Open Source, the greatest treasures of the web
" The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials. "
Open Source softwares started when programmers decided to share their programming know-how with other programmers in order to develop better softwares that could be shared with the Community. Their collaboration helped to create many great softwares that we can find for free around the net. Why collaborate? It is in the Internet's nature and philosophy that information, education and knowledge can be shared for free between individuals around the net. Due to the large participation of individuals helping out each other, this is the reason why the Internet has evolved so much and so quickly. Another reason for the Open Source to exist is to use them as repositories for code, where programmers are tired redundant work and would prefer using an existing library rather than re-inventing the wheel each time they have a project in hand. The fundamental aspect of an Open Source software is that the code is available to anyone and may be used however we want it.
Open Source softwares are not only meant for the web but are mainly meant to collaborate with the net. We can find many great Open Source Internet browsers, E-mail clients, File Transfering Protocols (FTP), Route Planners and much more...
Websites with a Content Management System made easy!
It is an arduous task to create and maintain websites if you have no knowledge of code, and even for the more seasoned programmers, maintaining a website that requires writing code can be a long and frustrating task. Content Management Systems, or CMS, are softwares meant to manage the content on your website as well as the organization of your pages and web applications. The greatest part of a CMS is that it can handle an unlimited amount of pages. There is no more need for websites where you would need to handcraft page by page, but instead the CMS can help generate pre-formatted pages on demand.
There are many great Open Source CMS around the net such as Joomla!, Drupal, Wordpress that each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Choosing a CMS can be based on the projects that you wish to accomplish, but it is also a question of preference. The only way to know which one is better, is to try them all out. At Audela we prefer working with Joomla! or creating our own CMS with other technologies such as CakePHP.
What does Joomla have to offer?
Joomla has tons of capabilities to offer. But before you dive in your Joomla system, you should understand the basic principals.
Joomla is separated into two parts:
- A public part (or Front-end) where visitors will read and view text, images, and videos as well as interacting with the web applications (extensions) that your provide and manage from the back end.
- An Administrative part (or Back-end) where the website owner, administrators, moderators, publishers and authors may manage the content, the navigation structure, users, languages and translations, as well as the extensions that are installed on the Joomla CMS.
The Administrative part is the basis for a Content Management System, where priviledged members can completely control what will be showed on the front-end. Furthermore the Administrative Part lets you create, move, edit and delete almost anything at the click of a button. The Administrative control panel is fairly simple and intuitive, and if you have ever used Microsoft Word or another text editor, it is easy to create content without knowing a gram of code!
During the time where an administrator is managing the website, content, navigation and extensions will be displayed automatically on the front-end of the website. It is an almost real-time interaction between both sides.
Extend, Extend and Extend!
Joomla is great for its flexible frameworks. It is possible to build almost any kind of web application for Joomla as long as it follows the Joomla conventions. Furthermore, Joomla is a small investment of your time when you can truly build the website and enhance it over time. There is no longer the need to go see your neighborhood programmer in order to re-create your website every 6 month. And if you ever feel that your website does not look the way you want it anymore, you do not need to re-create a whole Joomla based website! Joomla comes with the possibility of managing templates that web designers create (specifically for Joomla). Tomorow if you decide to change the way your website should look, as your web designer to create a template. But at least you will not lose all the precious information that was accumulated over the years on your Joomla system.
Joomla is also a multi-lingual beast. It can talk up to 30 or more languages. There are many great extensions out there that give you the possibility to simply manage your translations for the website articles, navigation and extensions.
Where should I learn more about Joomla?
There are plenty of resources on the Internet to learn more about Joomla. But first, go check out these websites
- Official Joomla Website
- Official Documentation for Joomla
- Tons of Joomla Extensions!
- Joomla in your language
- Explanation of a CMS on Wikipedia
And take the time to read our future articles and tutorials about Joomla!