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Building the Ship

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:44 pm
by Rogue4ngel
It is good to see some great people here interested and eager to get this ship sailing, I'm turning my gaze from the horizon, down to the wood before me.  My interest is now building the vessel for our eventual 'casting off' and heading for the deep waters.

tjay has gotten off to a great start. My goal is to come up with some decisions based on feedback for how we'll proceed with our first small group.  We have a few items that we need to decide:

1. Choosing a mode of communication.

This needs to be easily accessible, easy to use,  and best suit the group.  The forum, as I said, is only the beginning.  We're going to need a centralized system to allow communication and collaboration for each Joomla project (or programming) group. (we'll call these JPG's for short).  We want to make sure that for each JPG we have, they have their own space and ways to easily find who is involved with the group, and how to contact them.  We'll be dealing with time barriers and a myriad of other issues, and keeping communication lines open will be key.

2. Choosing a platform to work on. 

Although I do love Dreamweaver, I don't think it's best platform, first and foremost, because it may be cost prohibitive for some.  We'll need to find an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that will suit the group and, more importantly, free.  Louis was kind enough to throw J!Code out there.  I think using a product that the dev team endorses seems to make sense.  Thoughts?  I haven't used it myself, but I am sure we can start up a thread as we take a look at the tool and get a feel for it.

3. Programming Experience.

I think we're going to make some assumptions here that the people involved should have had some programming experience with PHP.  You don't have to be at the level of a professional developer, but at least understand the basics of programming and the programming language.  Some of the more advanced concepts with object oriented programming and classes are a must, but I don't expect everyone to have a grasp on them.  I know for myself I need some practice with classes, and I can forsee we spending some time on these concepts, perhaps a whole group session if the interest is there.

I don't want to alienate the new programmers, and if we start to see enough people who are interested with little or no experience, we can set up a group for those who want to learn PHP.

SQL is another important component in programming for a system such as this, but I don't think we're going to require people to have a great deal of experience with it.  I think we'll have enough people involved who have a very good handle on SQL to help out where necessary.  I don't think we'll do any specific focus on SQL to start our first group, but we can definitely look at training for that as well down the road as we see more people get involved.

4.  Getting to know Joomla.

For the majority of us, we may have had some periphery experience with Joomla and the back end.  There is a vast amount of information to get us started with designing a component (and we have some great people involved like tjay who has 'been there, done that' with extending Joomla functionality.  Part of the first group, after we decide on some small component projects, will be understanding how a program interfaces with Joomla, and what is available to work with.  Ideas for small projects here are welcome.

That should be enough for people to get their head around and think about to see where we want to go with this.  Your feedback is important, and we appreciate your efforts to help shape this project!

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:09 pm
by Chris Davenport
Might I suggest that you start with a module rather than a component?  Modules are much simpler and working through a module first will help you sort out any "peripheral" issues, such as choosing/working with the IDE, establishing means of communication, and so on.

There is a module tutorial here: http://dev.joomla.org/component/option, ... iki/Itemid,/ that could be used as a starting point.  I would also like to see if the tutorial can be improved in the light of your experience.

Just a thought.

Regards,
Chris.

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:21 pm
by Rogue4ngel
Chris,

I agree... a module would be a much better starting point.  More of a terminology issue really - I just happened to use component, but I really meant module ;).

Yes, there is a great deal of work that I believe will stem from this group, which will include looking at the resources available to us, and updating them as we move along with these projects.  I'm actually a bit of a writer (although it's more non-fiction work), but I always envisioned myself doing some technical writing at some point in my career.  So I'm definitely up for (and I know others have already expressed interest) in helping me develop some new documentation and FAQ's that will be utilized for this purpose.

Thanks for the feedback!

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:35 pm
by AmyStephen
Rogue4ngel wrote: 2. Choosing a platform to work on. 

Although I do love Dreamweaver, I don't think it's best platform, first and foremost, because it may be cost prohibitive for some.  We'll need to find an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that will suit the group and, more importantly, free.  Louis was kind enough to throw J!Code out there.  I think using a product that the dev team endorses seems to make sense.  Thoughts?  I haven't used it myself, but I am sure we can start up a thread as we take a look at the tool and get a feel for it.
Yes, J!Code. No question in my mind, if that's what Louis recommends and what the Joomla! community supports.

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:06 pm
by bascherz
J!code development is still in alpha. The project is located here:
http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/jcode/

Perhaps some of the more experienced among us can try using this and help the effort by providing some feedback to that project. Just a thought. I think this would be worthwhile because Eclipse is the most readily-available IDE, J!code is built on it, and we've already established that it would be great to have a common IDE.

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 5:44 pm
by tjay
I downloaded it last night. I have to admit it is a little foreign. For example it comes with a version of Joomla1.5 written in May
So first challenge is learning how to get RC1 into the workspace.
Maybe someone familiar with the product could land questions early on until we get some of the group set up.

I tend to be a pretty good at documenting what I learn. So whenever possible I will document and make the information available for future reference.

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:45 pm
by ircmaxell
Well, just a comment... I would think you would want to start on a component rather than a module.  A module is very simple (as you have said), and I almost wonder if it's too simple to have a "team" of developers work on it.  At least with a component, there are multiple areas that need to be worked on (admin interface, front end interface, front end logic, admin logic, etc), and hence translate MUCH better (IMHO) to a team environment than a module.  Heck, most modules are 1 php file (the nightmares of having 5 people work on 1 file at once with SVN are daunting at best).  Just my .02...

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:33 am
by Rogue4ngel
Please keep in mind this is Joomla 101... and the point is to keep it simple for those who are just learning how to develop for Joomla.

I'm hoping the experienced members here will be here more to help get this going and help develop the program, and possibly even mentor some of the less experienced.

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:38 am
by Rogue4ngel
I'll follow up on j!code with Louis (although I'm sure he's swamped), so we may not get an immediate answer.  Perhaps we could help to ferret out some of the bugs as well.

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:38 am
by ianmac
J!Code is currently only a rebranding of EasyEclipse with the Joomla! logo and such.  There is a lot planned, including the work being done for SoC, but right now it is EasyEclipse rebranded and the appropriate PHP MySQL plugins included.

Ian

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:30 am
by Rogue4ngel
So we may want to hold off on J!Code for the time being, only because we don't want to run into too many issues with both J!Code and 1.5 not quite where we need them.  Adding too many variables like that could end up making it a frustrating experience.  I'm on the fence on this one.

Also, let me add just briefly about the work that we'll be doing.  Part of the reason I'm suggesting smaller projects to start is not just because of the experience level of our joombies... but as things pick up, I beleive we will see more interest, and I don't want to start with a long, extended project where it leaves people that are interested in helping feeling that since they didn't jump on at the ground floor, the project is too far along and established for their involvement.

Rest assured, we will be tackling some larger projects, but I'd like to take baby steps.  That way we can deal with other issues in structure and logistics of running the project wthout it grinding to a halt, and it gives us a chance to mod and tweak the process as we move along without the risk of losing interest.

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:28 pm
by mudoch
Maybe I`m digressing a bit but would it not be a good solid place to start by explaining how to set up a test "System"  on both windows and Linux?

No matter what is developed we`ll be wanting to see the results without effecting any production Servers or sites on a server.

Well at least I would.... :P

Re: Building the Ship

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:30 pm
by bascherz
Look in the similar thread Building the Ship - IDE and you'll see we're still struggling with that particular aspect ourselves.