Joomla! with Flash book review – Ondřej Piálek

Ever wanted to spice up your website a little bit but never considered Flash as one of the options? Then you are probably like me, I always thought that embedding any Flash content in a website, let alone Joomla!, is a cumbersome and error-prone process that requires way more work to justify the gain. Well, this book made me reconsider my opinion, showing me that using Flash together with Joomla! is not only easy, but is often a reasonable and sensible choice.

Perhaps one of the major arguments why not to use Flash is that search engines do not index flash content. And while that is true, the nature of Joomla! allows you to put dynamic Flash content only to the dynamic parts of your website (e.g. your whole site doesn’t have to be in Flash in order to display a dynamic Flash chart). Joomla! with Flash introduces many Joomla! extensions that leverage on this fact and allow you to add dynamic, eye-catching functionality to your site that might have not been even possible using standard technologies.

The book is well structured and covers the following topics:

  • Displaying custom Flash content (i.e. movies, games, applications, charts) in Joomla! articles or modules.
  • Generating specific content in Flash as a part of a page (in an article or as a module) using several Flash extensions for Joomla!:
    • Image slideshows
    • Flash movies (e.g. any swf files)
    • Rendering menus
    • Photo galleries
    • Maps
    • Charts
    • Fonts
    • MP3 players
    • Logos
    • Headers
  • Working with Joomla! content from Flash (the Flash movie calls back Joomla!’s web services (provided by another Joomla! extension) to obtain data).

All these topics introduce the most popular free extensions that accomplish the given task. If there is an exceptionally good commercial extension, the book mentions it too.

Although writing a book as a collection of tutorials might not be generally a good idea, here in this case it makes perfect sense and the author covers virtually all the most common uses of Flash in Joomla!. On the other hand, the fact that the book explains the usage of all those extensions makes it vulnerable to some factual errors as the extensions evolve and change their settings / layout. The book just came out though, so all the information there is up-to-date. That said, I believe it is a great resource for any Joomla! administrators / website developers as it enables them to quickly compare and pick the best Joomla! Flash extension that would give them their desired functionality and set the extension easily following the guidelines described in the book.

Even if you have no need to incorporate Flash in you website, you can benefit from this book as it definitely expands your horizons as what you can achieve by using Flash in Joomla! and later benefit from this knowledge by offering your clients more (and richer) features and better services. There is no other resource that would cover and summarize Flash extensions for Joomla! and the only way you can find about these extensions is probably from Google search. This book gives you a good overview of what is available and what to focus on.

You can find more information about the book on the author’s blog or the publisher’s website.

Posted via web from Suhreed Sarkar | the philosopher

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