Nooku Framework a CCK for developers

01 September 2010 by Johan

A year ago Steve Burge from Alledia wrote a blog post titled : Joomla Goes CCKrazy taking a closer look at the CCK explosion in the Joomla ecosystem. In his post Steve defines a CCK as :

  • any extension which allows to move beyond the text and title options provided by Joomla’s com_content, and choose your own fields and options.
  • any extension which also moved beyond the section/category hierarchy of Joomla 1.5 and 1.5.

Today the Joomla extensions site counts not less then 10 GPL licensed CCK solutions. All of which add advanced content management capabilities to Joomla. In a sense, each of the CCK solutions are mini CMS systems wrapped inside a Joomla extension.

Are CCK’s the answer to innovating Joomla ? I don’t believe so. One of the reasons I choose Mambo for my first web project back in the days was because it was easy to use and easy to extend. As a user I could set it up in 5 min, just running through the installer, and as a developer I could extend it in 5 min, just looking at the code.

The challenge when building a CCK’s is to find a way expose the complex business logic in a simple and straightforward manner to the content editor and site administrator. Because CCK’s are trying to cut the developer from the equation they need to expose a whole range of settings which could otherwise be implemented through code. More settings means more documentation, more code and a higher risk for bugs. Not an ideal scenario.

Let’s not try to make our users think. Instead let’s try to make them accomplish their intended tasks as easily and directly as possible. After all wasn’t that the original vision behind Mambo’s : Power in Simplicity ?

If we want the same simplicity for Joomla we need to go back to focus our user interfaces solely on helping content editors get the job done. No configuration settings, no parameters, …  no setup. No complexity.

How ? By creating a more powerful framework that allows developers to build re-usable extensions for Joomla that can be easily combined together to solve many different business workflows. And by letting developers to what they do best : develop.

For example, most custom Joomla projects we have worked on are essentially com_content clones with some extra fields and a project-specific workflow. That, combined with, taxonomy, versioning, comments and permissions gives you most of the tools you need to build complex solutions quickly. You want a real estate catalog? Check. How about a magazine management system with organized issues and categories and tags? Check. Maybe a business directory. Trivial. An on-line help system? No problem. The list could go on.

Going back to Steve his definition :

Nooku Framework is an extension for Joomla that allows developers to move beyond the text and title options of com_content and content hierarchy of sections/categories. It handles most of the work for you and provides you with a number of re-usable components that you can plug right in. You’ll need only a fraction of the amount of code to glue it all together allowing you to focus on what really matters: your business logic and user experience.

All that makes Nooku Framework a very powerful CCK for developers. Don’t believe me ? Get started today, join our community and find out yourself.