The 17 Joomla "summer of code" projects sponsored by Google officially concluded today. So what did the Joomlaverse gain?
By all accounts, a ton of useful code and exciting features that will further improve of beloved Joomla!
For the past five summers, Google has sponsored "a global program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source software projects." The Joomla Project has benefited from the program since 2007.
This summer, 17 projects from six continents provided valuable code and experimental ideas to Joomla.
Here are some highlights from two projects of special interest to Joomlashack.
Andrea Tarr (Massachusetts, USA) "Accessibility of the Joomla 1.6 Administrator Back End Template"
The Project: As Andrea describes it, "the primary goal of this project is to bring the Administrator into compliance with accessibility standards. These templates could also be copied and modified to match the look and feel of customized frontends."
Joomlashack was proud to have TJ Baker, our Director of Support & Custom Services, be a co-mentor of Andrea's project!
End result: Andrea blogged today to report:
Some of the fixes made this summer have already been implemented in the code stream for the upcoming Joomla 1.6 beta. These tend to be small changes that can have a major effect.
The menu has been changed so that template writers can make the menu accessible, the status bar has been refactored to be more understandable, and various links, particularly on submenus, can now be activated by the keyboard. The toolbar icons (Edit, Save, Cancel, etc.) look the same but they are now in a list just like a menu. These are some changes that everyone will have.
Read the full list of accessibility improvements in her summary.
Ankit Ahuja (New Delhi, India) "Enhanced Front end Editing"
The Project: From the project description:
Currently, there is very limited editing that a user can perform from the frontend. This project intends to resolve that. It will utilize edit-in-place fields, modal windows and a drag & drop interface to provide an interactive editing experience to the user. It will allow in-place editing of article, module and menu item titles and editing of articles, module and menu item parameters using a modal window. It will also allow the user to position modules by drag and drop at the frontend ( the new position of the modules will be saved at the backend )
The goal of the project is to make it easy for the user to make quick edits to articles, easily modify placement of modules and also avoid a trip to the backend whenever possible.
End Result: Ankit blogged last week that he has "frozen" the features for this very exciting effort, which include a number of slick Ajax-y tools, including:
- drag and drop module movement
- editing modules from the front end
- edit titles of articles "on the fly"
- editing of articles at the frontend in a modal popup
Unfortunately front end editing of menu items did not appear to make it in the final release, but no doubt the collaborative effort to bring this to Joomla 1.6 will continue.
Joomlashack was pleased to see Ankit use our free Optimus tempate for his test site. Thanks Ankit!
We're super-excited to see how these and the other 15 projects make Joomla 1.6 better.