Friday, July 11, 2008

Expose Flash Gallery

Exposé is a Flash-based tool which allows you to create eye-catching slide shows of your pictures on the web. A list of the features supported by exposé includes the following:

- direct linking to a photo or album
- a slide show can be automatically started
- a background/foreground image can be loaded
- more interface elements can be now customized
- smoother Interface
- iframe has been removed, full php integration
- easier to adjust the size using only the expose.html.php
- improved background color adjustments
- check_system.php script added for troublshooting
- supports SEF URL's (being re-worked currently, limited functionality)
- upload/add background image through Joomla backend

The small footprint of the Flash clips and an intelligent loading of resources allow even dialup users to have a seamless experience viewing your photos. exposé is FREE for personal use.

The PHP Album Manager has very strict system requirements but is not needed to add new pics to you gallery (this is just another option if you have these extensions on your server). You can also install the Windows (or Mac) Album Manager found here:

After you have downloaded the Album Manager login to your server via FTP and change directory to [JoomlaRoot]/components/com_expose and copy down the expose folder to your desktop or anywhere you know where to access it at. Lastly, open your Newly installed Album Manager and it will ask you where you expose folder is, just point it to that folder and you can edit away.

After you are done when you close the album manager it will ask you if you would like to save your configurations, Click "YES" and then re-upload the folder and you are all set. Create a Joomla Menu pointing to that component and it will look awesome!

This component is a bridge to the Expose Gallery found here This bridge is released as GNU/GPL but expose is under its original author's license agreement found here, If you have any questions please feel free to leave comments and/or suggestions in the forums listed below.

My Review

I was trying a number of photo gallery extentions. They had one problem or the other. If they were good, then the website would get to a crawl.

Finally I hit upon Expose 4. I did have a few timeout sessions initially, but it went fine after my 4th attempt. After installing when I got to the Component (I am running Joomla 1.5), the interface wouldn't come up as I didn't have DOMXML (I was running PHP 4). Tried getting DOMXML but stopped supporting it.

I then thought it would be better to take the risk of upgrading to PHP 5. After the PHP upgrade, the interface came up. Uploaded and organized the albums. Everything looking great!!

Excellent extention. Site has not speed issues. Recommend it.

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Handy SWF Flash Module

Display and maintain your Flash SWF movie as easy as a module. Control all of the Flash Player settings, add your own variables to your movie, manage multi language movies (for ex. using JoomFish!), avoid activation click in IE6+ (while displaying the movie with JavaScript), detect if the Flash player is present and can play your movie or automatically display an alternate image. Option for HTML or XHTML valid code, thanks and much love to Stacey Tipton.

1.1 - 31/10/2007
- Option to generate XHTML or HTML compliant code
- Now using SWFObject embed method by Geoff Stearns
- Flash Satay fallback option if there is no javascript and you still need XHTML valid code
- Auto upgrade outdated Flash Players
- More detailed information provided in the administrator

1.0 - 19/10/2007
- First release

My Review

Two problems:

1) the XML file has an ampersand (&) which needs to be changed to (&)amp; parens removed, of course. This is easy to fix.

2) the javascript that creates the deconcept objects isn't initializing before the object call is. So 'deconcept' remains undefined. The script needs to be modified. For one thing, the path to the .js didn't include 'mod_handyswf' in it. Firebug gave me the Joomla 'we can't find this file' message when I tried to read the javascript through it. But fixing that path wasn't enough to fix the darned thing in IE...

Tested in Joomla 1.5, with the 'JA-purity' template, in a right side 'collapsable' column element. Firefox 2, I.E. 7, and Seamonkey.

I'm still in the process of tinkering, so I may have a fix for it soon... but maybe not.

Also, some suggested features:
*Browsing for the swf path;
*A colorpicker for the background color could be cobbled together from some other open-source extensions here.

Oy. Back to the lab. It's a good start, though, thanks for putting this up here.

CircularLogician, a.k.a. Paradox

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Template Chooser

Template chooser for joomla 1.5. With this module users can change the template in the frontend. In the backend you can select which templates you want to show in the frontend.

If the template chooser is not working as it should, check out the FAQ on my homepage.

###### version 2.0 released #######
  • new feature: In the backend you get a list of all templates and you can select which templates you want to show or hide in your module. By default all templates are shown.
  • module now inside a div (class="templatechooser") to allow easier formatting
  • removed the moduleprefix parameter from the backend as it did nothing
  • bugfix: changing the template no longer jumps to the homepage, but just reloads the current page.

My Review

This was easy to install and worked like a champ after editing the includes/application.php file as suggested above.

I set the module to only be available to registered users. A bit of a reward for logging in!

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The YOOiecheck is a module for Joomla! which detects if a user is visiting your website using Internet Explorer 6. A small message will fade in which calls the user attention and informs him that his browser is outdated. This message can be edited through the module configuration. Also the message includes recommendation links to the download section of most modern browsers like Firefox, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer 7.

Exclusive YOOtools features:
* Very fast loading using gzip for JS and CSS files

And of course:
* Tableless CSS design and XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS 2.0 valid
* Compatible with any browser (Firefox, IE6, IE7, Safari, Opera, Camino)

Download requires a YOOtheme club membership.

Can be downloaded by anybody in the YOOtools Free Stuff Section!

My Review

In our constant battle to use the latest and greatest, what holds us back is user adoption of technology. People get comfortable with what works and are not provided with incentives to upgrade. This tool serves as a gentle reminder when visiting your high-speed, low-drag site, that things might not look too pretty on your IE6 anymore (did it ever?)

I'm not a big fan of the huge half-page pop-ups telling you that that particular site looks better in FF. They're just gawdy. This one is nice and subtle. Two thumbs waaaaaay up!

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"JoomlaCloner" - backup and restore

JoomlaCloner is a backup and restore component designed for Joomla!
By it's name, the purpose is to give users possibility to clone their Joomla installation and move it over the internet on any location!

The follower, XCloner 2.0 is the new upgrade for JoomlaCloner, and it's a standalone and Joomla 1.5 native component!

Frontend Features:

  • Share custom backups with your users
  • Users have the possibility to automatically transfer the custom clone to their host by using a simple ftp form
  • Users can automatically restore the transferred clone by using the provided restore script we provide and which we transfer automatically among with the clone

Backend Features:

  • Create full or partial backups based on your input
  • Create ZIP or TAR backups based on your configuration input
  • Possibility to create incremental backups, so you avoid the time limit problems on php script executions
  • Possibility to exclude components, modules, mambots from your generated clone
  • Possibility to exclude directory and files from the backup, manually or through cron settings(AJAX powered)
  • Create backups based on a cron task, created backups can be stored on the local server, remotely through ftp or emailed to a custom email account
  • Possibility to run multiple cronjobs, based on different configuration files
  • Ability to manage existing backups, rename/delete/move, publish to user frontend for sharing
  • Possibility to clone any backup to another location, it can be done automatically by using the server ftp function or manually
  • Configuration area lets you choose on how to generate backups based on your server possibilities
  • You can choose to create backups by using only PHP, or by also using some server utilities to speed things up

Restore Features:
  • The generated clone of JoomlaCloner can be restored on a totally different server, with new server and mysql details- Restore both ZIP or TAR archives
  • Restore script is independent from the main component and Joomla and can be run on any host
  • Full restore of a clone made with JoomlaCloner
  • Ability to restore the original files and directories permissions
  • Automatic re-write of the new host settings to the configuration file
  • Ability to import the clone using either a ftp simulated sessions, or direct restore through php
  • Possibility to exclude database from importing
  • Ability to restore multiple clones to different locations, and also restore multiple database backups from the same clone

My Review

I bought this yesterday based on the reviews I read here. I needed something to backup my Joomlasite and my PHPBB forum simultaneously, files and databases as I recently had huge issues with files being corrupted and off course I only had old manually made backups...... The new Xcloner package does this for you, automatically, painlessly and without a hitch.

If you want to add multiple or non Joomla databases, just make sure to add an SQL user to be able to read the forum database and all you need to do next is select the extra databases you want in the Xcloner configuration...PRESTO!! Automation of backups comes through cron and I did have some trouble setting that up, but that was not Xcloners' fault, it was my lack of knowledge on cron. The documentation could be a little more newbie proof on that end perhaps.

Another neat little feature to mention is the button to exclude the backup folder from your backups without having to configure excludes manually.

Right after I installed the component, I did run into an error, but this was resolved very quickly by the author after I sent a ticket. I sent this in the evening here in Canada, and he replied in a couple of minutes, it must have been late in the night in Europe so I didn't expect an answer till the next morning, so again....hats off.

All in all, highly recommended for Joomla and non-Joomla sites.

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JoomlaPack - AJAX powered backup and restore

JoomlaPack is an open-source backup component for the Joomla! CMS, quite a bit different than its competition. Its mission is simple: create a site backup that can be restored on any Joomla!-capable server. It creates a full backup of your site in a single ZIP archive. The archive contains all the files, a database snapshot and an installer derived from the standard Joomla! installer. The backup and restore process is AJAX powered to avoid server timeouts, even with huge sites. Alternatively, you can make a backup of only your database. If you want a reliable, easy to use, open source backup solution for your Joomla! site, try it out.

JoomlaPack is compatible with Joomla! 1.0.X, Joomla! 1.5.X (legacy), and Joomla! 1.5.X (native).
J! 1.0.X - Use JoomlaPack 1.1.1 or 1.2a2
J! 1.5.X (legacy) - Use JoomlaPack 1.1.1
J! 1.5.X (native) - Use JoomlaPack 1.2a2

-AJAX powered backup (site and database or database only)
--able to exclude specific folders
--able to exclude specific database tables
-AJAX powered restore
-"KickStart" restore: restore without unpacking backup
and more!

Note: Download for alpha, beta, and release candidate builds are under the JoomlaPack [Test] category. Stable builds are under the JoomlaPack [Stable] category.

IMPORTANT Note: Alpha, beta, and release candidate builds are considered developmental builds and are not intended for production sites. For the most part though, test releases undergo basic stability testing before being released for further testing.

Well I have only used this application twice , on two totally different servers,but each time worked almost flawlessly.

There appears to be some issue where images that have rollovers are losing the rollover image. If for example the original install was in a sub directory and the new install was on the root directory of the server.

Main image is there, but on rollover you get an 'x'. When looking into the code I see that the rollover image still had the call to the sub directory from the original install. This was easily fixed by just removing the sub directory from the rollover code.

Note: The rollover was setup using the JCE editor's Rollover function so this may have something to do with it.

Regardless saved me so much time and potential headaches.

Thank you for this great FREE application. I can not recommend it enough at this point.

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Captcha - SecureForm

This plugin provide an hook for secure Joomla! and other extensions form from spam, with an accessible CAPTCHA. For components intagration take a look at AUser Maneger or AContact Manger, two events are needed to be triggered the onView for showing the verification code and onVerify to match the inputed code

I have tried many different CAPTCHA mods & bots but this one worked for me immediately and provides a clear CAPTCHA picture with 4 characters or more plus has the option of listening to the code! Exactly what I was looking for.

Simply replace the pages you want securing with the ones provided in the download (easy with JoomlaXplorer)and publish the bot - simple!

Well done alikonweb for a small & well thought out bot.

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