Content Management System English Iron Blogger Rhein Neckar Open-Source-Software Software Website

Iron Blogger & Joomla!

Last week, David Opati Aswani visited us here in Fitou, France. He is doing a lot for the Joomla project in East Africa and I met him for the first time in Bangalore, India at JWC15 (Joomla – A Social Movement In Tech Industry?). He invited me to CMSSummit 2016 in Kampala, Uganda and I enjoyed every minute. Then it happened that Jandbeyond 2016 took place in Barcelona, Spain (200km from the place where I live). Unfortunately, it was not possible for me to attend, so I was happy that David decided to visit us in our small village. We spend a few days together and it was funny, interesting, inspiring, motivating, encouraging and sometimes a bit sad, especially during a traffic stop of the Spanish police. They carried machine guns and stopped our car at the border between France and Spain. Four policemen first searched the luggage of David, then both of us and then the car. Other policemen surrounded our car. Welcome to the “new Europe” with fresh border controls!
Luckily, the rest of the stay was without these kind of incidents.


Even if I’m not so present at Joomladays all around the world anymore, I still use the software, write some blog posts about it (in German) and try to follow the development of the Joomla project. I noticed that the community of the Joomla project became more and more a market for extension developers and template clubs and there was and still is a lot of #jpolitics. I also noticed, that the Joomla software is still very useful, easy to install and to maintain and that it’s totally possible to make a living from using Joomla for clients and/or yourself. At #jwc15 Hung Dinh from Joomlart asked me, whether I would write again a book about Joomla if he sponsors me. I agreed and started to write but then the release of Joomla 3.5 was delayed and the project stunted.

With David I talked not much about Joomla but during his stay I noticed that

African Joomla Conference
African Joomla Conference
  • CMS Summit 2017, organized by David, Shedy and Oduor will be held in Abuja, Nigeria and they are looking for sponsors – anyone?
  • David tries to organize a JoomlaDay in Somaliland and is also looking for sponsors – anyone?
  • the “official” budget of Open Source Matters for travel costs and sponsoring of Joomla days was cut (I don’t know details).
    Update: I still don’t know details but I was told I should write “appears to be under threat” instead of cut!
  • if more people could learn to develop, contribute to core, sell extensions and services it would be a good business for the individual and a good deal too for the project. For most people, Joomla is a source of income!
  • Joomla needs “fresh ideas”, people in Joomla are often very old (me included ;) )
  • there are other CMS’s in this world (e.g. WordPress, Drupal, PageKit, Grav, List of CMS)

Important Disclaimer: These are my thoughts and interpretations. David don’t know that I write something in my blog about these topics and at the moment he is in a plane ;).

During his stay, he took a photo of some of the books I wrote between 2002-2010 and published it on his Facebook profile.

A few of my books
A few of my books

Since the release of Joomla 2.5 I published the books by myself with the help of sponsors and offered them as a free download. People like that and still until today I receive feedback. The last book was about Joomla 3 and I wrote it in 2012 (Free PDF download).


Today I brought David to the airport in Barcelona for his flight to Kenya. On the way back I thought it might be a good idea to write again about Joomla (and beyond). The “and beyond” part is important. Joomla is a good Content Management System and with a little bit of know how it is possible to build amazing websites. The more “and beyond” you know the easier it will become to earn money with Joomla!

Iron Blogger

Since last year I’m a so called Iron blogger. Iron bloggers are publishing a blog post every week and because the language I know best is German, I joined a German Iron Blogger group (Ich werde Iron Blogger :)). The basic idea is very simple. Everyone who participates needs a blog (CMS doesn’t matter). He or she has to write one blog entry per week. All the blog posts will be aggregated.
From now on, I’ll try to write about Joomla (of course in English).

If you like the idea, join me, become a Joomla Iron Blogger too and tell me about your decision in a comment :)

A good topic for the first entry could be

  • where do I get information about Joomla?
  • what means “and beyond”?
  • some websites made with Joomla!
  • how to publish content in Joomla, especially images?
  • how to create a template?
  • how to develop a simple component?
  • how to develop the iron blogger component :)


China Content Management System JoomlaDay Open-Source-Software

First JoomlaDay in Shanghai, China

June 2, 2012 the first JoomlaDay in China was held in Shanghai. It was organized by Berry Yang and her Team. Berry is a team leader at Ebay. Her team works on the Datahub project which is an application based on the Joomla platform.

Joomla in China has a long tradition. Derek Joe is the head of the Chinese Translation team since Mambo days and runs The Chinese Joomla forum attracts 12,000 members. Most of them are spread all over the country. As you know, China is a quite big country and many Joomla users cannot afford to spend a few days for traveling to and attending a JoomlaDay. At this first event 110 delegates registered and 80+ attended.

The event was held in the German Centre. A kind of conference and office space where Ebay has its offices too.

There was one track and in total 5 presentations.

Andrew Eddie – Building the Joomla Platform

Building the Joomla Platform

Andrew is deep inside the Joomla Platform development. He’s not working with the CMS anymore :)

Derek Joe (Zhou Zhao-Hui)

Derek talked about the idea of Open Source Software and the Joomla project in general.


Hagen Graf

I had a kind of a lightning talk and presented Joomla and my book project.

View more presentations from Hagen Graf

As a result I got in contact with people who started a few days ago the Mandarin translation (Joomla! 2.5 – 基础指南)

Luffy Xiao (xiaochangbo)

He presented his work at Ebay on the DataHub topic. It’s an amazing topic and I try to figure out more to write a detailed blog entry about it.


Achim Fischer

Achim presented a way to run a community with Joomla based on his very clean and free extensions (download)

Running an Online Community with Joomla!


It was my first stay in China and I was just blown away about the city of Shanghai.

This is the old part

Shanghai Bund

and if your turn around you see a part of Pudong (20 years ago there was nothing!)


People are quite motivated!


Open source software in China is seen as free software in the sense of free, as in free beer. There seems to be also a lack of understanding of the GPL and the ideas of an open source community. People first have to think of earning money and they have simply not the time to investigate and/or collaborate in software projects. Another reason is that the language barrier is quite high. Younger people learn English at school and they understand it very well. Speaking is not that easy. In both ways. English speakers are mostly not able to speak Mandarin and vice versa. An additional little problem is that the Shanghai dialect is very different from Mandarin.

If you want to run a website in China, you have to ask for a license. If it is an easy case it takes a month, if not it can be very complicate. I met a few people like Derek Joe who consult clients on Joomla websites, ecommerce and other services based on Joomla. Joomla is not well known in China and clients often cannot imagine what’s possible with it. It’s good to have Ebay as a strong voice talking about the platform. It is very necessary to tell people more about the CMS and available extensions! May be the translated Joomla! 2.5 Beginner’s Guide is a start.

China is blocking websites like Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, YouTube and more (Google+ is available). Many people use proxies to connect to these sites. Luckily, I had an old URL of the Joomla promo video (Joomla Infographics), so it was possible to show the video in my presentation. People liked it!

Very common in China are Weibo, a mixture of Facebook and Twitter (300,000,000 users – this is my Weibo Account) and QQ, a Chinese instant messaging programm like ICQ with 711,000,000 users :)

For the first time in my life took a Transrapid (Shanghai Maglev Train) from the airport to the city. 430 km/h are quite fast :)

And for the first time I ate with chopsticks and managed to eat little onions :)

More blogs:

Events JoomlaDay

Joomladay Italia in Rome

  • November 21th, 2009 – 9:00 amAs I have heard and seen so far, JoomlaDay Italia is one of the biggest Joomla events in the whole world together with the Dutch and the Thai Joomladays.

    Alexred and ste and their team did an incredibly good job here.

    The venue belongs to Fondazione Santa Lucia and is perfect, the entrance is free.

    The room is filling up – there is Italian rock music in the background.

    The spirit here reminds me 5 minutes to DrupalCon Washington in March 2009.

    The sessions will be streamed live on the Internet (hope that works – it worked).

    I do a session to (building a template from scratch).

    The only thing which I really miss is a working internet connection for the public (like me).

    That’s a pity because it is not possible for me to send tweets, status updates and other bits and pieces in real time.

    Another thing is, that I forgot my camera and camcorder at home (old boy … brain is definitely shrinking).

    Good opportunity to try the gallery feature in flickr (gosh … I forgot, no Internet access).

    More and more people entering the room. It is equipped with four projectors which looks very impressive.

    I am 5 minutes at the entrance together with ste and others to welcome guests.

  • 9:15 am 

    The music stops and the event seems to start.Alex and two other members of the team try to get the PC <-> Projector connection working.

    The room gets fuller and fuller – it’s crazy.

    Three people from the Nooku team pass by. Have you ever heard of Nooku? Look here

  • 9:23 am 

    Now they are four at the podium but still nothing to see on the screens …Yeah – the first slide …

    *** The team is growing *** a slide from the DOCman team

  • 9:44 am 

    IT STARTS: Alex takes his microphone  – “bon giorno at JoomlaDay”I hear many Italian words about Joomla I do not understand :-)

    Then someone from the finance and the youth ministry says a few words.

    Here is the list of all sponsors and media partners.

    Look at their websites to get an impression of Joomla in Italy (,,,,,,

  • 10:00 amJoomla! <-> Moodle – demo site

    The speaker introduces moodle as a shiny, super duper system for e-learning. For me, it is a bit hard to hear, because last year we had a client with a mis-configured moodle and our job was to solve the problems. For me, it seems, that open source projects like moodle, and of course Drupal and Joomla! too often are victims of misconfiguration in bigger projects – don’t look behind the curtain and don’t ask :-)

  • 10:18 am 

    Now the interesting thing – the integration of a moodle site into Joomla – this is interesting for me, because we set up Joomla in a European project for an Italian partner ( and often the partners use moodle in these kinds of projects.

  • 10:30 am 

    Johann Janssen and Mathias VerraesThe talk is in English and there is a translating service to Italian language (good idea). It is the official launch of DOCman 1.5, and a bit about the future of DOCman 2.0. The docman team is growing and therefore they have the possibility to release a new version of docman on December 1th (2010 2009 – sorry for the mistake and thank you for the hint :-)).  In the past docman 1.3 was more a less Johann’s testing ground for the development of Joomla 1.5. It was the first extension which used MVC in the Joomla world. They have 1,000,000 downloads a year.

    DOCman 1.5 will be

    – native Joomla 1.5

    – the upgrade will be as painless as possible (no database and behaviour changes)

    Then Johann describes the features of docman (GPL, custom fields, local or remote storage, nested categories, group acl, plugin support (f.e. a shopping cart plugin to sell documents))

    Docman 2.0 ?

    — they have 150 Feature requests (teams, versioning, amazon s3, google docs, notification, …)

    — how to handle extensibility?

    — here the nooku framework comes into the game

    At the moment, often code for new Joomla extensions is copied and pasted from docman and other extensions and changed a bit with the known problems.

    The other way is better? first a framework, then the extension …

    F.ex. NinjaBoard was rewritten on nooku framework (88% code reduction – 5.000 Lines of code 1.700 Lines code, the rest comments).

    It is impressive to see and I ask myself “why is it called nooku? why not joomla?” It seems to be that the real progress is done in nooku, not in the joomla framework

    Another example built on nooku is anahitasocialengine (

    A chat exists, which cannot be seen on the projected screens – in this chat people ask the same question I was thinking of.

    The answer is: the Joomla framework is not built on joomla, the idea behind is the integration of nooku in joomla, drupal, wordpress and silverstripe.

    It is possible to write a Joomla extension in one line of code :-)

  • 11:23 am 

    PhpMyAdmin e MySqlA good presentation about the different versions of mysql and the possibilities to manage the databases, using phpMyAdmin

  • 11:56 pm 

    A good talk about hosting from about hosting.It starts with the question “What does the taxi driver ask when you enter his car?”

  • in between 

    relaxing in the sun with two wonderful pannini. After 20 minutes I fall into a deep sleep for 2 hours. Now I need a coffee but there isn’t one

  • 2:20 pm 

    Alex and I tried for the first time to connect the mac to the projector and … after a bit of trial and error it works

  • 2:30 pm 

    Accessibility in Italy seems to be a big thing.

  • 3:00 pm 

    my talk …I tried to build a template in 25 minutes and most worked well

  • 3:30 pm Alessandro Nadalin features in Joomla 1.6 Alpha 2 – People like the new ACL very much
  • 4:10 pm 

    Someone reads something in Italian language but it must be very important – he gets a big applause

  • 4:15 pm Brian Teeman 

    hidden secrets – How to disable components

    – How to disable ?=tp1

    – robots.txt are not working in subdirectories

    – How to disable meta name generator


    – admin user is always user_id = 62 (delete it and create a new one, don’t call it admin)

    – don’t user jos_

    – hide your components xml file


    – individual 404 page

    and then he showed his Joomla Tattoo … (have I mentioned, that he is based near Liverpool?)


  • 5:00 pmVirtueMart with Marcos Mattieri – hidden secrets for me because of Italian language :-)
  • 5:30 pmA lady talks about building a community in 24 hours and look for help in the community
  • 5:45 pmAllessandro Zaffi – SEO in Joomla 1.6
  • Then there is a last question & answer session with all the speakers

Thank you Italian community and especially alexred and ste for this wonderful day (and evening)