News and Thoughts

I was one of the first to use Amazon Cloud, since about 2005. All our client websites are hosted on Amazon and I've been extremely satisfied with them. Yesterday, I took another step by passing my Amazon Certified Solutions Architect - Associate Level exam. I look forward to being of better service to all.

Solutions Architect Associate

The volunteers at the Joomla project are gearing up for Joomla 4. It won't be a huge release, but will be laying the groundwork for future upgrades. They hope to have an alpha or beta release by May 2017. You can read more about it here. We'll keep you posted.

I've written before about encrypting all the traffic going to your website. Looks like Google's Chrome browser will start to warn people in January about logging in to sites that aren't encrypted. Most of my client's websites don't have users that log in, but some do. Those that do should talke to me about implementing encryption on their site.

I've installed a new Web Application Firewall on our main server. What's that? It's a piece of software that's designed to detect and block common types of attacks. The one I've installed is an industry standard: ModSecurity for Apache. It matches incoming requests to your website against known types and patterns of attacks. But it's only as good as the rules and patterns it's looking for. The ruleset I'm using is from an industry group, the Open Web Application Security Project, or OWASP. We'll be keeping an eye on it and see what it reports.

In a recent twitter give and take with Cory Webb, we kicked around some ideas about Joomla Day. He suggested the US just have one Joomla Day, rather than local ones. I suggested explicitly regional ones. Instead of Joomla Day Atlanta, call it Joomla Day Southeast, for example. His concern was how to conter declining attendance at Joomla Days. Bringing in an analogy from retail, I suggested looking at things like combination Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robins franchises. These are complimentary business lines that work well together to bring in foot traffic. Maybe we should have Joomla/Magento Days, or Joomla/Moodle Days or Joomla/SuiteCRM Days. This made me think of Jisse Reitsma and his Yireo extensions that make Joomla and Magento work together. We could have tracks on Magento and Joomla, and have Jisse as the keynote speaker to pull it all together. We could extend the old Reese's commercial as: "Hey, you to Joomla in my Magento", "Hey, you got Magento in my Joomla!".

Then I was thinking of the larger question: Why Joomla?

I've just produced a new video explaining what cloud computing is and isn't via a long analogy and a concrete example. I hope you enjoy it.

We're working with some clients on SMS (text message) marketing. If you want to reach 20-somethings, you send them a text, not an email. Almost 100% of all text messages get read. Here's a good article on some of the basics. Contact us if you'd like to find out more about the potential for this for your business and some examples we've done.

gtc certificateSome of you may know I teach a class or two a week at a local technical college, Gwinnett Technical College (GTC) as an Adjunct Instructor. This past week we had our annual Adjunct meeting where they give out awards, including the Adjunct of the Year. I wasn't in the finalists. But I was one of the nominees from our department. Only the top Adjunct from each departments gets to go on to the finals, but it was nice to be in the running. Thanks to all my colleagues at GTC for this honor.

It's annonying, but it's what we call a stutter release, where one release creates enough bugs to require another. Joomla 3.6.1 had issues with ancient versions of PHP, and had trouble with its internal email masking software. Neither of which concerns any of our clients. But just to keep things current, we've updated all our sites to Joomla 3.6.2. Just part of the process. I'll refer you to the official announcement and details.

On August 3rd, Joomla 3.6.1 was released. It was a bugfix release that among other things fixed a couple of low-level security issues. Here's the official release notes. Early on the morning of August 4th, I updated all client sites, so your site is up-to-date.