Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

This site would not be possible without the following innovative software creations from folks around the work.  To all, Thank You.

  • Joomla! The free, open-source content management system (CMS) and application framework. We've chosen to use the Joomla 2.5 version because of the wide community support.  This vibrant volunteer and commercial community makes this NASS Sundial website possible.
  • Akeeba Backup is legendary and provides free administrative core tools for backup and restoration created by Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos. Many of us go back to the Amiga computer and "Kickstart" to boot up our system, and Akeeba provides a bootstrap way of quickly restoring backup files for site restoration.  This provides one of several "safety nets" to ensure that the NASS Sundial site is always available
  • Artisteer is a very powerful template builder for Joomla as well as for WordPress and other formats.  We've used it to quickly build the NASS templates.  The tools provide visual options and feedback to design and polish the website templates. The built-in functions of vertical menu drop, sliders. and responsive design for tablets and ipads is very professional.  It is worth the investment.
  • Attachments is a very useful component by Jonathan Cameron allowing pdf and other content to be attached to articles. The component and all plugins are installed in a single, easy step.  This provides download material management to our members and the public.
  • Black Rabbit Component Creator is a life saver, creating simple components that can then be expanded and tailored. After providing parameter information, the component is ready for download in 20 seconds! This easy-to-use tool is free, but donations are accepted and well worth it. To truly use Component Creator, knowing PHP and the Joomla Framework certainly helps
  • ChronoForms is both a simple and powerful component to create a variety of form submissions that includes "captcha" protection and auto-email. Get the ChronoForms Joomla Cookbook from Packt Publishing.
  • JCK is an powerful content editor for Joomla, providing many office-like functions that makes formatting and image insertion simple.  Toggles between text and html views, allowing control over the text and image presentations. JCK comes as an easy to install package free under the GNU license.  We've switched to JCK from JCE that produced an unresolvable "access to this resource is restricted" error preventing access to the image files bringing article production to a standstill. Joomla CK (JCK) solved our problems nicely.
  • NetBeans, the (Java) Integrated Development Environment or IDE.  Well, it works very well with PHP and has helped track down several elusive bugs in the development of the NASS Registry components.  Thanks to all the NetBean code developers and to Oracle, who underwrites the cost.  But we shall continue using PHP code and mySQL database.
  • SigPlus Image Gallery by Levente Hunyadi provides a balance between simplicity and the ability to offer detailed sundial images... hundreds of them. SigPlus offers an impressive set of feature, including automatic thumbnail and gallery preview image creation. Images in a gallery folder can be displayed in fixed or flow layout, on a slider or carousel/rotator, or can blend using a fancy transition effect.  Great software.
  • Sourcerer from No Number Software very nicely solved the problem of embedding Javascript into articles for the creation of dynamic solar calculators, sundial angle generators and sundial drawing routines.  By using  Sourcerer tags it's easy to use any Joomla editor to create PHP, HTML, and Javacript codes scripts embedded in articles.  No Numbers has done a great job and they provide very good documentation.
  • AllVideos provides a simple but very effective way to incorporate a video and audio server, capable of displaying many different formats.  Video of sundials is now a very important graphic medium. Thanks to all who make AllVideos.
  • JW Player This is the heart of video serving and JW Player does it very well. Many configuration options for loading and displaying video.
  • JoomlaMan Video Gallery While AllVideos is a great plugin for displaying a wide variety of video formats, we needed a solid video gallery.  We tried many different Joomla video gallery applications, all of which had various glitches.  Eventually we found that JoomlaMan Video Gallery solved our problems very nicely.  It took some experimentation to find which video server codec JM Video Gallery used for displaying local content.  Turns out the video format is AVC(H.264) with AAC audio at 44100 Hz.