Chapter 6. Extending Joomla!

Out of the box, Joomla! is a powerful, feature-rich web CMS that can be used to build a great website with a lot of functionality with very little effort. However, Joomla! doesn't do everything, nor should it. If they tried to build every possible function into the Joomla! core, the size of the Joomla! installation package would be too big for any web host to handle. That is why the geniuses behind Joomla! and its predecessor, Mambo, decided to make the system extensible.

An extensible system is one that allows and enables the installation of third-party software (called extensions) to extend the functionality of the system or add new functionality. The most common example of an extensible system is an operating system (OS) like Microsoft Windows or Mac OSX. At the risk of oversimplifying what an OS is, it is basically a set of tools that makes it easier for software developers to build applications (extensions) that interact with the computer's hardware using a common interface. Another example of an extensible system is the popular web browser, Firefox. Firefox has an Application Programming Interface (API) that enables software developers to build add-ons (extensions) that enhance the way Firefox users are able to interact with the web beyond simple web browsing. Joomla!, at its core, is basically a platform for enabling software developers to build extensions that bring new and custom functionality to your website.

Every website is different and has ...

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