ii. Preamble
Joomla began life as Mambo and morphed into Joomla in September 2005 at which time the version numbering for Joomla was started at 1.0.  Consequently you may see occassional references in this document to Mambo versions which are direct ancestors of Joomla.  In general, versions of Mambo prior to 4.5 are of historical interest only and are not documented here.  Mambo 4.5.2.3 was directly followed by Joomla 1.0.

Right up to the release of the 4.x versions of Mambo, writing components, modules and templates was a fairly convoluted affair. Files in scattered directories made it difficult to actually package an individual element; code was not organised into reusable API calls; it was generally hard work. The number of third-party add-ons around the time of the release of Mambo 4.0.x was testimony to this. There were maybe a half dozen templates and not many more components and modules.

The development of Mambo 4.5 sought to change all that. Code was modularised, files were reorganised, and an installer made it much easier. Today we have literally hundreds of templates, and dozens of components, modules, and mambots. Amazingly, most of the developers of these add-ons have picked it up by trial and error and following the example of the main code base. To date, there has not been a great deal of quality developer documentation. The community spirit has had to come to the aid of many a fledgling developer crying "Help! How do I do this".

Since the release of Mambo 4.5.1, we realised that quality documentation for both users and developers is of paramount importance. We have worked hard to create documentation in both these areas.

This manual, while not yet complete, seeks to give you an insight into the workings of Joomla.

If you are new to Joomla, the chapters are set out roughly in order of easiest to hardest. We start with the Joomla template system which is extremely easy to learn. Modules then fit in nicely with your template work. Mambots are little multi-functional "things" that are like a Swiss Army Knife to Joomla. Then we look at building a Component.

If you are an old hand then we suggest you start in the "Updates" appendix to bring yourself up to speed with changes to the current version.

If there are any areas which you think are deficient then let us know. Suggestions and contributions are most welcome.

This is a draft manual.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 September 2005 )