Chimoora for Android

chimoora-home-blog-2012-07-11Written by Achim Fischer, Chimoora developer

Chimoora is a Joomla! client app which brings the features of a Joomla! powered website to mobile devices. Different operating systems will be supported. The first one will be Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich). BlackBerry 10, Windows 8 and iOS are on the radar as well. Chimoora 1.0 will support Blogs (Joomla! featured articles) and Forums (powered by Discussions). The next version will bring Private Messages (Discussions) and Classified Ads (Marketplace). On the serverside, Chimoora needs a Joomla! API extension which is developed as part of the Chimoora project in parallel. The API extension is a "normal" Joomla! component and is simply installed via the extension manager.

Requirements

  • Chimoora is an Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) native app and therefore it requires Android 4.x on the mobile device
  • The Joomla! API extension needs Joomla! 2.5 or above to work.

The Chimoora App

Chimoora is currently in an early beta stage. Here is a short roadmap, so you can see what you can expect in the upcoming versions.

For Version 1.0 the following features are planned:

Home Feed

  • Home Feed List
  • Feeditem Detail View

Blogs

  • Category Listing
  • Article List
  • Article Detail View

Forums

  • Forum List
  • Thread List
  • Post List
  • Reply to Post
  • Compose new Thread

For Version 1.1 the following features are planned:

Private Messages

  • Inbox List
  • Message Detail View
  • Reply to Message
  • Outbox List
  • Message Detail View
  • Compose new Message

Classifieds

  • Category Listing
  • Entry List
  • Entry Detail View
  • Compose new Entry

Chimoora Screenshots

Homescreen showing news feed and blog list (Joomla! categories)chimoora-home-blog-2012-07-11


Left: Homescreen showing a feed containing Joomla! featured articles, forum posts and classified ads.
Right: List of Joomla! categories with a default icon. If an icon is set for the category, it will show up here.

List of forums and list of threads in a selected forumchimoora-forums-threads-2012-07-11


Left: List of available forums. The forum icons are set in the backend configuration for the Discussions forum extension.
Right: List of threads in a selected forum.

List of blogposts in a selected category and a detailed view of a blog postchimoora-blogposts-blogpost-2012-07-11


Left: List of blog posts in a selected category.
Right: Detail view of a selected blog post.

The Joomla! API extension

There must be "something" on the server to which the app can send requests and from which it receives responses. This is called an API and Chimoora uses a REST API.

The API is realized through a Joomla! extension. It's a normal component which can be installed in the Joomla! backend. The first version of the API is pretty simple. Chimoora and the API version 1.0 will support Joomla! articles and forum posts. Private messages (powered by Discussions) and classified ads (powered by Marketplace) will be added later.

Installation

The installation of the Chimoora API extension is very simple. Just go to the Joomla! backend and install it like any other extension:
joomla! Backend -> Extensions -> Extension Manager -> Install
In the first box "Upload Package File" select the downloaded Chimoora API zipfile and click "Upload & Install".

If you click on the new entry in your "Components" menu you should see the Dashboard of the Chimoora API.
Dashboard (Joomla! backend) of the Chimoora API extensionchimoora-api-dashboard-2012-08-03

Configuration

There is at least one step needed before you can use the API from a mobile app.

Create a menu entry which points to the Chimoora API extension. Currently it must have the alias "api". Note: The menu entry does not have to be in the main menu and it does not have to be visible. Recommended is a menu entry in an invisible menu.

If you would like to allow other apps or services to access your API later, you would have to create API Keys for those. This is not required for now. The Chimoora API extension comes with a predefined API Key for the Chimoora app.

List of API Keys in the Chimoora API extensionchimoora-api-apikeys-2012-08-03

View of a single API Key in the Chimoora API extensionchimoora-api-apikey-2012-08-03

Conclusion

The Chimoora project is work in progress. First goal is to launch a "branded" Chimoora for Android version which will have the Codingfish website hardwired as an API endpoint. This Codingfish app will be uploaded to the Android Play Store as soon as possible to see how it behaves under real conditions.

The final Chimoora app will offer a configuration tab where anyone can add several websites. Please note again, that those websites will have to run the Chimoora API extension.

Versions for other mobile operating systems are planned.

Follow @codingfish and @chimoora on Twitter or visit www.codingfish.com for more information.

Preview