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Category: Joomla (Page 2 of 5)

Actually that’s not an error

Some settings of the placehere module are somewhat esoteric and produce unexpected results (unexpected by you, not by me), not because there is something wrong with the module but because of Joomlas strange and idiosyncratic ways when it comes to organising the way pages are displayed. I won’t go into any detail but will shortly explain an option that will cause problems unless you know what you are doing, and you do not know what you are doing because I haven’t provided any documentation.

I’m talking about the setting “link to category” in the module settings. If this is activated, and you have linked  titles or display readmore-links will not link to the article pages but to the category page (blog layout page) of the category for this article. That is, it will do if you have a menu link for the category page. If not the setting will screw up the links, even more so if you’re using SEF-Urls. This is not an error with the module code (if anything it is a design flaw in Joomla), it’s expected behaviour (expected by me, not by you) and doesn’t require fixing or workarounds. Simply switch of this option if you do not have a category blog page and the module will work fine.

    Help me track down this error

    Apparently a few users of the mod_placehere module get this error message:

    * JHTMLicon not supported. File not found

    I cannot reproduce this (using Joomla 1.5.9 on Windows Vista/Apache 2/PHP 5 and mod_placehere version 1.2.2), but I do not simply want to ignore the issue, so if you get this error on your site please contact me with version information of your software.

      “Mastering Joomla! 1.5”

      I’m not so sure this is a good book. The blurb says “community experience distilled” – I think it could have used some more distilling.

      “Mastering Joomla! 1.5” by James Kennard is an introduction to extension- and framework developement with the 1.5 branch of Joomla. In twelve chapters it covers component, module and plugin design, the Joomla HTML library, templates, error handling and web services with J!.

      According to the subtitle this is a “professionals guide” and indeed you need to be familiar with Joomla and know something about OOP in PHP to put the book to good use. Problem is, if you’re a professional, or a not-quite-professional with some patience and an internet connection you might as well save the money. It’s not like you get much more out of the book than you can have for free from the Joomla documentation pages.

      The book is a nice-to-have for people like me who prefer paper and read programming books in the bathtub subway, but if you think some 35 Euro should entitle you to some more information than you can get for free in the web then you might want to avoid it [1].

      1. But then you might want to buy it to support the author of a potentially useful extension, especially since he donates a part of the proceeds to the Joomla project

      Timezone bugfix, new template

      Version 1.2.1 of the placehere module did not work for some people – it would not show new articles. That’s because I had introduced a stupid error in the sql query that messed with the timezone settings. This is fixed in the latest version.

      Also I added a template called “beez with article parameters”. That’s a tableless template that ignores the paramaters from the module settings pane (pdf+mail icons etc) and uses those from the article manager or from the article itself. Please note  that the included templates are more or less suggestions, with basic HTML you can build you own (leave the stuff inside the php tags alone and change the surrounding HTML). If youve done something clever with a template I’ll be happy to include it in the ‘official’ release of the module.

      I also changed the default values for some module parameters to more sensible values.

      If you have a previous version of the module installed it will be enough to overwrite the files to update (better yet delete the old files and upload the new ones).

      Click here to go to the download page

        Baffled no more

        The place here-module version 1.2.1 didn’t quite work for some people and while I suspected it might be some simple problem I had no idea what actually was going on.  It turned out, as it is often the case, that I was being stupid.

        Between the previous and current version I had changed the sql query in the module to avoid a problem with date calculations that was not originally caused by my code (so if with future versions you get an error message that involves the words “JFactory::getDate()” please note that I won’t be able to help you). As a result the query failed (unless your server happened to be somewhere in my timezone).

        I’m working on some items from the feature requests, so I haven’t released a new version yet, but be assured that there will be a patched version by the end of the week.

          So now I’m baffled

          The latest version of “mod_placehere” (content item module for J!1.5) apparently does not work for a number of people (for production you can still use the previous version), and I have to say that I do not know why. I’ve spent the day with attempts to find the flaw, but didn’t find it.

          So if you download the module I would ask you to first try the latest version; if this doesn’t work please write a comment or a mail with your Joomla Version, PHP Version and MySql Version.  A Screenshot of your module settings would be nice, too.


            Uncategorized content did not work in the latest version of mod_placehere, this is fixed now. However there seems to be another bug (I had two commenters who say that the module did not work for them) that I could not locate or reproduce yet.

            Please, don’t be shy – if the module does not work it’s much more likely a bug in the code than an error of yours, there is not much you can do wrong. If you have a live site where the module does not work you can provide me a temporary login via email and I have a look and try to fix the problem (email adress is in the left colum).

              New Features

              Keywan Ghadami (who has not given his web adress, so instead I link to the project he’s working on – studieren-ohne-grenzen.org) has added a “related article”-feature to the place here module which has found with very little modifications it’s way in the “official” release. That’s how it works:

              Related articles

              If a) the module is set to display articles; b) no article ids are given; “show related” is set to “yes” (default); and site visitors look at an article page (not an blog or component page) then related articles are displayed. This is at the moment a very basic implementation – relationship between  articles is determined by meta-keyword(s), if at least one keyword is the same for both articles the articles are related.

              Edit Button

              There is now an edit button in the frontend  (for logged in users with proper permissions).

              Start display with an offset

              There is a new parameter “offset”. If for example you set the module to display a category with ten articles and set the offset to 5 the module will display articles six to ten from the category (unless you limited the display further with the “number of items displayed” parameter).

              General Bugfixes

              The sql query used a Joomla function to determine the current date. As long as J! is Mysql only I replaced this with the simpler NOW() function from MySql (since this was easier than to look up how Joomla date functions actually work and why they gave wrong results in the module).  The “gallery mode” displayed pictures from the main content even when disabled, I fixed that, too.

              Version Number

              Since there is a new major feature I set the version number to 1.2.1. This has been quite thoroughly tested on Vista/Apache/PHP 5.2 so I don’t expect any major bugs (knock on wood), but if anything doesn’t work, well, you know where to find me.

                I need a Beta-Tester

                I hope you all had a happy holiday.

                I made some changes to the “place here module” ( sometimes I think I should find another name). There is now an edit button in the frontend, you can specifiy an offset (so, for example, you can display a category starting with the 5th,7th,nt..h article), the module rows now have a CSS class “even” and “odd” respectively than can be used for “zebra striping” (alternate colors) and I fixed a number of bugs (or so I hope).

                However I’m not at home (that is, not at my workplace) and have only a very limited internet connection, so I have no proper way to test all this. So I would ask you out there to do a bit of beta-testing for me.

                I especially want to know if the links are correct when the content type is set to “articles” (formerly content items, I changed this to be consistent with J!1.5 terminology)  and “link to category” is set to “yes” (and SEO Urls are enabled).

                Link is here: mod_placehere_v111_beta

                I’m grateful if anybody will test this for me, but you shouldn’t bother yet to update production sites even if it works (since there will be more changes shortly).

                  Up for Beta-Testing: Gallery Mode

                  I added a feature to the place here module – now the the module can pick all images from an articles fulltext and insert them into the module position as a kind of gallery.

                  There are three new parameters:

                  Gallery: enable/disable, use gallery mode or not)
                  Gallery Position: append/prepend/replace, put it above the text, put it below the text, or replace the text
                  Gallery Output Mode: raw/list, just image tags or an unordered list

                  So far gallery mode will you give just the image tags, or an unordered list with images. Any actual styling or javascript you will have to do yourself (altough I will try to give examples).

                  I’m glad that I had at least a couple of hours to work on the module – I don’t have time to test this extensively (it worked for me on PHP 5.2 on Vista Home/Apache 2)  and in the next few days I won’t have for hobbies, so I don’t put this on the download page but here so you can play with it.

                  Download link: mod_placehere_v_110_beta

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