This is the third in a four-part series of articles covering the current market and development status of the recent landmark release of the Joomla! v3.x content management system. An earlier version of this article was originally commissioned and published by on 17 May 2013.

The remaining articles in the series are:

Part 1: What's new in Joomla! 3.x?
Part 2: Current state of the Joomla! market, and a Joomla! 3.x base build
Part 4: Ready for production use

In this third article, we look at a case study of a Joomla! 3.x site migration.

Read more ...

What is software production management?

Whenever I raise the subject of software production management in a peer discussion, the conversation almost invariably veers off to project management: why agile is better than waterfall, why Scrum needs XP, how to shanghai a product owner etc. Maybe one day I'll climb into that tar pit, but not today.

Googling "software production management" returns 193,000 results, while "software project management" gets 2,950,000 results. That's a 15-fold increase, just for changing two letters and dropping another three. But aren't these two terms talking about essentially the same thing? Actually, I think not.

Wikipedia says "software project management is the art and science of planning and leading software projects". But it says nothing about "software production management". It even redirects the simple term "production management" to "product management", which in my view is not at all the same thing.

Read more ...

A recent article in the McKinsey Quarterly, Rethinking knowledge work: a strategic approach by Thomas H. Davenport, struck a chord with me; an old, familiar chord.

Mr. Davenport has done a fine job of delineating the two extremes of the continuum from unstructured information (textual or document-oriented) to structured data (relational or transactional) and the styles of information-processing applications that best suit these two distinct types of information. He has also done a valuable job of describing some of the implications, good and bad, for the efficiency and productivity of knowledge work.

In particular, the decision matrix in the article exhibit is a compact and useful addition to our toolbox for responding to productivity problems related to the efficiency of support that IT solutions provide for business processes.

Read more ...

This is a postscript to my original post about using an Artisteer template for the original version of Joomla! 1.6.0.

It's now five months further down the track from the original post above. I've just upgraded to Joomla! 1.7.0, and Artisteer have also released a new version (Artisteer for Windows) to support it. A big +1 to Artisteer for releasing the new version of their design tool on the same day as the Joomla! upgrade.

The one-click online upgrade from Joomla! 1.6.5 to 1.7.0 was seamless and error-free.

Anyway, I dropped the custom CSS when I produced the upgraded version of my template. Not only is the custom CSS no longer required, dropping it also straightened out a couple of minor style problems that I originally had to work around. The defects that were corrected were missing CSS rules that caused minor styling errors on the Joomla! 1.6.x native site map and the dfContact component I am using for the contact page.

My original customising of the Artisteer template is no longer necessary, and the template upgrade was simple and fast. But I'll still be approaching version upgrades with caution.