January 3, 2006
Mitch Pirtle, Joomla!, and Boston PHP Meetup
Swung by the Boston PHP meetup tonight to listen to Mitch Pirtle, Joomla! core developer, present about the Joomla! open source content management system. Mitch is a good speaker, and conveyed a sense of excitement for the project. His presentation followed the description pretty closely:
Mitch Pirtle, Joomla! core developer, will demonstrate how simply and quickly one can get Joomla! up and running, and then delve into the deeper mysteries of the CMS that promises a simple interface with powerful features. Covering templates, components, modules and mambots, you will learn additional tricks and tips to get the most out of your Joomla! site. Additonal coverage will center on third party developers and business strategies.
A final topic is how to organize open source projects, and common pitfalls and challenges. There are many open source projects that fall prey to poor planning and organization, and you have a variety of resources to pull from to ensure your project doesn't get lost to
politics or bad practices.
There was a fair amount of back and forth during the presentation, good questions and answers. I took a number of items away from the presentation:
- Joomla! is cool, flexible, well-developed, extendable software
- There's a large Joomla! community, hundreds(?) of plugins
- The Zend framework is something to keep tabs on (Joomla! is an active participant)
- There are a lot of folks interested in database abstraction, and having it reside in the framework layer
- It's amazing what can happen when you get a community involved (I knew this, but was reminded of it)
- It's good to have experts involved in the strategy and planning sessions
- Building and maintaining an organized open source communities takes work, and initial and ongoing commitment to build and support the efforts of the community
- There are a lot of licensing considerations, and once you choose an OS license you should be prepared to stick with it
- It stinks when a project (or it's members) gets into serious conflict, and legal issues force a parting of ways
- Sometimes being forced to fork and start a new project brings welcomed freedom and breathing room
I seem to vaguely remember the creation of Joomla! about a year ago. For many years the application was named Mambo. The story appears to be that the core developers (including Mitch) of Mambo were booted by the rights holder after many years of working on the software. With a lot of legal advice they forked the existing software and created Joomla!
Mitch is also a fellow Apress author (although I didn't realize that until I got home and started poking around).
Next month's Boston PHP meetup is about Ajax . . . looks like it will be pretty good.
Posted by mike at January 3, 2006 10:40 PM