Macrotone Blogs

Macrotone blogs upon Joomla, our products and other matters.

Password Control 0.1.7 released

Password Control Icon

Password Control system plugin release 0.1.7 for Joomla 3.4 and 3.5.

This update corrects the display of the deprecated constructor method message seem when PHP 7 is used upon a site.

The install file is available in the download area.

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.

Privacy Badger– an interesting Browser plugin

There is an interesting plugin for Chrome and Firefox currently in ‘Alpha’ release from the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) who brought us ‘HTTPS Everywhere‘ named ‘Privacy Badger’.

Privacy Badger is described as a browser add-on that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from secretly tracking where you go and what pages you look at on the web.  If an advertiser seems to be tracking you across multiple websites without your permission, Privacy Badger automatically blocks that advertiser from loading any more content in your browser.  To the advertiser, it's like you suddenly disappeared.

More details upon the EFF website.

Experiences with JQuery and Dialog boxes

jqueryWe recently started work on a plugin enhancement that was intended to add a ‘button’ to an existing form programmatically which when pressed would open a ‘popup’ window where the user could review a generated ‘parameter value’ and either accept it or regenerate the value until an acceptable value was obtained, before returning to the calling screen, where the value is inserted into an existing form field.

With the design intent decided upon, the fun part of making the change started.  Firstly the existing form is an already existing Joomla form which for obviously reasons we do not want to modify, other than programmatically.  We looked at using Mootools  initially, but this is gradually being replaced by the use of JQuery, so it seemed sensible to start using JQuery.  An additional consideration is that the JQuery UI tools, specifically the Dialog boxes look very useful.

After much testing and frustration we discovered that there are some specific ‘id’ specifiers that JQuery does not like using. For example we could place the ‘button’ using the id field on the JForm label tag, but not on the JForm input tag.  No error messages were ever seen, just that the instruction was silently annoyed.  This seems to be related to the specific ‘append’ function we are using. There is the possibility to use ‘append’, ‘prepend’, ‘after’ and before (ignoring ‘appendto’ which is the same thing only with the arguments transposed). The input tag does not accept the use of append (or prepend). Very strange.  Investigation isn’t helped by the fact that viewing the web page, doesn’t show ‘our’ added button etc in the HTML code, presumably since this is not the ‘source’ web page but one we have modified. Not sure, or indeed found a solution to this particular problem yet.

Since we were using an existing (base form) we not only had to add the button to the form but also add a place holder for the JQuery UI Dialog box, otherwise the dialog box is never displayed.

Another challenge is the CSS involved with the additional strings. To get the popup box, one has to have  the CSS included in the page usually with one of the JQuery Template CSS types such as smoothness. Unfortunately this also changes the CSS of the newly inserted button used to call the popup. This is not really desirable since we want the calling page to ‘look’ like the existing form page with the exception of our added button. [Note this applies even if instead of a button, we use a simple anchor link to the popup, so is not specific to the use of a button.] So it is necessary to also include code to remove the CSS from the button that we had inserted to call our ‘Dialog box’.

Creating the generated popup window contents was relatively easy, as was also inserting the generated values back into the main form once the user has accepted them.

Since we want also to pass in certain parameters to the generated ‘parameter’ creation  code behind the ‘Dialog box’ we decided to add the Java via a PHP routine call. In this way we could also ensure that the appropriate language strings were also passed in, thus ensuring that the plugin was ‘multi-lingual’.

We do not consider ourselves Java experts by any means, but have little difficulty in generally getting what we want working.  We still a little bit of tweaking to perform on the java code itself, but we are pleased to say that it is working very much as intended so will be included in the next release of out Password Control plugin.

It was ‘fun’ although somewhat complicated by the apparent inconsistences of getting the initial button placement working in the desired position, and the need to modify the CSS on our original form for our newly placed button. The jury is still out on whether it is better than Mootools, but since Joomla is heading towards greater use of JQuery and phasing out Mootools it is a route that more and more will have to follow.

Joomla -€“ Creating a component '€˜Smart Search'€™ Language file

b2ap3 icon joomlaHaving created a custom Finder (Smart search) plugin for our Issue Tracker component, there was one small problem left which was that the supplied language translations were not being picked up by the ‘Smart Search module’.

Having spent time ensuring that the format of the language files were correct and that they were being placed in the correct directory on installation and were named as the documentation suggested. 

Continue reading

Password Control User Profile Plugin

Just in time for Xmas, the first release of the Password Control User Profile Plug-in 0.0.1 is now available in the download area.  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 works with version 0.0.4 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.

Go To Top

The Macrotone Consulting Web site would like to use cookies to store information on your computer, to improve our website. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site.