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Joomla Install

From 2005-2014 this website ran on Joomla content management software, produced by Open Source Matters. This article details some of the tips and tweaks that made this site run smoothly as I was installing and configuring (this page is a work in progress and the website evolves).

Media Manager

I had a little trouble with the media manager, which wasn't allowing me to create new folders where I wanted them, wouldn't show me the thumbnail images of files in existing folders, and other strange behavior. A quick google took me to this page where I downloaded a replacement PHP file for the media manager. Looking the other way while I casually installed the PHP code on the server without having the faintest clue what it contained, I tried again and found everything worked well.

The replacement PHP code is available from here: if you encountered the same trouble that I did.


One of the aspects of Joomla that attracted me initially was the easy syndication feature that led to easy RSS feeds, a cornerstone of the much heralded "web 2.0" and an integral part of my browsing experience. But Joomla's syndication module didn't implement the now-ubiquitous header link mechanism that results in web surfers finding a little RSS icon in their browser window (Safari, Opera and Firefox now implement this beautifully; Linux users have a number of equally elegant solutions like Akregator, and Microsoft remains - as usual - behind the ball). Opera was able to deal elegantly with the Syndicate icons in the lower right of my site, adding a feed to my list of feeds and updating them over time. But Firefox and Konqueror, two other browsers I tested my site with, either opened up the XML file, which would scare the pants off of most of my readers, or worse, asked me what to do with the XML file. No good.

My first instinct was to simply add a Feedburner link to my site, but had no luck. This is probably just as well because it's the less elegant solution, but a little Googling led me a Joomla developer website by the name of Joomla Fun which led me to discover DS Syndicate. And DS Syndicate provided me with my solution. This add on module gives me the friendly little RSS icon in my URL bar that I expect to find when surfing.

Having never added a new module before, it was a little confusing. The next module I add will be easier. It's actually a two step process: first you add a component, then you add a module. You take both steps via the control panel Installers button from the pull down menu. You download both items from the website mentioned above - they come in one combined zip file; you first have to extract the two individuals from the combined zip.

Once you've added the module and the component, the next step is to add the following link rel to the text in your front page HTML template. To do that, go to the Site Templates module in the control panel, select the template you normally use for your front page, and click the "edit HTML" button on the top right. Add the final text to your HTML template right after the <HEAD> element, between angle brackets.

link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS Feed" href="http://YOUR SITENAME HERE/index2.php?option=com_ds-syndicate&type=RSS&no_html=1"

Grand Total: one google, one download, two uploads, and one HTML edit (and about 20 minutes), and I'm RSS-ready. DS Syndicate is a much better deal: the developer is currently modifying the code so you can run seperate feeds for all your different categories in addition to your front page feed. For a site like mine with several different subject matters, that's a real bonus.

Postscript:(July 2006) Click here to read about my trials and tribulations with the upgrade process from Joomla 1.04 to Joomla 1.10.


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