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cms — TechWhimsy


Joomla! is a free and open source content management system with just about everything a webmaster could ask for.  Originally created as a fork of the Mambo content management system (see how to install Mambo on Windows for more information on Mambo), Joomla! has since grown to become a full system in its own right including static pages, blogs, polls, RSS feeds, printable page versions and language internationalisaton.

Joomla! is simple to install and can be administered quite easily from the browser-based web interface.

Below is a 17min screencast that will walks through the step-by-step process to install Joomla! on your local Windows machine with the aid of the XAMPP server stack.

Show Notes

Joomla! requires PHP and MySQL.  If you follow the techwhimsy.com tutorial on how to install XAMPP on your local machine, all your bases will be covered.

Official Joomla! webpage

Free Joomla! Templates – listing of “free templates” category on the official Joomla! website


Local Development: Installing Mambo

by Shane Perris on Friday, 29 February, 2008

in how-to,tutorials

Mambo is an open source Content Management System (CMS) that was originally developed in Australia as a commercial application in 2000 and was subsequently released to the open source community.  It takes advantage of the traditional Apache/MySQL/PHP stack which makes it perfect for use locally with XAMPP.

Mambo has a checkered past and has suffered from developer dissatisfaction, substantial legal issues and an apparent ongoing tension between different developer groups.  I don’t intend to wade in to the history of Mambo. I simply do not know enough about what is obviously a very complex issue.

Contrary to my comments in the video below, Mambo is not “getting on in years” but continues to be under active development.  I mistook a series of developmental point releases to be simple bug fixes.  Mea Culpa.

[Note to Google Reader readers: I appear to be having some difficulty with these screencasts hosted on blip.tv not showing up in Google Reader. I understand that the blip.tv team is working on this but in the meantime, please click through to the site to watch the video. If you can see the screencast just fine in Google Reader, please let me know in the comments.  Thank you.]


Movable Type is a blogging engine developed by Six Apart (other notable Six Apart products are the hosted blog solutions Typepad and Vox).  The latest version, MT 4.1, is available under a range of licenses including free for personal use, education and non-profit licenses and commercial licenses depending on the number of users.  The release of MT 4 also saw the introduction of an open source licence available from the MT community at movabletype.org.

Written in Perl and supporting a number different databases, MT4 includes many of the features users have come to expect from a modern engine including themes (called “styles”), plug-ins, widgets, blog stats and multi-user options.  With the introduction of the open source licence, there is very little to separate Movable Type from its competitors such as WordPress, although WordPress seems to have a bigger community of theme and plug-in developers (or maybe I just don’t know where to look).

Below is a 17 minute screencast that demonstrates how easy it is to install Movable Type on your local machine for development and design purposes. Toggle the flash player to full screen for best results. As always, all comments are most welcome.


Local Development: Installing WordPress

by Shane Perris on Friday, 15 February, 2008

in how-to,tutorials

WordPress is a free (as in beer and speech) open source blogging engine originally built upon the code of the b2 blogging engine.  In time it has become one of the most well known and used platforms in the blogosphere (and is the platform of choice for techwhimsy.com).  WordPress comes in two flavours – WordPress.com, a free blogging service similar to Google’s Blogger, and the software package for installation on your own server, available at WordPress.org.

WordPress is extensible with themes that are easy to edit and a plethora of plug-ins and widgets.  It is also famous for its famous “5 minute installs”.

The video below demonstrates just how easy it is to install WordPress on your Windows machine using the download available from WordPress.org and the basic install of XAMPP to act as your web server, MySQL database and PHP host. Toggle the fullscreen view for best results.