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My Smashing Magazine article is published!

Posted by on in Joomla

I'm thrilled to announce that my article, "Teaching Web Design To New Students In Higher Education" is published at Smashing Magazine! Thanks so much to Derek Allard for helping with editing and advising of the article. I'm hoping for great conversation about our educational process in web design and development all over the world.

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Where in the world is Jen Kramer?

Posted by on in Joomla

It's looking like an incredibly fun fall! I'll be out and about at conferences in Boston, San Jose, San Francisco, and online, as well as running some workshops in the Boston area. If you want to learn Bootstrap or Foundation, or if you would just like to learn a bit about how they're quite different, you'll have plenty of opportunities to hear from me! Here's the coming lineup.

Northeast PHP Conference

The Northeast PHP Conference will be held August 16-18 at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA. August 16 is a workshop day, while August 17-18 are the standard conference. Tickets are on sale and tend to sell out quickly, so get them while they're available.

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Bootstrap Resources

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For my upcoming talk on Bootstrap at Fluent 2013, I've put together a list of resources for Bootstrap. They're not listed in any particular order. Have fun learning!

Official Bootstrap Links

Resource Lists

Templates and Themes

Galleries/examples of Bootstrap sites

JavaScript and JavaScript Integration

HTML Snippets

Other Responsive Design Frameworks

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Thanks to Carlos Souza for his Brazilian Portuguese translation of this article!

Q: How do I add custom JavaScript in my projects?

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Waltham, MA, three days after the storm

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I don't normally post personal information here in my blog, but I'm really amazed at my new hometown, Waltham, MA.

I moved here 10 months ago from Keene, New Hampshire. Prior to that, I lived in the backwoods of Vermont. Streets were plowed in a timely manner, even though these are tiny towns. Waltham has a population of 60,000. I expected they could do as good a job as my former hometowns when it came to plowing.

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Jen Learns Javascript, Part 1: Getting Started

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This is my 13th year building professional-level websites. When I started this work in 2000, I used Macromedia Dreamweaver 3, Adobe Photoshop 5.5 with Image Ready 2.0, Outlook for my email, and web hosting at some crappy host or another. Internet Explorer 5 absolutely rocked, but it supported all of these cool effects that no other browser did. I was already tired of Netscape 4 limitations. I built static sites that were full of spacer GIFs, font tags, and table-based layouts, and my code was considered clean and streamlined. That's how we rolled in those days.

 

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2012: A Look Back

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2012 was a year of big changes for me. I moved my physical location, shifted my focus, and had a blast doing it all. Here's a summary of highlights for 2012.

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Revamping College Tech Curricula

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Originally posted in the BRIDGE Blog, August 2012.

In the mid-1990′s, “webmaster” was among the hottest job titles. A webmaster was the person tasked with building a website for an organization, frequently one where they worked. Coming from diverse backgrounds, and self-taught by necessity, webmasters mentored one another while building the early web.

As publishers offered books on HTML, the first web design courses at colleges and universities were born. In the beginning, everything about the web could be covered in a single course, generally in the computer science department. Within a few years, though, colleges and universities began offering concentrations in web design.

Twenty years after webmasters started teaching one another HTML, most colleges and universities now offer classes pertaining to building websites. However, those classes are offered in different departments, emphasize different aspects of web design, and, unfortunately, they are frequently not up to date.

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"Encore" Post: Social Networking at Joomla.org

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The below was written by me and posted on April 20, 2010, at Joomla4Web. This was in reaction to a request for comment about what the Joomla community thought about a social networking site for Joomla. This post generated many comments and debate, but ultimately, the site launched in May 2010.

As of today, Joomla's Community Leadership Team has announced the death of Joomla's people.joomla.org website, due to lack of interest.

I post this here not as an "I told you so" moment, but more as a teachable moment for the Joomla community. Without a site plan, including a website strategy, understanding the manpower for implementing interactivity, and understanding existing "competitors" to a proposed product, that product is doomed for failure. 

The Joomla community, including the leadership, never understood how or if we would use such a site before it was built. It was built, had a spectacular adoption in the first month or so, and after that, traffic fell away to a minimum. There was no reason to return to the site, and there were other sites where interacting was simpler, easier, or on user's daily traffic patterns. 

 

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My latest course, "Up and Running with Bootstrap", is now available at lynda.com for any lynda.com subscribers.

Course description

Bootstrap is a free web development tool from Twitter that, with a little bit of CSS and JavaScript experience, makes building websites quick, intuitive, and fun. Author Jen Kramer explores its 12-column grid layout; typography and icon libraries; fully functional components like nav bars, buttons, and tabs; and much more. This course also shows how to add JavaScript extras like dropdown menus, modal windows, and photo carousels.

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Here's my slides from the Northeast PHP Conference, held August 11-12 at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA.
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I have a new guest blog post at the BRIDGE Technical Solutions Blog: Revamping College Tech Curricula

Why do we still teach our college students outdated tech in web design programs? Looking forward to the day when curricula can keep up with technology.

Tagged in: curriculum
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Joomla 3.0: Should I stay or should I go?

Posted by on in Joomla

Translations

Joomla 3.0 is on track for release in September 2012. Your Joomla site isn't running Joomla 3.0. 

Should you wait for 3.0 to migrate your 1.5 site? Should you move from 2.5 to 3.0? Should you stay or should you go?

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An' if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know

 

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Joomla 2.5.5: New features, coming soon!

Posted by on in Joomla

Joomla 2.5.5 is due for release anytime now. Today there was a post at community.joomla.org describing several new features in this version, including:

  • Ability to copy a template (not just a template style), which includes copying any overrides, images, CSS, language strings, and more.
  • Terms of Service now fixed, so that you can actually have a TOS for someone registering for the site to read. (Currently you can implement a box at registration to agree to the TOS but you cannot associate text with it. Doh!)
  • Disable changing a username. Right now users can change username and password in their profile, but you are now able to turn off the ability to change the username if you wish. This is true on the front end and the back end.
  • Limit password reset within a time period. A visitor can now change their password X times in Y hours -- and both of these variables are configurable.
  • Redirect component gets a 404 count. Now you can know how many times a non-existent URL is requested on your site. In my experience you can accumulate hundreds of these very quickly, so it's helpful to know which ones are really important to redirect.
  • Preview images. If you are wondering what an image looks like when you associate an image with a category, article, contact, etc, you can now see a preview of the image by hovering over a preview button. This can be turned on and off via an XML field in the installation package.
  • Better menu item selection for modules. Previously if you picked "select all", you'd pick all menu items in all menus. Now if the module assignment is set to "only on the pages selected", you can select all/clear selection/toggle selection for a specific menu. This is great if you have a big site in particular, as those buttons were useless on big sites!
  • Multi-file Upload, using the regular uploader. Previously we had to turn on the Flash uploader to upload more than one image. In 2.5.5 and higher, we're able to leave the standard HTML uploader, but we can now choose multiple images to upload -- awesome!
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Am I talented enough to "go pro"?

Posted by on in Joomla

This morning, there was a great post on the Joomla User Group New England discussion board. One of our members asked if he was talented enough to "go professional" just yet, or whether he needed to work more before getting there.

Remember that the definition of "professional" means that you're paid for the work you do. Most people who work with Joomla are either hobbyists (they build a site or a few sites for some organizations they love, without pay), or they're professionals (and they build sites for pay).

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Join Jen in Boston for Hands-On Joomla Training

Posted by on in Joomla

Come join me in Boston next week for some live, in-person, hands-on Joomla training. It will be held at CompuWorks, 263 Summer St, 1st Floor, Boston, MA 02210 (right near the Downtown Crossing subway stop) from 9 AM to 4 PM each day.

June 13 is beginning Joomla. No prior experience with Joomla or website design is required! Come learn how to build a simple Joomla site from start to finish. Register now.

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6 Reasons You Should Host The Sites You Build

Posted by on in Joomla

When I first started my web design business in 2000, building static, Dreamweaver-based sites, I didn't want to be in the web hosting business. One host was very much like another, and if there was an issue with hosting (and there almost never was), I figured I'd deal with it on a case-by-case basis.

As I got into more dynamic sites, eventually working with Joomla almost exclusively, I realized how important it was offering hosting as part of the website development work.

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Pro tip: Budgeting for extensions

Posted by on in Joomla

It's a fact that some Joomla extensions come with a small price tag. Most Joomla extensions are in the $20-$50 range, with the vast majority under $100. 

You can usually find an extension that does something similar to the paid extension, but for free.

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How does one build a website in the current version of Joomla which produces the minimum number of headaches when the site must ultimately move to the next version of Joomla?

The best way to make migrations easy is to leverage Joomla's core features as much as possible. Use an extension only when absolutely necessary.

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With the Joomla 1.5 lifecycle ending in September 2012, clients are being told they must migrate to Joomla 2.5, so that they can keep up with security fixes.

As expected, we are seeing much resistance to this process from clients. I paid for my site once, say the clients, so why am I paying more money for this migration, and why is it important? I addressed this question in an August 2011 Joomla Community Magazine article, Nine Questions When Preparing Clients for Joomla 2.5.

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Jen Loves Translations

Hello translators! I love it when people translate my articles to other languages, helping me reach Joomla fans around the world.

Include a link to my original version in your translation, then email me or tweet me (@jen4web) your link. I'll include that link to your translation in my article with thanks to you!