Heavily enhanced version of Robert Deutz's "RD Section Blog" to show blog sections and/or categories inside a module for Joomla! 1.0.x

© Gero Zahn,

German versionEnglish versionIntroduction

Robert Deutz's Mambo/Joomla! module "RD Section Blog" V4.5.1 is a very useful tool to embed message sections together with their categories as a module - quasi as a substitute to the normal blog component, so the blog content can be placed in a far more flexible way on other pages instead of being an otherwise hardly configurable page itself.
Assigning this new module to a formerly unused module position like "user3", you can even embed the news module anywhere inside any other static (or even dynamic) content with {mosloadposition user3}. This way you can create a true individual news header and embed the actual news blog content underneath it.
See Robert's original documentation (in German language) to find out more about the original rd_section_blog.

However, the original rd_section_blog was somewhat limited, so I went to refit all those missing features into the original code (while fixing one or another minor bug at the same time). The resulting rd_section_blog_reloaded should be able to replace the original rd_section_blog with no or just very few side-effects, but various additional features.

The improvements of rd_section_blog_reloaded over rd_section_blog in short are:

In general, rd_section_blog_reloaded is a close descendant of the regular blog component, sometimes lacking certain features (like the still missing multi-column display or the in-place editing when logged into the front-end with suitable user level), but sometimes even going beyond it (like multi-section, multi-category display).

To give the appropriate credit: The Mambot extension code has been taken almost verbatim from mod_d4j_content_listing by (which is also licensed under GNU-GPL). So in a manner of speaking rd_section_blog_reloaded combines the best of both worlds rd_section_blog and mod_d4j_content_listing - and adding even more.

Robert's original rd_section_blog had the version number 4.5.1 and should be able to run in both Mambo or Joomla! (though untested by me). My rd_section_blog_reloaded has been developed and tested under Joomla! 1.0.10 stable. I have not checked it it will work in Mambo, but I seriously doubt it.

I entitled this relase of rd_section_blog_reloaded with the version number as it contains very much new code in wide areas and it is designed for Joomla! 1.0.x, as well as it is based on Robert's original version of rd_section_blog V4.5.1.

Parameter screen for mod_rd_section_blog_reloadedThe Parameters

Have a look at the rich parameter set of rd_section_blog_reloaded shown to the right. Some are identical to those in Robert's original rd_section_blog, some are brand new.

The new ones default to the original fixed settings in rd_section_blog, so replaceing it with rd_section_blog_reloaded should pretty much leave your CMS unaffected. - There are however two tiny exceptions from this I'll mention later.

Frontpage Items - decide if items configured to be shown within the Frontpage component should be listed here or not.

Enable Cache - the usual setting to use Joomla!'s caching mechanism.

Header Level - in contrast to the regular news component, rd_section_blog uses a <h?>...</h?> tag to create headings. Select the level of the section or category title, content titles will be one level less.

Header class - a CSS class to be used for the headings. If you selected h3 for Header Level and e.G. "news" as header class, you may configure and to your CSS file.

Section Title / Category Title - define if the section and/or category titles should be displayed or not. Remember: Finally this is Joom!Fish compliant now ... !

Section Name of Title / Category Name or Title - define whether you'd like to see the short title or the long name of the sections or categories.

Section / Category Separator - rd_section_blog defaulted this to "::". If you decide to display both the section title and the category title, this would result in "Section title :: Category title" to be displayed.

Count - select how many messages will be shown. Enter "0" for "all".

Leading Count - select how many messages shall be "lead stories": Lead stories are shown with their intro text, the other messages will be displayed with their titles only.
Enter "0" for "none" (all messages are displayed with their titles only) or "-1" for "all" (all messages are displayed with their intro texts).

Category ID - enter the category which shall be displayed here. If you wish to list the items of more than one category, enter them one by one, separated by commas.
You may even leave this field empty if you want to show all items from an entire section or even multiple sections.

Section ID - enter the section which shall be displayed here. You must not leave this field empty, but you can limit the displayed with the Category ID field. If you decide to enter category IDs, make sure that they actually belong to those section (or sections) you specified. If you wish to list items of more than one section, enter them one by one, separated by commas.

Show Create date - define if the creation dates of the items should be displayed or not. You may select show, hide or use global.

Show Modified date - define if the last modification dates of the items should be displayed or not. You may select show, hide or use global.

Show Author name - define if the author names of the items should be displayed or not. You may select show, hide or use global.

Load Bots - defined if Mambot pseudo-tags like {mosimage} within the intro text should be filled with actual content or not. If you select no, the Mambot tags will be removed so you won't see {...} tags of any kind within the intro texts of the lead stories.


If you've never used rd_section_blog before, install rd_section_blog_reloaded through the module manager in Joomla!'s backend as usual - have fun with it!

If you plan to upgrade rd_section_blog with rd_section_blog_reloaded, take in account the following issues:

Compatibility rd_section_blog_reloaded vs. rd_section_blog

As rd_section_blog_reloaded defaults all new parameter values to the fixed values of rd_section_blog, there should be no severe incompatiblity if you upgrade to rd_section_blog_reloaded. - Still I do recommend to try on a non-productive duplicate of your CMS to be sure.

However, Robert used two fixed but rather strange formattings in the text output:

  1. <ul class="articel">...</ul> for those items not listed as lead-stories (yes, "articel" spelled like this).
  2. <div class="float">...</div> for the items' text bodies.

I replaced those two undocumented, but fixed classes to use the header class as well. If you do not define a header class at all, it will be just <ul>...</ul> and <div>...</div>, or otherwise <ul class="???">...</ul> and <div class="???">...</div> where "???" is the name you entered as header class.

If you have e.G. entered "news" as header class, you may configure and to your CSS file. If you already configured ul.articel and div.float, you may want to correct your CSS file.




Disclaimer: All quoted product or company names are or might be trademarks or registered trademarks owned by the correspondent companies. These names are used here solely for documentation purposes.
Any information on this page is given "as is". Though it is copyrighted by Gero Zahn,, the author refuses to take any responsibility for the described functions or side-effects using his software in unchanged or changed form.