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Our site (Joomla 2.5.8) is using the Document Seller component/module (I'm not clear on the proper use of these terms in the Joomlaverse) to categorize and sell a series of PDF documents. The categorization is currently problematic.

The structure is such that there are a small number of categories (about 5) each of which has 3-8 sub-categories. Documents belong to an arbitrary number of subcategories. (The business logic doesn't enforce a constraint of documents only belonging to subcategories, but that's how it's been used.)

The database tables look like you'd expect: a categories table which includes a parent ID (that's how the subcategories are linked to their parent categories) and a category/document join table with IDs for categories. Looking at the database tables this all seems to be in order.

However, when I visit the listing page for a subcategory, I see a path like this:

http://www.oursite.org/index.php/publications/strategic-planning/subcategory-name

...and breadcrumbs like this:

Home » Publications » Strategic Planning » Subcategory Name » Strategic Planning » Subcategory Name

The first link to "Subcategory Name" has the URL which shows in the location bar of the browser. The second link to "Strategic Planning" looks like this:

http://www.oursite.org/index.php/publications/strategic-planning/subcategory-name/view_categories/9-strategic-planning

The page reads "There are no documents in this category" although there are, in fact, documents in this category. If I visit the category URL listed above, I get a list of subcategories which shows the correct number of documents in the subcategories, but the links there send me back where I was (the page with no documents).

To me it looks like the "proper" (shorter) URL is getting routed to a some set of bogus parameters, and the correct parameters are generating a bogus URL (which gets somehow redirected to the shorter URL).

The router.php file for the module appears to my inexperienced eye to be in order.

In the administration pages, all the categories show 0 documents, but the documents are in place and, as I've mentioned, the database table linking categories and documents seems to make the correct relationships.

I'm not a Joomla dev, nor a PHP hacker. I'm a Ruby/Rails dev trying to help out our webmaster, who is a non-programmer. How should I get started debugging this problem?

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    It's highly recommended to run the latest version of Joomla, you should backup your site (e.g. using Akeeba Backup ), and upgrade to Joomla 2.5.24. Make sure to update your extensions too. In many cases this alone solves some issues, and it also makes your site more secure. – johanpw Sep 8 '14 at 16:29
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    jonanpw is right. Even if you contact the developers of the extensions they will ask you to run the latest versions of the software. This can be something related to those early versions and might be fixed in later ones. So backup the website and then update - preferably do all the updates on a dev version and when you are sure everything is updated and working fine, move it to production. – FFrewin Sep 8 '14 at 16:49
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    Johan, you were right: taking Joomla to 2.5.24 and the plugin to its most recent version (3.5) made the problem go away. – pjmorse Sep 8 '14 at 18:23
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We made this problem go away by updating Joomla to 2.5.24 (a painless point-release upgrade) and updating Document Seller to its 3.5 version, and the problem described above resolved itself exactly as @johanpw suggested.

  • I'm glad you managed to solve the issue. It's always important to keep both Joomla and all extensions up-to-date. – johanpw Sep 8 '14 at 23:47

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