Joomla! – Slubberdegullion?

Yesterday was my third attempt.

Each time I try to learn it, I get frustrated and begin to think I just haven’t looked at it the right way. But after hours of reading the documentation and experimenting with a live system, I just can’t catch on to how it thinks the website should be put together. It seems like a whole bunch of clapboards just kinda thrown up and nailed without a whole lot of planning.

I don’t care that it’s running a huge number of websites.

I don’t care that lots of web admins swear it’s their bread and butter.

I just don’t get it.

Maybe it’s my fault. You see, I’m an engineer, long schooled and practiced in software design and implementation. I can think top-down or bottom-up. I can think from outer to inner or inner to outer but, confound it, Joomla! seems like its starting in the middle and simultaneous working its way both up and down and inside to out and piecing everything together on the fly.

How does it find all the pieces? Or does it? Are there disconnected web pages floating around the Joomla!-verse, never to be found like Charlie on the MTA?

Sorry, I just don’t get it.

Oh, I’ve tried – you should see my trashcan and all the hand-drawn notes in blue, then green and then scribbled out with red profanities. The Joomla! book I bought is all marked up with notes, underlines and high-lighted passages, but still I don’t get it.

In all my years of software, I’ve occasionally come across something that was incredibly brilliant – elegant is the word – and occasionally something that was stupendously bad. And I’ve learned it can sometimes be really hard to tell the difference.

Am I dumb, I ask myself?

And so I keep on scratching at it.

And if it’s good, eventually the elegance will shine through.

There will be that Eureka! moment.

But not with Joomla!

According to my notes, this was the third time I’ve spent nearly a whole day trying to make sense of it. But after a full eight hours, I’m still confounded by how irregular everything seems.

The elegance just isn’t there.

It works, yes that’s obvious, but I can only guess that web admins who are successful with it have to be good tinkerers and they just keep poking and tweaking until it works.

And then they must exclaim, “It’s working? I wonder what I did? But for Heaven’s sake don’t touch it now. Don’t touch a single thing!”

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