Choosing Great Joomla Extensions
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Choosing Great Joomla Extensions

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Presented at Joomla Day New England June 2010

Presented at Joomla Day New England June 2010

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  • What are your business needs?Do you have any technical constraints?Example: JQuery/MootoolsWhat’s your budget? Any license restrictions, preferences?
  • The most common place is the JED, otherwise known as the Joomla Extension Directory.Why extensions are not on the JEDThey don't have a GPL license. For the past year only extensions that are licensed under GPL are allowed.Known security issuesIf the editors of the JED find out that there is a security issue with an extension, they will remove it. Example: FireboardThey won't run on 1.5.1.0 extensions were removed last summer
  • Example: joomlauggoogle group
  • Which Joomla release is it forDoes it have the features & functionality that we need
  • What was the last release date? Is it within the last year?Is it a “stable” release? Alpha, beta & RC (release candidates) still have bugs to be worked outAre there any know security issues?
  • Does the developer support the extensionIs there community support
  • Which release - caveat about 1.5 legacyDo you have to change permissions for it to install or use itIf you have to change folders/files to 777, that’s a security issueIdeally your site should work with folders at 755 and files at 655 (check this)If you have problems with standard programs at that level you might need to activate the FTP layer. Only activate the FTP layer if necessary. This overcomes issues of "ownership" in some host settings without needing to set permissions at 777.If the extension won't work with the ftp layer, then in those host settings you would have to set files/folders at 777 which is a security issue.So sometimes an extension can be run safely on one site and can't be run safely in another because of lack of support for this featureDoes it kill kittens?ok to "override", not ok to change or hackIs it encrypted?Being encrypted doesn't make an extension insecure, but it does limit your ability (or anyone else's) to evaluate the code for security. If you have to have IonCube and Zend Optimizer on your server for the extension to run, then that's a sign that it's encrypted. Is it written in "MVC" structure?This is a modern programming technique that is used by Joomla. If an extension is written to take advantage of Joomla, it will be written this way. This is part of what allows for template overrides to work, for example. It also means that the extension is more likely to be written in a way that will allow it to work with future releases without major modifications.Ability to work with templates. Is there an index.html file in every folder?JEXEC or dieall the php files should have a JEXEC or die line at the top. It's usually just after the header comments.
  • How long has it been around and when was it last updated
  • What is the license?Is it free?If not free, do you buy the extension or a subscriptionTerms of use
  • MVC StructureTypical component MVC structure: (move some of this to how do we find it?)com_cowscontrollersmodelsviewscowtmplcategorytmplTypical module MVC structuremod_cowstmplFolder structure is more of an indication than a hard and fast rule because it's more complex than what I'm showing.Index.html in each folderJEXEC or die

Choosing Great Joomla Extensions Choosing Great Joomla Extensions Presentation Transcript

  • Choosing Great Extensions
    Joomla Day New England 2010
    Andy Tarr, Tarr Consulting
  • No magic bullet
    Common sense research
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    2
  • Know Your Needs
    Locate Extensions
    Evaluate for Quality & Fitness
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    3
  • Know Your Needs
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    4
  • Locate Extensions
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    5
  • http://extensions.joomla.org
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    6
  • Other Users
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    7
  • http://community.joomla.org/showcase
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    8
  • June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    9
  • Evaluate Quality & Fitness
    What questions do we have?
    Where do we find the answers?
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    10
  • Questions
    Features & functionality
    Security
    Support
    Quality of code
    Updates
    License & cost
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    11
  • Features & Functionality
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    12
  • Security
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    13
  • Developer & Community Support
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    14
  • Quality of Code
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    15
  • Updates
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    16
  • License
    License & Cost
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    17
  • Answers
    Joomla.org
    Extension/Developer’s website
    From the Developer
    JUG groups & mailing lists
    Google
    The extension itself
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    18
  • June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    19
  • June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    20
    http://extensions.joomla.org
  • June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    21
    http://docs.joomla.org/Vulnerable_Extensions_List
  • June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    22
    http://forum.joomla.org
  • June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    23
    Extension/Developer’s website
  • June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    24
    Developer & Community Support
  • User Group & Mailing Lists
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    25
  • June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    26
  • June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    27
    The Extension Itself
  • Final questions?
    June 5, 2010
    J Day NE: Choosing Great Extensions
    28