Joomla! and usability

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:17 pm

darb wrote:
mcsmom wrote: I think you missing the point here and I dont want to rant to much about it but..people are engaged in Joomla for different reasons of course and as you also say here but its not only about "open up a file" and buy a php book. We must discuss this in an open community spirit thats why I love Joomla bcs we are open for discussions and critics to make things better.

And this is about Joomla core not the extension of what you can expand it to be. But we are all depended on what the core can do and not do.

So I also believe that its introvert thinking believing that the code is the single most important component in the Joomla community. It is not! Its the people making it.

The old code/structure for Joomla 1.0.15 is not important for 95% of Joomla users now bcs its obsolete to them and not interesting at all - not many use it so it have no value for many at all.

But ideas of how to make J 1.5 better is now and its not about the code itself. Its how to do it.

Its like thinking that the basic cores of produce of steel composition and the wheels rubber consistency of a car is the single most important for GM having a future in the car industry. I dont think GM will be better of by having better code in their production system rather understand the business drives what make people buy cars and what the market wants=users.

What is important is what the code should do and how to use it. Thats what my signature is about too. So I don't think we should only give emphasis to something that its just about code bcs is not 100 % accurate for making Joomla better bcs we need an comprehensive planning of the best structure for future Joomla - if Joomla should be one of the choices in the future.
Well put.

The Joomla core code is important to the development of Joomla extensions. Joomla extensions are what draw end web designers/developers to Joomla. Without all those extensions its value diminishes rapidly. In order to create better extensions Developers need proper documenting of the Applications Programming Interface. Once I get more familiar with it I have offered to help in that regard not that I'm looking forward to it.

Why?

Simple. I've been programming since I was 17, I'm 46. Every single place I have ever worked for requires that programmers document their code and produce proper documentation of function so other developers can properly work with the code as necessary. Not the case here. Case here appears to be the core developers think its someone elses job to document their work.

Darb's analogy with GM is interesting in that regard.

Irregardless what we are discussing here is Joomla and usability, thats the thread. Right?

We're talking about usability, wizards, drag n drop interfaces, container based extension configurations etc.

What the folks at Drupal are doing is putting a shell over the top of Drupal. They have listened to their community of USERS and quite clearly researched at what is coming down the pike. They believe in their product and wish to ensure its continued success and are working towards that.

Here its apparently different from what McsMom is saying. Here its "We will ride the wave we have with the Brand (Joomla) but when it comes to listening to the community and acting upon the results we'll either do so or not and of course when we care to, otherwise... do it yourself."

If thats the atmosphere behind the blinds then its no wonder why the project doesnt attain the volunteers needed.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:42 pm

That's the way community driven projects work.

You can talk all day long, but when your code is written by volunteers they will scratch their itches not yours. You don't have to write code, but you do have to participate if you want to influence. So, start a thread about your widget concept, gather a group of people who would like to work to implement it. Open a project on Joomlacode. Write the specs. Get going.
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 isarg » Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:28 am

Wizard, not widget.

We actually already own source code to a scripting language driven wizard albeit not on PHP. It was built for PC entertainment software build phases towards integrating various sections of code, graphics etc. into final builds. It's proprietary but I am pretty sure Electronic Arts doesnt use any of it anymore.

However... your statement about community driven projects is completely incorrect. I can only guess, this is the only one of any substance youve had experience with.

So your saying only those who are coding projects or volunteering have any right to influence Joomla?

Your wrong.

The end users and third party developers are what gives Joomla a user base of site's deployed as well as features to install in those sites. Joomla as a core CMS is quite dated in comparison to many others. As I said, what "feature wise" is significantly different from 1.0 and how many years I we talkin'?

Third party developers work are the items that convince web designers etc. to utilize Joomla. Without all those myraids of modules, components, plugins its simply a very basic CMS system.

I'd say those developers and end users are the people who can and in fact SHOULD be influencing Joomla. In fact more so the stie builders than anyone else because they are the folks using it.

Its not like the Joomla Core team makes websites right? If they did they might actually realize whats needed .vs. what they think the community needs and pretend that its all ever so significant.

Its my experience (and that of any software developer) that the END USERS are what counts. Its my experience that if a firm wants to create a product freely or not that developers need listen and value those who actually bring the value to said product. Your saying... nope. Not here. Its my experience that those end users are the voice and through them stating what they want and need is how things happen.

I mean, hey, if ya like I can go and spice things up and display to you that with any product it is the end users that actually control destiny.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by darb » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:20 am

That's all true....

Additionally...what about tackling the meaningless "archive" feature? Just kill it, or make it work right.
I tried to start a discussion here about intelligent archiving future for Joomla 2007 but not many have any attention for this important topic Intelligent archiving in Joomla in future?http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=189779 also to get some attention for integrating with open source plattforms like Penthao where you would have this automatically if integrated Pentaho (Community Edition (CE))http://www.pentaho.com/

So this would be important to look at to in my opinion for many users meeting up with many compliance acts everywhere in the world.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:29 am

@isarg

You're not listening. Third party developers ARE building things. That's why they DO influence things.
So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. MLK 1964.
http://officialjoomlabook.com Get it at http://www.joomla.org/joomla-press-official-books.html Buy a book, support Joomla!.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:56 pm

mcsmom wrote:@isarg

You're not listening. Third party developers ARE building things. That's why they DO influence things.
And hows that?

Exactly what major features have the Joomla core programmers added to Joomla 1.5 that were not in 1.0 that have been influenced by third party developers? Should be a long list. Its a very short one.

I'm building things as well... However, I think that the core developers ought be providing a framework that has expected functionality that is basic to the term CMS and that they should document their work.

While you like to say what you say what you say, as I noted, I've been involved with some open source projects including early DotNetNuke. I can say I have never, not ever witnessed anything this "mickey mouse".

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by Tonie » Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:36 pm

I'd say development is the biggest issue we are/were having. About 65 to 70% of all code in 1.5 was written by two persons, which is quite insane. I think the rewriting was necessary, due to the 1.0 code being really old and very hard to extend properly. On 1.6, there are more developers, though people that can/want to consistently put in between 10 and 20 hours a week are rare. It's not a good sign that most of the new features are donated by developers from their own companies they started.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by darb » Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:08 pm

Coming out of topic but as you mention Tony I really agree that its insane that 2 person are responsible for developing the core only. Thats not good for anyone.

I think It could be many aspects whats making Joomla not going forward as many expect. When a project like this grow rapidly and get popular the management and organization structure will be very important for doing things right and thats not easy when you are in the middle of it.

Using the power of a community and make it involved, contribute and also engaged with their different skills is very important and also make the involving tools so everybody on the ship know where we are heading and can help.

I also had an idea of helping core dev with the economic side and make the community make some donations that could be valuable for some of the core devs Joomla heroes of the month Joomla - core VIP. http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=366687

My thoughts about that was that some core devs could be interested to o n l y focus 90% on Joomlas core and also have some resposibility for driving Joomla forward. That could possibly benefit all of us but maybe I am wrong about this idea.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:30 am

Tonie wrote:I'd say development is the biggest issue we are/were having. About 65 to 70% of all code in 1.5 was written by two persons, which is quite insane. I think the rewriting was necessary, due to the 1.0 code being really old and very hard to extend properly. On 1.6, there are more developers, though people that can/want to consistently put in between 10 and 20 hours a week are rare. It's not a good sign that most of the new features are donated by developers from their own companies they started.
Oh my, I had no idea. That's past quite insnce. Even back in the mid 80's to early 90's when I'd worked with numerous cottage Entertainment (games) operations there were at the very least 3-5 people involved. Now-a-days, course' quite different. Triple A PC game titles have core dev's, support coders (grunt), not to mention artists, storyboarders, 3D Modellers on and on. But, most important (and tend to be most loathed) are/is the project manager(s).

I'm going to attempt to make some important points here in a moment Tonie. Clearly, your not a "cheerleader" which is important.

First, I like Joomla. I wouldnt be critical (or construed as such) if I didnt want see it be all it can be.

Second, the revolution is on the march in CMS/Portal/Site Builders both GPL and commercial. The stuff "just around the bend" will make Joomla look like DOS vs Windows. Reason: Because these highly interactive forms of websites that can have all sorts of pluggable features/content are a gold mine. The masses of "I dont know how to do a thing" will be welcoming such abilities with open purses/wallets. That in turn results in the same forms of dominance that has happened in many forms of merchadisable (and not) products as history shows over and over.... over.

One difference between, Windows/Mac/Linux/Unix / Computers which have had this same "shakeout" as have many languages (Forth, Pascal on and on) and the Internet is THIS technology HEAPS of people are using and embracing. The only thing better than embracing is CREATING. Its a gold mine. The next "BiG wAvE" of Internet revenue is what I have relayed. The first, its deployment into generating dough. Second, the big wave of 15K search engines, auction houses, AOL, Hosting for the monetarily impaired, on and on etc. Followed by of course, the crash.

The next wave is coming and its coming sooner than anyone in "open source" (PHP) cares to admit. mySQL Boys know all about it and have been working continually to make sure "They are in the race".

K... Joomla.

Just as in the ole' days of PC Entertainment software (and before) engineers just like me involved in all that stuff thought of every project as "our baby". Understandable with the 16-18 hour days, 7 days a week usually pumping our guts into code. Often, such games never even made it to retail rejected by publishers who had the distribution channels (still happens today, though some are trying to shift that, like "Steam" from Valve). Tons of really great innovation went right in the crapper. So... That "ownership" in the work for a project created this kinda "its an extention of my work, life, hours, toil and sweat" which means.... When people are critical of it, feels personal. When people wouldnt buy it, something wrong with them. On and on...

As the entertainment industry grew coders in the genre's were forced to realize some things. Its not their baby. Its a product. It is not alive. Thats a VERY important distinction.

In PC Games, $15,000 builds turned into $150,000 builds, $150,000 builds turned into $1,000,000+ builds. Programmers, managers, artists on and on as I noted.

What happened is the industry blossomed BUT along with that blooming came the heirarchy.

Me (as you might have noticed :) ), I call things the way I see them and as you just pointed out, "What you think you see might not really be what your seeing" especially in these disconnected Internet mediums. Does not however mean the points made are invalid. I removed myself from the PC entertainment industry because what used to be fun, Codin' on games, became stress that... well... lets say I guarantee you no person on the J!Core has ever experienced. Ya' gotta be there.

So... given the history... I'm not talkin' to blow through bandwidth as mcsMom might consider.

DotNetNuke has moved much farther and will live as this third web capitalization takes place. They've had the guidance of Microsoft. That counts. Adobe's stuff whether or not it stays on the "Cheap" will move. Sun, no idea, everytime they seem to screw up or be behind the curve a rabbit comes out of the hat and all of a sudden they at the very least come up with the most efficient stuff.

Now unto the points to be made.

One in 10,000 engineers know anything about marketing for one. They think it simple, its far more complex than writing code. To put is simple, every person is a variable, an exception. Businesses spend oodles of money just to research acceptable packaging to hit a market demographic. I'm lucky, I am versed in both.

Two, One it 20,000 engineers is any good at management. They like the "control" over projects but they are just not good at it. The usual tell tale signs are also that they really dont like managing but, might be part of the deal. Now add in, "Its our baby", very common in the open source (successful) items out there. Its personal... not just product. A sad (sorta) facet of this is "communities" really bolster that. As Patton said, "Glory is fleeting". Can never have enough, and enough is also too much. There are other facets as well. When its all shoved into the queue and the CPU munches over it the results are very very seldom sustainable or even good.

In Joomla the "engineer" influence is clear. Modularity. Modularity of function. Logical blocks that when learned, strung together allow someone with "some computer engineering knowledge" to make some pretty dynamite websites. While that IS a credit to the core engineers its "not right".

Little sidetrack here: Microsoft ended up in the exact same position years back with MS Office. Seperate office tools, Excel, Word, Access etc. creating workflow issues mainly in business. They were competing for market with Wordperfect and Lotus. Wordperfect suite was chaos, some powerful applications that when trying to create a workflow between them was a while(nightmare) { nightmare*nightmare++;}.
MS Office was just a nightmare. Then Lotus comes out with Smartsuite, powerful, nicely integrated, beautiful even FUN to use! Overnight you saw bazillions of "OEM" copies of Office 97 everyplace. eBay, this auction, that site, here, there, everywhere and cheap! So, they essentially used "piracy" (accepting registrations even) to attain dominant market share. In the years that have followed they have worked to try transition from nightmare to liveable while maintaining backward capabilities so corporations dont leave bags of dog poop lit' on fire on their doorsteps :)

The lesson to be learned by ALL of this is that sustainability relies on the end users. Guidance of what those end users need should not be determined by engineers. Web Publishing is going to be just that, right around the corner. Just like Desktop publishing but easier. Easier because of the market for it. Imagine a desktop publisher that is similar in function to Joomla. It'd be dead before it ever started.

The Web has witnessed this stuff and does as well today. [youtube], Search Engines, Twitter's, mySpace's on and on. How many sites have lost communities due to these venues? These are the tips of much larger icebergs.

I'd imagine the folks at Drupal are tweaking out, hence their "OMG we need a workflow and user interface" as Drupal last I looked at it was a real pain in the Xss. Powerful sure, but hey... so is Unix command line ya know? Put the average person with a PC in front of a Unix Command line and 99% of the time you'll here, "So where do I click?".

So what IMHO is the right direction?

Welp... OK... since you asked :)

The Joomla core team needs to establish a "What do the end web designers need" deal. Certain things are obvious, workflow, drag/drop/configure, excellent ACL. But, want to keep that "We need" pouring in. When it comes to the critcism, again, its product, not offspring.

Needed yesterday. Management. A handfull of people who are more than likely NOT going to be programmers. People with the oversight abilities to make the programmers core and volunteer produce what is needed to be produced. That doesnt mean the core people who OWN Joomla are out of the loop. It means they are simply deferring some DIRECTIONAL ROLES to people who really are more capable at it.

Doesnt mean that they cant go to the various Joomla events, doesnt mean they take a back seat. It means that people are brought unto the project that know marketing, that know workflows, really fresh blood... Its a scary thing to do, releasing any control levels. But, believe me... its an important step in not only making any viable product the best it can be but in this case, critical to its sustained survival. It means they partner for sustained success, growth and much much more.

A net effect of such steps are alot of programmers that are in support of Joomla will jump into action. "Teams" are created based on programmers skill sets. So lets say, "Welp, we really do need forms" (we do!) LOL... Forms be a fairly complex lil' puppy due to well... sheer range, it is the "input puppy" most often used and varied. So Johns a J!eggspurt, he's going to be the Team Lead, he's got another coder under him who's "good" and two others who are fair, learning. Code is cranked. BUT, its important that John be supportive of his "good coder", so, if things aint' right, he shows em, "This is how its right" and for those learning, fair... They too reap a better skill set.

Thus a "payback" happens. People GROW in their skills and are PART of something and Joomla Grows. So Lilly says, "See that form component, used by over 800,000 sites and I helped make it". Ego's are BAD at high levels but can readily be utilized to ones advantage at other levels.

See... we have some BIG problems here and I'd suggest we take this into private discussion, perhaps you, I and the core in some private forum area.

Getting volunteers for example. Why is there a lacking?

1. Documentation of the engineering. Alot of the coders who are producing stuff would be quite concerned if their code is to be viewed/integrated cuz' they dont KNOW if its right or good even. 1. They do not wish to feel like fools. 2. They do not wish to feel like their efforts are rejected. Again, thats where the above Team mechanism is ever so important. I'm a good programmer, I'm not Mike Abrash or John Romero or Carmack (I know em') and in many respects, they've earned their ego's. When I've sold countless millions of copies of Quake 1, Quake 2, Quake 3, Quake 4, Doom 2 & 3 etc etc I might to. My line drawing code from Atari's ST Lightning went into Quake 1 (woo woo!, gads...).

I'm somewhat new into PHP (ick) and certainly to Joomla API. So lets just take me for example. At this stage, I dont qualify as "Lead programmer" on Forms, Guestbook perhaps LOL (only kiddin), and not quite there even in "Good" but I want learn. I want learn so for my own interests I can create the applications I want create. Real stuff, not lil' show the weather modules. Full blown integrated app's. I know how to code those app's, wrestling PHP is part of it, wrestling Joomla another. So, better my skills as a volunteer become the BETTER my stuff will be... right?

LOTS OF US IN THESE FORUMS in said boat.

LOTS OF US as the CORE coding team focuses on getting us that drag drop ability, workflow etc. who's skill sets would be getting built from the fostering to not only help others transition their work but also create the great new stuff in support of the "User friendly Joomla".

Perhaps at some point The Joomla Crew does what many have done, One Joomla but different forms of licenses that are based in support and building, specialization etc. So yes, it can make money while still staying free as well. Thats a whole lot better than in 5 years being a footnote in Wikipedia 3.0, "Joomla was a popular CMS/Portal type application but succumb to the new Web 3.0.... blah blah...".

Joomla has a sizeable base of users and developers. Unlike many of the others out there in PHP land Joomla can not only survive but THRIVE in the future. Most of the others out there, already dead, they just dont know it.

In order to foster the environment of programmers, managers, helpers etc. its imperative that empowerment occur.

The first step (if it were me) that I'd take as "core two" (Core Duo!) is tie up whatever I am working on soonest possible. ACL, whatever it is. The "after that" gets put on hold in favor of API documentation. As the documentation is produced, a small team builds snippets of usage, perhaps even some tangible tutorials. Set a timeframe of completion, by Jan 1st 2010 in book form. The developers will buy it. That gives some working capital and ongoing capital. A serious developer has no issue dropping $50-$60 clams on it.

I dislike documenting, I've had my XSS reamed on more than a few occassions in the PC Games zone's for "sparse" documenting but, part of the gig..

As this documentations starts gel'n bring a few more into its light to start getting Team Leaders informed.

Start taking "notes" and just general thinking among all these people on workflow, UI and any other types of idea seeds that get thrown out there. Encourage it, albeit privately. Nothing worse than talking about say, Web Services core and not having it ready or being back burnered to the public. If its "not there" then its, "under consideration, we appreciate the inputs and a representitive will get back to you, (to pick their brains more)."

Forum managers need be encouraging talk, ideas, this/that not saying, "If you want it build it".

99% of the time if someone (other than me ;) ) is beetchin' they want to be heard, they want to be valued, they want to know someone's listening and preferably following up. "Would you mind taking a little time and putting your thoughts and ideas into this form we will send you".

That stuff's all GOLD my friend in MANY ways.

This same core group exposed to the building of documentation, snippets on and on... They all need talk about Workflow, UI etc. So... as say end of year rolls closer we are in a "Go mode" on Jan 1st 2010 to get to coding Joomla 2.0.

Then we take a well deserved rest for a bit before we talk, Joomla 3.0 which is?

Well, since you've asked. It might be a whole new CMS. Or, it might be work to get Joomla into a model of distributed computing thus ENSURING its long term future. Standards based code. "Smart Bridging" across that distributed environment. Desktop widgets, on and on.

Long message... :)

Can we PM or something between Core and a few folks? If the core is interested, lets hash some of this stuff out and build a plan.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:54 pm

I hope you are joking about the influence of 3pds.

I don't know if you understand that Joomla has 500,000 downloads a month. There are tons of people who would like to influence Joomla or have the development coordinators spend their precious time talking to them. Those that will influence Joomla are those that do rather than talk. That is the nature of open source projects. I understand that you are new to FOSS but you should spend some time learning the territory. But if you have chosen not to engage in the discussions on the dev lists, the white papers forum, the GSoC suggestions or elsewhere, whose fault is that?

As for the world ending if we aren't like Quake? Well, we'll just have to see won't we. However, I suggest to you that "the world ends if you don't do what I say right now" is not an effective rhetorical approach in open source projects or in life in general.

If you haven't read these two things, then I really suggest you do. It will help you communicate way more effectively in this environment:

http://producingoss.com/en/index.html

http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/

And by the way, yes we have tons of places and opportunities for users to make suggestions, and they do, massively. Please think about writing up your ideas and putting them into an appropriate place. I'm sure you have lots of good thoughts that people will be interested if you change your tone (I assume you have no clue how patronizing it is to assume that you need to tell developers need to take notes for the future--these are people who have build the infrastructure for 1% of all of the web) and your level of engagement.
So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. MLK 1964.
http://officialjoomlabook.com Get it at http://www.joomla.org/joomla-press-official-books.html Buy a book, support Joomla!.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Sun Apr 26, 2009 9:43 pm

mcsmom wrote:I hope you are joking about the influence of 3pds.

I don't know if you understand that Joomla has 500,000 downloads a month. There are tons of people who would like to influence Joomla or have the development coordinators spend their precious time talking to them. Those that will influence Joomla are those that do rather than talk. That is the nature of open source projects. I understand that you are new to FOSS but you should spend some time learning the territory. But if you have chosen not to engage in the discussions on the dev lists, the white papers forum, the GSoC suggestions or elsewhere, whose fault is that?

As for the world ending if we aren't like Quake? Well, we'll just have to see won't we. However, I suggest to you that "the world ends if you don't do what I say right now" is not an effective rhetorical approach in open source projects or in life in general.

If you haven't read these two things, then I really suggest you do. It will help you communicate way more effectively in this environment:

http://producingoss.com/en/index.html

http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/

And by the way, yes we have tons of places and opportunities for users to make suggestions, and they do, massively. Please think about writing up your ideas and putting them into an appropriate place. I'm sure you have lots of good thoughts that people will be interested if you change your tone (I assume you have no clue how patronizing it is to assume that you need to tell developers need to take notes for the future--these are people who have build the infrastructure for 1% of all of the web) and your level of engagement.
I am completely aware of "Open Source" history as I was essentially there when the BSD licences and GNU C came to be. Sorry I didnt give my history lesson. I worked for Eastman Kodak as a Lead before the WWW existed working with ArpaNet. I worked with QUE publishing on the first C Compiler for environments outside Unix (CP/M). I worked as a Beta Lead not that the term existed for Microsofts macro assembler when they were a handfull of people in New Mexico, long before IBM PC's existed. GNU C came to pass directly from work that Jack Purdum (QUE's President and CEO) did.

Apparently you completely skipped over reading what I wrote. I worked with DotNetNuke, its open source. Its the ASP.NET "Joomla" and thriving today.

Third party developers have influence over END websites that people create with Joomla. Again, Where did Joomla 1.0 differ so widely from Mambo? It did'nt it essentially is Mambo. Where are the enormous enhancements of 1.5 now alive for almost 2 years? The enhancements are from 3P's.

What I would suggest is you read the links you sent to me. Such as "The Luxury of Ignorance: An Open-Source Horror Story" and its follow up.

500,000 downloads a month means 0. That doesnt mean there are 500,000 new installations of Joomla a month. In fact, when I build a new J! site I download a new copy of Joomla to install locally. When pushing a site to the net, I download Joomla directly to the host server. Irregardless, I'd actually would have thought the numbers would be higher.

Your on the page like webmasters measuring success by "hits" where "hits" have not been used as a measure of a websites success by any marketing firms worth their weight in over 5 years. Conversion is and conversion can be measured in a variety of ways depending on a sites purproses. If you would take time to read real web industry media or journals you'd be aware of this. Its why Analytics have taken over what was very base level statistics.

This sorta dialog is partially what I point to in my looooong post. It is NOT good representation of Joomla. Whether you feel my dialog patronizing or not. I dont speak off the cuff'.

Tonie as well as another poster here both describe the classic symptoms of a project thats lost focus. There can be any number of reasons.

Are you a programmer?

I suggest you start taking a look at some of the code in all these extensions you tout'. Most of it is completely not following an MVC model, even more is not using core Joomla API. Why? Because its not properly documented. Show me the myraids of FULL BLOWN applications represented? Surely 6 MILLION downloads a year should mean that we have fantastic mass mailers, forms management tools, eCommerce software, Blogging, Forums and other applications. Where are they?

Realize something here and its nothing personal. Your continual trying to throw sand over reality so people dont talk doesnt A. Work and B. Is not of value to Joomla and community, its the opposite.

You like "spin" whats said and diminish it. Where did I say, "Joomla = Quake". No Place. What I said is Romero and Carmack deserve the respect of their ego's as they have earned it. Either of those entities would take one look at this projects direction and say, "Change or its dead" and I assure you they'd rip upside and down on the API documentation matter. Thats just a no brainer. If your a programmer, you document. If your a programmer who is going to have other programmers using your code, you document. Anything short of that is "luck" but fosters failure.

I know... "But people are making extensions". Your continual arguments are moot.

Tell ya what... Lets start a new thread and pin it to the top of the forum asking all these developers constantly searching for information how important documentation of the API is to them?

I'd prefer that the "real people" behind Joomla and not cheerleaders create a private forum area and get towards the discussions I noted above. I've looked and looked for posts from you that have anything to do with answering peoples coding/engineering questions. Where are those?

While you wish continually challenge my statements I do not see where you have been of writing helpful code to the myraids of programming related questions asked.

What I do see is a few people who do and some others who are telling the truth. Tonie stating the "volunteer situation", another clearly pointing out aspects of failure irregardless of downloads per month, an insignificant issue.

Basically speaking, not to sound patronizing... Your out of your league in this discussion. Thus I would hope you would connect the entities who are not in, so perhaps we can all get some real things accomplished .vs. you telling this community that its completely up to them to accomplish everything.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by darb » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:20 am

Well its good to discuss everything to make Joomla better in every way certainly management is important when a project getting bigger and getting involved in the "politics". Rules and policies getting more important and why many don't like it of many reasons its obvious needed.

Short tips of where you can be part of discussions of Joomla core in Google groups I guess.
http://groups.google.com/group/joomla-dev-framework
http://groups.google.com/group/joomla-devel
Revisiting the 1.6 Road Map
http://developer.joomla.org/coordinator ... or-16.html

Also about documentation and more.
I could agree to your post that this should be a core task to have high quality open source documentation for all users of Joomla easy to understanding.

Joomla have its own page http://docs.joomla.org/ for documentation but a lot is still missing. The core developer though, Andrew Eddie, have his own competing "Developer Reference subscriptions" $49.50 AUD for each year for developers "...the best online developer documentation for Joomla". http://www.theartofjoomla.com/reference.html

Is it good for Joomla community as whole and the project in the long run that have this conflicts of interests for a core Joomla function and core developer? That was what my topic Joomla heroes of the month Joomla - core VIP was about in my previous post to support them just to focus on Joomla core.

So in my opinion this could now be an example when its not for the best of Joomlas future in the long run. http://community.joomla.org/blogs/commu ... begin.html
Last edited by darb on Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by eyashwant » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:31 am

Now I need to look in to this issue as it is a sensitive one.
To start with you are in Joomla forum where Joomla forum has fastest replies and it lacks in wordpress forum
I too use wordpress more and i do like it, but i like joomla more

Joomla is bulky annd slow when compared to wordpress
But why?
Because joomla can do more than what wordpress does
Joomla can be modified to any website and even as a blog but pitiful wordpress cannot go beyond blog that joomla can do in minutes
So I am keep going on telling the difference between them both...
And I can explain why joomla lacks some and why it cannot be repaired...

Wordpress is small to fix bugs unlike joomla where it takes longer...

My interest in joomla development:

Like in drupal i want an easy user registration form field adder
Like in wordpress i want an east customization of posts
Like in drupal i want an front end working in joomla

So i too have many problems in joomla
But I never start a thread like this,
becos I believe in future Joomla will add it

JOOMLA Powered the WEB!!!

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:13 am

It's not a conflict of interest for Andrew or anyone with a Joomla related business to contribute time and energy to the Joomla core, answering questions on the forums or writing documentation. Everyone with Joomla related businesses should be making contributions the way Andrew does.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by eyashwant » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:21 am

mcsmom wrote:It's not a conflict of interest for Andrew or anyone with a Joomla related business to contribute time and energy to the Joomla core, answering questions on the forums or writing documentation. Everyone with Joomla related businesses should be making contributions the way Andrew does.
Thats ri8

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by darb » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:41 am

mcsmom wrote:It's not a conflict of interest for Andrew or anyone with a Joomla related business to contribute time and energy to the Joomla core, answering questions on the forums or writing documentation. Everyone with Joomla related businesses should be making contributions the way Andrew does.
mcsmom. Correct me if I am wrong and maybe I am but...

I didnt discuss a conflict of interest to contribute time and energy to Joomla core, answering questions on the forums or writing documentation as a whole.

I discussed a conflict if you dedicate your time for setting up a , in my opinion, competing core Joomla documentation site when Joomla.org it self is lacking this kind of information now.

This example of a core developers of Joomla is not just anyone, he is one of the most important persons for Joomla feature and very important.

So maybe not a conflict of interest/time but maybe a kind of priority?

I f Joomla lacking in the documentation of http://docs.joomla.org/ but its found completely here http://www.theartofjoomla.com/reference.html is that not a "conflict of interests" if a core devs business is to make Joomla developers to buy your documentation that is lacking in the Joomla community?
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:56 am

The problem is that you have it backwards. Andrew runs his businesses. As a volunteer he contributes to the Joomla core with code and management and other invaluable ways including sharing the wisdom of his long time experience in the FOSS world (which is especially valuable to me). He likes it AND volunteering is good for his business.

A conflict of interest would be if he used the influence he gets as a major contributor to get us to shut down the wiki or to have us make a policy that no one else besides him should be able to use the Joomla name in paid documentation services.

added:
p.s.
http://docs.joomla.org/Special:Contribu ... asterchief
http://docs.joomla.org/Special:Contributions/elin
I don't know your user name on the wiki, it's not darb because that shows nothing, so I assume (like me) you use a different one.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by AmyStephen » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:53 pm

Darb - Please think twice before suggesting impropriety from major, long time contributors to our community. Sometimes things sound good on the surface -- especially if one looks at something from a cynical perspective. But, people who contribute to the project are not our slaves. We do not pay them and they must feed their families. Sharing ones knowledge through training, articles, or books is an excellent way for a contributor to continue to be able to afford time needed to give to the community while tending to personal obligations. I personally vouch for the integrity of the person in question.

isarg - Suggesting Elin is out of her league shows me that you apparently have no idea what Elin has done to make Joomla! possible. She is key to the success of Joomla! and your approach is not only disrespectful to her, but to the project as a whole.

It's easy to complain - it's easy to point to areas where the project can improve. What gains my respect are those people who attempt to do something about it. I wonder how many of you can point at something that your efforts and time made possible for members of the Joomla! community? Many of us are working together to make Joomla! better - I encourage you to find a place to dig in and join us.

Thanks,
Amy :)
Last edited by AmyStephen on Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Joomla! and PUBLIC RELATIONS

Post by deleted user » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:54 pm

As I watching you all irritate each other,

Code: Select all

<mitigate>I think maybe it ought to be</mitigate>
recognized by the insiders that from the outside, a lot of stuff that darb and isarg are mentioning don't look right, and more importantly the path to the inside--to contributing--is not very clear, especially to outsiders who have gotten into Joomla and are starting to pay more attention to Joomla as a project and a team. Those "involved outsiders" may ask questions here that sound (or are) patronizing, accusatory, whatever...but there is no malice involved. It's just that, if you're going to marry the person, you ought to want to pry and articulate concerns, doubts, maybe ask whether OSM discloses Adsense and other revenue, where it is going, etc.

The standard insider response is shock and the demand that outsiders trust the J! team implicitly and invest time in the J! project. So you can expect this kind of conversation to be a little rocky and in need of some tolerance seeking mutual understanding and cooperation if it's not to descend into a lose-lose conclusion.

Also, there may be a standing problem in that it seems to be an open secret for many (an unofficial rule cannot be acknowledged as such) that any critical questioning of the project and team is not really wanted on the forum, which makes sense--it's one way to do a forum like this, but then you can't engage critics at all, you must merely redirect them. On the contrary, perceived criticism seems to be handled here not by being ignored but by being handled guardedly and roughly, often by core team members and close associates with invitations to join a less public public forum, such as the developer list.

The explanation for this behavior (but not an excuse or solution) is that a small team with limited time for uncompensated work on the project has a constant flow of communication from users, not all of it coherent or friendly. This cannot possibly be handled, so certain things are prioritized and guards are up against distractions. Recognizing this, there may be a benefit in providing some clearer "role-based" guidance and reminders the best practices for fostering worthwhile communication and relationships, and I mean something more specific than FAQs about trolls, forum etiquette and such.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by AmyStephen » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:02 pm

If anyone wants to get more involved in Joomla! -- to become an "insider" -- it's very easy. Get involved! Join the Bug Squad. Join the dev lists and participate in one of the initiatives underway. Help with documentation and answer people's questions in the forums.

That's really all there is to it and we welcome all who want to get involved. I recommend it strongly if you want to learn more about Joomla! - it's the best way.

Thanks!
Amy :)

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:54 pm

I try to make at least 30-35 posts (answering maybe 20 separate questions) a week in the forums (5/day). Anyone registered on the forums can do the same. If I see the same question a couple of times, I add something to the wiki. Again, anyone can register on the wiki and do the same. This is not part of my Joomla "job," it is what I do as a community member. There is no secret handshake. Anyone who thinks they are being excluded from participating or that the path is not clear is not being honest with themselves.

What I have learned in many different communities is that if you show up and pitch in in a cheerful way, you are influential and quickly become an insider. The same is true of Joomla!.

Make the road by walking.
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by deleted user » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:05 pm

I don't think isarg and darb were saying they feel excluded, at least not as a consequence of a deliberate practice. Maybe they can say what they feel is missing from the contribute page which is directly linked to the prominent graphic on the joomla.org home page. It seems pretty thorough, although mcsmom mentioned the white papers forum, and I don't see that on the contribute page.

The contribute-to-joomla page suggests using the forum as its first item--specifically using it to provide support for others. It may be that a lot of people come to joomla.org looking for some entry point to contribute, but they want to ask questions that are not support-related. They may have a raw "Why can't Joomla..." question coupled with an "I wanna... so you should..." statement which tends to be offensive. Yet those questions and statements underlie all feature requests and white papers; they are not always the ignorant and petty ramblings of free riders. The "white paper" format is a good way to direct "feature requests" to be more thoughtful and better articulated.

Beyond that, there are folks who have questions that are often critical or may imply some degree of potential criticism about OSM, Joomla development (e.g. progress/direction/planning), etc. There is nothing inherently wrong or invalid about that either; for example, isarg's questions and points about API documentation seem rather valid. At the same time, certainly those lines of inquiry are sensitive and liable to involve at times some issues that cannot and do not need to be resolved to an "answer," official or otherwise. (E.g., How do core developers see Joomla two years from now in light of emerging rich internet applications like...?) This is dicey stuff of dubious value for team members to participate in from a time/value and PR perspective on a lot of levels, but that's not answer as to what to do with those questions.

To address this problem of valid but sensitive, higher level inquiries and discussions, isarg suggests that "the 'real people' behind Joomla and not cheerleaders create a private forum area and get towards the [coding/engineering] discussions I noted above." To me it seems pretty obvious that this is probably a non-starter because it would be quite a trick to define and regulate the "private" part, and it would take time and effort while simply replicating the developer list/group, which is what you may be looking for isarg: http://groups.google.com/group/joomla-dev-general

Also, for designers and learners who are not programmers, a private developer list would stop them from looking in just to keep up with what's going on, and to learn. If the general development google group/email list does not go "high enough," as in deal with more theoretical debates (what should be done/how should it be done), I would guess that is because such discussions are necessarily restricted to core team members and coordinators (which is neither closed nor simply wide open to anyone who walks in), and their reports of their doings are open for comment and discussion.

It's at that point that I think there is a need that people not directly involved in the project have to look to themselves to meet. It has to do with the lack of relatively disinterested, diversified, high quality, and platform-specific information/news and opinion about projects like Joomla.

But another possible middle-path type of solution is to solicit monthly or quarterly questions from the community that are of the "challenging" variety and let users hash out their own discussion about those questions with the goal (and hope) of pushing forth fair, valid, quality questions that might be answered on some official basis with the understanding that the answer is not a request for comments, unless it is.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by Tonie » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:39 pm

@isarg. Do you have one or two examples of open source applications/csm/whatever that have good documentation for 3rd party developers? I do agree that we need better developer documentation (could use it myself). How much I would like it to be different, I also know that with the current pool of developers and pace of development, it's going to be very hard to give consistent attention love to 3rd party api documentation. You said that the users of Joomla! should basically set the projects course. Who do you see as that users of Joomla? Is that the end-user creating content, or the people implementing Joomla for customers (or both)?

One of the plans for the future is to indeed have maintainers/sub-maintainers for the framework/cms, or part of it. This also implies a form of specializing in a certain are of the code. This wasn't the case at all, but lately there have been signs that this is slowly starting. There is now a team that is going to create a tableless layout layout (http://groups.google.com/group/joomla-d ... c729998350), another is working on the frontend ACL, another is refactoring code to use the new parts of the api, etc. It's not as fast as I would have liked, but a big improvement of what it's used to be.

The reason that a lot of developers haven't migrated to the new framework is simply that it is only a year ago that 1.5 has been released, and that a lot of developers were also supporting Mambo. Nowadays, when checking the extensions directory, it's getting loads better. For example, there are a few tools that generate a default MVC extension for you just by filling in a few variables.

The forum was not a really good discussion for developers, as there was way too much background noise from people asking non-developing or the wrong questions. This is why the mailing lists were created, and I must say that it is an improvement over the forum discussions. They are easy to follow, they are not hidden, but they also keep out the background noise from the forum.

About priority/conflict of interest
The discussion about priority/conflict of interest is always around the Joomla project for some reason, especially for the developers. For some strange reason some people believe that a developer cannot do something in his/her own business that is filling a niche. I actually wish that we had a lot more developers like that. Spend a set amount of time on Joomla, and be creative in your business.

I personally don't mind at all to answer 'difficult' questions at all. There's a good and rational answer for most questions, I just ask myself what the benefit would be for the project. Those discussions tend to be long posts, which means they cost a lot of time to digest and answer (like in this thread). The thing with things like these is, that they would have to be answered by the 10/15 people whose time is already spread thin on loads of other tasks.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by AmyStephen » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:43 pm

Why not become a contributor - an insider - and then you will no longer have to keep making the point that those of us working don't like complaints from outsiders. You will then be one of us, carrying rocks, trying to do our part in making Joomla! better.

Seems to me that might end up being more useful.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:44 pm

AmyStephen wrote:isarg - Suggesting Elin is out of her league shows me that you apparently have no idea what Elin has done to make Joomla! possible. She is key to the success of Joomla! and your approach is not only disrespectful to her, but to the project as a whole.

It's easy to complain - it's easy to point to areas where the project can improve. What gains my respect are those people who attempt to do something about it. I wonder how many of you can point at something that your efforts and time made possible for members of the Joomla! community? Many of us are working together to make Joomla! better - I encourage you to find a place to dig in and join us.

Thanks,
Amy :)
Hello...

On the contrary, I am pointing out where things are headed with the Internet CMS/Portals. The needs of developers to be able to develop more than just trivial items, aka: full blown applications and needs of documentation et al to facilitate things. I have posed numerous suggestions and the responses tend to be the same, "Either join in and contribute to what we say needs be done, do it yourself or you have no right to say anything". Elin (mcsMom) has not responded with any tangible responses short of the same mantra over and over. I'm glad she responds to posts, albeit with seemingly pre-canned responses... at least someone does respond.

Others which I can only assume via numbers of forum posts have been around a bit release information on realities such as Tonie and posts DPK brought up earlier in a fine more brief explanation of concerns.

Its funny that for example. I tossed my name in the hat shortly after when ArtOfJoomla came up. Never had a response come back.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by AmyStephen » Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:49 pm

What hat? Sorry, I'm confused by that. What response are you waiting for?

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by deleted user » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:07 pm

AmyStephen wrote:Why not become a contributor - an insider - and then you will no longer have to keep making the point that those of us working don't like complaints from outsiders. You will then be one of us, carrying rocks, trying to do our part in making Joomla! better.

Seems to me that might end up being more useful.
I assume this was directed at isarg or darb, who, based on their forum posts, are both contributing (like I have) in the form of "support" help on the forum and who knows what other extracurricular activities in addition to recommending and using Joomla, extending its market, etc. The issue of "complaints"--actually critical questioning--is actually not resolved by doing these things, or by contributing anything else.

If we follow the line of reasoning that says "contributions make your 'complaints' go away," we are also saying that there is no criticism, only complaints, and they are best resolved by conversion and baptism, open source style.

Yes having some kind of quasi-proprietary sense of ownership or belonging in the joomla project/community may have that effect for some, but for others their increased investment will actually lead to more questions which may be regarded further up the chain as complaints--and complaints in this context really seem to be taken as "personal attacks." I contend that reaction is wrong and unhealthy, and the answer is not to prescribe more contribution--not at least when you are dealing with two people who have a history with Joomla, are not n00bs, and seem to have good intentions. It does not take much experience with institutional psychology to see the problem here, which can be admitted without losing sight of the problem at the other end: not enough time to sift the noise from the worthwhile questions and questioners.

isarg, it seems to me that the best venue for software engineer discussions of possible portal futures is another forum, blog, etc. where your investment of time and thought into clear ideas and questions can be chewed over, or it may work here if you take pains to blunt all sharp edges and display much tail-wagging to indicate good will. Otherwise, expect raised hackles.

Contributing to the project/community/market/what-have-you is good on its own too, but hitching one's contributions overly to a sense of entitlement is problematic no matter who does it. It is probably a recipe for frustration, resentment, false expectations, and disappointment. What and who counts and why is a math game for the immature. The reality is, if some internet luminary waltzed in here with not a shred of Joomla experience and asked questions along the line of isarg's, that might distress people and rightly be viewed as heavy-handed and even rude, but I very much doubt the reaction would be publicly raised hackles. This would be appropriate, but I think some degree of that consideration may also be appropriate for lesser entities who are interested in discussions that do not fit so easily here and may well need to be directed somewhere else.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:56 pm

Hi Tonie.
Tonie wrote:@isarg. Do you have one or two examples of open source applications/csm/whatever that have good documentation for 3rd party developers? I do agree that we need better developer documentation (could use it myself). How much I would like it to be different, I also know that with the current pool of developers and pace of development, it's going to be very hard to give consistent attention love to 3rd party api documentation. You said that the users of Joomla! should basically set the projects course. Who do you see as that users of Joomla? Is that the end-user creating content, or the people implementing Joomla for customers (or both)?
Why yes... DotNetNuke has wonderful documentation all open source. CakePHP, Rails, and many others. Dunno about where Magento stands for example. In documentation the way I see things is pretty simplistic and I'd be chastised for that by any commercial developer (say Sun or Adobe or MS, or Corel etc). If a company is building an application or framework that is to be extensible by an API then the documenting of it thereof is as important as the entire project. Commercial houses would tell me that I am wrong. That irregardless of API or not, documentation is not optional. It is a base asset of software engineering. I do not know Drupals extent of documentation.
Tonie wrote: One of the plans for the future is to indeed have maintainers/sub-maintainers for the framework/cms, or part of it. This also implies a form of specializing in a certain are of the code. This wasn't the case at all, but lately there have been signs that this is slowly starting. There is now a team that is going to create a tableless layout layout (http://groups.google.com/group/joomla-d ... c729998350), another is working on the frontend ACL, another is refactoring code to use the new parts of the api, etc. It's not as fast as I would have liked, but a big improvement of what it's used to be.
The nature of open source and volunteers is and has always been a up and down type deal. At times it seems like the rivers are flowing with qualified developers and such. At other times, it seems abandoned. Not to hit too hard on it again, its pretty difficult to get qualified developers when in order to "get there" one need go on treasure hunts to find information. I have offered to help on the J! docs once my skill set in the J! framework is up to a level where I feel that I can tackle it. Is it right? Nope. Why should I be documenting what the original developers already know and could document. I could instead be doing what I do best, write code, write full scale applications. I am somewhat a "master" at multi-tier app's, its why game dev's adored me. I can take one application and spin it into 3, 4, 5 or more differing permutations and branches.

Its one reason I suggested what I did in prior post. Clearly the "Direction" of Joomla for its user base and a look around the corner to the not so distant future calls for product manager(s). Developers suck at such things, or most as I noted prior.
Tonie wrote: The reason that a lot of developers haven't migrated to the new framework is simply that it is only a year ago that 1.5 has been released, and that a lot of developers were also supporting Mambo. Nowadays, when checking the extensions directory, it's getting loads better. For example, there are a few tools that generate a default MVC extension for you just by filling in a few variables.
A project creation shell really isnt something that excites me, no offense intended. I'm used to both the Windows development frameworks and enterprise based IDE's and integrated deployment etc. environments, project management etc.

There are lots of new modules and lil' extensions coming along. Occassionally even an application. But really... in the applications arena things should be much more robust than they are. The reason they are not IMHO is lack of the information to do so. I've looked at alot of code like I noted. Lots of folks not adhering to what 1.5 is supposed to be. Even areas of Joomla itself are not MVC not that it matters to me. MVC is love, hate, both. Its already an antiquated concept in many developers minds due to inflexibility.

But I get where your coming from.
Tonie wrote: The forum was not a really good discussion for developers, as there was way too much background noise from people asking non-developing or the wrong questions. This is why the mailing lists were created, and I must say that it is an improvement over the forum discussions. They are easy to follow, they are not hidden, but they also keep out the background noise from the forum.

About priority/conflict of interest
The discussion about priority/conflict of interest is always around the Joomla project for some reason, especially for the developers. For some strange reason some people believe that a developer cannot do something in his/her own business that is filling a niche. I actually wish that we had a lot more developers like that. Spend a set amount of time on Joomla, and be creative in your business.
Yep. Nothing new there. Some of it has often been valid. In todays world, its very often valid. That is to say my "open source" project fosters my commercial interests. I will let other developers contribute to my open source work to further my applications abilities. I then use that work to obtain all of my business goals. Many CRM's for example are going this route. Many frameworks have gone this route. DotNetNuke in fact has gone this route the moment Microsoft's loose partnership happened. Is there something wrong with that? Dunno. After all, lots of external developers worked to create things resulting in the main stake holders capitalizing in varied ways.

Its of no surprise that this would be questioned by various Joomla dev's or I assume designers. Its not like 1.5 is a vastly different from 1.0 at least from the outside designer looking in. I've never run a "DIFF" across 1.0 and 1.5 not that it would be fruitful. I went through this not long back with a site we created with Joomla. The client was pissed as the migration of 1.0 to 1.5 did not yield them anything really different. So we cut the price back for the migration rather than try explain things to a point of tolerance. But, what was told to us was essentially, "It appears that Joomla 1.0 was on the wane in development and external addons, so they reinfuse things by 1.5 and cottage developers ran to it". I cant argue that with a client as from the outside in that may well be valid.
Tonie wrote: I personally don't mind at all to answer 'difficult' questions at all. There's a good and rational answer for most questions, I just ask myself what the benefit would be for the project. Those discussions tend to be long posts, which means they cost a lot of time to digest and answer (like in this thread). The thing with things like these is, that they would have to be answered by the 10/15 people whose time is already spread thin on loads of other tasks.
[/quote]

I've responded to a few threads here and there. I personally am not a fan of these communications mechanisms. Breavity often results in useless discussion. Long threads result in people "picking little pieces" and hitting upon them instead of a big picture which tends to be the only picture of value.

I deal with three other regional developers whom we've discussed many of the issues here. I have essentially stopped them from entering into the fray here as its my belief the questions they raise would result in serious damage to the Joomla development community and thats not productive.

One of them in fact has spent hours sifting through J 1.5 source and echoed to me what the client above did, that J 1.5 simply was a reinfusing of interest. My response was, "I dont care about that. I care about us getting the applications built." Which of course results in, "Well sifting through source code for hours on end because they are too lazy to document work is ^&*#$".

Again... cant argue certain things with them. I try keep em' on focus.

The bottom line is I'd love to be a contributor to Joomla's directions and code base. But, at the sametime the work we are doing is commercially based. Before we can even get to that point we need learn what we're doing and thats proven to be ever so problematic due to the developers simply not caring about documenting what they've created.

You'd asked who we see as the Joomla user. The Joomla user are both businesses and end users. 99% of these entities we need "Train" or we manage the sites. The constant biggest complaint we have is that the software usability is just horrible. Workflow essentially, and it is. I tell them there are worse and there are.

Towards the future we know whats coming, I have played with an Alpha build of Microsofts forthcoming ICS. With these clients we have a choice. We are either going to get our butts chewed when we go, "Well we should transition all these Joomla sites to MS ICS for $$$$" or we need get these Joomla sites into a form where its a non-issue... yet, we need certainly be concerned as from whats been said in this thread, whats went unresponded to, makes us wonder whether or not we (or for that matter any designer/developer) should not go in a completely different direction.

The responses from all but a few here have been immaterial and of no substance.

Towards that end I do appreciate your taking part.

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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by mcsmom » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:25 pm

Questions, criticisms, ideas and discussion are always welcome in the Joomla forums, on the mailing lists and elsewhere. Whether or not someone answers them is up to the people who might do so. How do you start a thread that people will find interesting enough to post in? I suggest that you keep it short, on point, and put it in the correct forum. This is the development forum and a thread on usability. The place to post about the API docs is the dev docs forum. You have a question about OSM, put it in the OSM forum.

The negative responses people get is not because they are being critical or asking questions but because of their tone, going off topic, lack of basic research, lack of listening to the responses they get, personal comments, and in general being energy monsters.

I really don't even know what this thread is about at this point except war stories maybe. I'd strongly suggest that if it's not about usability, please don't make the post. I'm going to refrain from responding to off topic posts in this thread from here on in. The thread exemplifies Fogel's point that "the softer the topic, the longer the debate." http://producingoss.com/en/common-pitfa ... ve-threads
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Re: Joomla! and usability

Post by isarg » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:39 pm

dpk wrote:
AmyStephen wrote:Why not become a contributor - an insider - and then you will no longer have to keep making the point that those of us working don't like complaints from outsiders. You will then be one of us, carrying rocks, trying to do our part in making Joomla! better.

Seems to me that might end up being more useful.
dpk wrote: I assume this was directed at isarg or darb, who, based on their forum posts, are both contributing (like I have) in the form of "support" help on the forum and who knows what other extracurricular activities in addition to recommending and using Joomla, extending its market, etc. The issue of "complaints"--actually critical questioning--is actually not resolved by doing these things, or by contributing anything else.
My nearly 30 years of development from Open "this" (before open source was even called open source) and commercial development in a variety of forms has proven (at least to me) that robotic mantra's are counter productive. Things may get heated, may not get heated. But progress seldom exists from robotic mantra's. That stuff is whats displayed to end users of a product, not to those who wish to or do contribute. Here, I have asked for audience of the powers that be, had some response of meaining and thats appreciated. I would surely like to discuss the issues I have raised.
dpk wrote: If we follow the line of reasoning that says "contributions make your 'complaints' go away," we are also saying that there is no criticism, only complaints, and they are best resolved by conversion and baptism, open source style.
How do I connect an Cat-5 network adapter cable from my mind to yours? :)
dpk wrote: Yes having some kind of quasi-proprietary sense of ownership or belonging in the joomla project/community may have that effect for some, but for others their increased investment will actually lead to more questions which may be regarded further up the chain as complaints--and complaints in this context really seem to be taken as "personal attacks." I contend that reaction is wrong and unhealthy, and the answer is not to prescribe more contribution--not at least when you are dealing with two people who have a history with Joomla, are not n00bs, and seem to have good intentions. It does not take much experience with institutional psychology to see the problem here, which can be admitted without losing sight of the problem at the other end: not enough time to sift the noise from the worthwhile questions and questioners.
Exactly. Answer what can be answered, otherwise... put out the fires. A natural part of forums. I am long past the time's of any project being part of me, gleeming in pride and pose. A product is a product. Many will like it, many will not, many will have helpful thoughts and how those thoughts get extended to me is immaterial. They are invaluable. Its why I suggested taking the entire discussion to a more private venue so as the principles of Joomla and prospect contributors towards discussed movements can really get something accomplished .vs. the robotic mantra.
dpk wrote: isarg, it seems to me that the best venue for software engineer discussions of possible portal futures is another forum, blog, etc. where your investment of time and thought into clear ideas and questions can be chewed over, or it may work here if you take pains to blunt all sharp edges and display much tail-wagging to indicate good will. Otherwise, expect raised hackles.
If my intentions were not noble I'd have already taken numerous suggestions put towards me by three other regional developers working with me. We as a unit could change the entire paradigm which assuredly would result in loss of core control. But, going that route would be painfull for all and quite frankly we have goals that we which to achieve. These are of benefit to Joomla. I'd prefer work positive down the line than end up removing wind from J!'s sails. I'd not be wasting my time here to try and get into a progressive mode. If I get approached with robotic mantra's I expose them for what they are.
dpk wrote: Contributing to the project/community/market/what-have-you is good on its own too, but hitching one's contributions overly to a sense of entitlement is problematic no matter who does it. It is probably a recipe for frustration, resentment, false expectations, and disappointment. What and who counts and why is a math game for the immature. The reality is, if some internet luminary waltzed in here with not a shred of Joomla experience and asked questions along the line of isarg's, that might distress people and rightly be viewed as heavy-handed and even rude, but I very much doubt the reaction would be publicly raised hackles. This would be appropriate, but I think some degree of that consideration may also be appropriate for lesser entities who are interested in discussions that do not fit so easily here and may well need to be directed somewhere else.
[/quote]

Agreed. Towards that end you just gave me a realization in that the majority of people here that have been attempting represent Joomla short of a few who's dialog has been valuable to me do not have my experience or visa-versa. I am completely used to "flames" as its part of software development processes. These folks have not come from the pressure cooker environments of PC Entertainment, Web Enterprise development. They ride a popular web Open Source venue as part of a crew, a loosely managed crew and project.

One of the principles thats part of our project(s) team was a developer for 15 years and a lead project manager w/ the Xerox paperless office for another 14 w/ Xerox corporation. He's been itching to come in here and let loose (sorry James). He's also dealing with our client management for much of what we're doing. I have continually detered him as what he relays to me is certainly valid. But exposed here would be completely counter-productive. We're talkin' a real calls a spade a spade Project Manager which is why I adore his capabilities.

I guess we need have a sit down and discuss all options and the enlightenment from this thread that has been displayed.


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