Version 3.0.0 Released

Dear Users,

I’m pleased to announce the release of Zhong Framework 3.0.0; all templates in the gallery have been updated.

This release adds only few new features to the templates, however the whole PHP core has been rewritten using a more solid structure. This huge enhancement brings many positive factors, such as: modularization of the code, enhanced code maintainability, easy re-use of certain functions, easy bug fixing, easy user overrides of the framework core code, gained independence from the parent platform.

On top of this, all CSS has been migrated to Compass (SASS), bringing more flexibility to the code; also, all JS code has been modularized and improved in performance. Moreover, Grunt has been used to combine and minify all stylesheets and scripts in order to improve the front-end performance even more.

Also, the HTML structure of the outputted page has been refined in order to enhance performance and independence from other extensions and the parent platform.

Other improvements are: better support for RTL languages, selectable default layout and graphic mode, improved advanced style customization options, improved mobile compatibility, CSS3 flexbox used for handling the grouped modules layout (with a fallback for older browsers), improved semantic structure of the page (now also using new aria and region attributes), plus many other minor improvements.

This is a major release, this means that all orders made previously to this release will be frozen to the latest stable version of the 2.x.x cycle. The customers who wish to upgrade their templates to the new 3.x.x cycle should renew their orders.

If you have any questions about this new major release, feel free to contact me.

Please note, if you need to upgrade a template from version 2.x.x to 3.x.x follow these steps.

Updates subscription changed + Zhong 3

Dear customers,

The subscription type for the updates downloads has been changed from time based to version based. This means that the updates will not be limited to 6 months any more, from now on they will be available for the whole major release's life cycle. For example, if a customer purchases a template based on Zhong 2.x.x the updates will be available until the next major release is published, in this case 3.0.0.
I decided to switch to a version based subscription because this type will be more beneficial to customers and allows me to deliver releases less frequently but more quality focused.

All subscriptions have changed and now all customers can download the latest stable release: 2.3.1.
In the past, some customers may have paid additional money to renew their 6 months subscription. Some others may purchase version 2.3.1 just before the release of Zhong 3.0.0. If this is your case and you feel it is unfair after this change, feel free to contact me. I will evaluate the case and I am willing to offer a free update subscription to the next Zhong major release (3.0.0).

Zhong Framework 3 is under development

Version 2.3.1 has showed to be a very stable version and this will probably be one of the latest (if not the last) release of the 2.x.x cycle. I have started working on Zhong Framework 3, this new major release will not bring many new features, however the PHP framework core has been almost completely rewritten.

For any enquiries about your subscription or about the development of the Zhong Framework feel free to contact me.

Version 2.3.1 Released

We are happy to announce the release of the version 2.3.1 of the Zhong Framework, all templates have been updated.

If you are our customer and you are still eligible, you can download the new version of the template from the customer area of our website: login, then click on "My orders", select your order and download the template from the download link.
If you want to update your template to this version please read carefully our guide (section: template update).
Note: this a minor release so the update process shouldn't bring any problem. This means all configuration options will be preserved.
You are welcome to contact us if you are experiencing difficulties with the update process.

2.3.1 Improvements

  • [Fixed] Social icons module activation bug
  • [Fixed] current-menu icon line-height
  • [Fixed] accessible slideshow module panel minor bug
  • [Fixed] Fixed minor bug on cookies (custom layout width)
  • [Improved] JS tooltips
  • [Improved] Session handler parameters
  • [Improved] Joomla 3.3.x compatibility
  • [Improved] Mobile layout
  • [Improved] Full-access layout and compatibility
  • [Improved] Language template support
  • [Improved] ipad accessibility
  • [Improved] tablets compatibility
  • [Improved] Custom layout width
  • [Improved] Crossbrowser compatibility
  • [Added] Included alternative stylesheet for bootstrap that validates for CSS3
  • [Added languages] Hebrew, Slovak, Hungarian, Afrikaans, Thai, Hindi

Joomla 3.3 compatibility

Joomla 3.3 has been released. The latest version of our templates (2.3.0) is already compatible with this version of Joomla. No patches are needed.

If you happen to find any issues or bugs feel free to contact us.

HTML5 and the "Stanca act"

English version

The Stanca act is an Italian law of 2004 that promotes the accessibility of information technology. The law applies also to the Italian governement websites.

Since the law hasn't been updated recently, many Italian blogs and forums have been debating whether HTML5 is accepted. For example read:

The first technical requirement of the Stanca act says that the websites should use the "most recent supported technologies". Cite: Verifica tecnica, Legge Stanca,
Therefore, if the law isn't interpreted in a very strict way, the HTML5 format is accepted.

Italian version

La legge Stanca e' una legge dell'ordinamento italiano del 2004 per favorire l'accesso dei soggetti disabili agli strumenti informatici. I soggetti destinatari di tale legge sono, tra i vari, i siti delle pubbliche amministrazioni italiane.

Negli ultimi tempi si sono viste su blog e forum discussioni riguardo l'effettiva accettazione della versione HTML5 da parte della legge Stanca. Si veda per esempio:

Il "Requisito n. 1" della "Verifica Tecnica" delle linee guida della legge enuncia:

Realizzare le pagine e gli oggetti al loro interno utilizzando tecnologie definite da grammatiche formali pubblicate, nelle versioni più recenti disponibili quando sono supportate dai programmi utente.

Fonte: Verifica tecnica, Legge Stanca,

Come si legge essa accetta le tecnologie "nelle versioni più recenti disponibili". Quindi il formato HTML5 puo' essere accettato se la legge Stanca non viene interpretata in modo assolutamente rigoroso e sordo al rapido evolversi delle moderne tecnologie.

CSS validation patch for Joomla 3

Starting from version 3, Joomla includes a very powerful front-end library called "Bootstrap". This library is very useful, however it doesn't validate correctly to CSS3. This is because bootstrap uses some CSS hacks to target old versions of Internet Explorer.
If your website uses Joomla 3 together with a template based on the Zhong framework, you can download this patch to make your Joomla website validate correctly.
All you need to do is to open the package and copy the three CSS files inside the directory "TEMPLATE_ROOT_FOLDER/assets/css/platform-core". Then make a backup of the old files (for example, rename "bootstrap-MOD.css" to "BACKUP_bootstrap-MOD.css", "bootstrap-responsive-MOD.css" to "BACKUP_bootstrap-responsive-MOD.css" and "joomla-platform-12-core.css" to "BACKUP_joomla-platform-12-core.css"). Then rename the three downloaded files to their original names ("bootstrap-MOD_CSS3-valid_v230.css" to "bootstrap-MOD.css", "bootstrap-responsive-MOD_CSS3-valid_v230.css" to "bootstrap-responsive-MOD.css" and "joomla-platform-12-core_CSS3-valid_v230.css" to "joomla-platform-12-core.css").

Feel free to contact us if you have any issues.

Version 2.3.0 Released

We are happy to announce the release of the version 2.3.0 of the Zhong Framework, all templates have been updated.
This release brings many important improvements (see section below).

If you are our customer and you are still eligible, you can download the new version of the template from the customer area of our website: login, then click on "My orders", select your order and download the template from the download link.
If you want to update your template to this version please read carefully our guide (section: updating the template).
Note: this release brings some modifications to the page structure and some backend parameters have changed. This means, if you choose to update your template, you might need to review your customizations (if present) and the template settings.
Important: if you update your template you also need to update the accessible slideshow.
You are welcome to contact us if you are experiencing difficulties with the update process.

2.3.0 Improvements

Some of the most important improvements of this release are:

  • [Added Languages] - Slovenian, Farsi, Malay, Arabic, Chinese (traditional), Turkish, Swedish, Swahili
  • [Fixed] The "simplexml_load_file()" Warning.
  • [Fixed] facebook crawler bug
  • [Fixed] custom user style module for left/right column position
  • [Fixed] cookie session bug
  • [Improved] Accessibility for screen readers and the full-access layout
  • [Improved] Best Legibility
  • [Improved] Welcome message
  • [Improved] Compatibility with Joomla 3.2
  • [Improved] Floating menus (if a menu is included in a right-floated column then it will "open" at its left)
  • [Improved] Aligned to Boilerplate 4.3.0
  • [Improved] Javascript performance
  • [Improved] Cookie unification + cookie performance
  • [Improved] Javascript tooltips (also for keyboard navigation and the high-contrast layout).
  • [Improved] Internal anchors navigation (improved compatibility for keyboard navigation)
  • [Improved] Removed image icons from menus, now only CSS elements are used.
  • [Improved] Accessible slideshow performance
  • [Improved] IE7 compatibility
  • [Improved] Windows Phone compatibility
  • [Improved] "accordion-block" snippet
  • [Improved] Night mode
  • [Improved Template] Revamped style for Color3
  • [Added feature] Social media options
  • [Added feature] Added several style customization options
  • [Added feature] Main menu alignment
  • [Added feature] Sticky side columns
  • [Added feature] Inline style modifier
  • [Added feature] Mobile custom logo
  • [Added feature] Best-legibility custom logo
  • [Added feature] High-contrast custom logo
  • [Added feature] Collapsable menus in full-access and high-contrast layouts
  • [Added feature] Collapsable menus in mobile layout
  • [Added feature] Collapsable menus in default layout
  • [Added feature] Custom style for mobile top bar modules
  • [Added feature] Margin and padding for main/side menus
  • [Added feature] custom width for the custom modules
  • [Added graphic modes] High-contrast: dark-on-bright, bright-on-dark and black-on-color
  • [Removed feature] "Mobile top bar style" and replaced with "Cufon" for devices and browsers that don't support font-face
  • Plus other minor fixes and improvements ...