Archive for the ‘PHP’ Category

Soapbox launch: South Central Becomes Second Sister Site

ScreenshotThe South Central Community of the Sisters of Mercy joins the West Midwest Community as the next site to go live.

As noted last week, the overall project will see a total of five Sister Community sites launch this summer.  These sites empower local Communities to craft their own message for their individual audiences while leveraging the common branding and shared experience on the Soapbox platform of the network as a whole.


Joomla 1.5 goes stable!

It’s early in the morning here in NYC, and just as I’m getting to board the train back to PICnet for my annual address to the company, I see the following good news on the Joomla! Web site:  Joomla 1.5 is stable!

What an effort it’s been.  With a complete rewrite of the code base, making it sleeker and more elegant for developers and users alike, Joomla! 1.5 comes out of the door with a bang today.

While I’ve got to run to the train station this morning, I’m expecting a long day of celebrations ahead for everyone in the community.  Congratulations everyone, especially Louis and Johan, whose vision helped propel the code base to be what it is today.  Also, big thanks to PICnetter Kevin Devine, who’s work in the past few months in bug squashing has lead to many great strides forward in the 1.5 trunk. More details coming soon!


Joomla PBF 2007 – Day 1

JoomlaIt’s been a whirlwind on our first day of Joomla Pizza, Bugs, and Fun here. We’ve got three US cities connected, including San Francisco, Washington DC, and New York all bringing their best to join the Joomla fun. I had the joy of flying cross-country last night, and now am blogging for you live from the PICnet SF office where we’re hosting 6 of us Joomla bug crunchers.The day started off very smoothly, with DC and NY going online at 10am. Cold weather ain’t stopping us! We setup an IRC room for the main chat, and a secondary Skype chat room for us IRC delinquents. After realizing that we had the power to kick out the jams, we figured out that we needed to have a plan of attack for squashing these suckers effectively.

Wilco stepped up to the mic and called from the NY location to the DC location, and gave us some marching orders. In general, our goal was to make sure that we weren’t duplicating efforts on the patches. So, we created a Google doc, which allowed people to post which bug artefact they were working on, and then notify Wilco of the start of their work.

So far, things have gone much more smoothly than I had ever imagined. Big thanks to the likes of Wilco, Elin, Rob, Kenneth, and Louis for their long travels to be on the scene to give guidance to the community as we patch away. Even bigger props to the 39 community members around the world that have taken time from their Saturdays to make this a reality. And finally, to my fellow PICnetters, thank you for the donation of your time to make sure we’re rocking smoothly here.

More updates coming throughout the day! Photos after the jump.

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Google provisioning API and integration with Joomla

Many of our organizations are using Non-Profit Soapbox for their CMS, and when doing so also elect to utilize Google Apps for their email services. This means they receive two great tools: a content management system and an email administration system. Unfortunately, it also means that they have to utilize two different systems to manage these functionalities.

What if we could bridge that gap? What if we could provide an administrative control panel for Google Apps within the Joomla administrator?

After a point in the right direction by a good friend, it seems like this could become a reality. Google provides rather detailed PHP API for their provisioning system, including even an API for the Zend Google Data Client Library to access the Provisioning API functionality.

Using the API, one could build remote functionalities such as:

  • managing user accounts
  • managing nicknames
  • creating email lists

Anyone built on top of this yet?

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Islands and bridges, the building has begun

Not too long ago, I wrote a piece called Islands and bridges: why Soapbox will lead the way to CRM and CMS integration for non-profits, where I detailed our vision on breaking down the walls between important technology silos in the non-profit community.

At that time, we spoke only about content management systems (CMSes) and constituent relationship management (CRMs), and while feedback on the blog was quiet, offline we got an earful.

A full three months have passed since then, and I think it’s about time to open the lid on how our bridge engineers are laying down the first strong links between these islands. Especially with postings like that of Allan Benamer from the Non-Profit Tech Blog, where he writes about his favorite stack of stacks, it made me think a response to his post might be in order.

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Basecamp and Joomla integration anyone?

Basecamp LogoWe PICnetters use Basecamp for project management and when we learned they had released an API and saw the interesting things people were doing with it, we thought, “hey let’s integrate”. Not because it’s cool (though the closer we get to Web 2.0 tools, the cooler we all seem here around the office), but because we saw a need, at least internally, for some extended functionality: easy time tracking and reporting.

Basecamp allows time tracking and it is very nice when checking off a task to record how many hours you spent getting it done. But sometimes we get so engrossed in our work we forget when we started. So, we built a sort of stop-watch application which allows us to punch-in, punch-out, write up a description then send it off to Basecamp.

Another pet peeve of ours is when we run over the number of hours we’ve dedicated to a project, and with several people contributing time to a project that can happen easily if the time isn’t closely monitored. So next up on the integration effort is to develop a warning system which will alert project managers when we’re nearing that limit.

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Wanted: Web Project Manager with Putt-Putt Skills

Help WantedPICnet is looking for an entry level Project Manager to help lead the development of Web projects for its non-profit, association, and congressional clients.

We’re looking for individuals with experience in the Web development process and the non-profit community, who are eager to provide high-quality service to our proud client base.

At PICnet, we provide a unique environment for non-profits to build their online presence. Our high-touch, high-quality service is what separates us from the crowd, and keeps our client list expanding.

The individual who takes this position will have strong knowledge of the Web development process and crystal clear communication skills. Juggling multiple projects at the same time is the name of the game, and working with developers located in various locations is the challenge.

Although the position does not require a Web programming background, basic understanding of the Joomla CMS, PHP or MySQL is definitely helpful.

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Joomla 1.5 Beta is finally here!!!!!!!

Joomla 1.5 Beta is finally out. Its been 1 year and some since they began coding. Johan said at German Joomla! Day that:

“this represents 127,000 lines of code and had this been a commercial venture, about 32 man years of effort equivalent to $1.7 million in wages.”

It’s a great system. I love to code in. Would make sense since this release is made for us developers. 1.6 will be more for the end user. Some of the cool features include Internationalization (UTF-8), FTP Filesystem Layer (will allow access to folders that are locked down from the webuser), WCAG Compliance (508 etc.), and a better separation of logic and presentation layer. More explained in the Roadmap. Can’t wait for this to become stable so PICnet will start using it.


Joomla is Secure!!

RobS over at Joomla just posted about the Joomla winning an award for security:

“During what is called the “Deface Realtime Compo” Competition up to 150 Security Specialists, hackers, and crackers bomarded the CMS with attacks for 2 days straight without success. Both Joomla! and PHP-Nuke were evaluated during the competition and both systems received positive evaluations. Along with the positive evaluation, we received a certification from the WebSecure Group, declaring that Joomla! was reliable and recommended for use.”

Read it here.


Security Advisory – Google Code Search

Google Code SearchGoogle has done it again. The great people at google have tried to make our lives easier with their new invention of Google Code Search. Now I can find bits of code that I otherwise wouldn’t have found. How does it do this? Well google now can traverse into compressed files like .zips and .tar.gz. What does this mean for you? You know how your a good webmaster and make make backups of your websites as websitebackup.tar.gz? Your configuration.php file is one of the files that you just backed up. Guess what. Now everyone on google code search can see your user name and password for your mysql database. How do I fight this? you might as. Simply put your backups below your website directory so it isn’t accessable via the web. Read more about it from the Joomla Developers here and from a Slashdot article here.