August 2009

I’m putting this out there as a give back to other Flash-Flex developers that want to use Joomla! as a data repository for any projects, in part because Rune Skjoldborg Madsen has taken the time to build specific component views in php to change the transport layer to XML.


For anyone who might have noticed, especially if you’re coming from the flex showcase, the FlexPress application has been put in a suspended state of “permanent maintenance”. There are several reasons for this:

  • The xml-rpc.php gateway (at least as of version 2.4) had to behackedin order to inject additional methods to retrieve standard queries based on predominantly consumer-based methods. If you check the downloads section, it included things like getting data for blogrolls, comments, and a list of posts -where you only want the id’s and intro (useful for high volume). However because it was ‘hacked’ it made it impossible to keep up with the latest install. Since my php skills are elementary at best, it worked for the time being but it definitely had a short shelf life -if I put some time into it (read: not likely with home life), I could probably figure out how to extend the IXR gateway class to inject my own dependencies. With a recent update to 2.8 to eliminate annoying comment spam, this obviously broke the gateway, but broke it even further since I relied on SQL queries to get some of this data directly from the tables -however the tables have completely changed.
  • I’m at a point where I need to start giving serious consideration to updating the ‘portfolio’ side of things, however I’ve put it off as long as possible because while design-wise it still fits with the presentation I want, the management of data is gnarly at best. It was designed/developed with Dreamweaver, but as completely static html using templates -good at the time but considering the maturity of app services using any sort of DB, it finally makes it possible to do things that couldn’t be achieved with static content: popular views, most current views, segregation of recent projects vs. archived material, etc. Using Joomla -I decided on this primarily for the extensive plugin library that makes it possible to build not only a front-end layer (by getting to just the raw data -see my other post about this -for anyone who wants to do the same thing but with traditional fixed property classes) but also in a TeamSite-ish way, this is where I’ll be concentrating my efforts (when I have them) for the time being.

Since the portfolio would be a 2nd ‘mini’ app I would be building (in Flex of course), it gave me an idea to build an overall Portal application that can load and interact with Portlet modules -this of course being an excellent example of some of more indepth things you can do with Flex (especially if one builds cross gateway functionality -ie Mash-Up to either add/modify or implement interactive services from one portlet to another). One of the neat things that makes it possible in building modular applications, is if one was adventurous enough, could event build a second UI layer to manage the administration of the back-end functionality. Initial Portlets that will eventually be built:

  • The Portfolio (and Archive) with it’s Joomla back-end.
  • The FlexPress with a WordPress bank-end will be resurrected -most if not all of the UI will be re-incorporated but obviously the entire data services layer will probably have to be updated in a meaningful way.
  • A Gallery: this won’t be open to the public since it’s the media management center for our family -but I’ll screenshot it as a app in the portfolio.

I don’t make any promises of it’s current status since it’s very much still an development release (read: expect an occasional crash, plain ‘halo’ styles, and some parts just aren’t implemented yet) -but if you’re curious to see how this is turning out, you can check it here.

If you’re in a situation where you want to develop a project with SVN capabilities but don’t want to shell out several hundred a year for a managed host-server, but don’t want to open it up to host it on Google, an alternative does exist for the rest of us (this works especially well if it’s a single developer environment).

Tortoise has the capability to create local repositories, and it works even across networked devices like a NAS box.

To start your own it’s pretty straight forward:

Create a folder to hold the DB by selecting “Create Repository Here”:

Create a folder to hold the DB by selecting "Create Repository Here"

From your Project directory, select SVN Checkout.
The key here in selecting a local repository, is to use the file:/// protocol whether or not your drive is mapped or not.

From your project directory, select "SVN Checkout"

Add the following folders and you’ve got a traditional SVN repo that works: trunk, branches, tags.