I recently attended JoomlaDay Florida in Tampa. The majority of my business travel takes me to WordPress software conferences, but as I discussed in this post, I’ve been specifically reaching into other open source web publishing software and blogging communities. Also, Tampa is within driving distance of my home city so it was a no-brainer to attend.
What is Joomla?
Here’s the description from Wikipedia:
Joomla is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) for publishing web content. It is built on a model–view–controller web application framework that can be used independently of the CMS.
In other words, it’s used to build websites.
WordPress and Joomla
WordPress and Joomla are similar in a lot of ways:
- They are both free and open sourced software licensed under the GPL.
- Both are written primarily in PHP
- Both utilize design templates (or themes) and feature additions though plugins, modules, or extensions.
- Both have passionate communities of users and developers surrounding them.
You can read more comparisons between WordPress and Joomla (and Drupal) in this article.
The last time I built anything with Joomla was probably around the release of the first version in 2005. I found WordPress in late 2005 and have been a user ever since.
There was a bit of a competition between these two distinct pieces of software and in years past, it wasn’t uncommon for users of both to make snide remarks in relation to those people who used one or the other.
I’m happy to report that both the WordPress and Joomla communities have matured past petty competition and have realized that both open source projects have the same goal; to bring web publishing tools to anyone who wants to build a website…for free.
It was refreshing to be “the WordPress guy” in a building full of Joomlers and still feel that we were all on the same team.
Getting Out of the Hotel Room
I don’t know why, but when I travel I sometimes feel like it’s a struggle to get myself motivated to go out. It may be because I’m on my own and it feels strange to sit in a restaurant by myself, or maybe I’m some kind of secret extreme introvert hiding in an extreme extrovert’s body.
I forced myself to venture out and walked a few blocks to an area full of restaurants and bars. I saw a sign for The Improve and thought I’d take a chance.
Because I was alone, I got seated with other people. It was a young married couple who seemed to be a little weirded out having to sit with me. I quickly employed my schmoozing skills and before I knew it the three of us were exchanging stories of our kids like old friends.
The comedians were ok. There were a few laugh-out-loud moments.
JoomlaDay Florida Conference
The conference itself was great. Not having seen the inner workings, features, and current benefits of the Joomla software in many years, it was impressive to see how far it’s come.
If you’d like to read more about this specific conference, these are a couple good write-ups: