User talk

Chris Davenport

From Joomla! Documentation

Revision as of 05:27, 4 April 2011 by Vernonr (Talk | contribs)

What was the reason my edits were removed?

Linking to external sites is classed as "self-promotion". If you wish to contribute videos (or any other resource) then they need to be hosted on our infrastructure. Ideally they will also be JEDL licensed, although we will consider material under other open licenses as long as the license terms are clearly shown. I look forward to seeing your videos. Just send them to me and I'll arrange to put them in an appropriate place. Thanks. Chris Davenport 03:43, 12 December 2008 (EST)

basic template tutorial

You removed the warning notice I added to the tutorial, IMHO it is better to warn people that the basic tutorial will *not* give them a working template than letting them wonder why the template manager refuse to install their template. This notice should stay until someone fix the tutorial. For example removing the reference to the optional background.png from the xml because joomla will complain about a missing file and refuse to install the template. The xml example ought to be coherent with the outline of folder/file structure. Adding some mention of the role and importance the thumbnail file is another thing worth mention among the errors I had to fix for the template to actually install.

I removed your comments because they were not constructive. If you encountered a specific problem with the tutorial you should describe the issue in enough detail that someone would be able to reproduce it and then be able to amend the tutorial. You should also do that on the Talk: page rather than on the page itself. Better still you could amend the tutorial yourself; we welcome additions or amendments that improve the documentation. Chris Davenport 08:52, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

This revert thing is gonna get old quick. I can easily return the compliment and say I undid your removal because it's not constructive either, that If you encountered a specific problem with my editing, you should tell me about it in details on my talk page or point that warning readers that the tutorial is broken is improving the documentation, and the first step of actually fixing it. You should know better than what you did, I don't have the required knowledge and time to fix it myself. If you wanted to reproduce the issue, you just have to follow the tutorial step-by-step, better yet you can read the tutorial and you'll notice that it cannot work as is, or maybe just read what I wrote above and you'll see I did exactly what you asked me. On a related note don't invite someone to do something them block their account to prevent him from doing so, act stupid and treat people badly and they will act stupid too and behave as you expect them too. IMHO it's not smart to fight over such a ridiculous thing, but if you want me to waste both your and my time I'll take you on your challenge, so unless you're willing to block the whole ip range I'm using, I'll come back and do it again. This is the kind of behaviour you usually get from relying on first and not trying to communicate instead of see you soon from another ip. While at it also read

All I am asking is that you edit the page in such a way that others can see the problem you encountered and can correct the information given. Simply saying that "...will end up in a few various errors..." does little to help us. What errors did you encounter? What version of Joomla were you using? What platform are you running Joomla on? Just stating that there are errors is like submitting a bug report that does nothing more than state that there is a bug in 1.6. Your hostile behaviour is uncalled for. 07:29, 16 November 2010 (UTC)


Hello I wanna ask, who can edit the Template Namespace in this Wiki? It would be cool, if a "normal" user could add some templates, cause I got a permission denied message --Bembelimen 20:17, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I wasn't aware that it was restricted. What page/template are you trying to edit/create? Chris Davenport 21:06, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't matter which one i try to edit or create. I get everytime this message:
Permission error
You do not have permission to edit pages, for the following reason:
You do not have permission to edit pages in the Template namespace.
--Bembelimen 21:37, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I moved you to the Editors group. Try it now. Chris Davenport 23:36, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

works now, thank you --Bembelimen 23:52, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

J1.6 Help system

I read that all will be different for Help in 1.6. Can you please point me to plans for Help 1.6? Tony Davis 06:02, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Help for Joomla 1.5 and prior versions has traditionally been served from pages on, which is itself a Joomla instance. In fact, the help system implemented in all Joomla versions up to 1.5 is hard-coded to require that the help server be a Joomla instance (probably not intentionally, but that's the way it worked out). That caused a couple of problems:

  1. When we moved the focus of the documentation effort to a wiki, it made sense to construct the help screens on the wiki too. However, this meant that we had to copy-paste the help screens from the wiki to and whilst this is straightforward in theory, it is actually very labour-intensive and there is a lot of manual "fixing-up" that had to be done.
  2. It didn't solve a problem that had always existed with the help screens: clicking on a link in a help screen causes the next page to be loaded to appear with the full Joomla template, including headers, footers and modules, when it would be better to have just the help screen content display.

The first of these problems is addressed by serving the help screens directly from the wiki. However, this requires some minor code changes in Joomla itself. There is a patch to enable 1.5 to access non-Joomla help servers, but I believe it needs tweaking for 1.6 and I haven't had chance to do that yet. The second of these problems is addressed by serving the help screens via a proxy instead of directly from the wiki. The proxy is a Joomla instance running a small component and is already set up and running at It uses the wiki's web API to pull data from the wiki and because it has a stripped-down default template, it doesn't deliver any headers, footers or modules that are not intended.

As for the help screens themselves, the user interface for 1.6 is not yet fixed so it probably not wise to start writing the help screens (which generally involve a lot of screenshots) until it is. It is expected that the UI will be fixed when the first beta is released, so that should be the starting point for writing help screens. Of course, there's nothing to stop anyone starting before then, you just need to be aware that changes are very likely to happen.

The other area which is still "up for grabs" is a new key reference scheme. The help system works by having a "key reference" embedded in the code. This is then used to construct a URL from which the help screen is pulled. You can see the traditional naming scheme here: Help screens. However, with 1.6 we have the opportunity to completely revise this scheme if we want to. For example, we could add a namespace to the key reference, giving us "Joomla16:Config" instead of "screen.config.16", say. I'm not saying we should do that; I'm just illustrating the point that we have a great deal of flexibility and with 1.6 we don't have to worry about backwards-compatibility as there won't be any even if we stick with the current naming scheme.

In 1.5 (and before) the Joomla version number was appended to the basic key reference automatically. With the new help system, we can construct URL's with a lot more flexibility and we can make use of the following variables:

  • keyref
    The basic key reference itself
  • major
    The major part of the Joomla version number.
  • minor
    The minor part of the Joomla version number.
  • maintenance
    The maintenance part of the Joomla version number.
  • language
    The full language code (eg. "en-GB")
  • langregion
    The region part of the language code (eg. "GB").

These variables can be used anywhere within a help system URL to construct the page name to be retrieved.

Hope that helps. Chris Davenport 09:36, 3 November 2009 (UTC) Thanks for that Chris.

I take it from the above that one decision (or obvious thing) is that 1.6 Help will be a Joomla based system. Which leads to the question - Should the documentation be similarly based? I see it all being of a piece - the Help Screens being the descriptive part of the User Manual but there also being Introductory texts, Tutorials, Videos, Recipes (a lesser form of Tutorial to encourage folk to write them). It will be accessed either contextually - as a Help System - or like a Cookery Book or like a programming tutorial text. Is this totally daft?

I have built a whole heap of wiki pages and have learnt loads. see the root I am concerned about controlling it. Could you look at Amy's Ning in two places bottom of this page and this post asking for volunteers.

All advice gratefully received. Tony Davis 22:02, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Not sure I follow what you mean when you say that "1.6 Help will be a Joomla based system". The English help screens for 1.6 are going to be served from the wiki, although they are going through a proxy that happens to be running Joomla (I could just as easily have written some standalone PHP to act as a proxy, or if I knew how, a Drupal instance). The fact that all the documentation will be in the wiki, including the help screens, means that we can share content between the help screens and other forms of documentation. For example, I hope that the new 1.6 help screens will include links to more task-orientated pages. I wouldn't include the help screens as such in the User Manual as they mostly just describe what you see on a particular Administrator screen. I think that the User Manual (or Administrator's Manual as I prefer to call it) should be more task/goal orientated. I made a start at the sort of material I thought was appropriate on this page: Administrators. This is not to say that we cannot share content between the help screens and the User Manual though, but including an entire help screen in the User Manual is probably not very helpful.

I haven't had chance to read the Ning pages thoroughly, but I think Amy is right when she says that we should not expect authors to be wiki experts. We need to encourage people to write the raw material that can then be shaped by others into the modular, context-independent form that is the life-blood of a single-source, modular documentation system. Chris Davenport 23:19, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Vulnerable Extensions Updates

I noticed you are in process of updating the page. I am wondering if your update might contain any new information regarding Zoom Media Gallery (a now dead project), or Ice Gallery (Zoom's replacement project, which may also be either dead or in serious limbo). Ice Gallery, it seems, has a serious vulnerability, and is not yet listed here. In any event, Ice should be added, and Zoom entry should be updated as well. I have the info, and can do, if you don't. --Riverside 00:16, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm not involved in maintaining that information. Please email to report vulnerabilities. Thank you. Chris Davenport 00:25, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I was looking at the wrong history page (talk, instead of the main page ~ so apparently it wasn't you editing it), but I will send what I've found there. Thanks. --Riverside 18:58, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Templates for 1.6

Chris, Just wondering if you got my email regarding chunks and templates for the 1.6 help screens. I'd like to be editing and updating a lot of these screens but I'm not going to do anything until we can figure out a good way to handle chunks. Would appreciate a response. 219jondn 01:48, 21 January 2011 (UTC)


I note that you removed the material I put on the evaluators page about terminology. Could you clarify your reasons please ? Vernonr 10:27 4 April 2011 (UTC)