Macrotone Blogs

Macrotone blogs upon Joomla, our products and other matters.

Joomla Resources

In the spirit of spreading information about Joomla this short message provides a short list of free Joomla resources that can assist you in meeting your website construction goals.

10 Joomla resources you can tap into:

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Using an IDE for Joomla development

phpstormWe have never really taken to using an Integrated Development Environment tool (IDE) for product development.  This is nothing against IDE’s per se, just that over the years we have used a lot of tools, some good, some bad, and have found that just when one starts getting productive with them, they suddenly stop being supported.  We could name (but won’t) numerous tools that fall into that category.  A lot end up being taken over by a certain well known ‘computer software vendor’ who then milks them for the support fees, but never develops them, before finally dropping them. This then leave one ‘high and dry’ and forced to change to another tools.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Stas
I suggest to try Codelobster PHP Edition It is very good IDE for Joomla
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 07:43
Geoffrey Chapman
Looks reasonable, with a free and a (paid for) professional version. Support for Joomla framework also claimed (but not tested by ... Read More
Saturday, 16 November 2013 10:26
Guest — Frank
Nice post. Thanks for this post.
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 06:16
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Experiences using DocBook XML

This summaries a few of the lessons learned using DocBook XML for documentation.

Upcast: The conversion from Microsoft Word to DocBook XML introduced a few opportunities for changes:

1. Media objects (figures) are all converted to ‘inlinemediaobject’, and even when the image is on its own it always is surrounded by ‘para’ and results up positioned on the left hand side of the page. The best approach we found was to convert them to simple ‘mediaobject’ and change then to become ‘figures’ and in this way also enable the creation of a ‘List of Figures’. We also tended to change the specified exact image size to use scaling so that the width of 14cm was most appropriate. [This did impact the fact that all html screen images come out at a standard width.]

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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Peter
Thanks for the tip about hyphenation patterns.
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 16:45
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  1 Comment

Custom CSS and DocBook XML documents

docimport-48We have previously mentioned using XML documents in DocBook format. We now turn our attention to the question of the format of the tables. A previous blog on DocBook table format mentioned the two types of  tables supported by DocBook, but not every document table necessarily has to be in the same format. We have an ‘in-house’ style used for some time and the desire was to retain a similar format with our web pages.

We are using a Joomla component named DocImport written by Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos and are very pleased with its behaviour even though it is still in an ‘alpha’ release form. A credit to the authors abilities. The component presents each web page with headers and footers which are using a ‘table style’ which does not display column separators. This is understandable since the standard format for tables is basic to put it bluntly. 

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Using XXE as an XML editor

XMLmind logo
We have been using the evaluation edition of XMLMind XML editor commonly known as XXE for a little while and discovered a a document on the web from the O’Reilly stable.

The link is for an older version of the software (Standard Edition 2.10 I think) but in the main it is still applicable with the latest evaluation edition (5.4.1).  The authors hope that it is found useful or as a starting point for your own work.

Note:  Reloading a later evaluation version resets the usage counter back to 30 days.

Recent Comments
Guest — davidson
I have been using an Liquid XML Editor for some time and it has so far met all my needs and more. http://www.liquid-technologies.c... Read More
Monday, 03 December 2012 08:27
Guest — urhelper
i have been use online editor and provide many other functionality like validate,tree view with image vie... Read More
Thursday, 24 October 2013 08:53
Geoffrey Chapman
Code Beautify is an online tool, as mentioned. Not quite the same thing as a IDE but useful anyway. CodeLobster is another alter... Read More
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 20:32
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Documentation Formats and Joomla

Historically we used to create our documentation using ‘Word Perfect’ but changed to using Microsoft Word, soon after Adobe ‘took over’ Word Perfect.  This has served us well for many years, but unfortunately Word has not kept up with the changes in the Web and the need for short pages of documentation easily accessible by users.  Yes, Word can generate HTML documents but anyone who has every looked at the created output will be struck by the obvious bloated code and its use of strangely named variables making it almost unreadable in its raw form.  This necessitates a cleanup operation on the code before it can really be used.

So the search was on to see it there is anything ‘better’ out there.

The obvious candidate was something known as DocBook which is written in XML, which means that it can be created and edited by virtually any editor upon any platform.  However to ensure good structure that meets the requirements of the DTD, something more robust is required.  It also raises the question of how one retains the investment in existing documents and how one can convert them to the ‘new’ format.  One advantage of the XML format is that it is reasonably easy to use XSL transforms to convert it to PDF, HTML  or indeed many other formats.

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