The alpha version of Joomla 3.2.0 is now available.  As usual, it is easy to install and it has new features.  

There was something I had wanted to test for some time: Gmail as the SMTP server. The Joomla documentation has instructions how to configure the mail settings but when I first tried it, the connection failed. I decided to configure the good old Telnet into my Windows machine so that I could test the SMTP connection manually. The TCP port 465 of the Gmail server responded, therefore the problem was somewhere else.

It occurred to me that I had started to use Google's 2-step authentication because I accessed Gmail from my Nokia Lumia phone. After the 2-step authentication was turned off, the problem disappeared and my WAMP server was able to send emails.

The 2-step authentication is an important security measure. When it was turned back on, I had to add a new password in the Gmail account settings and use that password as the application specific password in Joomla. The interesting thing was to realise that even though Google's instructions mention that the validity of the password does not depend on the blank spaces between the groups of four characters in the password, it actually did.  After the spaces were removed, the SMTP connection worked.

The instructions at have now been updated, based on these test results.

A couple of weeks ago I updated the site to Joomla 2.5.14 and the Kunena forum extension was upgraded to 3.0.1 at the same time.  Now it was the right time to go even more responsive with the JA Elastica template.  The latest versions were downloaded from Joomlart and the update to version 2.5.3 worked all right, still under Joomla 2.5.  This step made sure that the template was compatible with Joomla 3.  However, after I pushed the button and upgraded to 3.1.5, the following message was displayed both at the back end and the front end:

Fatal error: Class 'JParameter' not found in /home/myaccount/public_html/mysite/plugins/system/bigshotgoogleanalytics/bigshotgoogleanalytics.php on line 24

All the plugin information resides in the extension table in the database.  The system plugin bigshotgoogleanalytics had to be disabled by changing the column `enabled` from 1 to 0 and the site is again online.  The Google Analytics tracking code was then added manually before the <head> tag in the file page/default.php in the ja_elastica template.

The error highlights the importance of checking all the extensions for compatibility during version upgrades.


Joomla 3.0.0 was released on 27 September 2012.  It was even easier to install than previous versions on the local workstation, using the Wampserver bundle from  I installed it on my remote server using the installation tool of the hosting provider.  Everything went well. I installed reCAPTCHA and read the story about it at  Taking part in the effort to OCR books is a contribution to the science, similar to the screensaver I was using several PC generations ago when it ran the SETI application. Berkeley University is still running that program.

Then I wanted to see if Joomla 2.5 templates would work on 3.0 and installed one.  Big mistake - fatal errors happened both at the front end and the back end.   Back to LTS version 2.5.7.

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