Updates to our subscription plans

Since we have launched our new site back in December 2013 we have introduced the light, advanced & lifetime plans. Seven months later it is time for a refresh based on your feedback.

Here are the changes in detail:

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Setting up PHP cronjobs (recurring tasks) for Joomla! extensions on Linux

Setting up PHP cronjobs (recurring tasks) for Joomla! extensions on Linux

With Matukio 4.3 we introduced some new time-dependent features, like automatic cancellation or confirmation of events X days before the start or automatic invoices X days after it. For these recurring tasks with PHP you need cronjobs. Cronjobs just execute a script or programm in a fixed rythm, in our case the Matukio cronjobs should be executed only once a day, but you can also set cronjobs to run every X minute or just once every week.

Please note: Windows offers something similar with Windows Task Scheduler, but in this post we are going to focus on Linux systems.

Depending on your environment there are different ways to setup cronjobs. In Joomla! installations cronjobs are normally stored in the /cli folder and they are mostly normal PHP files implementing the Joomla API.In this first part I am going to show you how to setup cronjobs in an Linux vServer / Rootserver environment. There are, depending on the extension, different approaches for that, we are going to focus on the direct PHP execution.Simple cronjob on a Linux server with direct PHP execution:Login into your server with SSH - you shouldn't execute PHP scripts as root, so maybe it's a good idea to create a new normal user or depending on directory permissions you would like to use the webserver user. After logging into the server type:crontab -eIf you want, you can export your favorite editor (if you haven't done so in for example your .bashrc already) with export EDITOR=nano first - if you aren't familiar with Linux command line editors, I suggest you try out Nano, which is a pretty easy and straight forward cli editor.After hitting enter the editor opens and you see your users crontab file - in this you create the recurring tasks.The syntax is pretty straight forward - your code begins after the comments (the lines with the # at the beginning).

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CMC 1.5 now integrates Mailchimp even better with Joomla!

Yesterday, we've released a new CMC version out into the wild. With this version we've introduced some of the requested features on our forum.

For example - if a user is logged into your website we can now pre-fill his email & name in the newsletter form leaving him with one single action to do - and that is click the subscribe button. Our module is now also able to determine who is subscribed and show him an option to unsubscribe or to update his subscription.

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How to use Firebug to change the css of a Joomla extension

How to use Firebug to change the css of a Joomla extension

We are quite often asked how to change the style of an element in our Joomla extensions (for example changing the color in a heading etc.) or how to fix css problems in a custom Joomla! template. In this tutorial i am going to show you, how to easily find out these informations yourself, using the popular Firefox extension Firebug and how to apply them to your Joomla! template.Firebug is one of the must have add-ons for Firefox, not only helping you out with CSS, but also bringing various other useful development tools for debugging and monitoring HTML, CSS and JavaScript live in any web page.

So start by adding the addon to firefox by downloading it from the official addon page. After the installation you will notice a new icon in the firefox menu, if a webpage has any severe errors you will also see a red icon behind it (if script debugging is active).But in our tutorial we are going to use Firebug another way, let's say for example we want to change the heading color of the events in the Matukio eventlist overview: The color is, in this case, not directly set by the Joomla extension, but by your Joomla template. That does not change the procedure in any way. So we right click on one of the headings in Firefox and select "Inspect element with Firebug". After that firebug opens at the bottom of your browsers window. Don't get irritated by the immense output and options Firebug offers, we can already see the all informations we need.On the left side you see corresponding HTML code, on the right the CSS code which is affecting the layout of the element. We are searching for a color and you will notice that in our example it has none directly set, but only inherrited the color #333 from the body element (at least in our default Joomla template). But our h3 element isn't grey (#333) it is blue, that's the reason why this line is crossed out in Firebug. So where does the color come from? As you notice on the left side of Firebug currently the h3 (heading size 3) html element is selected (blue highlight), let's switch to the link element (<a>) by just clicking on it in Firebug. 

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Matukio 4(.2) is out!

It's been some time since we last blogged about Matukio (version 3 in november 2013), but as you might have noticed we've released a lot of new versions since then. We were busy improving the product and neglected the bloging for a while. So, that is why in this blog post I'll try to cover up all the important changes since version 3. That won't be that easy, as the changelog is really long.

To see Matukio 4 live in action take a look at the demo page and at the new live demo (including backend access)! Additionally we also have a "short" video showing the changes of Matukio 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKjG4dgyRcM

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Hotspots 4 alpha 1 preview video!

Latetly a lot of people asked me "What's going on with Hotspots 4? When is it going to be released?" As usual I won't commit to a deadline - it's going to be released when it is ready :).

If you want to speed up that process - you can test the alpha version that I released in the dev. downloads section. Currently this alpha is missing some of the features that we already have in version 3 such as KML support, full screen view, print & rss. But the rest of the functionality is there! There are a few glitches, but as a whole it looks good! I've made a small video demo to show you how the new Hotspots user interface will look and behave.

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Get a cool compojoom T-Shirt by finding some bugs!

Get a cool compojoom T-Shirt by finding some bugs!

We are currently looking for some dedicated people helping us testing our upcoming releases and make our extensions better! New versions are bringing tons of new features and changes - and with that sadly also come new bugs and other problems, which need to be sorted out before a stable release. Because we don't want that bugs on your productive sites, we need your help!Just go to Downloads -> Development Releases, choose the extension you want to help testing with and download the latest development version. When not told elsewise you should install development releases in a "fresh" Joomla installation without prior versions installed.

As a "Thank you" the first five confirmed Bugs will get an awesome compojoom T-Shirt! (One per Person)

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Changes coming up with Hotspots 4

No matter if you have a good product or not, sooner or later one has to step back and rethink what one is doing. I've spent the last couple of weeks working on the Hotspots frontend. We are actually rewriting it to use Backbone & Backbone.Marionette. If the last 2 names doesn't ring a bell with you, don't worry! That are JavaScript frameworks and you don't need to know anything about them in order to use the new Hotspots. Those frameworks help us bring structure to our JavaScript and this improves the final product. You'll be able to style a lot of elements of the UI that you weren't previously able to do without hacking the core. Also since the Joomla project is slowly phasing out Mootools as the JavaScript framework of choice, we are also doing that and moving to jQuery. With the JS frameworks out of our way let's get back to the UI.

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The best Hotspots release ever!

The hardest part when developing software is being aware of the real world. Way too often we live in a bubble that clouds our judgement. Looking at the incomming support tickets we tend to think that our software is full of bugs. Looking at the reviews we start to think that it is the best thing in the world. The truth is actually somewhere in the middle. Lately I realised again that Hotspots is a great piece of software. And as with any software - there are things that work great and there are things that need to be improved.

Due to unpredicted circumstances I wasn't able to finish Hotspots 4 as planned for the begining of March. So, to spare you some waiting I decided to finish off what I already had and to release 3.6. I think that this is one of our finest releases so far.

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Create a plugin to override Hotspots marker fields

Joomla! has a lot of "hidden" features that few people know about. Starting with Joomla 1.6 ( I think) we were able to define custom fields using plugins. This feature is relatively easy to use, if you know your way with PHP. Most probably this is one of the reasons why very few people actually know that they can define custom fields, override any field or delete any field in a component that follows the Joomla conventions. For those of you that want to find how to add custom fields to the default com_content (Article Manager) then look at this tutorial over here.

In this blog post we'll work with Hotspots. You can download the Core version over here. Starting with Hotspots 3, we use the JForm class and that in terms allows you to override or add new fields to the Hotspot submission form.

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