Categorization for CMS

Categorization methods are one of the most important aspects of CMS.  There are several reasons for this, but the first one is simply to keep yourself organized and on track.  The other first (not second) reason is so that others will well understand your organization, priorities and approach.

I have not been as strong an adherent of this process as I would like to have been in the past.  Now though, I find myself working on this and essentially building the bones of whale.

I am working with Joomla and as I have mentioned, it is critical to keep a flow aligned between Categories and Menu's.  Articles will fall into categories.  There will be decisions that need to be made regarding "multi-categorization" and "tags"  (seems the same thing to me from this particular vantage).

There will be SEO subjects as well.  We don't want duplicate content links, though we will want multiple channels to find the content.

Just today, in develoment modes, I am having a "shoot out" on my test server between J2Store and HikaShop.  I have installed the test versions of each (not too badly hampered) and I am getting responsiveness.  I am working to replace, sequentially, Magento 1.9x and my initial rounds with Ecwid on Joomla. 

The test is coming down to, quite simply, how easy and comfortable it is to implement, and how rich and responsive the content and interface will be for each system   There are aspects I certainly like to both.  J2Store has you work with the Joomla Categories and Articles at its core.  It needs to be presented in Menus and Modules.  That is quite interesting and I do like the consistency of this approach to ecommerce along with the standard working of Joomla Content in general (like my creating this article just now).

I still have work to do, and as I am testing, I need to be quick and work through my decision trees to get my final packages rolled out onto the main.

HikaShop has an extensive build to it, and honestly I have not explored it yet enough.  I did some very early dev tests yesterday also with VirtueMart (complete fail on their installer method), HikaShop and J2Store.  I am happy with my approach I have started of Simple, Middle, Full development.  Safer and gives the ability to do the practice I need to get into my methods.  From here, the advantage I see for HikaShop is integration of more "traditional" aspects to E-Commerce.  But that also may bring complications.  The extendability of both E-Commerce systems is both attractive and somewhat of a nuisance both.   "Time" and Integration are the biggest issue I have with Magento.  Since MageBridge (Joomla/Magento Bridge) was discontinued, and the difficulties I had with it prior, I have found that having E-Com separated from content does not work well.  There are so many other "cool cool" things I have integrated to Magento I know it will be complicated to find new paths.  But, simplicity is key and I am seeing ways.

I have some very good ways to implement and move systems around.  I will look at ways to move content created on one system to another.  I can do the "full banana" move right now but I would rather just do micro work, and as such, my Flow System which has my Magento Data massaged into a FileMaker Database where I can add notation, and have clear second takes on category structure.  Bringing Categorization well into Joomla and E-Com will also require that I make the same structural changes in my nearly archived Magento system as well.

I am departing Magento because of the complication and the time.  Some of the issues I have seen on the Magento system I will need to both pull forward and fix or remove and monitor in Joomla. 

A few key Tools I am using today:

  • FileMaker Pro
  • Joomla 3.9x
    • Advanced Module Manager (Regular Labs) - Add to Menu script in Categorization
    • J2Store
    • HikaShop
  • Magento 1.9x
  • Ecwid
  • Chrome Browser

Well, Some more time in, and I have to say, subjects are not always easy.  J2Shop is winning so far.  Some negatives in terms of templating is one issue.

Notation #1: 

If you are using VirtualDomains, you NEED to go back and add Menu Modules that you have added so that they are not filtered.  Without doing this you will think you have some major issues with your site and you really do not.  It is just working as built.  That all said, I want to update the VirtualDomains Component to eliminate this issue. I hope I can get to that soon.

Notation #2: 

I settled on J2Store and will be implementing it.  HikaShop is certainly interesting but it is a bit too involved, not quite attractive, and parallel to the Joomla Build System.  I did, this morning come across the EasyShop template set.  I am definitely going to explore that one in parralell.

Notation #3:

I have either said or read..  when you are evaluating extensions, for any system.  look at the details.  How often are they updated.  What are people saying.  How involved do they seem to be with support.  Are there any security notifications publicly made, have they been fixed.  How does their future look to you.  I don't know that "Big" is critical, but "Good" certainly is.  Evaluate their words when they are giving guidance.  Are they happy to help.  I hope some of this may reflect back on me.

 

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Recent Work with a VPN router

Recent Work with a VPN router

Sometimes a small project is not so small.  For some reason my Odoo Server does not pass through my Comcast Home system at all well.  Solution was to put a dedicated PC into my office... but, I didn't want to just have RDC available for all comers (who sure came fast).

I remembered that I had a VPN equipped router.  I won't say the model.  Anywy, the company who made it was aquired and the aquiring company, as they are want to do, killed most support links about the router.  Turns out there were several other routers that used the same software for access, and yes, I got it too work.  Honestly, I think it is just a small step in security, not a big one.

So I was thinking, I should rewrite the firmware on the router....  I should rewrite lots of firmware on routers..  Big project but might be worth the effort.  Several people had wanted to go Open Source on VPN through routers.  The trick will be in making it work.

Might be a project coming up.  Things are working for now despite the EOL from the router builders new owner.  

EOL is one of the LEAST SUSTAINABLE parts of IT and it needs to change.

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Using Git and TKLDEV to build your own customized Turnkeylinux (etc) resource set

Using Git and TKLDEV to build your own customized Turnkeylinux (etc) resource set

Learning anything takes some practice.  I have been hoverting around my reentry for a bit now and went in for a landing.  I am going to do my best to build a customized set of builds based upon the Turnkeylinux set of apps, but one which is more flexible and more customizable to my own needs.

Here are some of my process notes.  It seems to be going pretty well.

  1. Sign on to hub.turnkeylinux.com
    1. Set up a Micro Server via the hub to run TKLDEV
  2. Sign on to Github
    1. Go to your https://github.com/turnkeylinux-apps
      1. Choose the Core App
        1. Fork it into your own repository set (this will be suggested by Github)
      2. Choose the TKLDEV App
        1. Fork it into your repository set
      3. Choose someother App you want to work with  (I will do Joomla and Odoo for now)
        1. Fork it (or them separately) into your repository set.
    2. Go to your Repository Root
      1. For each new repository
        1. Make a new "Branch" with some operative name for your work
        2. Option - but recomended
          1. Make the new branch be the "default" branch for you (rather than "master" being default)
  3. Log into your TKLDEV Box via SSH - ie Putty.  Iin my case the TKLDEV generated on hub.turnkeylinux.com)
    1. cd /  (out of /root)
    2. cd turnkey  (1 and 2 together could be "cd /turnkey")
    3. cd products (1 and 2 and 3 together could be "cd /turnkey/products")
    4. Clone each of your repositories (using the -b default_branch_name) to your products directory using a command like the following
      1. git clone https://github.com/your-user-name/your-turnkeyapp-repository -b default_branch_name
      2. cd (from products) to one of the new cloned directories
      3. issue the "make" command
    5. If you want to remove and start over I use the following
      1. rm -rf directory_name
      2. I may have to "restart" the server if I cannot complete because some chroot is running after a "make command"..  After reboot again use the rm -rf directory_name command to clear it.
  4. I am right there now.  I will start working with Git on my personal branches and see what modifications I can run
  5. My specific focus will be on TKLDEV modifications.  
  6. If I want to use those modifications actually "inside" my operating TKLDEV appliance  I will likley need to Link the Code directly - which means this is a Line of my TODO list.
  • Now to BuildTasks
  • Forked https://github.com/turnkeylinux/buildtasks into my repository set -ie https://github.com/my-user-name
    • Created a Branch - my name
    • Made the Branch "Default"
  • Opened GitHub Desktop
  • Cloned https://github.com/my-user-name/buildtasks into my GitHub Desktop
    • copied bt-xen into bt-mine
    • copied /patch/xen/ into /patch/mine  (min is a pseudonym)
    • Made a Commit with Summary and Detail Annotation
    • Pushed the Commit with Summary and Detail Annotation
  • Opened my TKLDEV Machine with PUTTY (SSH)
    • Navigate with
      • cd /turnkey
    • dir (to be sure)
    • rm -rf buildtasks
      • that removed the buildtasks directory so that I can clone my repository
    • git clone https://github.com/my-user-name/buildtasks -b my-branch-name
      • technically the branch part should be covered automatically as I set it as default in github directly, but I try to be safe and specify the branches explicity.

That takes me to where I am now.

I need to start working on my Build Processes next.  Also, quite explicitly, I will need to overtly change the "include" command for buildtasks if I go to make new TKLDEV systems that use my buildtasks.  However, it seems easy enough just to change it manually as I have  just done to my working TKLDEV server.

  • 3 Changes made in Buildtasks (XEN) directory
  • Committed Changes
  • Pushed Changes
  • Went to Putty:  Git Pull  (3 Changes Made)

Lets Test a build

UPDATE:  10/23/2019

The Build process worked well.  I then had to wrangle (again) with network settings inside of my Server Build, but those were not related specifically to the TKLDEV process.

From here I will move the changes I made into my own BT-process and see if I can replicate my results and also get the few more tweaks for my server build integrated as well.

I need to understand a-bit about the Patching process and how it applies to files outside of build tasks  (ie, small changes to the Core build).  I also will need to test various updates from REPOS and TKLBAM to see that I can have my changes from TKLDEV stick.

All for Now.  Very excited about the project.

(Postscript)

To build in XEN, ie (check /mnt/isos for valid build names after)

./bt-iso appname-x.x-stretch-amd64

followed by

./bt-xen appname-x.x-stretch-amd64

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MageBridge removed as well

MageBridge removed as well

Looking back at my notes, I started working with Magebridge (from Yireo) in at least 2013 and perhaps earlier.

It was a great idea fraught with difficulties.  Its purpose was to bridge Magento into Joomla

Magebridge discontinued by Yireo a few years ago now, but on my side I just disabled it.  Yireo discontinued because of the forthcoming Magento 2 and all the changes there.  I am not convinced it could not have been brought forward, but I think the greater issue was the extreme complication the program was itself.

Today, I gave it one last try.  Nope...  no go.  And now I am free.

Everything has been removed (uninstalled yes) including Compnents, Plugins, Packages, Libraries, Menu Items, Modules etc etc etc.  As the attempt also disabled the Magento server I also have a full restore running there as well (to last night's state).  I will likely kill the Magento server next.  Also not worth the hassle.

The site is fast.  I did resurrect for the time being Dynamic404 from Yireo (Yireo has gone away from all things Joomla).  It seems to have some good rerouting and be able to redirect what it cannot find in the overt redirection tables (lets see how that goes).

This is not, of course, big news, but it is news about Old and New.  I have long wanted everything to stay functioning, but sometimes we have to clear the decks...  They are clear now and we won't try that again.  (I log that I spent almost 4 hours on this attempt this morning).

And so it goes.

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Magento Sunset

Magento Sunset

I have been running Magento since about 2012 with 1.3x in my memory bank. Up to 1.9x now and really just using Magento as a repository now.

Magento 2.x (2.3x to be precise) is here.  It does not work, at present, with this CMS system so I have a linkage taking place through Filemaker from J2Store to Magento and by extension to Odoo.

I will quite likely just take the Magento system down.  It will not be supported with updates after this coming June and the time investment of getting 2.x running and keeping it running does not seem available just now).  We will see.

Anyway, for now, I am going to start redirecting the URL's to land into this system.  Lets see what a pain that becomes.  Likely worth the effort but also perhaps now.

Sad, but Magento was aquired by Adobe and like Odoo, they are making it more and more difficult to use it as a Open Source software.  Not that either are impossible, but the reigns are steering the team towards privation.

Somewhat the nature of things these days I will say.

All good software, just a bit too time intensive.

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Magento - Odoo - OCA Connector

Magento - Odoo - OCA Connector

This is a very functional system which brings the ability to work the "backend" of Magento by actually building and purchasing items you sell,

  • Functionally you get all of the aspects of Odoo, including CRM, Product Management and more
  • You also get the great E-Commerce capabilities of Magento, and its increditble extensability.

(to do:  more detail)

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