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Site Technical News as of 14.10.13

I, JGW the site founder, administrator and primary content contributor, have been "distracted" since 2010 from my top priority interest to develop this site and its content for the sake of developing my progressive ideas, opinions and networking with like-minded progressives in the USA.  The results of my latter efforts are available at www.CAGreenIDEAS.org.

But more problematic has been the fact that the available free Joomla! web site "migration" tools, a.k.a. Joomla! extensions, have been all too few and terribly flawed. Worse the developers of these flawed migration extensions remained sufficiently incompetent or deficient in their abilities to "master" the Joomla! migration process that their subsequent "improved versions" of their software remained -- and to this day remains -- flawed in too many ways to be that helpful to me and to 100s, perhaps 1000s, of Joomla! web site owners and administrators!  Therefore my good intentions to take a bit of time from "political site building" to upgrade this Joomla! version 1.5 site to either version 2.5 or as of this writing to version 3.4.

This October 2015 as my political site building and maintenance activities are about to "wind down," I have chosen to UPGRADE THE HARDER WAY in order to get the upgrade job done 100% right and the way I want it done.  I will take the version 2.5 flawed copy of this site and manually, article-by-article, web-link by web-link, article and web-link category by category duplicate and improve upon the layout of those articles and web-links and the outline-like hierarchy of the cateogies in which they are "filed" on the 2.5 site. When donw with that manual upgrade to 2.5, I will run the latest free migration tool to produce a 90+% correct, but still slightly flawed, J3.4 or J3.5 site. Then I will repeat the article-by-article and web-link by web-link copying of content from the "correct" J2.5 site to the J3.4 or J3.5 site. 

When that is done I will yell, screw and curse for a while...  But future migrations should be much easier, more efficient and more close to 100% correctly migrated by the free software!  Then I can recommend such software for use by educators who chose to use Joomla! for their school or department or class web site(s).

Site Technical News as of 13.11.16

As of Wednesday January 16, 2013 (13.01.16), the WLTRes web site has 12 13 new registered users... except 3 people registered for an account twice! So there are really 10 new registered users.  WELCOME new users! 

However, as of 9 p.m. PST January 14 this web site administrator (jgw) discovered that none of them have been able to log in to this WLTRes web site! This continues to be the case as of January 16. I appear to have been wrong.  Apparently only I via my 2nd account, 'jenniwoo', experienced the log in problem described briefly below.

The Community Builder section and services of this web site are now upgraded to the most current "professional" version, which is CB v1.9.0 Pro. You, the site visitor or logged in site user, can see the "entry points" into the CB system in the Main Menu on the left hand side of most web pages.  To Dos:

  • I, jgw, will be configuring WLTRes CB services in coming days and weeks so that
    • user profiles are much more "robust" and allow each user to express which of a variety of technical and educational skills they have (e.g. computer programming, computer systems analysis and design, instructional design, educational content development knowledge and skills, stand-up / in-classroom instruction, etc.), the extent (number of months or years) and recentness of their work experience in each, and their work preferences should they be able to volunteer to do any similar tasks for a project managed by this web site.
    • relationships between users will be facilitated and searchable (e.g. friends, co-workers, special interest, knowledge or special skills colleagues, etc.)
    • work-flows will be tracked and individualized reminders of tasks to complete given to each user when they next log in to this site.
    • All CB-related services will be "integrated with" the ProjectFork project management system also installed and working on this web site.
  • I, jgw, will continue to explore and test the Joomla! CMS upgrading process so that this web site, with the new, improved and much more useful CB services can upgrade to the latest version of Joomla!, version 2.5.8+ or version 3.x.

Site Technical News as of 11.10.17

  1. The www.weblearningtools.org site got hacked by outsiders in March 2011 and mucked up further by me trying to find the hack. Despite all my clever attempts to repair the site, it hasn't worked right in 3-4 critical content edit functions since then. I have current backups of the database, but the code-base on the server is kluged, FUBAR, and the missing bits of server code are just too damned hard to find.
    So I gave up and started a rebuild (clean install) of the site 10/15 (11.10.15) using the latest / last version of Joomla! v1.5.x, v1.5.23. You can't upgrade to Joomla! major releases v1.6 or v1.7 unless your site is at v1.5.23. Site and system administration fun huh?
    With the site clean install of 11.10.15 the missing content edit functions were present and functional.  All the previous site content is back in place on the site as of 10/16 (11.10.16). Once the rebuilt site is 90+% functional as before with each function restored and tested, I can upgrade to v1.6 and take advantage v1.6's much better "user access control" configurations. Checking out all the site's functions will take days. V1.6 was available in Jan 2011 but it takes the independent Joomla! extension developers months to upgrade their respective modules to the next major release(s) like v1.6 and v1.7. Most of the developers of the extensions I've added to the WLTRes site have done so for v1.6 by now.
  2. I recently got for free a very useful commercial add-on extension to the ProjectFork (PF) project management extension for Joomla. The add-on gives PF on this site various kinds of project-and-tasks progress charts, including GANTT charting, better personal calendar displays, and better project-participant emailed notifications. Now the trick will be how to make those original and new project management (PM) services more public on the site, with suitable orientation and entry-level tutorials, so that project management novices, who are also computer web site novices and who want to do Instructional Design (ID) with the site, can adopt and use PF without fear.
  3. Some Continuing Goals for the WLTRes Site: get IDs to use the site and to use PF on the site to start outlining (making treatments) free distance learning instruction they want to create to serve the public need. Have tutorials to help them form small project teams, then develop and test-use their lessons and courses in-development before deploying them on, say, a Moodle2 site or on an emerging Joomla! or Drupal 7 powered education site. ...Multilingual course development, of course and possible now, but in more concrete and easy ways still to be determined and tested.
  4. Note Of Caution: These poorly developed but improving facilities for educators are not yet offered "in The Cloud" nor in Google Apps. I'm sure the big-players like Amazon, Google and Microsoft, who are also the private commercial Cloud owner-operators, will try to co-opt them once the demand for them is established.

Site Technical News as of 11.10.31

  • 11.10.31: Installed the Kunena Forum component, the Kunena Forum Importer component, and is 5 related (Kunena-data and functions specific) modules. 
    • Modified the two default "Main Forum" Category Section Category names.
    • Created 4 new Category Section names: Educators, Educational Web Site Administrators, Educational Web Site Designers, Educational Web Site Code Developers.
    • Created a "...General Discussions" single category within each new Category Section so that any site guest or user can now add their comments to that forum category.
  • 11.10.18: Upgraded the Joomla! v1.5.23 core server code base automatically to Joomla! v1.5.24, the latest version as of this date.  Did so with a relatively new "Akeeba" backup extension upgrade tool.  Akeeba made a site code files and database backup automatically before performing the site core files upgrade. 
    • This is a long missing and very welcome feature for Joomla! web sites.
    • Joomla! v1.5.23 and now v1.5.24 are the starting place from which the site administrator can use the JUpgrade extension to pre-build a Joomla! v1.6 web site from the existing v1.5.x web site.
  • 11.10.15-16: Rebuilt the WLTRes web site from scratch (called a clean install) after backing up the site content as of 10.15. 
    • Restored the 10.15 web site pre-re-install content within 8 hours and the left hand side menu (LHS) system within 24 hours.  The LHS menu is incomplete but what is there takes the site visitor to most of the content.  SUCCESS: The rebuilt restored web site action fixed the broken editing functions missing since the March 2011 hack of my site and other sites on the web hosting server computer.
    • My (JGW, site administator) checking and re-enabling all working features as were operating aok in the earlier months of 2011 will take many more days' work.
  • 11.10.18: Upgraded the Joomla! v1.5.23 core server code base automatically to Joomla! v1.5.24.  Did so with a relatively new "Akeeba" backup extension upgrade tool.  Akeeba made a site code files and database backup automatically before performing the site core files upgrade.  This is a long missing and very welcome feature for Joomla! web sites.
  • 11.10.15-16: Rebuilt the WLTRes web site from scratch (called a clean install) after backing up the site content as of 10.15.  Restored content within 8 hours and the left hand side menu (LHS) within 24 hours.  The LHS menu is incomplete but what is there takes the site visitor to most of the content.  The rebuild restored the broken editing functions missing since the March 2011 hack of my site and other sites on the web hosting server computer.  My (JGW, site administator) checking and re-enabling all working features as were operating aok in the earlier months of 2011 will take many more days' work.

Site Technical Fixes: 11.03 to 11.07

As of 11.07.09, this web site is again able to accept logins from users who have registered for an account and who have been accepted as site users.  In fact any site user has been able to login since the site was created in March 2009.

However, in March 2011 the web hosting server for this web site was "hacked." During the hack several server-side code files for this web site were destroyed. My (the site administrator's) efforts from March 2011 through June 2011 to identify and replace the destroyed files failed. However, on July 9, 2011, as an experiment I backed-up the site and over laid all of the web site's code files with the complete "full package" for this version of Joomla, i.e. v1.5.23. All the user interface problems for logged-in users and for site administrators existing from Mar-Jun 2011 had disappeared. (Update: but they reappeared after 11.07.09.)

How I fixed the broken-bits of the Joomla v1.5.23 March-June 2011:

  • The only way to debug how category names became blank fields in the back end (administrator's) Category Manager, or to debug why neither a category (article or web link) or article edit request resulted in a dysfunctional, un-formatted web page with data field contents displayed but no Save or Apply or Cancel action-buttons. The debugging solution seemed to be to duplicate the site at my home-office and use a debugger like NetBeans to step through the entire request-response cycle that gave the same errors.  That would take many attempts just to find the break-points. The effort promised to be prolonged and very tedious, so I delayed doing it.
  • 11.07.09 the idea occurred to me that since I had not added an article or web link to the site in weeks, it would be a good time to make a complete backup of the database and v1.5.23 PHP code, even if parts of that code were missing and causing the errors above. I then realized I could try to overlay the existing "bent/broken" v1.5.23 PHP code with the complete 100%-ok v1.5.23 core Joomla PHP code from the Joomla.1.5.23-Stable-FullPackage.zip file.
  • I backed up code and database with Akeeba, with a "tar-ball" of the site directory, and with "export"of the database in phpMyAdmin.
  • I copied the "full package.zip" file to the site directory, unzipped the file thereby performing the file replacement and the inclusion of any missing files in the core.
  • In the back end of the site, Category Manager showed all the file names correctly.  Web links showed all web link category names correctly.  I could edit a web link category fine now.  I could edit an article category fine now.  I could edit an existing article fine now.  I could create a new article for a category fine now.
  • QED ("which was to be proved or accomplished")