Published
Friday, March 2, 2007 - 15:20
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Thanx to our colleagues from PicNet, we've had support for Joomla! since CiviCRM v1.1. Joomla! is a fairly popular open source CMS and seems to have a significantly larger user base than Drupal. Unfortunately Joomla! does not make it easy to extend some core functionality like Drupal. Hence, CiviCRM on Joomla! lacks a few very important features.

We were hoping that Joomla! 1.5 would address these issues, but that did not happen. At the same time our user base on Joomla is growing quite nicely. Our download stats now indicate that the php4 version of joomla is the most downloaded tarball. The Joomla Extensions site is a close third on our referrals to civicrm.org after google and drupal. If you are a CiviCRM user on Joomla!, please do take the time to review and rate us on the Joomla extensions site.

We are in the planning phases for CiviCRM v1.8. I'd like to address and fix the few big holes in the Joomla! component to bring it upto par with our drupal offering. Here is my wishlist:

  • Expose permissions in Joomla!. All permissioning in 1.8 will be handled via CiviCRM ACL's and both Drupal and Joomla users will have a pretty powerful permissioning system to use and manipulate
  • Build a CiviCRM registration module for Joomla!. This will allow us to expose CiviCRM profiles on the Joomla! "Create Account" screen, so folks can collect more information at registration time.
  • Make the CiviCRM front end component more configurable. Currently we restrict it to Contributions and Profiles. Would be good to allow admin to control what parts they want exposed in the front end. This might be significantly easier with ACL support as mentioned in the first point
  • Encourage and support Joomla! / CiviCRM ASP providers and consultants. We currently have Open Social Sites and Web Access providing Joomla support. Would be nice to grow this pool significanly.
  • Make the installation process more bullet proof. Lots of users stumble on this, not sure what we can / should do, but would be great to figure out a solution. I suspect the major problem is the memory and execution time primarily due to the large size of the install.
  • Get more joomla users contributing back to the community and on the development list. The list is currently dominated by Drupal folks and we'd like to get the Joomla! folks to step out and speak up. We should probably move support to forums, and thereby unify Joomla! and Drupal support.

If you are a Joomla! user, please do comment on the above. Please feel free to add some of your favorite items to the above list

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Comments

It really sounds like you have the items that are at the top of my list! Actually, just making the front end edit link work as expected changes the usability in a tremendous way.

Making permissioning (such as it is) in joomla! work would be great, and I hear that ACL for joomla! is coming.

Recently on the joomla! forum there was this post:
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,60117.0.html

About how to put a print icon in your component. I would find it very helpful to have print available inside the various civicrm front end screens (listings, profile view etc).

Elin

www.manhattancountryschool.org
www.scarsdalefriendsmeeting.org

One thing that is really needed is to eliminate the need to make changes to the files when upgrading rather than doing a new install. Most Joomla! components do not delete the tables when doing an upgrade. I know you aren't totally happy with what they have done about this in 1.5, but from what I have seen from using components that work for both the installer works much better.

Now that I have done many installations, I'm not sure why it seemed so complicated for the first few times. I can't help but think that the joomla! community with some help from the civicrm community needs to really work on making the instructions for installation more clear and contextual. For example, a reminder to do the steps after the joomla! install right there on the success page would be good:

If this is an upgrade you must:

# Upgrade the database using the sql script provided under:

HOME/com_civicrm/civicrm/sql/civicrm_upgradedb_vOLD_vNEW_XX.sql

vOLD = Old CiviCRM version
vNew = New CiviCRM version
XX = mySQL version (use 4.0 for mySQL 4.0.x or 4.1 for mySQL for 4.1.x)
# Delete the files in

JOOMLA_ROOT/media/civicrm/templates_c

and

JOOMLA_ROOT/media/civicrm/upload

# Delete all session files wherever they are located. You can use a debug too to achieve both this and step 7, refer to Installation and Configuration Trouble-shooting
# Update both copies of the new civicrm.settings.php file with any changes that you made in the prior version of civicrm.settings.php file (e.g. Paypal settings, Enable CiviContribute, etc.). Joomla installations use two separate settings files - one in JOOMLA_ROOT/components/com_civicrm for front-end pages, and one in JOOMLA_ROOT/administrator/components/com_civicrm.
# You should be up and running with the latest CiviCRM version. Confirm by checking the footer at each page.

www.manhattancountryschool.org
www.scarsdalefriendsmeeting.org