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Joomla 1.5 - just started and need some pointers

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:11 pm
by doctorD
Firstly, hi there, I discovered the forum and hopefully I can both contribute and learn a lot about developing for Joomla.

Right now... I need to learn a lot  :-\

Background
I am part of a small team developing a website which is both a directory site and ultimately a review site, which will provide information and listings for people to navigate themselves around and find out useful services etc. The idea is we will display a mixture of important information, directory listings, reviews (on just about everything) and events all mixed into the one site.

We chose Joomla 1.5 as a development platform because it appears to be a very good content management system and it's release in sync with our plans, but as we have got further into site development, we find we need to extend it's core functionality dramatically.

I will point out right now, I am not a developer (anymore), I am a Marketing Manager, but as I said it is a small team and sometimes we have to roll up our sleeves and pitch in. I haven't programmed in 5+ years, am very rusty, and have taught myself PHP in a week.

As part of this, I have tackled the limitations of Joomla head on by choosing to add the functionality we need through the development of a specific component. In line with this, I have taken it upon myself to write this component (did I mention we are a small team?) and I am some way down the line with it.

Note: the reason why we chose to develop is that whilst there are components out there that kind of almost do the job, nothing does it quite as it should.

Where I am at:
  • Have created new tables within Joomla to store listing information
  • Have developed back end forms to populate this data with required listing information
  • The back end manages several tables, including sections, categories and sub-categories for the listings
  • On the front end I have developed a module which presents the listing data allowing for the user to navigate from sections down to categories, sub-categories, listings and eventually a listing page.
  • I have implmented the component into the main menu system and have figured out how to set parameters so we can go straight to specific listings, such as Entertiainment, Hotels, Restaurants etc. straight from the menu system.
  • Have tackled issues such as sorting, pagination, filtering etc. - these are mostly solved.
I have learnt a lot, but I need to know more about Joomla under the hood - specifically exploiting the Joomla framework.

Now that I have created this component, which does a lot, I need some assistance with integrating it into Joomla, specifically.
  • Can I integrate my content into Joomla's native search function, or is this only for articles?
  • How do I use the breadcrumbs system effectively? Even though I go to a subpage within the component, Joomla only recognises this as a top level page. i.e. Home->Essentials->Pharmacies shows only Home->Pharmacies
  • Is there a way to integrate my pages into recently visited pages? This doesn't seem to happen automatically
  • How do I add elements such as Emailing and PDF pages delivered to the user?
In time I am sure I will get to grips with the above, it is early days yet, but any help and nudges in the right direction now would be beneficial.

Kind Regards

Dr. D

P.S. Looks like a great forum and I have to say Joomla rocks.

Re: Joomla 1.5 - just started and need some pointers

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:33 pm
by CirTap
Hi,

for a "starter" you (and your small team) have already accomplished a lot.
I can't answer all of your questions or even post some useable code, but I'll try to give you some hints, until others may provide *facts* :)
In short: all these features are used in a similar fashion by com_content, com_contact and com_weblinks, so looking at their controllers, views and models should give you some idea of how it can be done.
Can I integrate my content into Joomla's native search function, or is this only for articles?
Search is managed by individual plugins, each for a distict component, so you "just" need to write one for yours.
-> /plugins/search/
How do I use the breadcrumbs system effectively? Even though I go to a subpage within the component, Joomla only recognises this as a top level page. i.e. Home->Essentials->Pharmacies shows only Home->Pharmacies
Your Component's Views would be in charge to populate the JPathWay class ( $mainframe->getPathway() )
For an example usage look at /components/com_content/views/category/view.html.php ~ line 80
Is there a way to integrate my pages into recently visited pages? This doesn't seem to happen automatically
recent pages are articles only, and the "hit counter" in managed by the com_content controller.
You need to implement your own counter/tracker and create corresponding modules to read this information like for instance "mod_latestnews.php" does so for articles / jos_content table
How do I add elements such as Emailing and PDF pages delivered to the user?
There are mail and pdf rendering classes available.
For a JMail example look at the submit() method of the com_contact controller, and of course com_content.
For PDF see the JDocumentPDF class also used by com_content in "view.pdf.php"

Hope this helps a bit.

Have fun,

CirTap
edit: added missing breadcrumb info

Re: Joomla 1.5 - just started and need some pointers

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:00 pm
by doctorD
Thanks for the tips, I'l be sure to look into these when I get a chance this evening.

Joomla 1.5 - just started and need some pointers

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:14 am
by hemanthcumar
Hello Sir,

I am very new to Joomla . I want to learn Joomla  :D. So, I request evrybdy by name to help me that you can do for me like sending me links containing tutorials,audio's or video's  :P.

                  Thanking you every body in Foroum ! :)

Awaiting for your favorable reply's.... :P

with warm regards,
Hemanth

Re: Joomla 1.5 - just started and need some pointers

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:14 pm
by jalil
hemanthcumar wrote: Hello Sir,

I am very new to Joomla . I want to learn Joomla  :D. So, I request evrybdy by name to help me that you can do for me like sending me links containing tutorials,audio's or video's  :P.

                  Thanking you every body in Foroum ! :)

Awaiting for your favorable reply's.... :P

with warm regards,
Hemanth
:P
so you wanna built an extension or what ? i'd suggest get started looking at example extension programs from joomla! websites and jleblanc hello world examples. if you mean just using joomla! then lots of people in the general area to assist.

i don't think joomla! has video tutorials and such....i'd be happy if there is and i heard its in the pipeline.  :pop