway–Pauls’ Joomla Action, WebYep, ExpressionEngine.

More and more clients want the ability to edit their own sites. I’ve looked at using Joomla and Drupal, separately from Freeway, and find them both a bit daunting, especially from the design standpoint – that is getting the look of the site the way you want it graphically. Joomla seems a bit more straight forward but not by much.

What’s difficult to figure out, is if you want to keep using Freeway, which of these CMS options to pursue. What are the pros and cons of using WebYep vs Paul’s Drupal Action vs ExpressionEngine. All require some investment of time and money and as someone still somewhat new to web design, it’s hard to figure out which way to go. So it would be nice if someone could lay out the strengths and weaknesses of each of these options.

And I would definitely vote for Dan doing screencasts or tutorials on some or all of these.

Just my opinion.

Jeff


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It depends largely on the site requirements/features that you want to
implement; what type of access you need to provide for others (if
any); your comfort-level (some are hard to figure out with no
experience); your clients willingness to deal with sometimes confusing
control panels etc. and much, much more. Defining what’s needed is
key, and not always easy, but any of the CMS you mentioned are
appropriate given the right project. Keep in mind that using some of
these for simple sites is like using a sledgehammer to pound a nail.
Pick one that’s appropriate for the job, not what has the most
features which you may never use.

EE, Joomla! and Drupal are big ol’ bears that can do a lot but come
with a major learning curve and if you cringe at the idea of dealing
with code you’re going to be miserable. WebYep is amazing both from
the standpoint of ease of use for you and the client but it can’t in
any way compete with the above in terms of features.

There are also some that strike a nice balance of features and ease
like MODx http://modxcms.com but it doesn’t have (at the moment) any
FW actions to help though with MODx it might be a lot easier to
integrate than some others. There’s sNews: simple, lightweight, easy
and very nice and many others that someone will mention, I’m sure.

Todd

On Dec 11, 2009, at 7:42 AM, Jeffrey Stern wrote:

What’s difficult to figure out, is if you want to keep using
Freeway, which of these CMS options to pursue. What are the pros and
cons of using WebYep vs Paul’s Drupal Action vs ExpressionEngine.
All require some investment of time and money and as someone still
somewhat new to web design, it’s hard to figure out which way to go.


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Thanks Todd

I’ve mucked around a bit with Joomla and Drupal and am trying to get a handle on Drupal as a friend wants me to help maintain her Drupal site. Changing the look is the hardest I’ve found as most templates seem to require some coding to make changes.

What got me looking at all the CMS apps was that I have a potential client who runs a restaurant that has weekly concerts and wants a site that she can post weekly and daily concert listings (with images) and that she can update herself (multiple times a week). She also wants musicians to be able to submit requests to perform and see what dates are available on a posted calendar. Wasn’t sure if WebYep can handle this ok, or if stepping up to Joomla with Pauls’ action would be the better route.

Jeff


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For something this focused – changing a single part of one page –
you should really consider WebYep. That’s one of its sweet spots. This
would get you the ability to edit a calendar listing portion of the
page, which the client could update as often as needed. For the
requests, you could add Tim Plumb’s PHP Feedback Form Action to the
same page or another page, and your example would be covered.

You might also want to look on http://hotscripts.com for a dedicated
event calendar, that way you can have some automation: post a number
of events at once and they’ll only appear when it’s their time, and
past events will just disappear. This will come at the price of
needing to muck around with some scripts, and probably some CSS, to
make it appear within your page and look the way you want it to.

Walter

On Dec 11, 2009, at 12:04 PM, Jeffrey Stern wrote:

What got me looking at all the CMS apps was that I have a potential
client who runs a restaurant that has weekly concerts and wants a
site that she can post weekly and daily concert listings (with
images) and that she can update herself (multiple times a week). She
also wants musicians to be able to submit requests to perform and
see what dates are available on a posted calendar. Wasn’t sure if
WebYep can handle this ok, or if stepping up to Joomla with Pauls’
action would be the better route.


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Thanks Walt

As usual you guys and this forum are always helpful.

Jeff


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