Learning Joomla! 1.5 Extension Development

If you’re looking to create extensions for Joomla! 1.5 then you should really check out Learning Joomla! 1.5 Extension Development. I had a project that required a custom component to be created, and the online documentation wasn’t really as good as I’d of liked it to of been.

So I went looking to see if any books had been published recently on extension development. Learning Joomla! 1.5 Extension Development got some decent review online, and I was really stumped with creating my component. So a copy was ordered.

The book does an excellent job of building an extension that makes use of most of the features that would be found in a typical extension. Covering, components, modules, as well as plugins.

With it’s focus on MVC practices, this at first seemed like overkill to me, but once all the features were piling up, it really paid off.

The chapters on creating the admin end of a component were extremely valuable to me. My client now has an easy to use custom component that makes use of the Joomla! admin interface for a seemless CMS experience.


YUI 3 Gallery

I’ve really been meaning to make the switch over from YUI 2.x to 3.x, and I do believe the YUI 3 Gallery has made up my mind. The Gallery is a repository of YUI 3 modules that aren’t addressed by the core library. Also, all modules are released under the same BSD license as the YUI Library.

Even though the Gallery is fairly new, the amount of modules is already pretty impressive. Some that I’m very excited to play with are:

This looks very cool, and if you’re using YUI3 go now.


Google App Engine

I’ve finally gotten around to messing around with the Google App Engine over the weekend. It allows you to run web applications on Google’s infrastructure for free as long as you don’t go over roughly 5 million page views in a month. If your app has the good problem of going over that traffic then you’re billed by usage.

Currently only Python and Java are the supported languages. I’ve been interested in dabbling with Python a bit more than I have, and building an app on this platform has given the excuse I need to try it out.

Getting started is fairly easy. Sign up for an account at the Google App Engine site. Then download the SDK for your OS. Leopard already has Python 2.5 installed, so I didn’t have to install or upgrade that.

There’s an amazing getting started guide available for building a simple Python app. It’s one of the better tutorials I’ve done in a while, even if you’re not proficient with Python it’s easy to follow along.

Using the datastore to work with data vs. a relational database seemed strange at first, but it’s very easy to work with. The GQL can be very similar to working with SQL.

I’ve got a couple of ideas I’ll like to try building, and this seems like a great platform to build on.