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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    15

    Default RE: Porting GEO to Joomla... a big step forward

    Hello to all,
    This topic was discussed in Mambo guise almost a year ago on this site but fizzled out.
    Joomla has taken the baton from Mambo and is building a large - nay huuuge following.
    Having recently built a simple front end using Joomla at http://www.carsglobal.com and over the last few weeks a classifieds/auctions site linked from here, it seems that there is a screaming need to bring the inherent Joomla (opensource) template/module/component/cPanel/fantastico benefits to the GEO world. There is now so much out there. While I only juuuusst have enough intelligence to cobble together the basic working website, I want to focus on building the business, not tinkering with style sheets and raw html.

    Joomla gives us this power on a plate with a cast of thousands working to produce new functionality. Joomla and Geo are made for each other.
    Please take a moment to visit http://www.rockettheme.com ( I have no affiliation - promise, but have followed this guy's work). Andy Miller a.k.a rhuk, in my view, has a rare talent for producing consistantly elegant, light-weight and functional php template-sets in the Joomla format. Just look at the choices - they are all great. all the questions would be answered - single login, streamed news and features, integrated bulletin boards, polling, simple reconfiguration of modul locations, user-chooses templates etc etc etc. (no lose of income for Geo either, probably more sales and funds for development)
    Given the common php modular function of GEO, can you imagine where this takes the product, if it were ported to the Joomla module format.
    There must be some php guru out there who can Joomla-ize (Geoomla?) this thing.
    I want it - anyone else?
    I'll just go back to my burrow now and continue with my struggle of getting the Geo back end to marry the Joomla front end...and it does belong here as a Commercial Development topic. It is the single biggest thing that can take the product forward. Having said all of that, I am not at all critial of GEO it has some strong points and I'm a fan - that's why I bought the whole GeoClassAuctions thing...
    Cheers from Oz!
    MarkJ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1

    Default

    It's also exactly what I am seeking for!!!

    Or anybody can develop bridges for GEO products and joomla?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    237

    Default

    If you are asking Geo to enable the use of Joomla templates, I think that's a great idea.


    Not sure how much time/work that involves, but maybe we could all put some moolah into a hat to fund the hours it would take.


    Sheila

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Hi guys,

    I thought I had two heads for a minute, I was surprised at the lack of response to what I thought is a reasonable solution to "standardisation" of a modular php format.
    I agree with the view that it is only fair that a contribution is made for this type of development.
    I emailed Andy Miller, the guy behind the rocket themes site, only becaus I note that he is also part of the core Joomla development team.
    He is commited to his template work and does not undertake this type of project.
    The idea of applying the Joomla format takes nothing away from the Geo concept and adds greatly to the ease adding a multitude of template formats along with modules and components already developed by others. The website Joomlaya offers development services, but an initial enquiry has not ellicited any response.
    Is ayone on the Geo development/admin team for or against such development - or have a view on positives/negatives?
    Do others in the GEO forum community have any interest in the topic as a means of streamlining site development?
    Mark J
    MarkJ

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    185

    Default I'm interested!

    I am very interested in a CMS capability of GeoClass. As a matter of fact, it is the one thing that has slowed my progress into setting up my site. I am looking at all sorts of options and have also settled on Joomla, even if it means two different logins. I even initially investigated the vBulletin API and the CMS software that then links with vBulletin, hoping that it would all tie together. Looks questionable and time consuming to test.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    15

    Default More on Joomla Integration

    I have done some sniffing around on this subject and came up with some interesting information. There is a site: www.compassdesign.net that do port exisiting templates to Joomla. That site has some interesting free tutorials as they are on the core Joomla documentation team. I found a link to a very lightweight (no tables,all css driven 13kb) template called "Simplicity". It is comprised of 10 module "positions" in similar layout to the default Geo template setup. (no promotion here, I simply checked it out and bought it for the experiment)

    So far, I have successfully installed it (cost US$34) at my site www.carsglobal.com and placed geoclassauctions in a subdirectory "sales". I have then used the Joomla opensource admin interface and "fantastico" to load a Coppermine image gallery & and Simplemachines forum (all opensource freeware) as subdirectories also. Joomla has a "wrapper" component which is an "i-frame". I have then removed the header module html (cut and stored from the Geo front page template and stored in a notepad txt file for salfe keeping) and did the same to the forum and gallery software.
    From the Joomla menu manager area I created wrapper links from the "top: & "main" menus to the full url of each of these components with wrapper height set to "auto" and width set to "100%". So far so good. With some minor tweaking of the respective css files I have got a sorta-kinda sympathetic theme happening with a lot more to do on that part yet... its no oil painting.
    I have the suppressed the Joomla login and used an included bridge wizard in Coppermine which ties the login of the gallery and the forum together, so at this point login for the classifieds and auction area will be seperate to the forum and gallery - I can live with that for the moment, plus I think it s not a bad thing to let people wander the upper levels of a site without needing to login. There is also a "Community Builder" component available which can bridge the Joomla login to some other plugin components)(http://extensions.joomla.org). I have not looked into that yet.
    The "Simplicity" Joomla template has an included default of "fluid" width, so the site opens at 800w but can be manually expanded via toggles at the top corner of the page to suit the bits (including Geo) that benefit from the wider viewing format.
    I now need to find a way to get the window to automatically jump to wide when the Geo site is selected, this should be possible but beyond my immediate grasp. I will also now need to move the Geo module six and my google ad column out of the way to provide more room - no big deal, or I could just link straight into the 1st category pages, in my case countries.
    It seems that if someone were to apply the time and more technical savvy than I possess, you could pobably call all the Geo modules into the equivilant Joomla front-end template "positions".
    Any way a quick and dirty solution that is probably worth some more time. Any thoughts?
    MarkJ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    13

    Default

    You make good use of the Joomla "Wrapper" functionality and if a user has his screen set to high resolution, it looks like GeoClassifieds is part of the site. At medium resolution or in windows that are not full screen, scroll bars become apparent and one can use see the install is actually within an IFRAME.

    However, here are the disadvantages of the "wrapper" solution:

    1) your have two distinct user databases - one for your Joomla site and one for your GeoClassifieds system, which will never be in sync and could lead to user confusion when logging into one or the other.

    2) being in a wrapper like that, search engines will have difficulty getting to your classifieds and spidering your many classifieds pages.

    3) there is nothing to prevent users from accessing your classifieds with the direct URL www.carsglobal.com/sales and skipping the rest of your site entirely.

    I remain disappointed that having posted requests on this board for well over a year, possibly two, asking for GeoClassifieds direct integration with Joomla or its predecessor, Mambo, there has been no action by the developers to do so or to create a bridge that would at least integrate the user databases.

    Sean

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    15

    Default RE Joomla! integration

    Hi Sean,

    You are accurate in your observations.
    I recently made the www.carsglobal.com/sales the default "homepage" for this reason, by simply raising it to first menu item in the Main menu module, which has this effect in Jooma!
    I do not want to impede visitors with a login, other than if they wish to place an ad or auction lisitng, or contribute to the forum, or gallery. In this case there is a bridge login between these two modules, but a seperate login to place an ad.
    I recently wrote to Geo support again on the topic, and a representative responded...

    "You have full access to the php code set for you license, so certainly if you would like to explore the integration of joomla in some form or fashion, you may do so. In fact, if you are familiar with php and you can create a utility to integrate our software with joomla, we may be interested in reselling that tool, purchasing it from you outright, or recommending your tool to other customers of ours who are looking for a similar solution."
    ...so technically such a project is likely to be within the allowance of the licensing. If Bob Maleki and Alfred Bennet at Interactive Villages, were to have lunch with Barry North and Waseem Sadiq over at Compass Designs, there would be the right mix of skills to make it happen.
    Meanwhile, I'll continue to bash my little project into a better form of Hybrid. I've yet to attack the Geo templates to make fit better within the Joomla! wrapper confines, or give up and get a life. Not sure which yet!
    MarkJ

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Kingston, WA
    Posts
    756

    Default

    Hey, thanks for the mention Mark! If we can get some other Geo users to kick in some funding, we'd love to develop this with you.

    Bob

    http://www.interactivevillages.com
    Interactive Villages LLC
    Custom modules, programming and hosting for all Geodesic products!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Hi, Bob. I'm in. Contact me at spcover@scarsdaletech.com to discuss.

    Sean

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