Front-end developer Marco Barbosa has just released his advanced Joomla admin template: Minima.
This is a template for the Joomla administrator that changes the way it's presented. It also adds quite a few nifty features to the interface.
Minima is built using advanced CSS and other modern techniques. For that reason, you should use Firefox, Chrome, Safari or another browser with the latest CSS support to get the full experience from the template.
You will also need Joomla 1.6, as the template will only work on that version of the Joomla framework.
Minima features listMinima features a number of improvements over the default Joomla 1.6 administrator template:
- Great performance
- Clean interface with tabs and good use of contrast
- Minimal toolbar
- Minimalism. Super clean interface.
- Sticky header when scrolling for easy access
- Components list with descriptions
- HTML5 & CSS3
- Usability improvements
- Revamped Articles interface
- No hacks
Joomla! 1.6 only
Minima is compatible with Joomla 1.6 only. This is partly because Joomla 1.5 is not fully MVC compatible for the overrides. Also, Marco has limited time for this project and does not have the time to port it to 1.5.
Marco tells me he's willing to help if someone wants to port the template to Joomla 1.5, though.
The idea behind Minima
The idea behind this first Minima release is to provide a minimal and sleek interface for Joomla's backend. Mainly to simplify things with a great performance etc.
This release has been about making a very solid structure for the project. The goal now is to make it as stable as possible and refactor where it can be refactored.
Marco has done a major CSS refactoring on it and is almost done with the JavasScript refactoring (with some help, thanks to Henrik Hussfelt and Dimitar Christoff).
I can say for the next month or more (I'm not very good with dates) a lot of work will be put on that (refactoring). It's important to ensure that it's very stable and refactored now so that the neat features can start coming in. I'm talking about drag and drop dashboard, customisable shortcuts with an easy interface, mobile support and some fancy overrides. The most used components will be overriden to provide something more intuitive. Enough with tables :)
I'm also looking for more collaboration to make this a kick-ass backend.
Without wanting to sound cocky or anything like that, but I'm sure that with some help, minima COULD be the one of nicest CMS backend you've seen around (yes Wordpress, I'm looking at you). I'm starting to push Joomla! administrator to the limits already :)
It's a true open source project folks, it's free and it's GPL.
Molajo adds even more
When Molajo is released, you can expect some exclusivities there thanks to the great developer and usability team they have on-board.
New in the release version of Minima
Since the demo he showed at J and Beyond 2010, Marco has worked diligently on Minima, adding the following improvements:
- Improved styling.
- Better IE styling. Still not recommended for IE though. You'll miss all the goodness!
- Some translations already done.
- Components list with pagination and soon with a search box.
- More usability improvements.
- Stickied toolbar when scrolling (really cool!)
- Refactored CSS
- Better form handlings
- Lighter and faster!
Feedback and collaboration
The code for Minima is available here.
Coming features (in priority order)
- Major extensions compatibility support check
- Right to left language support
- More translations
- Test most of J! 1.6 extensions on it
- Customizable shortcuts
- More widgets for the dashboard
In my personal opinion, Minima is an exciting development for Joomla 1.6 admin templates. I would like to see some more functions that improve on how you work with the admin. But for a first release, it's a great improvement over the BlueStork default admin template.
The function that hides the components in the top drop down panel is something I've heard mixed opinions on. Luckily, it's perfectly voluntary to use the template ;) And there are other alternatives available, like the AdminPraise3 template from PixelPraise.
I recorded a small screencast about Minima - a silent Minima movie :)
I wish Marco good luck on the project - go get yourself a copy of Minima and test it out for yourself. It's free - as in free beer (make sure to buy Marco one when you see him). And if you're a developer and want to help, contact Marco to share your knowledge.
What do you think about Minima? Share below.