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RocketTheme Blog

Team

Meet the Team - James Spencer

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James Spencer has been a valued member of the RocketTheme team since 2007 and has been involved in Joomla product development, documentation, and support throughout that time. He holds two degrees in Law, and currently resides in the UK.

In this article, we’ll ask James a series of questions in order to get to know him a bit more.

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RocketTheme Mid-Year 2013 Status Update

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Back in January we reflected in our blog on 2012 and looked forward to what you could expect to see from RocketTheme in 2013. Now that six months have passed I thought it would be great to see what we've achieved and what we have coming in the second half of the year.

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Looking Forward to 2013

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As we reflect on the past 12 months, we are really proud of what we achieved in 2012. We moved from fixed layouts to more modern responsive web layouts, we started developing Joomla templates and the vast majority of our existing extensions to support Joomla 3.0. We also created and refined our ground-breaking RokSprocket extension that is now available for Joomla 2.5 and 3.0 as well as WordPress. We also have started converting some of our previously released Joomla 2.5 templates to Joomla 3.0. To help enable this we had a major update to our Gantry framework. The new 4.0 version has a new back-end design, speed and performance optimizations, support for responsive layouts, and a brand new default front-end template based on Twitter Bootstrap. We continue to translate these advances we make on our Joomla products to WordPress and of course phpBB.

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Responsive Design: Part 3 - RocketTheme's Extensions

We covered some of the implementation details of supporting responsive design in Gantry 4 in the previous article, and in this article we're going to explain how responsiveness impacts extensions. A question that has come up several times since we started these articles is, with Gantry 4 will my site be responsive? The short answer is no, but the long answer is that it could be, but it takes more than just the framework to make that happen. Let me explain in more detail...

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Responsive Design: Part 2 - RocketTheme's Solution

As outlined in the previous article, we are hard at work developing Gantry 4 that will be providing all the bits needed to create responsive designs. In this article I wanted to outline exactly how that will work and what features you can expect.

After evaluating all the responsive frameworks and various solutions we have chosen to use the responsive system from the Twitter Bootstrap framework. Bootstrap is a project from the talented folks at Twitter that was designed to provide "simple and flexible HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for popular user interface components and interactions". If you have been using RokSprocket or RokPad in your projects you may not realize that these were built with elements from Bootstrap. New for Bootstrap 2, is an all new responsive design scaffolding that utilizes a grid system with media queries to provide support for various display types.

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Responsive Design: Part 1 - RocketTheme's Plan

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http://css-tricks.com- Example of Responsive Design


Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year you will have noticed a growing trend in web design called "Responsive Design". The premise of responsive design is that with the prolific growth in mobile devices, and their vastly varied display sizes, a web site can be designed to adapt to these platforms utilizing media queries. The previous leading school of thought was that the best approach was to provide a mobile specific view that was independent of the main design. This concept quickly became unmaintainable with the popularity of larger display phones and tablets. While we have up to this point been releasing templates and themes based on the older trend, with next month's release we are moving towards the newer responsive trend. This is the first part in a series of articles that outline RocketTheme's journey down this road.

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RocketTheme Ending Support for IE7 Beginning August 1, 2012

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Over the past several months, companies and developers around the world such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Drupal and a host of others have been making a concerted effort to end support for Internet Explorer 7 as its marketshare continues to decline each month. As of this month, IE7 usage has dropped to between 2% and 4% worldwide.

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April Promotions

Special PromosI want to keep this short and simple, we have something very special in-store for you this week :) As a sign of appreciation for all your support throughout these years we're running a special promotion till midnight on the 24th of April, 2012. You will receive access to over $600 worth of unique, premium bonuses from our partners for new sign-ups, renewals, and current members.

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Drupal Club Heads into the Sunset

We have been running our Drupal themes club for nearly two years now and have worked diligently to bring our club and community formula to Drupal. During that time we have striven to take the RocketTheme philosophy of great designs, oodles of features, and a great community, all at reasonable price and make that available to this fantastic platform. However, we have to be cognizant of the ever-changing market and also our own business strategy, and so it is with a sad heart that we have decided to “sunset” this club from RocketTheme. Drupal is a powerful and complex CMS that requires a lot of manpower to develop for and support it. We had hoped that over time that the Drupal club would grow and become self-sustainable but we have not seen that happen and we can not keep it running indefinitely.

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RocketTheme Conference

We have been internally discussing the possibility of hosting a RocketTheme User/Developer Conference. The idea is that we would organize and host a 1 or 2 day conference in a that we could use to cover a variety of topics.

To start with we will probably focus on Joomla as it's the most popular CMS among our members.

Topics we are bouncing around include:

  • Customizing Existing Club Template - How to take an existing design and modify it completely for your clients
  • Design-to-Template - Workshop on how to take a custom design to finished Joomla template (multiple part full day workshop covering all aspects of the process)
  • Cross-Browser Testing and Gotchas - How to debug and fix browser bugs and issues
  • Gantry Framework Tutorial - The ins-and-outs of the Gantry Framework including how to implement and extend it
  • RocketTheme Extensions - How to use, modify, and implement a wide-variety of functionality with our array of extensions
  • MooTools Development - Core concepts, differences compared to other JS frameworks, developing cool mootools based scripts, how to upgrade scripts from version 1.11 to 1.3
  • Advanced Q&A - Ask the team anything!

If you have any ideas for a session that would be beneficial to a large portion of users, please reply to this thread with your concepts.

What we are interested in is how many people would be interested in attending a conference like this? We are not certain on any exact details (location, price, schedule) at this point, but if we get a decent amount of interest we may proceed with planning and development of this idea.

If this idea is successful and popular, we could have multiple of similar events in a variety of locations.

Please provide us your best 'honest' answer to if you would be likely to attend an event. Please answer without regard to location at this point. We're trying to gauge the validity of the 'idea' not specifically an event in a certain locale.

Voting is open to all past and current club members on our forum, so please vote now!

Cheers!