I've gotten some feedback about this site never having comments and since I spend a bit of time answering comments I realized that most people that come here do so though a web search engine hit which means they're asking questions after the article has been long gone from the main page. So with that in mind I set out to find a way to make a latest comments block for Disqus the system I use for commenting. This task turned out to be easier than I thought since Disqus has an RSS feed (somewhat hidden for unknown reasons) for each domain. After finding the RSS feed I was able to add a feed module in Joomla and point it at the RSS feed for comments. It needs to be dolled up which I'll do later with CSS but for now there's a comment module on the main page to show which articles have had recent comments.

While I was farting around in the code I cleaned up a few other things. I use the Superblogger plugin to add blogging features to Joomla! such as trackbacks, Disqus comments, Gravitar support and RSS feeds for comments. My Superblogger theme is completely custom as I wanted to maintain Joomal!'s PDF, Print and Email buttons in addition to having comments, ratings, bookmarks and social bookmarking on each article. After staring at the article layout I've decided it's too busy and I've dropped Reddit, MySpace and a couple other social bookmarking engines from the article header. I've also cleaned up some wording in what's left. You can still share the article via Facebook, Digg and Delicious. Twitter support has been disabled temporarily because if the module can't connect to tweetmeme the whole site goes offline - this is not acceptable. However you can tweet the URL manually just fine. Changes were made to the Disqus comment boxes at the bottom of the article as well to make for a cleaner and simpler experience.

Also a little while ago I was curious about how many people are coming to this site over a period of time so I added a new counter module but it looked a bit skanky so I got into the code on that one as well. Now the left hand column shows Who's Online, the number of guests and members currently, the number of people for the day, week, month and ever followed by the login form. Even though this looks like it's one module it's really 3 that I've stacked together.

There will be other slight changes in the future but what I really need to do is get into the CSS and clean up the look even more. The left hand column is bothering me because I don't think there's enough color difference from the main body to set it off. I'd also like to have a bit more white space around articles and there's always the Superblogger article header which is a bit heavy. And don't get me started on the pixelization of my logo. Considering what little time I have it will have to wait.

I'm getting a little antsy over Joomla! 1.6 because it will probably get rid of the remaining 2 or 3 criticisms about Joomla! that I have. With the 1.0 series I cussed quite a bit. With Joomla! 1.5 I cuss once in a while (hierarchical categories anyone?) but it seems that Joomla! 1.6 is fixing the remaining couple of issues. Moving to 1.6 will be a big change as I'll need to upgrade to a version of PHP that isn't included with my Server OS. I don't like that situation but I don't have to worry about it until fall it seems as that's when 1.6 is supposed to be released. Once I move to 1.6 I might be able to get rid of a couple more third party components. Now I'd only need to find a native Joomla! photo gallery to replace my embedded gallery. Too bad that the Joomla! photo gallery people are smoking crack. An example of this is Phoca Gallery's insistance that the size and aspect ratio of photo frames be hard coded so every image has to be the same size and aspect ratio! No amount of debating has changed this situation with the Phoca team and even though there's features added to it at a feverish pace this one "feature" may never change. This means you have to crop and or resize every single image to they're exactly the same aspect otherwise they look like shite. Yes, that also means that you can only have horizontal or vertical images, not both. I don't understand the short sightedness of some people.