We have been busy in 2013, and it was an exciting year. And we believe it is going to be even more exciting in 2014. Let's see what Yireo has been up to.
Looking back at 2013
While the Yireo offerings did not change dramatically in 2013 - extensions and services more or less stayed the same - there was a lot happening in the backgrounds. Yireo was involved in a Dutch startup of a publishing company, combining Magento and a custom CakePHP application to allow for various publishing activities among which printing-on-demand. But there was more: We were involved in numerous other custom projects, mostly dealing with in-depth Joomla! and Magento development.
All that kept us busy, and it showed a strong focus on custom development for the major part of 2013. That changed after the summer. We decided Yireo needed more energy, came up with various new extensions and services for both Joomla! as Magento, finished a major overhaul of MageBridge, and refurbished the entire Yireo site - introducing both a new fresh look as well as an upgrade to Joomla! 3.2.
Pfff, simply an overwhelming 2013. So what is 2014 bringing for you and us?
MageBridge Open Core
With the overhaul mentioned above, MageBridge has now dropped Joomla! 1.5 support and has replaced various inner-workings with newer technologies: Forms are being based now on the Joomla! JForm library. Old connectors are being rewritten to native plugins, allowing it easier for third party developers to create new add-ons. All this is part of the next major release MageBridge version 1.9.
And once MageBridge 1.9 is out, we will make another major shift: The core of MageBridge will be made available for free through GitHub. This does not mean MageBridge is finally open sourcing itself - MageBridge has been already open source from the very start. But with this move, it will become easier for third party developers to get started with MageBridge - without paying for it. The change, which we refer to as the GitHub move, will be accompanied with a few tutorials on how to use the GitHub sources, and the re-implementation of the current MageBridge Update Manager, so that MageBridge extensions can be updated more easily.
Magento Performance Insights
Another service we started in 2013 is the Magento Performance Insights service. Many Magento owners have issues with performance, needing helping with that, but hiring a performance specialist is often very expensive. Not knowing what to fix often makes things more expensive, as the performance specialist will for instance try to implement APC even if that's no bottleneck at all. With our Magento Performance Insights service, this changes.
The service involves a tool, gathering information on the site, and a service, interpreting the scanned data for analysis. For now, the scan generates a PDF-report for your own usage. But this PDF is generated only once, and only reflects the environment as it was scanned only once. When you change things in your environment, it would be better if those changes are visible in the report as well.
For instance, think about APC tuning. It would be nice to know how much APC usage is changing over time, so that you know how much memory should be assigned to it. Not having enough memory reserved means less performance. Having too much memory assigned means a waste of resources. Our MPI service will therefor be rewritten to be an online web-based scan and report instead, allowing you to run the scan as often as you want, and on any site that you want. Very exciting.
And last but not least, a book
Last but not least, I'm personally busy writing a book on Joomla! programming and more specifically, writing Joomla! plugins. In most books covering Joomla! development, only a few pages are dedicated to plugins - covering the bascs, but not the actual practical benefits of plugins. My book will be focused on plugins and plugins only. This gives me a chance to explain in depth on how to make practical use of plugins in real life situations, but also cover new technologies like merging JForm XML-files, FoF events and many of the new events that were added to Joomla! lately.
Conclusion: 2014 is going to be awesome as well
Looking at the above, I can say for sure that 2014 is going to be an exciting year. And I haven't even mentioned Joomla! 4 and Magento 2 yet. Stay tuned for all the updates.