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I am pleased to say that, through our related site Inspiration Web Design, we have just been listed in the Joomla Resources Directory.

And I really am pleased. Of course it is good for business, but there is also a personal element to it as well, since I received I short email from them thanking me for my past efforts for the Joomla! Community as well as approving the listing.

It was nice to feel that our efforts have been noticed. We have always tried to work in the spirit of Joomla!, rather than just making templates and extensions for profit. That is why our extensions have always been Open Source. It is why I regularly participate in the Joomla forums (you can see my profile here).

This is something that I would recommend to all developers. If you create extensions purely as a way of making money that is all that you will ever get out of it. Money is nice to have of course, and indeed very necessary, but the sense of belonging to a real online community is not something you can put a price on.


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The exclamation mark is used in the English language to signify a situation of heightened emotion, for example in a warning message, or a shout of anger or other strong feeling. It is generally used quite sparingly, in fact it is possible to read entire novels and not come across one. This is because novelists are generally literate enough to realise that over-use rapidly diminishes its impact, and that context and the meaning of the words themselves are normally enough to communicate the state of excitement.

The following would seem to me to be examples of valid usage:-

  • Look out! There's a Tyrannosaurus Rex behind you!
  • Crikey! The vicar is arriving and we're out of gin!
  • Oops! Nearly dropped the plutonium!*

All three cases decribe situations where a genuine emotional response would be expected, hence the exclamation mark seems natural.

But, as I have noted, the exclamation point is rarely seen, except in two types of medium. The first is the kind of shrill advertising that shrieks: 'Sale!!! Save £££ on a cheap and nasty sofa!!! The second is as used by programmers. I found the following examples recently in a newsletter extension for Joomla!**:-

  • Activation complete successfully!!!
  • Enter the valid email address!!!

Notice that in these examples there is not just one but three exclamations. Presumably if one is intended to convey excitement, then presumably three should convey three times that amount. Or should it be the original amount of excitement cubed? Who knows?

The first example quoted above occurs when a user successfully activates their newsletter membership, the second when they have forgotten to include their email address. I am not going to name the guilty programmers responsible for this, as I have seen this kind of usage quite widely. In fact I have occasionally caught myself doing this. Creating user accounts, resetting passwords or inputting incorrect user information are routinely met with a whole string of exclamation marks.

I can honestly say that the most emotion I have ever felt when successfully registering with a website is quiet satisfaction, usually it is not something I feel strongly about either way. I would guess the same is true for most people, except perhaps the chronically over-excited. It makes no sense to meet such mundane activities with three exclamation points. To me, this kind of usage is a sign that the programmer is not really thinking about what is being said to the user. It comes across as merely shrill, rather than generating any real emotion from the user, so is quite ineffective.

The poor exclamation mark is sadly overworked - so programmers please give it a rest.


* Had it been "Oops! I dropped the plutonium!!!" I will concede that three exclamation marks might be appropriate.

** ironically I have to use the exclamation mark here, as it is part of the name 'Joomla!' Sadly I think it is too late to do anything about this.


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