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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Magento - Odoo - OCA Connector

Magento - Odoo - OCA Connector

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

We used this system marrying first OpenERP 7, then  Odoo 8 to Magento 1.x.  It was very very effective.

(old bullet points next)

  • 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.

Sadly, systems moved on.  Adobe took over Magento,  Odoo started becoming closed source and upgrading very very fast.  From what I can see, the Odoo/Magento Connector which was part of OCA (Odoo Community Association) stalled out at Odoo 10-11 View on Github  .  Moreover, it only supported Magento 1.x implementations which became almost impossible to maintain for security reasons because of Adobe's decisions to leave 1.x and its architecture behind.

The OCA/PrestaShop connector is quite active, and probably the best way to proceed now.  PrestaShop is easy to install and should be easy to maintain (unlike Magento in my experience from some years ago now).

The fact is that Odoo has effective E-Commerce built in and from a maintenance point of view it may be easiest just to stick with that.  But other reasons point to maintaining a separate E-Commerce system, and simply supporting it through Odoo on the back end.

Check out the OCA/PrestaShop connector here.

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Organizing your culled information stream

Organizing your culled information stream

It is tremendously complicated these days keeping track of what you are learning.

As an example,  I am diving into the realm of dropping pre-built Drive Images into Cloud Instances.  I need to keep track of the difference between a bzip2 and tar file, and how to decompress them.  Very nice people have commented their answers in various places.  Answers like:

bzip2 -d filename.bz2

tar cvjf *.txt

Certainly there are many more of these as well.  I likely have 20 Tabs open talking about all the various approaches, but that is not the point now.

The point now is simply, how to "keep track" and if possible, how to perhaps help other people in similar quests.

3 Basic Elements I am finding useful:

  1. Bookmark Organizing
    1. "Bookmark Manager and Viewer" a Chrome Extension is particularly valuable.  It takes a bit to get used to with one or two foibles, but nothing better that I have found.  Use this in conjunction with Chromes Bookmarking (they have the same icon) and spread them out so you know which one you are using.
    2. "Tabs Outliner" also a Chrome Extension lets you explore and tab to your hearts content.  You can close whole windows and keep track of the tabs.  Ideally you will move from here to your actual bookmarks, but with this you can see what you have been searching for, reading up upon and in many ways also reflect on what is important
  2. Durable Checklists
    1. Honestly, I am still looking for the ideal version here, but what I do know is that Outlines go a long way.  Lets go there
  3. Outlines and Outliners
    1. Now discontinued Bonsai is very good.  Very Very Good
    2. Android Outliner is VERY VERY VERY GOOD  (number 1 really except that I work in Bonsai more)
    3. Workflowy is the best web outliner I have found so far

There are others.  They all deserve attention, but the point is not the program but the work.

Nothing is perfect and no integrations, yet, are perfect.  I do also use

  • Simple Mind for Outlining and Mind Mapping . 
  • Odoo to keep track of issues and many other details. 
  • Evernote..  must have
  • Dropbox,  for me anyway, must Have

All are also excellent programs:

Like threads in a spider web though, you need to have your own system of reference to keep them together.  Things are getting better, but, there is still you in the middle.

Getting things done..  a book and a mantra.  The program did not work very well unfortunately (may have had another name - written for PC Tablet computers in about 2005 ?).  It should have worked better.  The concept was incredible.  It just had big, in fact large and untenable, memory leaks.

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Key Reference and External Reference

Key Reference and External Reference

These are some of the "lower" list fill in's regarding Joomla Meta information in content.  Still worth some reasearch.  I found the following

Key Reference

This is the reference that is used to pull the correct help information either from help files saved locally or on an online site like

External Reference

Use this field to add a reference to an external resource that is relevant to this specific article. There is no global value for this field as it must be specific to each particular article.

Dave Huelsmann gives a great answer and he appears to know Joomla very very well.

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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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Turnkeylinux Hosting - volume size changes

Turnkeylinux Hosting - volume size changes

I have hosted Turnkeylinux images in the following ways

  • VMWare Vsphere
  • VirtualBox
  • BareMetal
  • TurnkeyLinux Hub
  • Linode Cloud

At present I am hosting nearly everything on Linode, though for the sake of speed and the ability to "turnoff" (and not be charged when not running) I am running a few servers also on the AWS based TKL Hub.

A few caveats.  Linode, if using their Kernel, will resize Drive Image sizes along with FileSystem Sizes very well.

It takes some work to do this on the TKL Hub - this is the current HOW To:

though I would skip the AWS section and just clone bigger, but then still do all of the following in SSH.

To be most specific:  

gdisk /dev/xvda
resize2fs /dev/xvda2

Instructions in the link above have "

"gdisk -1 /dev/xvda " and I had just now to skip the -1 to get it to work.
It would be better if everything just "resized" and it might be easiest to use TKLBAM for that just installing a bigger instance.

All things considered, Linode Feels "more like mine". but it is still important to learn different systems from time to time.

Bear Metal is somewhat going away.  So much work and energy to maintain a server these days.

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