Joomla! 2.0 - A Users Perspective

Do you have an idea for the Joomla community that you can help implement? Discuss in here.
Locked
User avatar
219jondn
Joomla! Guru
Joomla! Guru
Posts: 640
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:15 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA | Köln, NRW, DE

Joomla! 2.0 - A Users Perspective

Post by 219jondn » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:16 pm

A continuation of the Joomla! Community Magazine article on Taking Joomla! Forward and the discussion of Joomla! 2.0 at Joomla! and Beyond.
Document on Joomla! 2.0 from a User's Perspective available.
Feel free to join the conversation with your thoughts and ideas!
Respectfully,
Jon Neubauer
Tweet at me @219jondn

User avatar
neltek
Joomla! Apprentice
Joomla! Apprentice
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 11:11 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Joomla! 2.0 - A Users Perspective

Post by neltek » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:05 pm

First thought - near the bottom it talks about menu management in the front end.
Great so long as ACL is available to make this not available to users/customers if we need it.
One of my main issues at the moment is having to give too much access to customers e.g. to view user lists in Community Builder which then allows access to menu creation, module installation etc.
Yes I'm still on 1.5...
But there are many models where I want users to be able to add content but not amend site structure. Much chaos has ensued when they have tried causing me much tidying and fixing.

davidosullivan
Joomla! Intern
Joomla! Intern
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:54 pm

Re: Joomla! 2.0 - A Users Perspective

Post by davidosullivan » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:19 pm

I have been using Joomla for a long time but am currently struggling with taking it further from a users point of view- but I am also struggling to find anything that works right from a users point of view... I am not a super technical developer but I thought I'd share my thoughts with the community...

For me the key thing is that virtually nothing out there seems to work in a way that users have been nurtured by other sites and applications to understand. Users are used to Facebook, vimeo, [URL not permitted] etc and expect me as a developer to be able to make a website that is as easy for them to use as those sites are. At the moment this is almost impossible with Joomla core.

I think one of the very important points made in Herman Peeren's presentation (by an audience member) is that Joomla seems to need to decide what it is; is it a framework for developers that can be used to create products for clients or is it a product for clients to make their own websites...

To me it seems that Joomla has simply no hope at all of being a product for clients, there are just too many products like [spam], imcreator.com, and flavours.me out there that are doing this now.

I think it has its best chance of a future in competing against Drupal, Symphony, expressiion engine etc as a framework with which to build products for clients that are tailored to their specific needs- but as I say there are key things that have to be in the core of Joomla if we are going to be able to use it to create the kinds of user experiences users are now expecting.

In this area I think there are three absolutely critical areas that Joomla is falling behind:-
1)ACL and user types
2)CCK and content management
3)Front End Management

With Joomla 1.6 it looks like many of the issues with ACL have potentially been solved but I have not had a chance to really try this out yet as the components I need to use are not really up to speed as yet.

Regards CCK, it feels like Joomla started life as a 'WordPress' type of thing and has just lost its way. It is no longer competitive with Wordpress at blogging (Wordpress has taken the 'product for clients' route and is far more simple and user friendly), but the fact that it is entirely focussed on 'Articles' leaves it a million miles behind Drupal from a developers point of view as all you can use are systems that are outside of the core (Zoo, K2, Seblod) if you want to use Joomla for more than blogging. Some of these (K2, ZOO) seem to make the bulk of Joomla redundant, and others of these expose some major weaknesses in the Joomla core. With Seblod you can create different types of content and they use the Joomla CMS to manage them but then you are stuck with Joomla limitations on categorising content ('articles' cannot be in multiple categories mainly but other severe limitations aswell). With Zoo you also have to use Joomlas media manager which is woefully inadequate for novice/casual/non-tech users as these users simply have no idea how to format videos, scale images etc etc. We need to be able to create content types and add abilities to those types such as image resizing and video formating etc. An 'Article' should simply be a 'type' that comes pre installed and configured. There is actually a component called Mighty Resources that tries to achieve this, but it is unfortunately just far too buggy and under developed.

Drupal is better in this regard, but from a content categorisation point of view, the 'taxonomy' system is a usability disaster, since vurtually none of my clients know what the word means. It is not as intuitive by a mile as the category system that Joomla uses. But Joomlas use of its category system is also far too restrictive, and not just because you cannot have sub categories, or content in multiple categories. What I think Joomla could do with is something that 'under the surface' is basically Drupals taxonomy system but is presented as Categories like now but with more flexibility.

I think Joomla needs to have categories that display content (including sub categories) of many kinds in optional and templatable ways. Then the user can create menu items that link to these options. k2 is the closest to this for my money, but its not part of the core- and while it takes a 'kitchen sink' approach to what you might ever want to include in an 'article' it is not even really a CCK.

This leads me to the front end edition issue. I really agree with the idea that the back end should really only be for web developers. Looking at the latest Drupal, it looks like they have achieved this by taking the menu from the back end and overlaying this over the front end via a template and controlling what is in the admin menu via ACL- this generally works pretty well. Joomla could deploy something similar, but it does not really cure they key issue which is that the kinds of things that non-tech users are likely to want to be able to do is really difficult to achieve in Joomla without giving back end access- and in my experience non-tech users are totally terrified by the Joomla back end. All they want to do is something simple like add a new menu link, but going in the back end they feel they will just mess everything up. They don't feel this when they edit text in the front end but currently this is the ONLY front end thing that works ok. Even with the editor, adding images and media is just hopeless for non-tech users, as I say they just do not know how to resize images, browse the server etc etc. Adding menu items is also crazy difficult for most people to get their heads around- back end or front end- but it needs to be possible in the front if developers like me are to be able to create anything that can compete with [spam] etc.

Obviously different sites do different things, but starting from brass tacks, a developer is going to be making a site for a client who will want to easily add content (with out having to worry about sizing images etc) and create links to that content if they need to in the main menu ('add new item here')- that would cover 80% of the support requests I get.

Over the last year I have repeatedly tried to leave Joomla I am afraid, but have just not found anything out there that warrants the time and effort required to jump ship. I am more in the designer camp and find the template system a real major bonus as it is far more simple and intutive- especially with the template overrides. This is really, really good. The other thing of course is that giving a client a Joomla site also means you are giving them a system that has the potential at least to grow and develop with them via extensions without massive cost. This is seriously hard to find anywhere else. For me the learning involved in templating Drupal, the limitations of Wordpress and the fact that I cannot even see Expression Engine without stumping up cash have kept me with Joomla.

But its become more and more about things the competition are not doing well, rather than anything that Joomla is doing better. I'd be really happy to help where I can, as I'd really like this to change moving forward.

MatthewSchenker
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 233
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:10 pm

Re: Joomla! 2.0 - A Users Perspective

Post by MatthewSchenker » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:35 pm

davidosullivan,
Excellent post! I found myself in agreement with you about a lot of points. I especially know what you mean when you talk about considering a move away from Joomla, but coming back to it. I've looked at a number of other CMSs, and each one of them has something Joomla lacks, or does something easier that is very convoluted in Joomla, but often lacks the power and potential of Joomla.

Regarding CCKs: I've gone through all of the Joomla options in an exhausting search in recent months. But there are so many times when I need to create a site where clients can post articles (pages) from a friendly front-end interface, and that's so hard to set up in Joomla. I have decided to focus on Seblod, because it has so much power and possibility -- like Joomla itself!

I've tried ExpressionEngine, which naturally deals with what we think of as a CCK, but the cost of setting up each ExpressionEngine site is prohibitive (over $1,000 for a decent installation after necessary add-ons).

My favorite non-Joomla system is now PyroCMS. It's built on the same core as ExpressionEngine (CodeIgniter), but it's open source. It's less than two years old, and it has not yet achieved the power of Joomla, but it's got amazing potential and its structure is so intuitive.

I'd be very interested in hearing what others have to say about all this.

Thanks,
Matthew

davidosullivan
Joomla! Intern
Joomla! Intern
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:54 pm

Re: Joomla! 2.0 - A Users Perspective

Post by davidosullivan » Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:17 pm

Hey Matthew, PyroCMS looks interesting ;)... Any chance of a little more info- their site doesn't have a 'features list' really and fiddling about with an installation is time consuming...what does it have/lack in relation to the features under discussion (CCK, ACL, Image handling etc)?

MatthewSchenker
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 233
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:10 pm

Re: Joomla! 2.0 - A Users Perspective

Post by MatthewSchenker » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:25 am

davidosullivan,
I agree the PyroCMS still needs more information. But by installing it and testing it, I've been very impressed. The developers are involved in the forum, so you can get answers "direct from the source."

PyroCMS has some great add-ons, but it has some weaknesses. The top weaknesses for me: no native e-commerce system and no CCK capabilities.

I'm using Seblod for CCK, and I'm still searching for a good e-commerce solution for Joomla. While PyroCMS has weaknesses, it has such an elegant way of designing layouts and templates, and it's administrative interface is so logical and (yes) beautiful, I want to work with it.

My plan is to develop sites in both Joomla and PyroCMS. I'm communicating with developers about building CCK and e-commerce capabilities into PyroCMS. The system is built on CodeIgniter, so if you work with people you can probably get someone to build anything.

Thanks,
Matthew

User avatar
dubois
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:59 am
Location: the holy Mekong

Re: Joomla! 2.0 - A Users Perspective

Post by dubois » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:30 pm

talking about wordpress it's absolutely overestimate in my opinion and way too limited even using their so called "cms" addons which are a big joke.

great for blogging with bells and whistles, but far away from joomla or drupal in any other compartment.

besides, it's not so easy as they say, many of my clients need a lot of help to work it out despite the ajax backend etc etc

User avatar
dubois
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:59 am
Location: the holy Mekong

Re: Joomla! 2.0 - A Users Perspective

Post by dubois » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:36 pm

CCKs are making a big mess ... they should just steal the drupal CCK and Views and embed it in the core joomla, problem solved, same for article comments.

but then they will ask who's gonna maintain and yadda yadda ... look then what's the point of developing a cms if they don't want to add features any other cms has in the core since the stone age ? i mean even publishing by xmlrpc has been killed and relegated to external addons... it seems they like joomla to become as barebone as a framework so they can blame extension developers when something goes wrong or people get hacked.

users seem to be pretty clear about it: they want core comments, core ACL, core CCK, core backups, drag & drop modules, ... all things wordpress 3.xx has already in one way or another.

User avatar
dubois
Joomla! Enthusiast
Joomla! Enthusiast
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:59 am
Location: the holy Mekong

Re: Joomla! 2.0 - A Users Perspective

Post by dubois » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:45 pm

the real problem with joomla, apart it's obvious lack of vision, is the core devs keep thinking their users like joomla !

no user like joomla, it's pitifully worse than a wordpress install when you first install it.
either they get it or they don't, and of course they don't.

users like the extensions.
they couldn't give a sh.. about the cms or the framework they're running on top.
and users like the templates too, that's why they choose joomla instead of wordpress or drupal.

users need solutions, not another framework or another version of joomla.

these things are so obvious for everybody i talked so far.
everybody apart the joomla devs.

and guess what, now former devs launched Nooku and Molajo ... i've no idea what will come up out of this stuff .. maybe more fragmentation and more vaporware, as i've the impression they're only focused on the code and not at all on their users.

davidosullivan
Joomla! Intern
Joomla! Intern
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:54 pm

Re: Joomla! 2.0 - A Users Perspective

Post by davidosullivan » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:01 am

@dubois I really agree with everything you have said. I'm not using Joomla because I think it is the best, but I feel like it has the potential to be. Really for me it came down to the fact that J! as a CMS uses a more human category system. I know its not as powerful as taxonomy but the bottom line is that most people just don't know what that means and don't get the concept. The only problem is multi categories, but ZOO solves that and is shaping up to be the CCK that J! needs so that may solve that problem

I come at this from a users point of view- thats where I started, and I have taught myself Javascript and frameworks and PHP all because I basically agree with users when they say 'shouldn't this be easy to do?' It should. we are clever enough, have the knowledge, have this awesome resource called the web that enables us to collaborate and share information and tips on an unparallelled scale ever in history.

Yet when I show a user how easy it is to edit an article from the front end, inevitably the next question they ask is 'How can I add an item to the menu up there?'- then I have to take them into the back end and they start getting literally petrified. There should be an 'Add Item' button in the menu that shows up if you are logged in. This is the kind of feeling that alot of technically minded people just have no time for.

Dont get me wrong, the more I learn about Joomla the more I am dazzled by the effort and innovation that has gone into it. It, among others, is an example of the amazing things that can be achieved via global collaboration, something the world's politicians and in fact people in general could to well to learn by in my opinion.

It looks like Nooku could very well fill in some of the framework gaps and I am trying to find out if it is feasible/a good idea to develop my front end menu management system using Nooku. And I think its whole REST implementation has so much potential its just crazy.

Trouble is this all a bit 'Wild West'. Its difficult to know where to pitch your development time. I am just about to embark on a few months of J! development to make it into the thing I feel most of my clients need, but I'd really like to know more about what the changes are going to be in J!2.5, whether Nooku is going to be compatible etc, since I don't want to spend three months developing stuff that is already being developed anyway and regards the broader picture want to make sure that what I am making will be a contribution rather than a repetition.

But then I guess thats the world we are in. Its a good thing if Dev minded Devs make a wicked framework, there is clearly passion behind what they do and I love that.

And who would want that to be any different. The world is richer for it and amazing things are created when people are passionate about their areas of expertise. I'm just gonna try and do my best to fill in the gaps I feel are important to fill and hopefully that will make things better as well...

So to me it feels like J! has a decision to make right now, is it an out of the box system for non-techs or is it a framework for tech users who can make a great experience with it for non-tech users?


Locked

Return to “Joomla! Ideas Forum”