An online place to test how cra less special sites look in Internet Explorer

I think the bug sorry feature is in IE6 as described at positioniseverything

And the fix is insane

style=“float: left; display: inline

CSS Tricks has some targetting techniques

!—[if lt IE 7]>
link rel=“stylesheet” type=“text/css” href=“ie6-and-down.css” />

So for a problem line like this:

#main{ float:left; margin:0; padding:0; width:500px;}

Need to add

!—[if lt IE 7]>
style type=“text/css”>
#main{display: inline;}


One thing that’s sometimes bugged me on Windows is there’s no native way to check the MD5 Hash…

My latest rummage round came whilst using my new-fangled 64-bit Windows 7 machine, and about to install the latest version of Joomla! to my local server.

Anyway, Joomladocs has a link to just the thing: Hashtab from Beeblebrox …and once I’d remembered it was a 32-bit application (And therefore goes into Program Files x86) I was in business!


As discussed previously, there are three ways I can think of to achieve the calendar reminder thingee:


…allows us to input information at the beginning of the academic year and throughout the year, it sends staged reminders depending on the urgency of the delivery date or appointment. Now I know this sounds like an electronic diary but it needs to be something more than that and not merely a spread sheet. It has to be user friendly and has to cater for the technically challenged…

…This programme is to be used to monitor different areas of school/governor needs. The objective is to reduce the use of paper records for things we are already doing, speeding things up, and providing a one stop reference point for all of us. It also needs to be something we can print from in various formats as required. The initial use we have in mind is for:

  • School Policies – when created and when they are due for renewal.
  • Governor visits – showing governor responsibility, due date for visit, visit reports, due date to Head teacher.
  • Governor Training – courses available, allocated governor required to attend, date to attend/ date attended, facility to mark completed with date and notes if required.

It needs to have the capacity to input large amounts of information like attaching documents. An example of this is would be if we wanted to mark a policy as complete could we then attach that policy to that particular entry. I suppose a good example of this is MK’s planning application site, which allows you to view documents on line…

My ideas

Option One: Microsoft Outlook Plugin

Outlook is great, but can’t (I think!), send reminders to anyone other than the owner of the Calendar. Instead, we’d need Exchange Server…

Alternatively, what we’re after could be dealt with via third party plugins:

There are a whole load of these, but they all seem to cost money!
There are 3 mentioned here

However, we already have a copy of Outlook, it sends mail, an is (I think) very easy to use

Option Two : Google Calendar

Does a lot, and is free!
google calendar

I’m guessing it’s easy to use, but haven’t fully investigated

Option Three: Joomla! Or equivalent CMS

If the school web site was in a database driven Content Management System (CMS) instead of current static setup, then there are loads of extras at our disposal, including calendars

My favourite of old is “Textpattern: and Joomla! is where I’m concentrating all my efforts at the moment)

NB This site is powered by Textpattern

The choice seems simple : Drupal or Joomla!
And the hard part is which one?


Drupal would appear to natively support tagging, whereas Joomla has a native text editor which allows Flash components to be added easily.

So for the legendary animated tag cloud, perhaps both systems have parts of the puzzle… E.g. Flash driven cloud at carvalhar

I’ll have to investigate more!

Architecture and Components

As I understand it, Joomla! has distinct difference between the Admin side and the Live side, whereas in Drupal, viewing a page is almost the same as editing.

Anyway, found this on Joomla! components (Written in Wordpress!)

Sections versus Categories

In Joomla! there’s a difference from Textpattern because the categories can only appear in the sections they’re explicitly allowed in! They’re not independent, and an article has to belong to a section (the same),but can then only have a category assigned that’s allowed in that section.

Joomla! Security


Joomla! does have a mature (free!) eCommerce solution, virtuemart, although the latest version of Joomla! (1.6) isn’t compatible, as discussed at Joomlablogger, and instead requires n-1 i.e 1.5

Document Management

DOCman is for downloads and document management (And has an additional component for actually selling content, too, called PayPal IPN from

Just the one funny during installation on 1and1:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_OBJECT_OPERATOR, expecting ‘)

This is a PHP version problem and can be fixed via .htaccess by adding these two lines as per this joomlatools forum article:

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php
AddHandler x-mapp-php5 .php

Error Uploading Directory Problem

…also answered in the forum.joomlatools

DOCMan permissions

There’s a video here, too


Well, the new interface design was all lovely… and then I realised the ability to hide comments was no longer there! Which would be fine if it was only me who had to read the endless drivel…

Unfortunately, my 6 year son is pretty good at reading, too, and YouTube was nearly out of bounds because all of the f***ing swearing.

And then I found this gem


  1. Download Adblock Plus for Firefox:
  2. Open preferences and add this rule:

Enjoy comment-less YouTube again! :D

Also, if you don’t like the long list of stupid related videos to the right, add this as well:

Youtube looks much better now. I found these rules myself thanks to this ass-kicking addon:


Well, at the moment Feb 25, 2010, XAMPP isn’t available for 64-bit Windows 7… so I’ve switched camps to WAMP (Actually now called WampServer )

…although there are various hacks described to make it work

Creating an Alias

There’s an automated menu which can be run from the system tray:

Apache > Alias directories > Add an alias

This is in two parts

  1. What will the resource be called? E.g. http://localhost/whatever
  2. What will this resource point to E.g. c:\sites\whatever

…easier than messing round with Apache conf files, I guess.

Creating a Database

This is run from PHPMyAdmin (also accessible from the system tray)

Ta-da! Very easy

The only slight fly in the ointment is that clean URLs don’t work in the way I’ve configured it: I’ve enabled mod_rewrite, and set the appropriate override, but it is either .htaccess on Windows (Although I don’t remember a problem with XAMPP) or the actual location of the web files in relation to WAMP (i.e. it’s outside the web root).


With *rewrite_module_ enabled, clean URLs work a treat with everything inside the WAMP directory, with an alias created for it! :-)

…but does the pendulum swing back to XAMPP?


Beyond a certain size (not very big) and when there’s a certain messiness (i.e. in the real world), neat hierarchies (sections and subsections don’t quite work). Instead a fuzzier approach often works better E.g. Flickr’s tags are key to its self-organisation and findabilty.

A good introduction to this concept is in Everything is Miscellaneous

Anyway, whilst Textpattern doesn’t do sub-sections, it does manage tagging as per a neat plugin from Rainskit with a complete reference, too.