Screw!! Joomla Beginner’s Docs in Scribd or ODT

I was just planning to create a web portal dedicated to the abandoned railway line in my hometown, and I didn’t want it ends up as a blog, so I downloaded Joomla CMS and then tried it on my laptop first.

It went fine, with a minor glitch (stuck at ‘select language’ install page, which turned out that the json php extension in my LAMP hadn’t been enabled). Joomla seems to have great and advanced features. For me, it’s like I was getting a Ferrari as a birthday present when I couldn’t even drive a car. First thing I want to do was changing the top banner image to something more relevant.

So I opened the Joomla wiki and proceeded to the beginner’s guide section, and I found out that the offered tutorials are either in Open Office ODT format or available as Scribd document.

Inconvenient….

  1. Not everyone can open ODT. Those who use MS Word, for example. As for me, with dwindling HD space, I couldn’t afford to install OpenOffice package, since I always work with either plain text files or XeLaTeX documents.
  2. Scribd: are you joking? Please consider those who live with snail internet access, 15kB/s optimum access speed. And one more: to download, you need to log in: a) not everyone have a Facebook account, b) another sign-up in a site you don’t frequently visit/contribute is just plainly annoying.

Actually, the Wiki may have all the needed docs, but there’s no easy-to-access global index in it, and it seems that most of the docs are for advanced users. Looks like I have to rummage through the category pages or search result for each task I want to accomplish.

I think, in my opinion, Joomla guys should stick with the well-established tradition in open source devel scene: to write the documentations either as lightweight html pages, or offer them as plain text files. Since many tasks in Joomla are done with web-based GUI panels, the former should be the more appropriate solution.

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Screw!! Joomla Beginner’s Docs in Scribd or ODT

2 thoughts on “Screw!! Joomla Beginner’s Docs in Scribd or ODT

  1. I think just doing a small search on Google will return documentation in “doc” or “docx” format which can be read by MS Office.

    Probably the point behind having ODT is that it’s open source (like Joomla), but I agree with you, it’s a stupid move. Someone who has Open Office can open doc/docx files but someone who has MS Word cannot open ODT files. It seems like they are punishing those people who are not fully “open source compliant”.

    1. The golden rule applies. Since we don’t want to install additional proprietary software to open a file in proprietary formats, we shouldn’t force other users to install additional open source software either.

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