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Joomla! Summer of Code

Published on Monday, 09 April 2007
As the Google Summer of Code submissions are now in for the Joomla! project in 2007, it's been a nice suprise to see what has been taken on board. The official list is available here albietly as a draft, and considering the communication I've been receiving regarding the Microformats fork, it's obvious somebody is listening.

I've had Ryan Ozimek from PicNet/OSM enquire regarding it and from the other players across the industry, the fact Joomla! (or at least a flavour of it) is now baked with microformat goodness, this means third party applications within Mambo and Joomla! can take shape.

Dublin Core

Firstly, let's deal with the Dublin Core development work. Since I was given the task of developing some form of application/plugin for Joomla! as part of my work within the Usability & Accessibility / Design & Accessibility Working Group, it's obvious that the solution I've provided for Joomla! 1.0.x can and most likely will be used and extended for Joomla! 1.5. As I know the development path for Dublin Core work, having developed numerous applications to interface with it in PHP, CFML and .Net, I recognise that the direction needed requires a small, yet subtle customisation to the content record tables in order to be fully extensible. I built the thing for 1.0.x and I know what's required for 1.5 and beyond.

Semantic Web

Secondly, under the auspices of Semantic Web, they are continuing to implement Docbook functionality, when really, DocBook, like eRDF, remains too complex in terms of semantic structures. Whilst Docbook excels in terms of documentation for software development projects and computer science in general, delivering content across the web should not enforce the same standards. Most people who publish on Joomla! are not writing software documentation, they are writing copy for their business or their clients business in order to increase sales and revenue. The other dilemma is that Joomla! remains able to deliver rich media, and there really isn't an effective way to translate rich media such as Flash, Quicktime or other movie formats into Docbook. eRDF may be a solution, but even then, that's too complex for most applications as the RDF specifiers add increased page weight and load time. The following video, The Semantic Web vs Microformats, goes into greater depth as to why this is so, and what should be an appopriate solution to the problem. It is a fairly long and involved discussion, so sit down, make a coffee and relax.



As Docbook may provide value-adds to software developers alone, and not to the wider web community, who remain basic web users, delivering microformats, or as Jeremy Keith says in the above video, in a "quick and dirty" way, this means people get greater value for less.

Following on from this, thanks to Jeremy's comments about academia and acronyms,  I am now changing the project code "SOMU", the semantic model tool to become "StyleAMP", because at the end of the day, all the code is doing is advertising some form of semantic styling across the web in an API RESTful XML format. Expect the alpha site for StyleAMP to be arriving sometime in the next month, complete with demonstrations of how to style as if you were on Wordpress, Joomla! or Drupal.

Geocoding

As part of my work within the Dublin Core architecture, I also was able to deliver some basic ICBM functionality. Now the Joomla! Summer of Code this year also asks for a mashup of a Google/Yahoo app with geocoding. As microformats allow me to deliver geo as part of the application stack, I should also be able to provide a live demonstration within the month. I'm just finishing off a Google Maps/hCard integration at the moment - 90% done at the moment, so it's all a matter of geocoding based on abstracted microformat data.
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