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isSite() and isAdmin() fatal errors after updating to Joomla 4

223 hits Updated: 04 July 2023 Blog

How to fix websites that break after migrating to J! 4.x because of “deprecated code”.

A common experienceI couldn’t tell you how often this problem occurs but the issue arises on The Joomla Forum™ about twice a week. that people have after “successfully” updating from J! 3.10 to J! 4.x is that their website breaks.  It doesn’t happen all the time—i.e. every time people migrate from J! 3.x to J! 4.x—but it can catch people by surprise.  One of the most common reasons why websites will break is because their J! 3.10 site had one or more third-party extensions installed that used “deprecated code”Further information about potential backward compatibility changes J! 4 may be found here:  Potential backward compatibility issues in Joomla 4.  If you didn’t install any third-party extensions then you can ignore the rest of this topicIf you have not installed any third-party extensions in J! 3.10 then your migration to J! 4.x should proceed successfully but there may be other factors—not involving “deprecated code”—that can complicate the upgrade..

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How to disable the “Web Authentication” option on the Joomla 4.x login screen?

Are you confused by the “Web Authentication” option on the Joomla 4.x login screen? I saw this question posted on The Joomla Forum™:

I want to hide the button for “web authentication” on the front end on the login page. [If I login normally and go to the user profile page I see] “W3C Web Authentication (WebAuthn) Login-W3C Web Authentication (WebAuthn) Login. No WebAuthn authenticator has been set up yet” I think it is confusing for a nov­ice who tries to log in. How do I hide it?forum user, Joomla Forum, 25-Nov-2021

The following points need to be kept in mind:

  1. People will not see the “web authentication” option on the login page unless the website uses HTTPS with a valid security certificate.  If you have just created a J! 4.x website using Wampserver for example, you may not see the option at all.
  2. The feature is not supported by all web browsers.
  3. The feature was not present in J! 4.0; the feature was added in J! 4.1.
  4. The feature is always present (even if you or your website users do not require it).
  5. In order to use the feature, you need to set up a “WebAuthn authenticator”.  What’s that, you may ask?  You can read all about it at WebAuthn Passwordless Login.

Does all of this sound complicated?  Do I need it?  Relax.

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Leave $live_site='' in Joomla configuration.php

154 hits Updated: 27 June 2023 Blog

What is does this $live_site thing do?

Be wary about “official documentation”

Some advice for people who use Akeeba Backup

There's a setting in the J! configuration file that has been there since J! 1.0; in a brand-new J! 4.x installation you will find it at around line 40 and it looks like this

	public $live_site = '';
The [Forum Post Assistant tool] sometimes reports "Live Site is not empty" and experts here say it should be and to edit configuration.php to make it empty.  I have looked through the core Joomla code and … see that live_site is reported in the System Information » Configuration File tab.  [A non-empty value turns all URLs into 'garbage' that] makes the site unusable … but there is no place where it is set within Joomla.

I guess this is for some special purpose known only to a few.  Can anyone explain the intended use of this parameter?  How is it set other than by editing configuration.php?forum user, Joomla Forum, 15-Apr-2022

There is no mechanism within Joomla that allows a website owner to change this value. If people have a different value for $live_site it is because they have edited the file configuration.php themselves.  There are literally hundreds of posts on technical forums that discuss problems people have with using a non-null value for $live_siteHundreds of posts!  So, why do people use a non-null value for $live_site especially when there’s no mechanism with J! to set or change it?

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How to fix missing items in Joomla Components menu

362 hits Updated: 26 June 2023 Blog

“Missing” items in the Components menu; what causes this to happen and how to fix the problem

In this article we will investigate a common problem with Joomla website administration, the case of “missing” items in the Components menu.  Here is a typical question we see posted on various technical discussion forums

[I am] trying to update Joomla 3.8.7 to latest using the link that [my] site sent to me ... [but] I don't seem to have a Joomla! Update [item] in the Components list.forum user, Joomla Forum, 20-Nov-2020

There are several reasons why this problem occurs.  The most common reason is because of “corrupted” entries in the _menu table.  There may be other causes but it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss them here.

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