The Joomla! Extensions Directory ™

fangletoot

Reviews(2)
 
Akeeba Backup
The basic premise of JoomlaPack seemed perfect: back-up the files AND the database into one zip file. Unfortunately, I found it timed out even for small sites that contained little more than core Joomla. I resorted to using another program that just backed up the database (for sites updated on-line).

It's only in the last few weeks that I've been in a position to re-evaluate back-up solutions. Akeeba Backup delivers all the promises that it's previous incarnation, JoomlaPack, had made. It really is phenomenal - I'm not sure the size of the largest site I've used it on, but the resulting zip was around 250MB. I don't think you can get it any faster or do a better job unless you have command line access to the server.

The next problem is getting your back-ups automated. Yes - the core (free) version includes a lazy back-up plugin that will email it. But my simplest Joomla site when zipped is around 8MB and many email providers have a maximum email size limit of 5 or 10MB. Akeeba have developed another fantastic freebie - Remote Control - which will run locally to trigger a back-up and download. It can even schedule the back-ups! There are some issues with it, e.g. no way to migrate your site settings from the 2.5 version (for Joomla 1.5) and 4.x (which support Joomla 1.5 and 1.6 - but not officially stable yet). Unless you've got a lot of sites, this is not much of an issue, but I now think it best to go for the 4.x version. However, I had quite a few problems installing it which seems to be down to the Windows Titanium installer program that has been used to package it up (strictly speaking not a problem with Akeeba). After a bit of searching, I found the answer in Akeeba's forums - namely delete the titanium folder hidden on your hard disk, and then repair your installation.

My last problem was that J!1.6 sites were coming down as JPA files instead of zip files using the Remote Control program. After a bit of testing, I thought it was some kind of compatibility issue between Remote Control and Joomla 1.6, so resorted to asking confirmation on functionality on the Akeeba forum. I got an amazingly quick response from Nicholas and the issue was resolved in about 24 hours! The root cause is questionnable, but the resolving action was to re-install Akeeba Backup on the site (complicated slightly by part of my testing and having two backup profiles).

I cannot recommend Akeeba Backup highly enough. The Remote Control 4.x extension has installation problems, but once working is also brilliant - a requirement if you have dynamic sites. Akeeba Admin Tools is also a great product from Akeeba, although may not be used as much as the backup programs.

I think Nicholas and Akeeba have provided an excellent suite of products and it's backed-up by a first class support forum. I hope they are able to keep up their stirling work.
Phoca Font
It's a shame that you have to give a generic score out of five as it's great in almost every area. That needs some explanation:-

The basic premise is fantastic: you can set your site to display in a particular font and, even if the end user does not have that font installed locally, it will still display in the same font. That is awesome for those that have a publishing background. Personally, I'm not too bothered about the font that I see, but I know other people who are. When CSS was introduced around 15 years ago, there was great excitement that you could specify the font - but it only worked if the end-user had the font installed locally. That's why font-family became used instead. Obviously I missed out the declaration that fonts can be installed server-side . . . and so have a lot of others, otherwise it would be part of core Joomla and/or included in templates. So this extension is a fantastic concept.

Now the (minor) let-downs:-

1) I understand Jan's comment that he wants to concentrate on development rather than writing instructions that are already widely available on the internet. On the other hand, paul.mason's comment is fantastically succinct and saved me a lot of googling time. Only problem is that the instructions were basically to replace a pre-installed font (*.ttf and *.eot files). If you unzip com_phocafont_domesticmanners.zip you'll realise you need to package up the following files:-

* fontname.ttf
* fontname.eot (which paul.mason explains can be created from the *.ttf)
* fontname_license.txt (not absolutely essential)
* fontname.xml (at minimum needs customising to say which files are included)
* index.html (simple generic file)

This part is specific to the extension in order to upload a new font - it really does need to be included in the documentation.

2) The font that I was trying to use actually had four *.ttf files (normal, bold, italic, italic and bold). Didn't know how to do that it one Phoca Font Zip file, so I had four of them. Anyway, maybe because it was an old Joomla version (1.5.15), but the four fonts got presented side-by-side, rather than in a list downwards. It clearly wasn't how it should be, but that was presentation and didn't affect how it actually worked.

I can see this being a very useful and powerful extension. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to use it for the issue I was dealing with at the time, and there were two reasons for this:-

* the template being used seemed to overrule the extension (so had to name the new font in the template as well)
* more importantly - the font we were trying to use looked terrible (we used other presentation techniques instead)

Neither of these reasons is actually due to the extension! In most other circumstances it should be perfect - just being let down a bit on the documentation and a minor glitch that didn't affect how it actually worked. There's not much technically wrong with it!

P.S. To other native English-speakers: yes - Phoca Font Domestic Manners does actually exist!
Owner's reply

Hi, thank you for the review.

Regarding documentation - yes, for now I am really overloaded (the whole year 2010 I only have been overwriting extensions to Joomla! 1.6 framework), so if somebody has experiences with Phoca Font and is able to write some documentation where possible problems will be listed, will be great and I will public it on Phoca.cz site.

Since version 2 (Joomla! 1.6) I think, the way to add a font into the site will be more easier as a font from Google font directory can be used, see:
http://www.phoca.cz/joomlademo/phoca-font

So changing the font will be more easier (just set other font name in admin)
Additional CSS form field was added, so e.g. the font can be styled by CSS too.

Regarding overwriting by template. Mostly this can be solved by some specific ID or class for parts you want to be styled by Phoca Font.

Anyway thank you for this review and for your ideas.

Jan