As you may have noticed the past few weeks, we have unpublished the product pages for K2mart and SuperBlogger. As it occurs with every other product or technology, there is a time when we have to say goodbye, either because a new better product or technology fulfills our needs or simply because it's not required anymore.
When K2mart was first released, it introduced a very interesting concept in how we further extend or bridge Joomla extensions. Put simply, it made Virtuemart e-shops look and function a lot better when it came to the product catalog. But as the years have passed, we've seen that Virtuemart's popularity has significantly declined (just look at this graph from Google Trends) and furthermore, we devote way more time patching bugs caused by constant changes introduced in Virtuemart's codebase, than working on actual features. It's just not worth it anymore. And now's the perfect timing: now that VM is going to version 3 and we know most eshops will probably break trying to upgrade from v2 to v3, it's the best time to simply stop supporting K2mart altogether. To be honest, we never had high hopes for K2mart. It was our pet project, but it was very well executed. And it brought new concepts into K2 which you will see in the coming version 3. We thank our 3,000 customers who built 3,000 K2mart "bridged" (as I like to call it) VM eshops. They are probably the most well designed VM shops ever to have been built (thanks to K2 of course).
We will of course honor the remaining subscriptions purchased for as long as they last and specifically provide patches and other fixes in Virtuemart v2. As a sidenote, I'd like to say that the new K2 version 3 released soon has integrated lots of programming concepts from K2mart and thus a true eCommerce solution based on K2 alone is on our roadmap for the coming years (perhaps as part of our K2 Pro initiative).
We're also bidding adieu to SuperBlogger, a small (but pioneering) content plugin which was released back in 2008. SuperBlogger was released for Joomla 1.5 and integrated the hot Disqus commenting service as well as (then and now) popular social services into a single plugin, which could extend any Joomla website. And because it was the first plugin to introduct the MVC templating pattern for plugins in Joomla (still not possible by default) it could easily transform a typical boring blog section in Joomla into a WordPress-like equivalent. A well known network of tech blogs run entirely on SuperBlogger for as long as they were based on Joomla and it was amazing to see that coming out of a fun little project of mine. SuperBlogger sold around 4,000 subscriptions and it put a sock into WP fanboys' mouths at the time. SuperBlogger was partly the basis for some features in K2 when originally launched. But of course K2 is a much more than that already. It has redefined content management in Joomla and it's growing strong every year.
As with K2mart, we will honor any remaining subscriptions for SuperBlogger and provide support until they expire. The documentation pages will remain online.
We thank the people who bought and supported and used these 2 extensions all these years.
The future is now ahead and it's written with two letters: K2 ;)
The Joomla team has decided to ditch the Ubuntu style release cycle (a truly WTF decision in the first place) and once and for all end confusion to developers, users, customers and clients from hell.
This means that the current release (3.x) is the current stable release. There is NO need to use Joomla 2.5 anymore. It won't be more stable compared to Joomla 3.x. And when 4.x is released, that will be the new stable release and so on.
An exception will be made for Joomla 2.5 and it will be supported until the end of 2014. Joomla development will then shift entirely to Joomla 3.x.
This is a good thing for everyone. For the Joomla core team (they will deal with one release only at a time), for Joomla extension developers and for Joomla integrators. This means faster release cycles, newer features coming in faster, less bugs, more Joomla users & clients happy. Everybody wins.
I'm assuming some fresh blood in the Joomla core team has finally convinsed the "wise" ones who run Joomla to move on with a better and more sane "strategy". Cause let's face it. Joomla may be far superior in technical terms compared to CMSs like WordPress or Drupal, but it has pushed people away with its weird "update" strategies ever since Joomla 1.6 was released and later on with the dual release maintenance plan (LTS and STS).
If you are a Joomla 2.5 user, make sure your extensions are 3.x compatible and simply upgrade to Joomla 3.x using an extension like CMS Update from akeebabackup.com. If you are an integrator, do the same for your clients. It's a 5 minute job if you got everything right. That's how long it took us to move joomlaworks.net from Joomla 2.5 to the latest 3.x release a couple of months ago (I bet you didn't notice the slightest bit of change...).
As JoomlaWorks, our plan is to end Joomla 1.5 support entirely with the launch of new updates for our commercial and free extensions before the summer. There will be an exception for K2 v2.x only, which we'll support with security updates until 2015. And at the end of 2014, we'll stop supporting Joomla 2.5 entirely in all our extensions. This will allow us to release updates more often and most importantly introduce new features much, much faster!
When you upgrade to Joomla 3.x, why not share it with the Joomla community? Use #sayonaraLTS on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ and share your upgrade experience - and if you are an integrator, your client's feedback.
Update: a short FAQ posted on joomla.org with more info
P.S. If you haven't noticed, my (late) new year's resolution is to stop writing Joomla as "Joomla!". It's truly difficult for me as Joomla! run in my veins since 2005. Let's hope the new "Joomla" marketing team will ditch the exclamation mark once and for all - a new logo wouldn't hurt too ;)
We've always put user friendlyness and ease of use above all when building our extensions. At least up to what's possible for any type of extension. Simple Image Gallery Pro was great (and still is) as a plugin that allows you to zip a bunch of files and quickly transform them to an image gallery grid. It's no wonder why the free version is one of the most popular extensions in the Joomla! Extensions Directory for many years now. People hate to use tools that take more time to deal with than the actual content they're producing. If it takes you more time to upload a gallery than shooting the actual pictures, then there's a problem. And unfortunately, many gallery components in the Joomla!sphere simply fail to deliver what they promise.
It's part of our "masterplan" to redefine what we consider basic functionality for any Joomla! site. It started with K2 and now it's moving deeper into more specialized areas. SocialConnect is an extension that -as with all things made by JoomlaWorks- came out from a real need. And it was tested extensively for more than a year on the K2 Community, before being publicly released.
When we choose to have VPS servers (aka virtual machines or VMs for short) instead of dedicated servers, we usually opt for VMware's free ESXi 5 and install Ubuntu Server as the OS for the VPSs we create on top of ESXi 5. It may not be as friendly as some VPS providers like Amazon, Rackspace etc. but you got more control and it's on YOUR hardware (pretty important actually!)...
Now, when you build a VPS on VMware, you start with say 40GBs of hard disk space. You install the OS, setup the server, move the sites on this new server and you're on. But what happens when there's no more room on the server for your site or sites and you need to add more disk space?
If you got a Mac (or Linux box) the process is quite easy. And here it goes...