The Los Angeles Joomla, and Web CMS Meetup Message Board › New Meetup: Nexus, and the reinvention of Joomla!

New Meetup: Nexus, and the reinvention of Joomla!

A former member
Announcing a new Meetup for The Los Angeles Joomla, and Web CMS Meetup!

What: Nexus, and the reinvention of Joomla!

When: Saturday, August 6, 2011 7:00 PM


Where: I'm thinking of planning the Meetup either in Santa Monica or on the Westside. Please feel free to suggest a suitable venue for 15+ people.


Hi everyone, I'd like to have a moment of your attention to make an announcement. This upcoming August meet up will be the culmination of many efforts, indeed the topic of the meet up is dedicated to a software project which I started one year ago last may. That project is called Nexus, and it is the primary reason for the relatively sparse meet up schedule of the past several months. As you all know Joomla 1.7 is on the verge of being released. Indeed Joomla will have revved to 1.7 by the time of this meet up if all goes well on their release schedule. The primary objective of 1.7 was to decouple the API from the CMS and I have nothing but admiration and respect for the core dev team who brought us such a powerful ACL system in 1.6, and now official architectural independence from the CMS as well as it's administrator interface. They've done an awesome job! Joomla's evolution over the past six years has been what we could call incremental. Over the last few years however, its usability has languished while many less sophisticated content management systems have advanced steadily (I'm speaking here of platforms like WordPress, and Square space, which is a reinvention of WordPress albeit in proprietary form). In the winter of 2010, while I was busy helping customers at Node-0, my very first hosting customer began asking WordPress support questions which puzzled me since I do not host wordpress sites. It turns out that they had brought in a third-party developer who had installed WordPress via core PHP's WordPress extension. That was the point where I suddenly "got it", I realized that the problem plaguing Joomla! , the reason why it is running only 3% of websites worldwide had nothing to do with the lack of quality training or Joomla education as it were. So I went back to the drawing board and re-examined the entire purpose of Node-0 which up until that point had been oriented towards training and education of laypeople in how to use Joomla!. This customer of mine really didn't require extensive training, they were highly intelligent, web savvy , and quick thinking professionals. Yet they wanted nothing more than to be out of Joomla. So it was in January of 2010 that I realized the core problem with Joomla... It was to put it bluntly, Joomla's administration interface, it's days had been numbered for years, and yet the task of replacing it was more uncomfortable than leaving it to languish. Thus it was in my own case during this re-examination, I was faced with an uncomfortable dichotomy. I could either continue training people to use a system which they absolutely hated using, or I could abandon Joomla altogether in favor of WordPress in which I saw (and still do see) a relative usability improvement at the cost of massive architectural limitations. One thing was clear, Joomla! could not be abandoned however at the same time Joomla 1.5/1.6 couldn't cut it as an easy to use open source CMS. I spent a few months asking various customers about their experiences in Joomla, eventually what I realized was that people dislike using Joomla because of one consistent characteristic inherent to the CMS, Joomla forces its users to wait. I'm referring here to a cantankerous sort of "red-tape bureaucracy" inherent to the admin workflow and not Joomla's technical efficiency or execution speed which is quite good. So I sat down and tried to reason out a way to interact with the powerful Joomla architecture, without having to deal with the painful Joomla interface. If Joomla 1.6 brought us comprehensive ACL, then you can think of Nexus as Joomla 2.0. Nexus is an architecture, a way of thinking, it is a suite of components, plug-ins, and modules, it is the reinvention of Joomla. Nexus is a quantum leap forward in usability, it's infrastructure is flexible and forward looking. Nexus is visual, it is the end of memorization nightmares. Nexus is all about drag and drop, it is widgets and dialog boxes which pop up and disappear just as quickly. Nexus needed browsers like Firefox 4 and Chrome 10, Nexus speaks via it's own library of JavaScript inspired by the work of Douglas Crockford from Yahoo yet we use no Yahoo code. Nexus will live behind the scenes in the Joomla administrator application, and it will not force any Joomla veteran to change their Joomla workflows, so it won't hurt to allow Nexus to be installed. Once you have a taste of it however, you won't want to return to the old Joomla paradigm. Nexus will become available at the end of this summer, I will publish the core architecture and environment under an open source license. After that I'm planning on just listening to the prevailing tide of adoption. There's more, so much more that can be built on top of Nexus, but I'm in no hurry to convince anyone that they need it, I'll let you, the users decide. This is the first post I'v made on this topic. In the week to come, I'll be very busy posting all over the place with much more detailed information.
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