I'm not a programmer, but couldn't a hack be designed that would simulate some sort of admin activity every 29 minutes or whatever, for as long as the admin in question chose to have it on? Thus creating a persistent admin login without compromising Joomla's security?
I'd also like to add that the "feature" of constantly being redirected to the admin login page, and then dumped at the main admin screen instead of where you left off (never mind losing the data, which is obviously a giant PITA...I'm just talking about losing your place in the admin area), is a horrible, horrible feature. Joomla has a lot of usability problems, but this one probably takes the cake. How many extra clicks have collectively been done by the user community, just finding our way back to where we were before being jerked over to the admin login page, and dumped at the main menu? A million? 10 million? And how much lost time - again, not counting the painful lost time of losing one's work...just counting all that unnecessary finding our way back to the spot we had been at. 1000 hours? 10,000 hours?
And it's been that way at least since last year at this time, so it's not like there hasn't been time to fix this horrible, horrible feature.
I want to love Joomla, a lot in fact, but it has some seriously hardcore time-wasting usability issues. The admin area, which I used to see as slick and sophisticated, strikes me more and more as unnecessarily difficult-- even obstructive.
I can't pay any money, but I would just about worship anyone who could create a hack like what I described above. Something that makes my Joomla think that I'm doing enough admin activity to keep me logged in forever...or at least as long as I want.
I guess I've been spoiled by using WordPress a lot over the past year. I didn't know how spoiled until I set up a new Joomla-based site these past couple weeks. I keep having to persuade myself not to bolt, and hoping that at some point in the not too distant future, the developer team will recognize how unnecessarily difficult the admin area can be to use. Aside from the persistent logout "feature" and the horrible redirection to the main admin page feature, the template editing setup is needlessly tedious (try tinkering with one template repeatedly, and see how much unnecessary mouse activity you do, re-navigating to that edit page each time...or just compare it to WP's template editing page), and the feature of forcing folks to "please click cancel or save changes" when they want to navigate away from an open edit page...all these things serve to create untold amounts of unnecessary clicking, mousing, and waiting for new pages to load. I just keep thinking of the thousands of hours of people's time that is wasted on all the extra steps caused by these things.
I'm sure there are explanations as to why these things are the way they are, but it doesn't change that they are serious usability issues.