A Day of Joomla (live)

I’m posting this live from the first Joomla Day West conference being held at Google headquarters in Mountainview (so, yes, wireless is reliable!)

This is an interesting event – an “un-conference” as Ryan calls it, which falls somewhere in the territory of a traditional conference, a town hall meeting, and, maybe, the Phil Donahue show, as emceed by the always entertaining Gunner (of Aspiration fame).

It’s about halfway through the day, and continuing through tomorrow, but I won’t be able to come back, because that would incur the justified scorn of my son’s mother, who expects me to not be a computer geek on her day. There are 100 or so people here from many corners of the earth (well, the Americas and Europe are healthfully represented) and associations to Joomla that range from a tiny non-profit thinking about using it to the core development team. Joomla, for those who don’t know, is a popular open Source Content Management System (CMS) with a huge developer community, making it very powerful and popular. It has it’s roots in a CMS called Mambo.

The big topics are:

  • The upcoming Joomla 1.5 release, which is a dramatic rewrite of the application that will make developers (like me) very happy. They have exposed a programming framework that could develop into an environment all it’s own, and they’ve made changes to the templating that allow for powerful customizations.
  • The move to more strictly enforce GPL compliance. The GNU General Public License is designed to offer users of GPL applications much freedom,with restrictions on how the code can be redistributed that insure that the community will share in all enhancements. The Mambo/Joomla developer community apparently includes many add-ons that aren’t compliant with this, and the Joomla team hopes to (appropriately) bring them back to compliance.

This is a seriously fun event with group activities intersperced with break out sessions, and a kind of “this is being made up as it goes along” agenda. Next up: speed geeking! which Gunner describes as “like speed dating, but completely different”.

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