Curiosity and interest driven approach towards open source Joomla 1.5 technology and a backward shift

Recently my actions has been driven more by curiosity and interest than monetary purposes. I just splashed USD99 on this Joomla 1.5 component called the JomSocial. At first sight after having it installed on one of my instances, it looks rather promising. I will over the next few days during the weekends go through the documentations of JomSocial to explore the various features they have. Also I will try to see what cross features they have available with other more established Joomla 1.5 components.

The main difference between working on an interest driven project and a monetary driven project is that of the heart and the soul.

In the latter, there is always someone breathing down your neck, crazy deadlines to meet, the need to manage customer expectations so that interest of stakeholders are not compromised. high blood pressure often results. The downside risk is significant in the event of mismanagement in terms of additional cost incurred due to scope creeping by clients or misinterpretion by the technical team.  The upside rewards and capped. Do your job well or totally screw it up, the budget made available by the client is still the same. Haha, like Garis once said ” get bought, get used, and get discarded just like a bloody condom!”

In the former, I am free to explore any possibilities I can envision and things are pretty much dictated by my imagination with no strict deadlines whateverso. I can choose either to rise to great heights or crash and burn, all for the sake of fun and adventure, without the need to be answerable to anyone. The downside risk is ultimately determined by me (time and money), while the upside potential is remains hitherto undiscovered!

Also in terms of the long run, when we are looking at buidling up the volume of passive income, the former is the area to look at. Already a few of my sites are generating income of a comfortable level. Once it hits critical mass, I will do away with the latter option of selling my time to others for the sake of building their sites.

Taking one more step backwards, I am now spending less time ultilizing the skill set I acquired in university (that of programming and software architecturing) and more time ultilizing the skill set I acquired while I was back in junior college (that of reading financial statements and analyzing GDPs). Surprisingly the staff at the various banks have been very helpful in providing me with the information I need. I am also spending more time now receiving instructions from my dad on a daily basis for another skill set I have been thinking of acquiring for a while now. It seems he does know me very well and started imparting all the knowledge he acquired over the years in this field before I even asked! More than that, it seems I have already crossed path with the people of whom knowledge I need.

Talking about the alignment of stars!

An interesting and perhaps useful observation

My revenue from Google adsense has suddenly fallen to a record low despite the same quantity of click throughs per day.  At first I thought it was to do with something I did and I thus went to study the data available in Google analytics. All data available shows that things were still pretty much unchanged within the sites I am maintaining.

I was puzzled. I was speculating if some advertisers managed to identify low paying keywords for their adwords campaign. I studied the advertisements on display. They were still pretty much the usual ones. I remained baffled.

Over the period of the past two week similar signs started showing up in other non related areas.

Dad commented that the stock market was experiencing diarrhea for reasons unknown. This was after slowly recovering from beginning of the year. Stock prices were falling all over again.

The volume of sales lead over various channels started to slow down after somewhat peaking from two weeks back. Potential leads that have yet to  enter into closing stage of the sale started becoming hesitant too.

A few days ago, the real cause of things finally reveal itself. The European economy was facing finanical problems within three countries that were in the peripheral regions of the union. Last reported, it seemed that Germany the main power house within Europe was in the process of being adversely affected. All these tell tale signs that were happening before were in fact somewhat related. They were symptoms for the next wave of financial crisis that will be spreading around again.

Nassim Taleb, said in his book the Black Swan that thanks to the vast improvements of our communication systems (internet being one of them), we are now experiencing increased levels of connectedness between different regions of the world. As such we are becoming more susceptible to the black swan phenomenon.

The above statement translates to mean that there has been an increase in the occurrences of  unforeseeable events, per unit time of late as compared to the last century, which affected the world on an extremely large magnitude in terms of repercussion.

The way I see it is that all these events (e.g. European financial crisis, Layman brothers collapse) are like the coming into existence of new strains of formidable viruses of the non biological kind. The effects you see (severe drop in stock market prices) are symptoms. The communications channels (internet, television, newspapers) we have available at our disposal are the like vectors that spread the effects around.

While our communication systems are advanced, they are not altogether perfect. Effects take time to spread still. So if its possible for you to plant a tracker somewhere further up the communications channels, you will get better data faster and make more informed decisions. Thus far it seems out of the various channels for communication available, trackers related to the internet channel seems to be the most sensitive of the lot.

Extending Joomla to use Jquery

Recently there seems to be a lot of libraries that are being created using Jquery.

Joomla has been traditionally used with the  mootools library. Instead of using this library, I have opted to instead use the Jquery library.

I created a component for myself and  loaded the jQuery library into one of the sub folders of this Joomla component. I further instructed Joomla to load the javascript file.

Keeping my fingers crossed I wrote this syntex in the template file


jQuery(document).ready(function(){alert(‘hello world’)});


And Eureka!! It worked. Now I will go on further extending Joomla to create a very user friendly component for my clients which have been facing lots of problems with the counter-intuitive Joomla Administration interface.

Work around for JQuery easing for Internet Explorer

Once again, I am using the easing funtion in the JQuery library to create some really cool animations this time for Genesis Motors.

I have been using this library for quite a while now for a few online projects.

Here are a list of some of them:

The latest project Genesis Motors requires that content be allowed to slide in and slide off stage.

Sample code


$(“#side_bar_<?php echo $page->ID; ?>”).click(function(event){
menu_animation_active = true;

new_menu_slider_id = ‘#’+<?php echo $page->ID; ?>+”_banner” ;

$(curr_content).animate({left:’-1200px’},600, function(){


// Wait until the above has finished, then do the rest
curr_content = new_menu_slider_id;
$(curr_content ).css(“left”,”1200px”);
$(curr_content ).show();
$(curr_content ).animate({left:’0′},{duration:500});

menu_animation_active = false;



Works fine with in firefox but not Internet Explore.

The problem is that when the current content slides out, even when the content is in the area it is not suppose to show, it still remains visible.

Trying hard to recall what I did the other time to solve the porblem I finally remembered. The trick to work around this is to add the following styling to the container that is holding all the sliding contents as well.


Once you have added these two styles to the container, the Internet Explorer will know that this container is on the same level as the sliding contents within hence will restrict the contents from floating on an unattached z-index above the main layer.

Updating facebook fan page externally without the use of the Facebook API

Recently I managed to find time and hence decided once again to start work on my Things to Do Singapore!

One of the new features I had in mind of implementing was this auto updating of new sites to the Things to Do Singapore facebook fan page. The other thing I had in mind to do was to decrease the loading time experience for the site. The third thing I attempted to do was to improve the usability of the site. The second and third issue I believe is a constant task to work upon.

So back to the first feature. I researched for a long time on the facebook api site on how to update the facebook fan page automatically. Apparently apart from using the Open Streams API there was no other way around it. I further read that this was a tedious and complicated process. Hence I thought rather than have waste too much effort in the process of recreating the wheel, I researched for readily available solution.

This was when i chanced upon this page that talks in details on how to do auto import entries from a blog to a facebook fan page. Thus I did. I am glad he wrote what he wrote. There are so many features on facebook that sometimes i don’t even know if one exist when it actually does.

Facebook connect performance issue

Last night I was sitting with Satheesh and Jim working on We happened to talked about during our conversation in my living room.

Satheesh said that the site was experiencing very very slow loading time. I knew that the site was slow in loading since before I stopped touching it in terms of coding. I have been getting rather busy with my own IT projects recently.

Today finally finding some time for myself I decided to do some tweaking to my favorite pet project. The coding was familiar. I have yet to port it to any content management system. I actually have two systems in mind which I could do the porting to. One is WordPress the other is Joomla.

Given the choice between the two I rather like WordPress better. First off, it is lighter more agile and has this well established PingBack System which could be easily used for generating more Traffic on the world wide web.

Once again on that hosthi server I experienced very slow loading time. Nothing knowing which was really causing this problem I decided to do some split testing. I suspected that it could either be the server running low of bandwidht or that google friends connect was unstable again. So I pointed to my local testing web server and ran the scripts.

Much to my surprise, the stage when I was experiencing the bottle neck was at So apparently it was the part where Things To Do Singapore gathers content from the facebook server that things start to really slow down.

From my experience, Facebook has been experiencing very bad performance issues the past few weeks. If you went to the site and tried to login, half the time the images do not load properly. Suspecting that it would only affect, I was wrongly, apparently it does affect other sites which uses facebook connect as well.

Searching on the web for the possible reason, I identified the denial of service attack on facebook as a possible contributing factor. It is crazy actually that things nowadays are so interconnected that when a hub goes down the spooks get affected too.

I believe somewhere along the way, with all the interconnectedness as well as cloud computing, it will really be easy to bring down the whole world wide web with a touch of the button. Another possible black swan is in the making

More References on the Black Swan

Market intelligence

There are many ways to do market research but some of the best ways to know what companies outside are doing is to either ask them for a quote of a potential product or attempt to get hired.

Thus I did the latter, attempting to get hired. Apparently after heading to so many companies for interviews, it dawns on me that I am heading in the right path after all for the past two years. The social media market is now ripe for the picking.

Big companies are in the process of jumping on to the band wagon. While the smaller ones are already there occupying the various niches.

social Media apparently is here to stay