5 minutes reading time (985 words)

Why I contribute to Joomla: Peter Martin


Ever since he started needing to code missing features for his own clients, Peter Martin has been eager to share and help the Joomla community alongside his professional activity.

As a result, Peter Martin is one of Joomla's longest-standing and most loyal contributors. So we asked him about the reasons that led him to get involved in the development of the CMS.

Thank you for participating in this interview! Could you tell us a little about your extension(s)?

Most of my extensions are custom-programmed extensions for clients. I have some extensions published at the Joomla Extensions Directory. 

I prefer sticking to the core and using as few third-party extensions as possible. This approach makes websites faster and easier to maintain and upgrade. Nowadays, I primarily use Joomla's Custom Fields, which I complement with my own modules and plugins.

My custom-programmed extensions for customers usually aim to improve their workflow with Joomla.

So what came first for you: contributing to Joomla or developing extensions? Could you take us through your Joomla journey?

Actually, I coded my first custom extensions for a Mambo website in 2004. In 2005 I started contributing my time and knowledge in the Joomla forum. Then in 2006 I began developing open free open source modules for Joomla 1.0. And in 2013 I created my first Pull Request for Joomla.

My Joomla journey

In the late 1990s I had my own HTML website. Wanting to change it to a dynamic website, I learned PHP/MySQL. In 2004 I discovered Mambo CMS. Not having to write all code from scratch, but using the CMS framework for database connection, security and screen output was awesome!

In 2005, just after the split from Mambo, I wanted to give something back to the Joomla community for the amazing software I used. So I began to help  other Joomla users with solving their Joomla problems, and since 2006 I have been active as Global Forum Moderator. 

Later on I’ve been active in the international Joomla community in the Joomla Community Leadership Team (CLT), as a mentor for Google Summer of Code, and as Operations Department Coordinator. 

Locally, I help to organize Joomla Pizza Bugs and Fun (PBF) in The Netherlands, co-organize Dutch Joomla Developers meetups to share knowledge, and still co-organize the Joomla User Group Arnhem-Nijmegen in my hometown.

Furthermore I enjoy sharing knowledge and have done a lot of Joomla presentations at Joomla events worldwide. 

Contributing code to the Joomla core

In 2006 I released my first Joomla 1.0 module called “db8 All Banners”. For a conference website I needed to display all the sponsor banners in random order. The core banner module lacked that functionality, so I developed it myself and released it for free. My module became obsolete when the Joomla 1.5 banner module incorporated the same functionality.

My first code contribution to the Joomla core was in 2013. It took me some time to contribute code to the Joomla core because I didn't know how to write PRs. Contributing code to an open source project is more exciting than developing and publishing your own extension anyway. 

Back then, you could install Joomla with different kinds of sample content. However, information about those sample packages was missing, So I wrote some code to display some information for each sample content. UnfortunatelyHowever, I submitted my code in the wrong way (I did not know how to submit it as a “diff” package) and it was not accepted. A few months later at JandBeyond in Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands, we had a Pizza Bugs and Fun event. There I learned to create my first PR which was tested and accepted the same night.

Why did you start contributing to Joomla ?

Actually, there are various reasons. 

  • I wanted to give something back to the community of the software I liked and used. 
  • If you want something to be successful then you should spend some time and effort.
  • Being actively involved in a project might also allow you to influence its direction. 
  • By sharing knowledge, contributing code and helping other people, you learn many new things yourself. 

You have been a member in several Joomla Teams. What are you doing at the moment?

I've been active in the Global Forum team since 2006. And I just started as Joomla 5.2 Release Manager together with Marc DeChèvre. 

In your opinion, how does Joomla benefit from extension developers contributing?

Joomla benefits in various ways from extension developers contributing: 

  • Extension developers create extensions that give Joomla new abilities, making Joomla more flexible and interesting for different groups of people with different needs.
  • They bring fresh ideas to the project. Some of the best features in Joomla were developed by these individuals and shared with everyone.
  • Extension developers also improve the overall CMS by adding their own code.
  • Commercial extension developers gain exposure which they can achieve in the Joomla community by sponsoring events like Joomla conferences and Pizza Bugs and Fun.

Would you advise other extension developers to contribute as well? Why?

YES! Contributing your code to the Joomla project will teach you more about the CMS itself, its code style, and the way you can hook into the system. And that will enhance your skills to develop extensions.

Furthermore, you will gain a better understanding of the development process and realize the importance of testing your extensions with new Joomla versions promptly, which will result in fewer issues with your extensions in the future.

Helping in the community will significantly expand your knowledge and your network. When developing extensions later on, you can use that knowledge and more easily seek help from your Joomla network when you encounter development issues.

Finally, you can try to improve the Joomla core from your developer’s perspective. 

In short: contributing code to the Joomla core will give you more knowledge about Joomla, which in turn can lead to better code of your own extensions.


Peter's websites : 







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