Joomla! and usability

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:34 pm

I would go to their website and make that suggestion:
http://tinymce.moxiecode.com/

Also there are many plugins for tiny, you may find what you need in their plugin list.
So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. MLK 1964.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by deleted user » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:01 pm

My take on this usability issue is that it ought to be noncontroversial and pretty obvious to anyone who has used both J! and WP, or really WP 2.7+ which has an A+ UI. The UI usability and experience--how easy it is to learn--is frequently a huge factor in decisions on what "CMS" to use for a given project. Site operators have to use and live with that UI. If they dislike it and are reluctant or flat-out against it, it's off the table.

The disruption model is apt. Joomla disrupts Drupal, because it is much harder--more time and costs--to develop a lot of common website models with Drupal than it is with Joomla or WP. WP has this disruption effect on both J! and Drupal.

Drupal simply has a bad UI that is a big liability. This is proven in studies Drupal did, and they admit it. They're working on it as their #1 priority. Joomla has a B+ UI whose main faults are not really the UI but the fact that the menu id system is non-intuituve, the 3 different categories of extensions are non-intuitive, and module assignments are a bit confusing--all of which has to do with the fundamental weirdness of the menu/item classification system where you have no page without a menu item. I call it an ontological problem--if a content or component exists but has no menu item, does it really exist? :p

Further supporting the "disruption" effect, in a lot of cases, Joomla will deliver functionality through extensions that Drupal can't deliver or the results will be weaker in aesthetics/attractiveness and usability. WP has a similar disruptive effect on both Drupal and Joomla, especially when pure content management is what is needed. (Same can be said of Concrete5 and others.) WP is more of a pure CMS than Drupal and Joomla, which are more like application frameworks with extensible CMS functions. Drupal is the most well-rounded at its core, but this can also mean it has too much that you don't need for a lot of projects.

Another wrinkle is the fact that the UI and architectural concept in J! and WP is that they both follow the newsroom concept of deadtree publishing which is still strong and intuitive due to its ubiquity in blogs, but that may change. The newsroom model is privileged users write; the public reads or adds comments subordinate to privileged user content. privileged users are imagined as newspaper/publishing staff (author, editor, publisher). Sharp distinctions are made to segregate users, access, content, and functions: frontend/backend, public/admin.

In contrast, Drupal provides a more wiki-like experience without a clear-cut front and back--you can do nearly everything on either end, or both. The back is never really something that inherently looks like a back end; a lot depends on templating/theming to shape this appearance.

If "social publishing" and the general UI experience of most big social networks should become dominant, then the front/back newsroom style of J! and WP may become quaint and old-fashioned. Drupal, at least as it is now, may be closer to what becomes the norm.

Finally, a big impact on the total cost of ownership of a CMS is how easy it is to update it--and its extensions. This is more true the more extended the CMS is. WP 2.7 now has full auto-update alert and upgrade functionality for the core and its extensions/plugins. IIRC, plugins that will break or are not confirmed as working with a core update will be protected from upgrade breakage. For Drupal, you currently get upgrade alerts with indications of their relative importance. Drupal also provides online and email alerts of vulnerabilities in not just the core but in all modules/extensions on Drupal.org. Joomla is behind on this. Maintenance of highly extended Joomla sites is a CHORE.

I think people tend to be more accepting of Drupal and willing to put in the effort to learn it when:
  • They have peers who use Drupal (often the NPO/NGO/political arena) which often comes with an awareness of available niche Drupal dev/design/support services catering to their profession;
  • They either underestimate the challenge of building and maintaining a Drupal site (total cost of ownership), or they understand this and are willing to pay for it/have the staff to support it;
  • They have grasped Drupal's difficulties and relative merits to come to the conclusion that CCK, Views, Taxonomy, etc. are critical and unmatched for their purposes (often media/news sites);
  • They don't care so much how their site looks or they are willing and able to shell out a lot of coin for design work;
  • The consolidated and open extension/module development at Drupal.org either scares them of or attracts them;
Obviously Acquia appeals and caters to those who have serious goals, a serious budget, and are fairly informed about Drupal. They may already feel some kinship to it as well, largely due to Civispaces and Howard Dean.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by darb » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:04 am

mcsmom wrote:Why wouldn't you use the link button in the editor to insert a link?

I would indeed love to see an extended editor plugin for internal links since that is something that beginning users want and it would be nice not to have to install a new editor to get that.

@Amy I assume he means that the editor's buttons don't access the media manager.
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Have you missed the Linkr Extension for linking articles? or did I miss something? bcs it was not in the list from Masterchief and its nice. http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions ... 10/details

For phpBB dont miss to check Jfusion too. Universal bridge for phpBB, Vbulletine, Moddle, Magento, MyBB etc etc http://www.jfusion.org

Well its good to learn, listening and pick up the best from other open source and also proprietary software out there. I think integration with other outstanding open source software that are unique is also a key for Joomla to broaden its usage and acceptance.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:03 am

We are talking about what should be in the core for better usability.
So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. MLK 1964.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by deleted user » Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:29 pm

Personally I don't think Joomla has a usability problem. I think it is more intuitive on the backend than anything else I've seen, except Wordpress 2.7, but WP is a big blog or pure CMS, and Joomla is an application framework with basic CMS functions that can be extended or largely ignored to focus on other things. WP is almost entirely focused on one thing: content management--creating and edit content, handle comments, etc. Users expecting Joomla to be a CMS much like WP may well end up being confused by Joomla. Should Joomla be more focused on CMS funtions?

In other words, is it a problem that Joomla's current admin UI does not herd users toward a focus on CMS functions as its primary duty? In Joomla 1.6, this "problem" may become more valuable, with neither user, access, nor content management/com_content pushed to the forefront since some Joomla sites use them all equally, or use one or two of those functions as primary, or even replace or override one of those core functions with an added component.

If Joomla's UI were altered to be more content-focused, might this lock com_content further into the core? Com_content is not very good IMHO and should be an un/pluggable option with more robust alternatives in an ideal world.

I think there is something of a consensus that the universal difficulty of learning and using Joomla has to do with the dependence of content (end everything else, like components--but not all of them!) on menu items. This splits CMS operations between the menu manager, components, and the content manager--at least during the initial build out of a site. Each of those areas impacts page output; there is no central area in the UI that consolidates permission, navigation, and content aspects of a single page.

It takes a while to realize that you need a) content assigned to a section and category that is displayed by b) the content component through a menu item, c) and the corresponding menu must be created and exist as a module which may or may not be visible/published. Also, the content item, the menu item, and the menu module all have permission settings which may or may not be redundant.

This situation and the frequent need for "invisible" menus throws off newbies. On the one-hand, menu based design implies a good but rigid site architecture that at first seems mandatory. On the other hand, not using menus in what seems to be the "intended" way is how you actually get a lot more done.

Clearer internal guides and additions to the interface could help with this confusion. For example, when new content is created or new components are installed that have no corresponding menu item, there could be a warning to that effect and direct links suggested to the menu manager or existing menus. The four text boxes that must be filled in to create a menu have always been confusing too.

But if Joomla is going to become more of a framework with optional distributions, some of which may be more CMS-like and others more scoial or application intensive, I would avoid any changes that make the core more biased toward CMS functionality.

The point has probably been reached where Joomla (and Drupal) are only being referred to officially as CMSes for essentially marketing reasons. WP and a host of other applications are far, far superior at CMS functions--but not much else. Joomla (and Drupal) will play to their strengths by acknowledging this--that they can be used as CMSes but also offer much more as general purpose web development frameworks for application intensive sites, social publishing, etc.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by darb » Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:50 pm

dpk wrote:Personally I don't think Joomla has a usability problem.............. Joomla (and Drupal) will play to their strengths by acknowledging this--that they can be used as CMSes but also offer much more as general purpose web development frameworks for application intensive sites, social publishing, etc.
Well I think we can learn about usability from many systems both from proprietary and open source cms type of systems. Not have to be only Drupal and Joomla that we can learn from.

There are so many so its difficult to have any insight in all of the market for many of us. I have seen this new for me cms ExpressionEngine http://expressionengine.com/ http://expressionengine.com/overview/features/ saying its the most flexible web publishing system you will ever meet.
Success in the long run Its not about the code its about the people and community that's make it!
Its not what you say its what you do that matters!

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by raashell » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:41 pm

I wrote a short blog post on this if anyone is interested. It lists three easy things that developers can do to improve the end user experience:

http://www.bluebridgedev.com/blog/keepi ... ent-simple

Useability is a great subject and I'm glad that people are thinking about it.

John
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by deleted user » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:59 pm

Good advice John. I don't know if you're saying lock users out of the backend completely, but I typically give them both options and figure out early on what works best for them. Developing a workflow strategy--not just within Joomla--is often necessary.

On the front end staff login concept, I typically do that. Often I try to make the login area hidden or very subdued. No need to make the windows and doors more obvious than necessary to prowlers.

Custom content module rocks. I'm not sure it is the most elegant way to defeat some of Joomla's core limitations, but it does allow you to do so. The key thing to note about the custom content module is that any plugins used in the content items fed into the module will also be active in the module. You can use this to get component output in a module alongside a component page for a second component. For example: http://www.uppereastsidebid.org/business-directory

The map to the right of the contact component output is generated by a plugin in a content item that's being displayed in a custom content module.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by raashell » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:55 am

No, not lock them out of the backend. Just give them Manager permissions. A ways back, Amy said, "I *love* the redesigned WP 2.7 dashboard and editor area. It is super focused on pushing out blog posts and moderating comments. The cryptic stuff is tucked safely away from accidental tweaking by those who probably shouldn't." I was trying to indicate that when you give your end user manager permissions(vice admin and super admin) they only see the articles, the sections and categories, the components and the media manager. This hides all the cryptic stuff and leaves the most used options available. The benefit is that they're more likely to remember where things are and less likely to accidentally cause a problem.

That's a great tip on the Custom Content Module. I've never used it that way, but very cool.

I was trying to remember what problems I had when I first started using Joomla. I had no clue what the deal was with sections and categories and swore loudly many times as Joomla forced me to go back and jump through the hoops (i.e. "Dance monkey, Dance!") Since then though, I've noticed in the later releases that the design is a little more forgiving by allowing, "uncategorised," content. I also found the menus to be off putting. Menus are represented/managed in three separate places- the Menus menu, the menu's items, and the module manager. My tiny brain had problems catching onto this. Finally, I had many frusterations with the FTP layer. In the end, I gave up trying to use it (though this probably had more to do with my hosting environment than the app).

I suspect that if there was a way to grease the skids on a fresh install of Joomla, the perception of its user friendliness would improve. For example, a dialogue when you log in that says, "Hey Buddy, I noticed you don't have any sections or categories. What should we name 'em? What do you want your main menu items to be? Need to set up any users? What modules do you want enabled to start?" Just one screen, one time, and bam! That would cut out a lot of running around while easily outlining the user's idea of how they want their site to be laid out.

Two cents and then some. :)
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by deleted user » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:19 am

I totally agree. :D

Speaking of accessibility...

Here'e the user accessibility test for the Joomla site in the SXSW competition:
http://vimeo.com/groups/joomlasxsw

And a new distribution of Joomla called "Seedling," made for maximum ease of use:
http://www.whyjoomla.com/blog/further-i ... ing-joomla

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by Tonie » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:54 am

Funny that a discussion like this is the result of a trolling post. First post, never logged on again after march 2 :).

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:01 am

Well yeah that happens... Just as there are Wordpress Tribesman there are J!Tribesman, Drupee's, DNNites and of course the e107's (which come from dimension e108).

But... The FCK editor really does kinda stink in that it does have varied browser issues. We often when clicking add a link for example in J1.0 sites get a blank window.

Really, Joomla SHOULD have its very own editor as part of the core.

Why?

Well... for content revolves around? Content. Editing.

1. Workflow COULD be controlled through the editor... aka: Writer, forwarded to editor or a "named role" via a fairly simple component no? Then to the publisher, then to the layout peep, ultimately to the webmaster.

2. The editor needs be controlled... aka: Writer should never have access to menus, artwork, video, whatall should be uploaded to a directory tied to that writer. In other words again, controlling access and abiltities.

3. All MAJOR functions that a "content person" should be able to do (or not) should be through that single interface IN the frontend.

This is one of the bigger advantages of Portal frameworks (good ones that is). Liferay has exceptional ACL/Workflow abilities and happily mates with Alfresco. DotNetNuke is an excellent portal and has a few paid addon's that really do a good job of workflow control. DNN obviously has native ACL as its built into the MS .Net Framework, any number of roles can be defined.

The one consistent problem we run into using Joomla is the inability for businesses, agencies whatall we build sites for to be able to administrate their own site and that disturbs them. For those who do care to actually learn the in's and out's they are completely frustrated by 1. Lack of controlled workflow and 2. Lack of access control. #2 is being dealt with we hear. #2 does little real good without the ability to deal with #1.

Towards that end I've done some toying about such as a Windows application that allows remote submissions to a component that eats em' up, stores them, passes them unto another named account etc etc.

With that said, the lack of complete documentation on Joomla's various API functions with explanations makes it tiresome. Working in Visual Studio on the Windows end of things is a breeze. Working with PHP is not in the same league but workable. 95% of all problems we continually encounter are with the interfacing to Joomla. Then I go hunting on the net, in the forums etc. which from a "professional" standpoint... I should never have to do.

Its just common sense, not a "bash". If Joomla wants professional commercial level growth from developers that are not cottage level then the framework engineering API, etc etc needs to be "developer friendly" not the worst part of the experience which is where it currently is.

For example... It does no good what-so-ever to use automation tools like PHPDocumenter if the engineers are not taking into account its usage to actually document things. Yes... it does take time, every software engineer hates documenting, it sux. But in the case of Joomla or any other application thats extensible via other software engineers its JUST as IMPORTANT as the core engineering. Would Joomla even be possible if the folks who maintain and code on mySQL decided, "Well documentation is not a primary goal from word GO and ENFORCE that it must be there"... Or which PHP? Or with Moo this, or JQuery that or Javascript? DOM? any of it?

I realize its a pain in the privates... Also understand that THE LONGER THINGS GO that essential documentation is NOT the focus the WORSE things get when it NEEDS to be the focus.

I've worked on three commercial grade "AAA" PC Games engines in my lifetime and we completely re-coded the entire Atari 68K series graphics kernals many moons back. Would any of it be of any use or value to any of the parties who used it, bought licenses to those engines if we did not take the time to document AS WE WENT writing code? Answer: Nope.

If all the J! crew wants are some cottage code hackers then it doesnt matter, the commercial grade developers will pass it by and eventually it will cease to exist as other web management platforms overtake the market. Or... Someone gets on the stick and says, "WE MUST DO THIS" as it really is the only way to bring the software to the next level which is where it needs to be especially given Microsoft and Adobe's current work pertinent to "Dyanmic Webs For Everyone that the avg. person can create, operate, manage w/o knowing a damned thing essentially".

I've said it many times.

Really its quite simple. Sit a person who can use the Internet and use their computer in front of Joomla (installed) and say, "Make a website". Then put them in front of say "WebEasy" and ask the same thing. Then ask them choose which they prefer. They will say WebEasy 10 times out of 10.

WebEasy "out of the box" cant do what Joomla does. However, thats not to say that what Joomla does do cannot be done "Out of a box" with an application as easy to use as WebEasy. This is where things are going, in fact, not only in Web Apps but client/server Apps, Home Apps, Intranet Apps. Anyone who does'nt believe it needs to take "step back" and take a broad look at Adobe Flex, Air, Flash etc or in MS's case Visual Studio, SQL Server, Silverlight and then some. I've been aware of it for sometime as I know several MS developers who work on Visual Studio's core.

Point all being, there is no reason why Joomla cannot go a enormous amount further than it is, but time does matter. It is a race against the clock. We have several rather considerable projects we'd like create for Joomla but quite frankly the frustration level is just silly. PHP, well documented, throws us a few loops... Visual Studio, well... of course its well documented, Microsoft owns computing due to that being one of its constant and consistent focus points since the companies inception, literally. I was a lead tester for many MS products all the way back to their Z-80 Macro Assembler and they are documentation CRITICAL as thats what developers need.

Joomla? We are forced to either 1. Hunt to try and find information, 2. Look at other peoples components and tear them apart to try and learn or expose our code in forums which is just plain stoopid. You wont find a commercial level developer on the planet who wants expose their source code in a forum as its the only way they can get support.

This singular facet has forced us to start taking a look at Drupal and we intend to look at e107 in depth. We would love to do our work on the Joomla platform but the lack of developer level documentation just sends us a message that the powers that be do not want professional engineering houses working on the platform.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:23 am

dpk wrote:The point has probably been reached where Joomla (and Drupal) are only being referred to officially as CMSes for essentially marketing reasons. WP and a host of other applications are far, far superior at CMS functions--but not much else. Joomla (and Drupal) will play to their strengths by acknowledging this--that they can be used as CMSes but also offer much more as general purpose web development frameworks for application intensive sites, social publishing, etc.
Why do people think that Joomla/Drupal is where the universe ends?

DotNetNuke has over 600,000 active sites. Give it a try as far as "a user" goes, drag n drop, access levels, workflows or Liferay (little strange to learn, runs rings around Joomla, Drupal and DNN, Java based... Drag 'n' Drop, uses Portlets etc.

Joomla most certainly is not "user friendly". To be exact it suffers the same issues that J!'rs used to claim of Drupal, "Oh, thats the developers CMS". Uh uh.

We make websites and are an engineering firm. Joomla suits some sites needs but WE administrate the sites, we have to. Each and everytime we have attempted to have the client administrate the sites its a disaster and they get PISSED.

I suppose you might call Joomla a "Designers" CMS. It has numerous issues that prevent it from being usable by the average person without many hours of training. On the other side of the coin as I noted in the above post the lack of proper documenting for developers creates a situation where things cant be made more friendly, consistent, standards put down for coding.

I've looked at many components to try and find information and know what? There are alot of programmers just doing things their own way .vs. doing things based on some standards. Why? Well every programmer I know likes to really adhere to standards, even if loosely based. That way they do not need end up with customers FLIPPING OUT when J 1.6 releases and all of a sudden none of their programs work. They prefer staying with some standards so even if things dont work they can rely on information to get them working as "Everyone is in the boat".

What I have witnessed is alot of places using brute force .vs. Joomla functions and API and its clear why... Documentation, or shall I say lack thereof.

Just yesterday I was looking at a post in the forums about using varied models in varied views and one of the core folks apparently came in with an answer of SetModel etc. in the controller w/ GetModel in the Views. Yet, a moderator who is EVER so helpful to people stated back, "Where is that documented?".

Answer. Its not.

Reality... Not much is.

Result: lots of programmers finding ways to do things as they can because documentation of consequence doesnt exist. Next Result: As J! try's move ahead alot of this stuff is third party code is going to break resulting in pissed developers and even more pissed people creating J! webs using those developers items.

Thats not a good formula for a future especially one where the big players are working to snatch.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by darb » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:14 am

Even that this is more or less out of topic you have many good points here and I think when a project like Joomla grows it faces more problems to solve of complexity and then it not just about the core code itself. Code will always be obsolete over time and have no value if nobody using it.

I believe that as Joomla have done is quite well is how the ecosystem of organization is set up for a open source project - how to do things in the right way. This will be an important decision for Joomla for the next 1-2 years for which direction and what Joomla will be compared to new and old competitors.

But there is always room for making things better and better and one thing you pointing out about I really agree about its importance - standard guides.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by ianmac » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:40 pm

isarg wrote:Well yeah that happens... Just as there are Wordpress Tribesman there are J!Tribesman, Drupee's, DNNites and of course the e107's (which come from dimension e108).

But... The FCK editor really does kinda stink in that it does have varied browser issues. We often when clicking add a link for example in J1.0 sites get a blank window.

Really, Joomla SHOULD have its very own editor as part of the core.

Why?

Well... for content revolves around? Content. Editing.

1. Workflow COULD be controlled through the editor... aka: Writer, forwarded to editor or a "named role" via a fairly simple component no? Then to the publisher, then to the layout peep, ultimately to the webmaster.

2. The editor needs be controlled... aka: Writer should never have access to menus, artwork, video, whatall should be uploaded to a directory tied to that writer. In other words again, controlling access and abiltities.

3. All MAJOR functions that a "content person" should be able to do (or not) should be through that single interface IN the frontend.

This is one of the bigger advantages of Portal frameworks (good ones that is). Liferay has exceptional ACL/Workflow abilities and happily mates with Alfresco. DotNetNuke is an excellent portal and has a few paid addon's that really do a good job of workflow control. DNN obviously has native ACL as its built into the MS .Net Framework, any number of roles can be defined.

The one consistent problem we run into using Joomla is the inability for businesses, agencies whatall we build sites for to be able to administrate their own site and that disturbs them. For those who do care to actually learn the in's and out's they are completely frustrated by 1. Lack of controlled workflow and 2. Lack of access control. #2 is being dealt with we hear. #2 does little real good without the ability to deal with #1.

Towards that end I've done some toying about such as a Windows application that allows remote submissions to a component that eats em' up, stores them, passes them unto another named account etc etc.

With that said, the lack of complete documentation on Joomla's various API functions with explanations makes it tiresome. Working in Visual Studio on the Windows end of things is a breeze. Working with PHP is not in the same league but workable. 95% of all problems we continually encounter are with the interfacing to Joomla. Then I go hunting on the net, in the forums etc. which from a "professional" standpoint... I should never have to do.

Its just common sense, not a "bash". If Joomla wants professional commercial level growth from developers that are not cottage level then the framework engineering API, etc etc needs to be "developer friendly" not the worst part of the experience which is where it currently is.

For example... It does no good what-so-ever to use automation tools like PHPDocumenter if the engineers are not taking into account its usage to actually document things. Yes... it does take time, every software engineer hates documenting, it sux. But in the case of Joomla or any other application thats extensible via other software engineers its JUST as IMPORTANT as the core engineering. Would Joomla even be possible if the folks who maintain and code on mySQL decided, "Well documentation is not a primary goal from word GO and ENFORCE that it must be there"... Or which PHP? Or with Moo this, or JQuery that or Javascript? DOM? any of it?

I realize its a pain in the privates... Also understand that THE LONGER THINGS GO that essential documentation is NOT the focus the WORSE things get when it NEEDS to be the focus.

I've worked on three commercial grade "AAA" PC Games engines in my lifetime and we completely re-coded the entire Atari 68K series graphics kernals many moons back. Would any of it be of any use or value to any of the parties who used it, bought licenses to those engines if we did not take the time to document AS WE WENT writing code? Answer: Nope.

If all the J! crew wants are some cottage code hackers then it doesnt matter, the commercial grade developers will pass it by and eventually it will cease to exist as other web management platforms overtake the market. Or... Someone gets on the stick and says, "WE MUST DO THIS" as it really is the only way to bring the software to the next level which is where it needs to be especially given Microsoft and Adobe's current work pertinent to "Dyanmic Webs For Everyone that the avg. person can create, operate, manage w/o knowing a damned thing essentially".

I've said it many times.

Really its quite simple. Sit a person who can use the Internet and use their computer in front of Joomla (installed) and say, "Make a website". Then put them in front of say "WebEasy" and ask the same thing. Then ask them choose which they prefer. They will say WebEasy 10 times out of 10.

WebEasy "out of the box" cant do what Joomla does. However, thats not to say that what Joomla does do cannot be done "Out of a box" with an application as easy to use as WebEasy. This is where things are going, in fact, not only in Web Apps but client/server Apps, Home Apps, Intranet Apps. Anyone who does'nt believe it needs to take "step back" and take a broad look at Adobe Flex, Air, Flash etc or in MS's case Visual Studio, SQL Server, Silverlight and then some. I've been aware of it for sometime as I know several MS developers who work on Visual Studio's core.

Point all being, there is no reason why Joomla cannot go a enormous amount further than it is, but time does matter. It is a race against the clock. We have several rather considerable projects we'd like create for Joomla but quite frankly the frustration level is just silly. PHP, well documented, throws us a few loops... Visual Studio, well... of course its well documented, Microsoft owns computing due to that being one of its constant and consistent focus points since the companies inception, literally. I was a lead tester for many MS products all the way back to their Z-80 Macro Assembler and they are documentation CRITICAL as thats what developers need.

Joomla? We are forced to either 1. Hunt to try and find information, 2. Look at other peoples components and tear them apart to try and learn or expose our code in forums which is just plain stoopid. You wont find a commercial level developer on the planet who wants expose their source code in a forum as its the only way they can get support.

This singular facet has forced us to start taking a look at Drupal and we intend to look at e107 in depth. We would love to do our work on the Joomla platform but the lack of developer level documentation just sends us a message that the powers that be do not want professional engineering houses working on the platform.
We welcome volunteers to help share the workload.

Ian

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:05 pm

I'd consider volunteering some time to Joomla assuming that said time is something I'd like to do. If however that time is "Well lets document Joomla" thats a Hold on a second type thang. I mean... has the core code team scribled all the documentation of API/Functions/Parameters on pieces of paper that need be typed in?

From what I can see and from the history of J1.0 it simply does not exist. They jumped in and started writing gobs of code and not documenting the API created. Essentially, in the case of Atari, Electronic Arts, Eastman Kodak, Xerox, QMI on and on (companies I've worked with) this gets you fired.

Ian, your telling me Joomla needs volunteers... what volunteer options are open? Your telling me (I think?) that the core Joomla coding team will NOT Document their work and expect volunteers in the community to document it?

Say it aint so, because if it is then every developer ought jump ship before they drown.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:12 pm

Ummm http://api.joomla.org

Who do you think the developers of Joomla are besides other volunteers?

What kind of documentation is needed? The kind you would find useful.
If you would find it useful, someone else will too. So do it. Pay forward what you've gotten from the project by scratching your itch.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by ianmac » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:21 pm

isarg wrote:I'd consider volunteering some time to Joomla assuming that said time is something I'd like to do. If however that time is "Well lets document Joomla" thats a Hold on a second type thang. I mean... has the core code team scribled all the documentation of API/Functions/Parameters on pieces of paper that need be typed in?

From what I can see and from the history of J1.0 it simply does not exist. They jumped in and started writing gobs of code and not documenting the API created. Essentially, in the case of Atari, Electronic Arts, Eastman Kodak, Xerox, QMI on and on (companies I've worked with) this gets you fired.

Ian, your telling me Joomla needs volunteers... what volunteer options are open? Your telling me (I think?) that the core Joomla coding team will NOT Document their work and expect volunteers in the community to document it?

Say it aint so, because if it is then every developer ought jump ship before they drown.
Well, this documentation http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/joomla ... amework%2F isn't complete,
but I'd say it is a far cry from non-existant.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:09 pm

darb wrote:Even that this is more or less out of topic you have many good points here and I think when a project like Joomla grows it faces more problems to solve of complexity and then it not just about the core code itself. Code will always be obsolete over time and have no value if nobody using it.

I believe that as Joomla have done is quite well is how the ecosystem of organization is set up for a open source project - how to do things in the right way. This will be an important decision for Joomla for the next 1-2 years for which direction and what Joomla will be compared to new and old competitors.

But there is always room for making things better and better and one thing you pointing out about I really agree about its importance - standard guides.
------------------------------------------------------------------

Actually its not "off topic" at all.

See... The end user experience in ANY piece of software is a direct result of what engineers can/cant do and do/do not do. In commercial games those engineers are software engineers, 3D modellers, on and on. In Joomla we have core engineers, 3rd party engineers.

How does one handle the differences between a essentially closed ended engineering demographic like say a Game or WebEasy .vs. a project that has an infinite number of hands creating code?

Standards.

More people use Visual Studio each and every day then ever use Joomla, Drupal, e107 etc etc combined. Standards are created by WHICH CODE IS USED and enforced by the application.

Doesnt mean people dont break those rules, cuz' they do. But the majority of of programmers do try adhere to standards.

In the case of Joomla's USER experience we have two experiences. We have the experience to the end user who knows zero about the backend, they see a website. That experience for the most part can be made phenomenal. The experience for a site administrator(s) is to say the least extremely poor. Because of User Interface design? Yes and no. Because of lack of workflow ability? Yes and no. Because of ACL issues? Yes and no. Because of 17 zillions components and modules that each tend to seem to have all different forms of UI's? Yes and no. Said components and modules also suffering from lack of documenting functionality even at the USERS level, so a user loads up a component unto their site and via playing around, trial and error learns how to use it? In a production environment? Thats a problem.

See... in any software project or for that matter many other types of projects/engineering things "bubble upwards". If practices and standards are not in place at the core levels that bubbles upwards. Its why nations have standards for everything from construction to automobiles standards.

Now with Joomla, any LAMP project this is alot harder to accomplish than say a Windows environment. Windows requires you communicate to the outside world via its varied API's and bring input in etc. With LAMP, well... you can use existing web standards or not.

Things like PHP, mySQL, Apache, Linux itself are amazing pieces of open source work but they do also suffer some of the same woes as J!. For example, the "PHP" home site one would think would be better designed, organized and yes... documented. It looks like a 10th grader through it together in a week.

There is also this strange "ours is better than yours" thing in Open Source. Joomla better than Drupal, e107 better than both, Wordpress being the best on and on. Reality is all have strong and weak points and applications exist that are always better, Liferay (I'm not a java programmer... yet) will compare favorably to all of the above and literally run rings around them in performance and has true Web 2.0 engineering characteristics like any/all of your content, components (portlets) embedded in anyone elses site very very easily.

Point all being that from a "webmasters" perspective they get to work with what "bubbles up". If you have a scenario where core programmers do not want document their work and then are expecting third party programmers to be able to properly use their work you have a problem. Most programmers will face a problem and either find the answer in searches within say 30 minutes or after that time they go, "To heck with this. I'll brute force program around it and forget all about Joomla's core functions to do this task" ... that "Bubbles up" to the end user, to compatibility working nice with other components/mod's. And what "bubbled up" making that circumstance occur was the lack of proper documenting so the programmer could do things the right way to begin with.

Joomla has a pluther of code written to deal with User Interfacing, interacting with the database, configuration for com's and mod's etc. But, when a programmer is looking to learn all of it, where is the documentation? Instead they are relegated to searching the net, searching these forums, looking at others com's or mod's. Thats completely backwards.

As I noted in prior post. Would Joomla even exist if the folks at mySQL, PHP, Apache did not document things? No.

Joomla has a huge community and its been said, "We are always looking for volunteers". Ok. I understand the open source/volunteer concept. We could build core level components for Blogs, this/that as part of the framework. Document how to use them, create user help systems etc etc. Programmers.

However if its a, "We need programmers to document our code" that a "Whats up with that?". So let me get this straight... "As programmers we need go over the Joomla source code written by the core people to essentially reverse engineer it to understand it, then document it, so other programmers can understand how to properly use it". Does ANYONE NOT see how incorrect and/or stupid that is?

The core engineers already know the code, they made it. They should document it. Then if you have "engineer volunteers" use them in the best ways possible, creating more core abilities in the Joomla framework, creating more core modules, compnents or better ones that are part of the standard package. Using other engineers to document the core engineers work is ridiculous. Thats just plain lazy or they are not well disciplined engineers.

Understand something here... It ALL bubbles UP. I see Ian all over these forums trying to respond to engineers both N00B's and experienced questions and help them get their code working. Responding to question after questions about how to use the Joomla API. If the core team would take a week or two (and thats all it'd take... We're not talking about documenting PHP or mySQL here) to sit down and document things... even if to a point where volunteers can then put the stuff into a good human readable PDF whatall how MUCH of a difference that would make for Joomla and end users.

It means that engineers making Joomla stuff can product things not only FASTER but BETTER. It means the end users of Joomla get better components, modules and more of em'. It means CLEARLY talented people like Ian can spend their volunteer time making Joomla better rather than chasing down message threads for engineers who cant find information they need to make things for Joomla.

The lack of the core team spending that scant amount of time to document Joomla bubbles up IN ALL RESPECTS as it does with ANY software project where many people are building atop it.

If you took a vote from every programmer out there working on the Joomla platform right now and asked: "Is the documentation adequete for you in developing" Yes/No? 99% will say No.

If you were to ask that same group what is the #1 thing you need to make better components and modules they would say, "Documentation of the Framework".

They need to take those 2 weeks to document it, there is no excuse in my opinion for it not being there now. Its Programming 101, when you go to college its taught in your first set of courses how IMPORTANT it is. Its not "Optional".

It has everything to do with the "End webmaster(s)" experience with Joomla from User Interfaces to things working.

While writing messages such as this may not make me popular I am only stating the facts and they know this.

Documenting sux, I HATE IT but I DO IT as its PART OF THE JOB.

If the J!Core would simply take those few weeks and just DO IT loathsome as it might be to do so it WILL TURN UP ROSES for THEM, for Joomla and for all the Joomla users/site webmasters out there. If gives the rest of us engineers SOMETHING TO WORK WITH where we can CONCENTRATE on making great stuff for Joomla instead of chasing around trying to FIND information that should already BE THERE.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:00 pm

Well, this documentation http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/joomla ... amework%2F isn't complete,
but I'd say it is a far cry from non-existant.

Ian
Ian, The source versioning control area is where developers need look for documentation?

Do a search, setModel, getModel whatall... nuttin'.

There is a "Start" to documenting in the "Developers" area. What I find myself having to do is locate functions in the Joomla source code and look at the code to understand what functions are doing, what parameters are allowable on and on...

Ok, perhaps non-existant is too all sweeping a term. I shall rephrase it, inadequete.

Any which way its cut a concerted effort is warrented to create proper documentation of the API and some usage examples would be nice. Even our "Sample" MVC application is what? Hello word MVC?

I'm not looking to get into an argument or anything Ian. The fact is Joomla's API is not well documented. The fact is programming 101 especially when other engineers are to be working with that API needs to be documented.

If eBay did not document the crap out of its API or Paypal did'nt, or Authorize.Net did'nt, or Microsoft did'nt or mySQL did not where would we be?

Again... I know... it sux. I cant think of a single programmer I know of who likes documenting but its part of the deal. And it makes no sense for third party volunteers to have to reverse engineer Joomla source code to understand it so that they can then document it.

You of all people KNOW they value of documentation and you know the impact it not being there has... Your the firehose that responds to most of the developers, "Its not working". If they had substantial documentation those threads might be cut down.

As I said, we're commercial developers... We dont put our code in forums working or not. 99% of commercial (not cottage commercial) never will.

I have *MANY MANY* fantabulous ideas for Joomla from both a commercial aspect as well as a "Free" aspect. I'd not be here otherwise. A robust user interface API is not out of the question for us to develop freely for Joomla if we had documentation as we prefer applications we create have a good and flashy UI. Again, alot of our programming has been in PC Games where this stuff is imperative to success of a entertainment title. Mating Flash to Joomla is not out of the question, I'm good with Actionscript. I'm good with Visal Basic, C#, C++, Actionscript, MS IIs, MSSQL, Assembler (though a wee bit rusty) and currently looking at Adobe Flex. PHP I've almost completed my education.

Joomla is not this MASSIVE beast like Windows API's, or Visual Studio's ten thousand and one functions. If the core group who created all these functions just sat down for a few weeks IMAGINE the difference it would make to developers and Joomla?

One can have the greatest application framework on the planet but if engineers cant find the information on how to use it, need post forum messages and wait, respond, wait, respond is that a good engineering environment? You bust your butt in these forums and I respect that... I could not do it. From the reading/hunting I've done in these forums I can say, "Your Joomlas #1 asset to the developer community". In fact, if Bing Gordon, EA's CEO of years back were here he'd say, "Ian... I am promoting you to be in charge of this project" (and those who created code w/o dealing with the documentation, be that farmed out or not (aka: White papers where someone else actually produces the end dev. docs)) the rest would be told, "Do as Ian tells you".

I've worked for some sized operations. We worked on quite a bit of credit/collections/banking/insurance API's and standards when things were transitioning away from the 3270 terminal deals into localization of applications in financial/insurance environments. Ghastly crapola, but at $150+ per hour who was I to say, "Phet". LOTS of these places did things different and documenting everything that they were doing, transitioning it into the new standards was to say the least halloween.

Somehow, or someone.... needs convince the core developers to just sit down and pound out the documentation or just whitepapers that then we, you, I, whomever can take and say, "Ok... we have the recipes!!!!" Now lets create the dinner! (documentation) and watch the developers feast!

Heck... Slap it out in book form, Wrox people be all over it like butter on bagles.

Downloadable PDF at $40.

THEN we can keep it updated without it being this MASSIVE (ouchie).

The code work the J!core has done is good stuff, its a great application. Not just good, great. Its not pure MVC but I'm not one of those "code eugencis" people... Most code eugenics folks I've ever met (and believe me, the PC entertainment software engineering world is chock full of em') are smart as smart can be... They also go to the restuarant and need qualify why the bread is unacceptable because it was processed... PROCESSED (I kid you not, I spit up a whisky sour at one function I started laughing and crying so hard)... Complete nerd 'o' matic giving 15 people a dissertation on bread and bread baking/processing and why we should all refuse to eat the bread in the basket.

I'm all for Joomla moving forward in great leaps and bounds. In order for that to happen... Did I mention documentation :pop

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by masterchief » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:26 pm

@isarg

I appreciate your comments but we aren't going to solve that one overnight.

The problem is the shear magnitude of difference in writing a class (like JModel for example) and documenting how to use it in tutorial style. It took me half a day to a day just to write an introduction to Models, Views and Controllers. I love writing the documentation about the software I write but it takes many thousands of hours - that's not time the average volunteer has and nor do we have a huge net of people that have a good understanding of the whole system (nor can everyone write in a flowing tutorial style). I've decided to forge ahead with it but I'm having to fund it via training courses I run and online sales of the material to actually be able to produce it in a timing fashion. Like it or not, it's a commercial reality because the volume of material required should fill about two or three 400 page tomes and I'd like to get that finished by the end of this year.

The material is coming but I think most people have absolutely no idea about how much work is involved.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:57 pm

masterchief wrote:@isarg

I appreciate your comments but we aren't going to solve that one overnight.

The problem is the shear magnitude of difference in writing a class (like JModel for example) and documenting how to use it in tutorial style. It took me half a day to a day just to write an introduction to Models, Views and Controllers. I love writing the documentation about the software I write but it takes many thousands of hours - that's not time the average volunteer has and nor do we have a huge net of people that have a good understanding of the whole system (nor can everyone write in a flowing tutorial style). I've decided to forge ahead with it but I'm having to fund it via training courses I run and online sales of the material to actually be able to produce it in a timing fashion. Like it or not, it's a commercial reality because the volume of material required should fill about two or three 400 page tomes and I'd like to get that finished by the end of this year.

The material is coming but I think most people have absolutely no idea about how much work is involved.
Hello!

I loath writing documentation, but, its part of the gig. I dont necessarily think "tutorials" need to be written. The people REALLY needing "toots" are newbies to software engineering, not seasoned programmers.

Seasoned programmers simply need "Function -> Parameters/options - Brief explanation of the functions and params/options".

Sure a small snippet would be nice.

I do know how much work it "can be" to provide substantial documentation that suits all levels of prospect developers. I also know whats needed for seasoned programmers. For example, there are 400+ page books on things such as "CSS", there are also 100 page ones that are simply references. Here's the Selector, options, brief explanation... next. Thats whats needed yesterday.

I have the developers documentation to the Unreal Gaming engine for example, infinately more complex than Joomla will ever dream of being. 274 pages total.

Your a programmer, you've read/have reference materials and thats whats needed for Joomla. After those materials are produced then all the tutorials in the universe will AUTOMATICALLY appear from third party engineers.

There exists a reference already on the site in the developers area. Functions, parameters, options... most of it is not "filled in" and what is filled in has scant if any explanation.

If the Joomla core doesnt consider this a primary immediate point for focus then clearly third party developers problems are not considered Joomla's problems. This is a no brainer. Engineers are trying to build applications atop your framework, in order to do so at the very least whats needed is simple reference materials to that framework. If Joomla does not consider this imperative then why in the world whould any developer consider supporting the application when the folks who made the application cannot provide the materials needed to support it.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:04 pm

There exists a reference already on the site in the developers area. Functions, parameters, options... most of it is not "filled in" and what is filled in has scant if any explanation.
Well, I think you've found your project, haven't you? Welcome to the team! Ian pointed you to the place where most of that information is, i'm sure you can either write a script or manually make it all useful as you need it.

It's great that you have so many fabulous ideas and so much experience of how to make really useful documentation--go for it!
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:25 pm

mcsmom wrote:
There exists a reference already on the site in the developers area. Functions, parameters, options... most of it is not "filled in" and what is filled in has scant if any explanation.
Well, I think you've found your project, haven't you? Welcome to the team! Ian pointed you to the place where most of that information is, i'm sure you can either write a script or manually make it all useful as you need it.

It's great that you have so many fabulous ideas and so much experience of how to make really useful documentation--go for it!
My project? Dont think so.

Ian pointed out a source code versioning area and yes, there is info in there albeit poorly organized. Source versioning is an art in its own right.

Essentially what your telling me is that "I am right". That the Joomla core team is simply not interested in providing usable documentation to the work they created. So I ask you, why should any developer put a stake in Joomla?

The benefit of documentation to me is to create commercial grade applications for Joomla. As a by product of that would be some "Free" stuff that others could likely use.

Andrew said properly documenting Joomla would be several 400+ page books. Ummm... So we're saying the Joomla Functions API framework is more complex than say, Adobe Actionscript/Flash which is described in one book. More complex than the myraids of books on PHP, mySQL, ASP.NET or even the core language of C++ which PHP is built upon?

The fact appears to be the Joomla core developers do not want to waste their valuable time documenting their work so other developers may build upon it. But, its ok for those developers to fumble around trying to understand their work and document it for them?

Am I missing something here?

Patronizing me with, "Oh you have a project welcome to the team" is just amateur.

I am a developer like many many others out there who want to work on their own projects. In order to do so we need usable documentation. Your response is one of, "Well if you want it then create it".

Sorry... thats stupid and other developers need read this thread.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:31 pm

Excuse me, he pointed you at tons of text on most aspects of the API. Did you even follow the link?
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:14 pm

mcsmom wrote:Excuse me, he pointed you at tons of text on most aspects of the API. Did you even follow the link?
What he pointed out is a source code versioning system. Ask any developer if they use say any source versioning system to deploy formal documentation as "the documentation" to developers. The answer is no.

If your a programmer you already know this. Like I said, do a search, "getModel" in the SVN system, anything?

So you want developers to weed through a slew of source code versioning text to find the needle they need in a haystack?

Look... I'm not into getting into a he said/she said/they said arguement.

I am a developer... If you view things in proper relationships:

A developer is Joomlas customer. Without third party developers Joomla has polls, content management (sorta) and a few things like contact's, links components.

A customer of any product needs the information on how to use it, in this case... build upon it.

Just like my customers of say a component are going to like the fact that a help system and documentation is there of how they are to use it.

Its simple.

Do I expect my customer to need weed through broken scattered information to use a product whether its a paid item or not? No.

In programming I am a hired gun. I work for money. I worked on Quake for money. Some like doing things free, I do my share of that as well.

But when I am considering the Joomla market there are clear needs. There is an established base of Joomla sites and users. The components/modules generally out there... there are a handfull that are of commercial calibur. I want tap that market. It helps us, it helps Joomla and it helps the end users of Joomla. If things turn up roses I'll be more than happy to contribute work to Joomla Core. I prefer engineering. Mating it to say a robust Flash or Silverlight capability. Crating commercial grade streaming video capabilities on and on. We dont see CNN using Joomla do we? Looking into distributed computing which PHP can handle for extremely high traffic sites.

There are lots and lots of things that can happen. If we jump in, I can certainly guarantee based on results that other commercial developers would jump in as well. But, when 95% of oyur coding time is trying to "hunt down" how to get the Joomla framework to do what we know it does, but cant find information on how thats past frustrating and there is no reason for it.

If you would like it verified... Lets make a new thread and call it, "Is Joomlas documentation adequete for developers?" and I'll guess the bee's will all come out of the hive and say what I am saying. Valuable development time is being wasted, the quality of their work is compromised due to a lack of proper REFERENCE documentation... Irregardless of tutorials, snippets etc. Just plain ole' REFERENCE. Lets give that a try.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by ianmac » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:26 am

isarg wrote:
mcsmom wrote:Excuse me, he pointed you at tons of text on most aspects of the API. Did you even follow the link?
What he pointed out is a source code versioning system. Ask any developer if they use say any source versioning system to deploy formal documentation as "the documentation" to developers. The answer is no.
Look... there is TONS and TONS of documentation - about 100 or so classes that have been documented, method by method, with descriptions for each parameter, and an example for each method that has been hand documented. I spent hours and hours and hours doing it.

Unfortunately, that was some time ago and I haven't had time to work on it recently (and frankly, the biggest thing lacking is the motivation, atm, which, btw, you're not helping).

It is all in wiki format, actually. The source tree I pointed you towards was actually the system that we used to manage version control in our old wiki. Unfortunately, the old wiki system we had was 1.0 based and was very slow and unworkable.

I really just haven't had the time to move it to somewhere more accessible. If you want that job, have at it. You can also grab a copy of dokuwiki, install it locally, and copy those files in. It is all there, and it isn't complete, but it is a decent reference (IMO) for a lot of things.

Understand too, that different people have different views on API references, especially when it comes to open source stuff. I know of at least one developer who does commercial grade stuff who really just doesn't see the point of spending too much time (in addition to doc blocks) writing documentation, because with tools like Eclipse you can hit F1 and search for whatever you want, and it will pull up the appropriate part of the code with the function itself, and the docblocks right there.

So, criticise and demean and play the 'I do this for a living and my way is better than your way' all you want. The fact is, people are developing really amazing stuff for Joomla! and the stuff they are coming up with is really high quality stuff. Could the documentation be better? Sure. Could it be more complete? Sure. Could it be more accessible? Sure. But I only have so much time and motivation, and this is what we have right now.

But your attitude of trying to demand that others stop what they are doing and service your needs is really unhelpful. Joomla! relies on everybody doing their part. If you don't want to do yours, then fine but don't expect a lot in return.

Ian

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by masterchief » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:51 am

Ok, guys, we could have documented two classes (ok, maybe not JDocument and JApplication) with the rhetoric and we are really getting off-topic.

isarg, I suggest you strike up a conversation with Ian off-list about how you can contribute if that's something you want to do. If you want to wait for others to do it for you ... well, wait. You have made your point - leave it at that. Joomla works because people want to get behind it. If you don't want to be part of the solution, you will have to be patient and wait for other volunteers to do the work for you.

If you have something else on topic and constructive to contribute, by all means continue.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:04 am

I shall take a look at it all.

Sorry if your upset, certainly not my goal nor do I see such a request as "Servicing my personal demands". I think any developer would like a decent reference and I think every developer should have it assuming that the Joomla team supports developers. From what I am reading here its more a, "We do what we can do and if thats not good enough too bad".

And a "We need people to help" in which case lets put that out to the community so we can get that reference built.

"If I dont want to do my part dont expect alot in return"

Please.

My PART is wanting to build applications for Joomla. I thought that was the entire idea behind it. In order to do that, reference material is good.

If its not possible due to time for you or others to do so then lets try and get some people to help do it. I can lend some time but like you, I cant lend it all. I understand all that. Irregardless of reason it doesnt change the situation.

See... one of the other problems with open source comes from when idiots like myself come in and display such matters... in such cases we get responses, "But your attitude of trying to demand that others stop what they are doing and service your needs is really unhelpful. Joomla! relies on everybody doing their part. If you don't want to do yours, then fine but don't expect a lot in return."

or

"So, criticise and demean and play the 'I do this for a living and my way is better than your way' all you want. The fact is, people are developing really amazing stuff for Joomla! and the stuff they are coming up with is really high quality stuff. Could the documentation be better? Sure. Could it be more complete? Sure. Could it be more accessible? Sure. But I only have so much time and motivation, and this is what we have right now."

---

Doode. This isnt personal.

If those working in the J!Team care to take it personal then they need step back. Its software, not their first born. Its a product, not a living breathing thing.

If it makes me the ass-devil to point out that we are hitting this problem over and over and over trying to develop a application then so sorry. Again, its not personal.

I inform Microsoft of issues I see in Visual Studio, Expression Web as they turn up. They appreciate the "Criticism and demeaning" as you put it. However, they call it valuable feedback from the developer community who makes or breaks their product/platforms.

Here... I guess its considered, "Some malcontent idiot who is making demands and criticism and has no right to do so".

In a project such as Joomla, PHP, mySQL there is usually a point person who deals with feedback from the developer community. Part of a well oiled machine, same with commercial PC Apps. Someone who organizes all that input, sends it to a board or a committee who then decides what is sent to developers and others to do and not do. This heirarchy apparently doesnt exist here.

Might want take a read of Apple Corporation and the Macintosh. Until Microsoft bought into Apple the Mac was dying. I was a authorized Apple developer. They had a similar problem of treating 3rd party developers like a valuable asset but never providing them materials needed to actually make them an asset. When Microsoft bought in, that changed.

Anyways... sorry if your upset, sorry if you think my points made are solely for my benefit or that I'm captain critic.

I'll take a look at whats out there more closely. Perhaps I can gather up some other commercial developers and see what we can do with it. Maybe I should just look at it as an opportunity yes?

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:06 am

masterchief wrote:Ok, guys, we could have documented two classes (ok, maybe not JDocument and JApplication) with the rhetoric and we are really getting off-topic.

isarg, I suggest you strike up a conversation with Ian off-list about how you can contribute if that's something you want to do. If you want to wait for others to do it for you ... well, wait. You have made your point - leave it at that. Joomla works because people want to get behind it. If you don't want to be part of the solution, you will have to be patient and wait for other volunteers to do the work for you.

If you have something else on topic and constructive to contribute, by all means continue.
Okie dokie.

How do I strike up a conversation with Ian "Off list". Or maybe we should just take it to another forum topic and see what developers out there would be willing to toss some hours in. I can toss in some, not a ton but some.


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