Macrotone Blogs

Macrotone blogs upon Joomla, our products and other matters.

Joomla 3.9 released

 

 Joomla 3.9, The Privacy Tool Suite

The Joomla! Project is proud to announce the release of Joomla! 3.9, the latest in the ‘Joomla! 3’ series.

This new release packs in more than 250 improvements for the Joomla CMS – central to which is a full privacy tool suite, which will make site compliance faster and simpler (not to mention the lives of developers a whole lot easier)!

What’s new in Joomla 3.9?

Here are just some of the new features …

The Privacy Tool Suite by Joomla

  • User Consents - Make light work of data privacy requirements
    Need users to consent to your privacy policy and/or terms and conditions? With Joomla 3.9, it’s all handled automatically. Simply and easily set up your core forms to request consent before collecting any personal data.
    You can also set up a time-based privacy consent expiration. The system will let you know if and when you need to contact your users to renew consent.
    Track user consents, manage site policy changes and much more besides, all with a glance at your dashboard.

  • User information requests? Easy-peasy
    Track and manage information access or removal requests from your users, seamlessly. Once a request is made, just log in, export their data and/or remove them.
    User data removal requests are all handled automatically, with all personal data anonymized without you needing to lift a finger.
    Never forget a request again. Just set Joomla 3.9 to remind you.

  • Extension Capabilities - Put your users in the picture when it comes to privacy...
    Extension developer – give your potential users a helping hand, by making it clear what data your extension collects. When you want to report functionality in your extensions that may need privacy consideration, simply use the new Plugin Event (onPrivacyCollectAdminCapabilities).
    With this simple action, your users gain a clear understanding of your extension, and whether they’ll need to amend their own documentation, such as their privacy policy or terms of service.

  • User Actions Log - Know who’s done what, and when
    Want to know what administrative actions have been performed on your site? Thanks to Joomla 3.9, Super Users can easily see which user did what, and when. And it also works with supported extensions! Review the action log, export it and purge the entries. You’ll never miss a trick, thanks to the latest actions module that can be added to your control panel.
    Need more? Then enable the new log rotation plugin – this will allow you to rotate and remove your log files.

Joomla 3.9 is about more than Privacy

  • Content management made fast and easy – little features, that make a big difference
    • Add notes to your articles in the backend, and filter them #19134
    • A new search feature in the backend: search for a specific article content #20083
    • Load a module by ID into your article #19362
  • More flexibility for custom fields with two new options
    • A repeatable custom field is now available #20243
    • Create alternative layouts to fit your needs #18571
  • Most recent frontend changes
    • Display the intro or full image in your newsflash module #20169
    • Show only the articles from a specific author in your latest articles module (#20687), and more options!
  • New features for multilingual sites
    • A new toolbar button to edit associations #21022
    • Propagate existing associations #21321
    • Display your tags per language #19509
  • Use Google Invisible reCAPTCHA on your websites #18146
  • Argon2id Password is now supported #20855

Visit the Joomla 3.9 site to learn more about this release and browse the Joomla! 3.9 documentation to discover how to use the new features.

This new release features over 300 improvements, with two primary major features aimed at developers: the new routing system and the beginning of a forward compatibility layer with Joomla! 4.0. Additionally, two security issues have been resolved.

 

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Joomla 3.8 released

 

 Joomla 3.8.0

The Joomla! Project is proud to announce the release of Joomla! 3.8, the latest in the ‘Joomla! 3’ series. This new release features over 300 improvements, with two primary major features aimed at developers: the new routing system and the beginning of a forward compatibility layer with Joomla! 4.0. Additionally, two security issues have been resolved.

And now, the big question is, what is new in Joomla! 3.8?

Here are some of the new features …

  • New Routing System - The new routing system gives users more control over their URL structure, including the often requested ability to remove IDs from URLs
  • Joomla! 4 Compatibility Layer - The development of Joomla! 4 has made some changes in how the core code is structured by migrating classes to use PHP namespaces. Joomla! 3.8 includes a mapping layer to allow developers to use the older class names while being able to take advantage of the new class name structure.
  • Improved Sample Data Installation - It is now possible to install sample data within your site backend after finishing the installation process, allows users to create their own generic data sets or extension developers to provide easy-to-install sample data for their extensions
  • Sodium Encryption Support - PHP 7.2 introduces the new sodium extension for processing encrypted data, through a polyfill of this library Joomla! 3.8 makes this new API available for all of our users even before they upgrade to PHP 7.2
  • Visit the Joomla! 3.8 site to learn more about this release.

 

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Joomla 3.7 released

 

 Joomla 37

The Joomla! Project is proud to announce the release of Joomla! 3.7, the latest in the ‘Joomla! 3’ series. This new release features over 700 improvements to the popular CMS, including many features which make administration of Joomla! Web sites easier and more feature-rich, as well as several security updates.

Here are some of the highlighted features:

  • Custom Fields - use extra fields, including text fields, selects and 13 other field types, in your articles, users and contacts
  • Multilingual Associations Component - translate your content easily from a single, unified interface
  • Improved Workflow - create a category, article, and menu item all in one step from within the menu manager
  • Backend Menu Manager - manage the administrator menu just like the frontend, create a different configuration for each of your backend user groups
  • Do more with TinyMCE - including new buttons to easily add menu links and contacts and many other improvements
  • Easier Extension Maintenance - prevent administrators from accidentally uninstalling needed extension package elements
  • User Experience - the little changes that make all the difference: your User Experience is improved thanks to the display of your global settings, a flatter backend template, the possibility to share sessions between apps...

There are many features to explore and we will be revisiting our components to ensure that they continue to work fine with this new Joomla release!

The future of Joomla 3 and Joomla 4

The current plan is that the next release, Joomla 3.8, will be the last in the Joomla 3 series. According to feedback from the Joomla developers, we could expect Joomla 4.0 to arrive around six months after Joomla 3.8.  We do note however that there are still regerences to Joomla 3.9 upon the Joomla web site.

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Joomla 3.6 released

 joomla 3 6 stable release

The Joomla project has released its version 3.6 stable package.

This new Joomla release has lots of bug fixes and over 400 improvements to make everyone's day to day Joomla usage easier.

One thing we did like was that the Joomla team has also created a made a great Joomla 3.6 microsite highlighting all the main features. Even more items can be seen in the Joomla 3 FAQ as well as a more technical list on the project's GitHub repository.

Here are some of the highlighted features:

  • Joomla update can now perform a reinstall reverting back to default code.
  • Usability improvements that help find things easier and get things done quicker with dropdown task execution.
  • New Sub form field function for developers to take advantage of.  Developers should read this as nested forms and enhanced repeatable fields.
  • On the fly category creation will make content editors happy as they can create a new item and a new category in the same process.
  • Menu type ACL gives even more control to fine-tune permissions on backend menus.
  • New option to show all items from all menus gives a quick overview of what is displayed where on the website. It makes it easier to spot duplicated links, missing menu items or just obtain an overview of every menu on your site.

There are many features to explore and remember that our components work fine with this new Joomla release!

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Rialto v1.3.0 released

rialtoWe are pleased to announce release 1.3.0 of the Classified Ads component for Joomla named Rialto.

This component runs on Joomla 3.5.1 (and above). 

This release adds the ability for registered users to subscribe to receive messages about new and/or entries.  It also corrects a few problems found with the earlier 1.2.2 release. It also changes the front end entry creation to use JForms and provides some additional language options for messages..

See the change log and updated documentation for more details.

The release is available in the download area.

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Issue Tracker 1.6.11 released.

issues-48We are pleased to announce the availability of Issue Tracker release 1.6.11 for Joomla

This update is mainly intended to correct the mailing of notifications and reports caused as a result of the change to the Joomla JMail API in the 3.5.1 update.

This release has not been tested against Joomla 2.5 which is unsupported.  It may run upon Joomla 2.5 but we regret that support for against such an old version of Joomla is unlikely to be available.

See the changelog for details of all of the changes.

 The update is available in the download area.

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Rialto v1.2.2 released

rialtoWe are pleased to announce release 1.2.2 of the Classified Ads component for Joomla named Rialto.

This component runs on Joomla 3.5.1 (and above). 

This release corrects a few problems found with the earlier 1.2.1 release. It also changes the front end user profile edit to use JForms.

See the change log and documentation for more details.

The release is available in the download area.

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The use of specific Component User Tables

During our development of our Time sheet component we looked very closely at the use of specific component user tables. These are tables that are specific to a component, which are/can be very useful when there is a requirement to associate some specific criteria to one or more users. i.e We might wish to enable email sending only to specific users.  This could be achieved with the use of Joomla ACL controls but often this can be a little bit overkill especially when there are a number of different combinations involved. In these situations the number of ACL groups required could/would quickly get out of hand and require a lot more overhead in determining the result if user actions in the component. Such user tables are often automatically populated by a system plugin that would automatically add any newly registered Joomla users to the component user table and also maintain any changes that the user might make to their profile such as username or email address between the Joomla user table and the component user table.

One other use for a specific component user table would be where there is a requirement for specific ‘unregistered’ users. An example might be where the component was collecting details of users who requested information upon a specific topic by filling in a form upon the site front end, and at some later stage an administrator might process such requests from the details recorded in the component user table.

Generally component user tables work well in practice but there is one large downside, which is that there is (in all of the uses we have seen),  an explicit assumption that all Joomla users will or are required to make use of the Joomla component, which is not necessarily true.  A Joomla web site will probably have a number (often in the hundreds if not thousands) of users and if the site has a specific component installed that is used for example, by internal staff only, there is no need to have additional entries in the component users table for the non-staff members. In the case of our Timesheet component only certain of the site users would make use of the component so there is no need to have an entry in the component user table for every single one of the Joomla users.

This has resulted in our implementing a change to how Joomla users are integrated into the component user table. The former mechanism of having automatic user table update by the use of the system plugin was obviously not desirable,however we did want to synchronise any updates (and deletions).  Thus we have a need to introduce an optional parameter to the system plugin which will control whether new Joomla users are automatically added to the component user table.

With this in mind we have modified a few of our components, and are in the process of modifying a few others, so that the automatic addition of Joomla users to the component users table is a system plugin option. This change is relatively trivial, but there is an additional change required, which is to provide a mechanism so that users can manually added to the component users table by a site administrator when required, such as when new staff join the company..

The first component to use these mechanisms was our Timesheet component and we have now also added our Rialto (Classified Ads) component,  Obviously in the first of these we are only interested in providing the ability to create timesheets to our internal staff.  In the later component we may only have a select sub group of users who we may want to be able to create/manage their classified advertisements. We will also add that, yes we do also include the ability in the components to use Joomla ACL rules but this alone would not address the number of entries in the component users table and could well make the administration of ACL groups a lot more complex as mentioned earlier.

There is some additional code required but the benefits include a smaller component users table, with much clearer administrative visibility and control over who is using the specific  component.  It also provides the ability to have a simple test upon whether the register user in the front end has an entry in our component user table to control what specific front end views they may be presented with.

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Rialto v1.2.1 released

rialtoWe are pleased to announce release 1.2.1 of the Classified Ads component for Joomla named Rialto.

This component runs on Joomla 3.5.1 (and above). 

This release adds adds a number of fixes and general improvements. There are no new features in this release.

See the change log and documentation for more details.

The release is available in the download area.

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Timesheet Component 1.0.3 released

timesheet

We are pleased to announce the release 1.0.3 of our Timesheet component for Joomla 3.5.

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.

Note that it requires a MySQL database version 5.5.3 or higher.

This minor update corrects a few minor problems, updates the underlying grid software to the latest release version and adds a few more options to the front end time code display.

Please see the changelog for more details.

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