Timesheet Component 1.0.0 released


We are pleased to announce the release of our latest component Timesheet for Joomla 3.4.

Macrotone Timesheet is a component which allows employees to enter timesheet information that may later be printed and/or distributed to the company accounts for processing. The idea is that employees have a central mechanism for time entries against specific project (or account) codes.

At initial release it runs upon Joomla 3.4 the current Joomla release.  Note that it requires a MySQL database version 5.5.3 or higher.

A timesheet is defined as a piece of ​paper upon which an employee records the number of hours they have ​worked. We have taken this and made it a Joomla component for recording these hours, Within the back end of the site one can add existing Joomla users to the timesheet tables, thus enabling them to create/edit their own timesheets. One also defines the users who can 'approve' and already completed timesheet, either at this stage or later.

The back is is also where the account/project codes are created and maintained. In the initial release the time codes are visible via a front end display, but are not editable or created on the front end.

The front end is where users will create their timesheet, and where they are generally approved. The timesheet' grid' is where the hours assigned against each project (or account) code is performed. All grid editing occurs solely in the users browser. The grid data is not saved to the database until the user presses the 'Save' button.

Note that time sheet grid editing is not implemented in the back end by design.

The component has an option to ensure that each user can only submit one timesheet for each defined weekly period.

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Message from local network scanner – jpaoscanner

An empty or blank email with the subject of Message from local network scanner pretending to come from jpaoscanner at your own email domain  with a malicious word docattachment  is another one from the current bot runs which try to download various Trojans and password stealers especially banking Trojans like Dridex or Dyreza and ransomware like cryptolocker or Teslacrypt.

The attachment to these are named Scann16011310150.doc   Evidently some attachments have a letter F after the doc which effectively makes them useless because windows doesn’t know what to do with them and asks you. They will open in Word, if you tell them to, and do contain a malicious macro that will infect you  

We have started seeing these messages and searching the web reveals we are not alone.

See these links:   myonlinesecurity and Dynamoo,  amongst others    

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Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016


The year 2015 is now gone and it was time to look at how well we met our 2015 Roadmap

We set out 5 specific items that we wished to address as follows:

  • New component release (or two) based upon in-house Joomla developments.
    • 100% We think we achieved this by releasing both Rialto: our Certified Advertisement component and Kbase: our Knowledge base component
  • On-going development of components adding new features/improvements as identified.
    • 100% We continued to release updates of our components throughout the year, so consider this a success as well..
  • Content & layout on Macrotone Consulting  website needs review, fix typos, better layout, etc.
    • 100% Using our Kbase component we restructured our web site articles to use the new component. That is not to say there is not more that could have been achieved but overall it was successful.
  • Update our JED entries reflecting the new format.
    • 0% This one we still have to achieve, so we will carry this one over to the new year. 
  • Remove any component releases, and code in existing components not specifically for Joomla 3, as Joomla 2x is no longer supported.
    • 75% Partial as a number of our customers continue to use Joomla 2.5 which made it difficult to remove ‘old’ code. However most have been updated and the remainder will be completed in the next few months.  Joomla 2.5 is of course 12 months out of support so it is not unreasonable to not be able to support it any longer.

So we hope to achieve the following in 2016

  • New component release based upon current in-house Joomla developments.
  • On-going development of components adding new features/improvements as identified.
  • Update our JED entries reflecting the new format.
  • Complete removal of component releases, and code in existing components not specifically for Joomla 3, as Joomla 2x is no longer supported.
  • Joomla 3.5 supported component versions.
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EU Cookie Plugin 1.1.3 released


EU Cookie system plugin release 1.1.3 for Joomla 3.4.

This minor update modifies a few parameter settings and updates the copyright year.

The plugin has been used on our site since the introduction of the legal requirement to comply with the EU Cookie Directive for web sites.  This plugin complies with the regulation by notifying the user of the Cookie policy.


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IP Mapping 1.3.3 released

location-48IP Mapping release 1.3.3 available.

The Joomla component came from a requirement to display IP addresses of site visitors upon Google maps.

This minor update corrects a minor problem with the earlier 1.3.2 release.  Tested upon Joomla 3.4.8.

See the changelog for details.

The release is available in the usual download location on our site.

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Password Control User Profile Plugin 0.0.5 released

We are pleased to announce an updated version 0.0.5 of the Password Control User Profile Plug-in.

This optional plug-in works with the Password Control System Plug-in to display information in the users profile of their last and next scheduled password change.  It has been updated to also display the 'forced change flag' which was introduced in the System Plugin 0.1.5 release to prevent a bypass of the password change request.  It works with version 0.1.5 and up of the system plug-in.

The user plug-in also provides the site administrator with the ability to change a user's next password change date, subject to the settings specified on the system plug-in parameters.  See the documentation for more details.

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Password Control 0.1.6 released

Password Control Icon

Password Control system plugin release 0.1.6 for Joomla 3.4.

This update adds the password checks to the User password rest form when the user has 'forgotten' their password.  It also updates the copyright date to 2016 and changes the 'once date' criteria to be a calendar form field.

The install file is available in the download area.

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Issue Tracker 1.6.10 released.

issues-48We are pleased to announce the availability of Issue Tracker release 1.6.10 for Joomla 2.5 & 3.4

This update corrects a number of problems, mainly minor found since the last release. There are no 'new' features as such, but the Tags feature has been modified and it is now possible to add tags to an issue from the front end.

This release has not been extensively tested against Joomla 2.5 which has been unsupported by Joomla for nearly a full year (at the date of this release).  It is expected to run but we regret that support for against such an old version of Joomla is unlikely to be available.

This release also continues with the implementation of some suggested improvements from our users.

See the changelog for details of all of the changes.

 The update is available in the download area.

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Joomla 3.4.8 released

joomlaThe Joomla! Project and the Production Leadership Team are proud to announce the release of Joomla! 3.4.8.

This is a bug fix release for the 3.x series of Joomla This release fixes some bugs related to session management from Joomla 3.4.7. The project understands that many of our users are now on Christmas Holiday's so we would like to emphasise that this release only contains bug fixes and whilst we strongly encourage our users to update as soon as practically possible, this update can be left until after any holidays.

What's in 3.4.8

Joomla 3.4.8 fixes some issues found in the 3.4.7 release on Monday to do with browser sessions. All reported bugs from the 3.4.7 update have been fixed in this release:

For known issues with the 3.4.8 release, see the Version 3.4.8 FAQ in the documentation site.. Please note that it is expected that you will be logged out as soon as the update is complete.

Official release details are located here.

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Joomla 3.4.x and Mootools

joomlaWe have long been aware that the use of Mootools in Joomla extensions is being discouraged, but also know that it is used in a number of different places in the core code and would be automatically loaded if required.

What we were not expecting was that relatively new extensions would be using it.  We have just spent the best part of a week playing with a particular problem involving Mootools that we thought we would share.  We tended to make things more difficult for ourselves as we were using a plugin to automatically disable Mootools (for a much older problem), which tended to ‘mask’ possible solutions which meant we would have reached a conclusion much earlier if we had remembered.

We were working on an update to a front end form and observed that calendar fields were not displaying the ‘popup’ calendar picker window, also that when displaying the ‘tags’ field to enable the user to select or create new tags to add to an item, that the displayed field did not match what we were expecting, or seeing in the back end of the sight using the same code constructs.   We could see a Javascript error in the error console that was either a) Tips not found, or b) Squeezebox not found.  The first coming from a form field tool tip, and the second coming from the form calendar field.  These were obviously related to the form elements, but the tag display didn’t appear to have either of these used in its construction.

The tag display with Mootools disabled looks as follows:

20151221154101 image 4

We tried adding in explicit call to load various Mootools elements yet were not seeing any change in the problems.  After much thought and investigation it was then that we realised that we had the Mootools disabler plugin enabled so all our changes were effectively being ‘ignored’.  After a little silent ‘blue’ language we disabled the plugin and the Javascript errors disappeared and the calendar popup was visible again. 

What we had not expected was that the Tag display would also correct itself, which effectively meant that the Joomla tags helper must be using Mootools somewhere in its code. 

The desired tag display form field required (and achieved):


Despite searching we couldn’t find any reference that documented this, so its one to watch out for if you meet it yourselves.

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