JoomlaDay Kenya Brings Exciting Times.

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JoomlaDay Kenya was held yesterday. The location of this event was ihub one of the best African support system for ICT focused tech entrepreneurs and individuals who aspire to create great companies that tackle some of our biggest challenges. iHub were amongst the sponsors for this event and they have been JoomlaDay partners for four years now.

The other sponsors were Open Source Matters, a non profit organization that provides financial, legal and organizational support for the Joomla! project. Open Source Matters (OSM) is a not-for-profit organisation, incorporated in the United States, created to serve the financial and legal interests of the Joomla project. OSM has been designed to be flexible and change as the needs of Joomla! expand.

At all times, OSM is fashioned to suit the needs of the Joomla project. OSM will also engage in regular self-assessment to ensure it is accountable to Joomla!, acting in Joomla!’s interest and ensuring that it is the right shape and size to support Joomla!.

CMS Africa an organization that supports and evangelizes the use of open source softwares also a JoomlaDay partner for a long time. CMS Africa also organizes the CMS Africa summit now on its 5th year. This years summit was held in Abuja Nigeria and we are looking forward to our next summit which will be held in Kigali Rwanda in March 2018.

Joomla Monster came too with amazing templet sponsorship. This is the second year they are supporting our JoomlaDay event. Joomla Monsters have good templates, Extensions and Themes that you can use with Joomla.

SasaHost a leading web host was coming in for the second year. SasaHost provide reliable and secure web hosting and dedicated servers. They are also 2015 award winning in customer support.

This was a full day of learning, interaction and networking and for those attentive enough they managed to go home with some of the goodies from our sponsors. I started the day with an introduction to Joomla, who is Joomla. Shedy Serem coming in with Joomla 4, what to expect before breaking of for a healthy break by TranquilFoods. Joan of Sasahost talked about using Joomla as an eCommerce platform followed by Oduor Jagero’s creating for the user.

TranquilFoods also came in with a delicious lunch, Hungarian chicken, Rice, assorted stir fried vegetable and some gravy. The food was amazing. our afternoon session saw us learn about HikaShop and later accepting Mobile payments online by Patrick Mutwiri. We ended with a question and answers session and giveaways.

We want to thank our sponsors, Open Source Matters, iHub for the amazing space, CMS Africa for the support in expertise in organizing this event, SasaHost and Joomla Monsters our giveaway sponsors and for SasaHost who sent a speaker for this event.

One of our challenges this year was that this being an election year, JoomlaDay Ke was not organized as always scheduled. It has been really difficult, but we are happy that we were able to accomplish the mission.

Our next JoomlaDay event will be in September of 2018, the date will be communicated. We invite you to visit our facebook page and we will soon be posting the pictures and we hope to interact with you. See you then.

 

#jdayke17

 


Being in the history of currency.

Greetings from Rome. Rome, Italy’s capital, is a sprawling, cosmopolitan city with nearly 3,000 years of globally influential art, architecture and culture on display. Ancient ruins such as the Forum and the Colosseum evoke the power of the former Roman Empire. Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes.

It has taken me to come to Rome to learn about two currencies I knew nothing about. The Lira and US 2 dollar bill note. The lira was introduced in Europe by Charlemagne (c. 742–814), who based it on the pound (Latin: libra) of silver. No lira coins were struck during the Middle Ages, and the lira remained strictly a money of account.

By the 16th century several of the Italian states actually struck lira coins, but they varied considerably in weight. One of the states that used the lira was the kingdom of Sardinia, and this monetary unit was adopted in all of Italy when it became unified under Sardinian leadership.

In the United States, the story of the $2 bill starts in 1862, when the federal government printed its first nationalized paper bills, Bennardo says. The $2 bill was in that first printing, along with the $1 bill, but it took a while for paper money to catch on.

That’s because a lot of folks made less than $15 a month before the turn of the century. Inflation slowly brought the value of paper money down, but then the Great Depression hit. “This was a time when our country did not have much wealth, and a lot of things cost less than a dollar,” Bennardo says. “So the $2 bill really didn’t have much of a practical use.”

The economy recovered, but the $2 bill eventually found itself in a strange price point. It became the the perfect note for some rather nefarious purposes. “Politicians used to be known for bribing people for votes, and they would give them a $2 bill, so if you had one it meant that perhaps you’d been bribed by a politician,” Bennardo says. “Prostitution back in the day was $2 for a trick, so if you were spending $2 bills it might get you into trouble with your wife. $2 is the standard bet at a race track, so if you were betting $2 and you won, you might get a bunch of $2 bills back and that would show that you were gambling.”

My friend after giving me to note for the two dollar bill told me how rare the note is, that there are some US citizens who have never seen the bill and on many occasions calls have been made to the police, when making payments with the bills with the assumption that its a fake note. The Lira on the other hand has gone to its grave. Here in Rome, while I was on my morning run, I encountered two pieces on Lira notes.

Here in Italy, it’s not easy finding this notes and today was a lucky day for me because I get to see one. As a collector, this has revealed a lot about the Italian History. I am on my Roman holiday.

When in Rome, do what the Romans do.


Visa Duties…The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

schengen visa

Visa application is always a challenging process. I have never meet anyone, either a frequent or a first time traveller, who has gotten used to this tedious process. But there are countries that one doesn’t have to go through all this, but unfortunately they are few, so we can’t avoid it, and if you are doing business globally, touring or visiting family this, is a cake you must bake.

The most important thing to prepare for this day is to have a lot of luck. I have seen people who had their Paperwork right and still missed the visa. If you come from countries such as Kenya, having a stable job helps a lot. The trouble is that most people who would go through the visa process and still defile the same laws are people in stable employment.

When you are in business, depending on what kind you are doing. Sometimes you are ahead and sometimes you are behind. But my argument has always been that their is no way you will know the person who will want to defile the immigration law and the one who will not buy only looking at their faces. I agree that the information has to be accurate, but yes, if the person you are looking at has been travelling and never broken any immigration laws, then his passport should help you make a decision amongst other requirements.

We all agree that there are countries taking their fair share of their shit, be it economically, politically and socially. The life span difference between the African countries and western countries is like how far east from west. Kenya for example has a very challenging political environment and especially at this time.  And the same time I was planning my travel and if you looked at the situation at present, it will be very easy for you to overlook the big picture if you are the one with the authority to issue a visa.

So when I went for the visa, i realized that the Italian embassy has different requirements than other Schengen countries. They require you to have a eight days international insurance after you land back home. They need six months of bank statement and copy of identification of the person inviting you. After a lot of shuttling to meet the requirements, and fifteenth day of waiting, my visa was granted. Breathing a sigh of relief I walked to the bureau that processed my visa and pick my passport with my visa.

My itinerary had a ten hours layover in Abu Dhabi, something that needed a visa for me to be able to transit through Abu Dhabi International. So I went to the website where Etihad recommends for their passengers seeking visas. With all the documentations scanned, I filled in the online forms attaching my documents amongst them my bio page, Ticket that is confirmed, my hotel booking in Abu Dhabi and my earlier visa when I travelled to the United Arabs Emirates for business, my current schengen visa that I was travelling on.

I later received a message from the organisation that is tasked to processing the visas. The gentleman said that he is sure my visa request will be negative, and the reason is that because I am Kenyan and most Kenyan passport holders have been denied the visas to transit through Abu Dhabi. The weird thing you are thinking is that why would someone want you to pay him for flying in his place and deny you a place to rest your head. I took the chances and allowed the gentleman to go ahead with my application knowing very well that if it comes out negative, I would lose my visa fees.

It was a few hours, maybe two or three, after I had given a confirmation that I received an email from the same gentleman that my request had been denied. Yes, I also wondered how. For the rest of the day I nursed my devastated heart, went to bed feeling sad and lived to make new plans. As I said, I have never meet anyone who has this process covered for themselves. Maybe my circle is not of influence, but still my statements stands.

If you are a traveller, and you go through this every time, this is something that many travellers have to go through. The bureaucracy that many countries have put between countries and citizens to restrict movement. And this kind of stuff, affect many people who would wish to travel either for business or pleasure. The people enforcing them sometimes don’t do them well.

For me, I pray not to break any countries immigration laws, to respect my host, to be at my best behaviour while am being hosted in a foreign land. This is the right thing to do, and the wise thing if you intend to continue travelling……just like me.

Wherever your travel my take you, I hope it’s fun and profitable.

 


Speaking at Joomla World Conference in Rome, Italy.

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I always thought there is a procedure to speak in a world event. I always thought that to position to speak was very reserved, to the big people. ana for many years I felt like I should learn from them, those who knew sometimes what I knew and sometimes what I didnt know. This has led me to study something about Public speaking, with the desire to discover if my knowledge can impact society.

Public speaking involves talking in front of a group of people, usually with some preparation. It can be in front of people that you know (e.g. at a family celebration) or a crowd of strangers. Unlike a presentation there normally isn’t a lot of opportunity for interaction between the audience and the speaker – the speaker speaks, and the audience (hopefully) listens.

Speeches have different functions. These include being persuasive (e.g. trying to convince the audience to vote for you), informative (e.g. speaking about the dangers of climate change), entertaining (e.g. a best man’s speech at a wedding) or celebratory (e.g. to introduce the winner of an award). Some speeches may have more than one of these aims.

Joomla has promoted public speaking though Joomla Day events and two of their Joomla world Events. Most people, at some point in their life, will need to stand up and speak in front of a group of people. Teaching students the necessary skills for doing this will therefore help them to do this more successfully.

As a result of the practice, students often report an increase in general confidence as well as a marked sense of achievement. Many students get incredibly nervous the first time they have to do a speech in front of their classmates but with practice the nerves subside and they usually begin to enjoy the whole process.

Working on public speaking also helps to develop students’ overall fluency and requires them to consider how they speak as well as what they say. This is useful for speaking in any situation, public or otherwise. Learning about public speaking takes you through many topics; the presentation or subject you want to speak about. How to introduce yourself, body language, your standing posture, gestures and eye contact.

You want your speech to flow like a river, and that won’t happen if you don’t take time to prepare for it. That’s not an easy goal but it can be done. Begin by setting aside time to assemble your piece. Move on by jotting down points you want to get across to your audience. Then arrange them logically, so they flow naturally from one to the next.

After this you can mix in something more to hold your audience’s attention: stories, illustrations, and props, like images, and videos in your slideshow. You likely dread public speaking because you’re not sure what to tackle in your speech, and how to deliver it. By taking notes you make way for your talk to crystallize in your head. Strengthen your speech by doing your due diligence and researching your topic. Being an expert in your topic will help you to flow with it, doing research.

What kind of a speaker are you? To be more effective, you have to identify your style. Get in touch with your strengths and weaknesses as a speaker and zero in on what you do best. Do you have a great sense of humor? Or are you a good storyteller? Perhaps you’re someone who teaches well; someone who can break down concepts and explain complex ideas into simple facts.

After a thorough analysis, pick your kind and focus on delivering your talk with your own style and in this way, you can shine like a star. Don’t alter yourself because you think one style is better than another, or try to be somebody you’re not. For me, maybe I am there, maybe am headed there. I am working on my presentation and I hope when its done, it will be perfect for the people I will be delivering it to.

See you at the Joomla World Conference in Rome Italy.


DIY Joomla! 3 One-Page site

I have always been fascinated by the fluidity one can find with one-page web themes. While common in Wordpress, one-page web templates were not the usual in Joomla!. I put the task of understanding them, and replicating such in Joomla, on my bucketlist last year, but I did not have cause to actually do either until recently when a client asked for it.
I turned to my good friend, Google, for help, and I found an answer on Joomla Stack Exchange channel that helped a lot (Thanks Sir Rene Korss!).

BREAKING DOWN THE WONDER OF THE ONE-PAGE SITE

The concept is to
  • place several modules on the home page, with different displays,
  • then create hyperlinks that, when enhanced with a sprinkling of java script, scroll to those modules smoothly.
Joomla! already has functionality for modules, and each template has varied types and position names. The twist here is to be able to call the module IDs within the designated hyperlink.
By carrying out the following steps, we can make any Joomla template, behave like a one-page theme:

1. Create a module chrome

A module chrome is the shell (usually with div, span or paragraph tags), surrounding each module. While there are default module chromes within the system folder inside templates, your new template probably has its own, that make the modules display how the template creator wants them to. It's quite easy to make your own custom module chrome, but the point here is to use a referable value in the initial tag's id, that you can call up later.

See an example below:
  1. Create a file called modules.php in the folder
    yoursitedirectory/templates/yourchosentemplate/html
  2. Add the following code to the file:
     1
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    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11
    12
    13
    14
    15
    16
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    <?php
    /**
    Additional template module chrome(s)
    **/
    defined('_JEXEC') or die;

    /*
    * one page layout (output module content in one page layout)
    */
    function modChrome_onepager($module, &$params, &$attribs)
    { ?>
    <div id="slot-<?php echo $module->id; ?>">
    <!-- Module content here -->
    <?php echo $module->content; ?>
    <span style="margin-bottom: 5px;">&nbsp;</span>
    </div>
    <?php } ?>
As illustrated above, the chrome is named modChrome_onepager, the div tag is the first tag within it, and its id uses a referable value, in this case, it calls the current module's id (module->id). I added the word, 'slot-' to the name, but you can use any value or format. Add any other optional frills to the module chrome.

2. Create your modules

Set up all the modules that will act as sections for the one-page theme. For example, let's assume that your proposed links are Home, About us, Our Services, and Contact us. Home section is the part of that the site visitor sees upon opening the site for the first time, so that's taken care of. You need to create modules for the other links, namely, About us, Our Services, and Contact us. Set them to show on the Home page, under your menu assignments.
Very important: Ensure that in each module, the module chrome you created in step 1 is selected. You can select a module chrome type under 'Advanced' tab, from the list tagged, Module Style.

3. Create the hyperlink menus

Go to Menus, and create external links, with the URL specified as the module names e.g. slot-22. 

Add the Javascript magic

 The script to use is from Paulund.co.uk and it allows a smooth scroll between the hyperlinks.

 ADDING A LITTLE EXTRA

  •  its preferable that you create your module chrome inside the systems folder, instead of inside the particular template folder. This is for occasions in which you have to change the template - the code should still work regardless of the change.
  • If its not in the template already, consider adding an arrow that leads back to the top of the page, at the right hand side corner of the screen. 

Want to check already-made one page Joomla! templates? Check out this collection at Evohosting.co.uk

DIY Joomla! 3 One-Page site

I have always been fascinated by the fluidity one can find with one-page web themes. While common in Wordpress, one-page web templates were not the usual in Joomla!. I put the task of understanding them, and replicating such in Joomla, on my bucketlist last year, but I did not have cause to actually do either until recently when a client asked for it.
I turned to my good friend, Google, for help, and I found an answer on Joomla Stack Exchange channel that helped a lot (Thanks Sir Rene Korss!).

BREAKING DOWN THE WONDER OF THE ONE-PAGE SITE

The concept is to
  • place several modules on the home page, with different displays,
  • then create hyperlinks that, when enhanced with a sprinkling of java script, scroll to those modules smoothly.
Joomla! already has functionality for modules, and each template has varied types and position names. The twist here is to be able to call the module IDs within the designated hyperlink.
By carrying out the following steps, we can make any Joomla template, behave like a one-page theme:

1. Create a module chrome

A module chrome is the shell (usually with div, span or paragraph tags), surrounding each module. While there are default module chromes within the system folder inside templates, your new template probably has its own, that make the modules display how the template creator wants them to. It's quite easy to make your own custom module chrome, but the point here is to use a referable value in the initial tag's id, that you can call up later.

See an example below:
  1. Create a file called modules.php in the folder
    yoursitedirectory/templates/yourchosentemplate/html
  2. Add the following code to the file:
     1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11
    12
    13
    14
    15
    16
    17
    <?php
    /**
    Additional template module chrome(s)
    **/
    defined('_JEXEC') or die;

    /*
    * one page layout (output module content in one page layout)
    */
    function modChrome_onepager($module, &$params, &$attribs)
    { ?>
    <div id="slot-<?php echo $module->id; ?>">
    <!-- Module content here -->
    <?php echo $module->content; ?>
    <span style="margin-bottom: 5px;">&nbsp;</span>
    </div>
    <?php } ?>
As illustrated above, the chrome is named modChrome_onepager, the div tag is the first tag within it, and its id uses a referable value, in this case, it calls the current module's id (module->id). I added the word, 'slot-' to the name, but you can use any value or format. Add any other optional frills to the module chrome.

2. Create your modules

Set up all the modules that will act as sections for the one-page theme. For example, let's assume that your proposed links are Home, About us, Our Services, and Contact us. Home section is the part of that the site visitor sees upon opening the site for the first time, so that's taken care of. You need to create modules for the other links, namely, About us, Our Services, and Contact us. Set them to show on the Home page, under your menu assignments.
Very important: Ensure that in each module, the module chrome you created in step 1 is selected. You can select a module chrome type under 'Advanced' tab, from the list tagged, Module Style.

3. Create the hyperlink menus

Go to Menus, and create external links, with the URL specified as the module names e.g. slot-22. 

Add the Javascript magic

 The script to use is from Paulund.co.uk and it allows a smooth scroll between the hyperlinks.

 ADDING A LITTLE EXTRA

  •  its preferable that you create your module chrome inside the systems folder, instead of inside the particular template folder. This is for occasions in which you have to change the template - the code should still work regardless of the change.
  • If its not in the template already, consider adding an arrow that leads back to the top of the page, at the right hand side corner of the screen. 

Want to check already-made one page Joomla! templates? Check out this collection at Evohosting.co.uk

DIY Joomla! 3 One-Page site

I have always been fascinated by the fluidity one can find with one-page web themes. While common in Wordpress, one-page web templates were not the usual in Joomla!. I put the task of understanding them, and replicating such in Joomla, on my bucketlist last year, but I did not have cause to actually do either until recently when a client asked for it.
I turned to my good friend, Google, for help, and I found an answer on Joomla Stack Exchange channel that helped a lot (Thanks Sir Rene Korss!).

BREAKING DOWN THE WONDER OF THE ONE-PAGE SITE

The concept is to
  • place several modules on the home page, with different displays,
  • then create hyperlinks that, when enhanced with a sprinkling of java script, scroll to those modules smoothly.
Joomla! already has functionality for modules, and each template has varied types and position names. The twist here is to be able to call the module IDs within the designated hyperlink.
By carrying out the following steps, we can make any Joomla template, behave like a one-page theme:

1. Create a module chrome

A module chrome is the shell (usually with div, span or paragraph tags), surrounding each module. While there are default module chromes within the system folder inside templates, your new template probably has its own, that make the modules display how the template creator wants them to. It's quite easy to make your own custom module chrome, but the point here is to use a referable value in the initial tag's id, that you can call up later.

See an example below:
  1. Create a file called modules.php in the folder
    yoursitedirectory/templates/yourchosentemplate/html
  2. Add the following code to the file:
     1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11
    12
    13
    14
    15
    16
    17
    <?php
    /**
    Additional template module chrome(s)
    **/
    defined('_JEXEC') or die;

    /*
    * one page layout (output module content in one page layout)
    */
    function modChrome_onepager($module, &$params, &$attribs)
    { ?>
    <div id="slot-<?php echo $module->id; ?>">
    <!-- Module content here -->
    <?php echo $module->content; ?>
    <span style="margin-bottom: 5px;">&nbsp;</span>
    </div>
    <?php } ?>
As illustrated above, the chrome is named modChrome_onepager, the div tag is the first tag within it, and its id uses a referable value, in this case, it calls the current module's id (module->id). I added the word, 'slot-' to the name, but you can use any value or format. Add any other optional frills to the module chrome.

2. Create your modules

Set up all the modules that will act as sections for the one-page theme. For example, let's assume that your proposed links are Home, About us, Our Services, and Contact us. Home section is the part of that the site visitor sees upon opening the site for the first time, so that's taken care of. You need to create modules for the other links, namely, About us, Our Services, and Contact us. Set them to show on the Home page, under your menu assignments.
Very important: Ensure that in each module, the module chrome you created in step 1 is selected. You can select a module chrome type under 'Advanced' tab, from the list tagged, Module Style.

3. Create the hyperlink menus

Go to Menus, and create external links, with the URL specified as the module names e.g. slot-22. 

Add the Javascript magic

 The script to use is from Paulund.co.uk and it allows a smooth scroll between the hyperlinks.

 ADDING A LITTLE EXTRA

  •  its preferable that you create your module chrome inside the systems folder, instead of inside the particular template folder. This is for occasions in which you have to change the template - the code should still work regardless of the change.
  • If its not in the template already, consider adding an arrow that leads back to the top of the page, at the right hand side corner of the screen. 

Want to check already-made one page Joomla! templates? Check out this collection at Evohosting.co.uk

DIY Joomla! 3 One-Page site

I have always been fascinated by the fluidity one can find with one-page web themes. While common in Wordpress, one-page web templates were not the usual in Joomla!. I put the task of understanding them, and replicating such in Joomla, on my bucketlist last year, but I did not have cause to actually do either until recently when a client asked for it.
I turned to my good friend, Google, for help, and I found an answer on Joomla Stack Exchange channel that helped a lot (Thanks Sir Rene Korss!).

BREAKING DOWN THE WONDER OF THE ONE-PAGE SITE

The concept is to
  • place several modules on the home page, with different displays,
  • then create hyperlinks that, when enhanced with a sprinkling of java script, scroll to those modules smoothly.
Joomla! already has functionality for modules, and each template has varied types and position names. The twist here is to be able to call the module IDs within the designated hyperlink.
By carrying out the following steps, we can make any Joomla template, behave like a one-page theme:

1. Create a module chrome

A module chrome is the shell (usually with div, span or paragraph tags), surrounding each module. While there are default module chromes within the system folder inside templates, your new template probably has its own, that make the modules display how the template creator wants them to. It's quite easy to make your own custom module chrome, but the point here is to use a referable value in the initial tag's id, that you can call up later.

See an example below:
  1. Create a file called modules.php in the folder
    yoursitedirectory/templates/yourchosentemplate/html
  2. Add the following code to the file:
     1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11
    12
    13
    14
    15
    16
    17
    <?php
    /**
    Additional template module chrome(s)
    **/
    defined('_JEXEC') or die;

    /*
    * one page layout (output module content in one page layout)
    */
    function modChrome_onepager($module, &$params, &$attribs)
    { ?>
    <div id="slot-<?php echo $module->id; ?>">
    <!-- Module content here -->
    <?php echo $module->content; ?>
    <span style="margin-bottom: 5px;">&nbsp;</span>
    </div>
    <?php } ?>
As illustrated above, the chrome is named modChrome_onepager, the div tag is the first tag within it, and its id uses a referable value, in this case, it calls the current module's id (module->id). I added the word, 'slot-' to the name, but you can use any value or format. Add any other optional frills to the module chrome.

2. Create your modules

Set up all the modules that will act as sections for the one-page theme. For example, let's assume that your proposed links are Home, About us, Our Services, and Contact us. Home section is the part of that the site visitor sees upon opening the site for the first time, so that's taken care of. You need to create modules for the other links, namely, About us, Our Services, and Contact us. Set them to show on the Home page, under your menu assignments.
Very important: Ensure that in each module, the module chrome you created in step 1 is selected. You can select a module chrome type under 'Advanced' tab, from the list tagged, Module Style.

3. Create the hyperlink menus

Go to Menus, and create external links, with the URL specified as the module names e.g. slot-22. 

Add the Javascript magic

 The script to use is from Paulund.co.uk and it allows a smooth scroll between the hyperlinks.

 ADDING A LITTLE EXTRA

  •  its preferable that you create your module chrome inside the systems folder, instead of inside the particular template folder. This is for occasions in which you have to change the template - the code should still work regardless of the change.
  • If its not in the template already, consider adding an arrow that leads back to the top of the page, at the right hand side corner of the screen. 

Want to check already-made one page Joomla! templates? Check out this collection at Evohosting.co.uk

A chilly Joomla! Day in Arusha.

WhatsApp Image 2017-07-06 at 12.02.08 Welcome to Arusha, the town so calm, so beautiful, so welcoming. You should come here, if you can afford it. Endless queues of tourist are arriving here in their numbers….you wonder why, but when you are here, everything makes sense, makes peace. Driving in Arusha I can see how a large, sprawling city with all of the contradictions that brings, it is, the best place to be. The traffic police standing on the street in their white uniform, very white my friend asked how they wash it, they keep it white, just like new. Continue reading "A chilly Joomla! Day in Arusha."

On Comminity leadership.

The #Jab17 was an opportunity for several of our newly-elected members of Joomla’s leadership to meet their counterparts in other major projects, some CMS-related but most not CMS related.  From Joomla we had Mike “Demo” Demopolous, Joomla’s Treasurer; Yves Hoppe, Department Coordinator for Programs; Rowan Hoskyns-Abrahall, Department Coordinator for Events; and Robert Jacobi as our President.  Since this group was recently elected, it also presented valuable time in the evening and following the conference to get to know each other and discuss the important priorities for their departments.

The main take-aways from this event included ideas for maintaining the health of communities formed of contributors that put in just a couple hours a week.  The unconference format allows those attending the event to propose topics that are of common concern.  A room and time is assigned and any attendees that have similar concerns or solutions to suggest meet and share those ideas.  The topics attracting the most attention and attendance included:

 

  • how to “onboard” our newest contributors to make sure their first attempts to contribute to documentation or user support are a success and that first attempts to submit a Pull Request to improve the software are properly mentored and result in a successful and positive experience;
  • how to communicate effectively to a diverse community that is spread across continents, time zones and languages;
  • how to prevent burn-out of volunteers that have moved into critical leadership roles, especially release managers;
  • how to create a culture that teachs new contributors the “right way” to contribute in a way that does not embarass or discourage them; and
  • how to build succession into the responsibilities of each leader so that fresh enthusiastic faces can rise quickly in an organization and not be discouraged by long-term leaders that have lost some of their energy.