Macrotone Blogs

Macrotone blogs upon Joomla, our products and other matters.

Using a custom Joomla library in your components

We were aware of an article written by Roberto Segura which covers the use of libraries in ones; own written components.  This addresses (in one way) a conclusion that there was a certain amount of duplication particularly in the language strings but also in code that is used both in the front end of a Joomla site and in the back end of the site.

We have been ‘playing’ (for want of another word) with the concept in a new component that we are developing and are very pleased with the way that it is shaping up.  We had already made changes in some of our later components to use the back end language strings in preference to the front end language files, and also where ever possible use the Joomla globally defined strings, but the use of a specific component library can aid in the use of language strings but also in the use of common code, without the need for adding additional code to include specific files by making use of the Joomla library autoloader.

We thought it was worth sharing this with our readers as even though we have been using Joomla for many years there is still much more to learn and discover. This is after all another one of the things we like about Joomla.

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IP Mapping 1.4.0 released

location-48IP Mapping release 1.4.0 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 but was mainly intended to prepare for Joomla 3.5 and the character set utf8mb4.

See the changelog for details.

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

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Timesheet Component 1.0.1 released

timesheet

We are pleased to announce the release 1.0.1 of our Timesheet component 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.

This minor update corrects a few newly discovers problems but more importantly add a system plugin to provide synchronisation for the users details.

Please see the changelog for more details.

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Timesheet Component 1.0.0 released

timesheet

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

roadmap

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

cookies

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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