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Where is the Static Content Item?

In Joomla! versions prior to 1.5 there were separate processes for creating a Static Content Item and normal Content Items. The processes have been combined now and whilst both content types are still around they are renamed as Articles for Content Items and Uncategorized Articles for Static Content Items.

If you want to create a static item, create a new Article in the same way as for standard content and rather than relating this to a particular Section and Category just select Uncategorized as the option in the Section and Category drop down lists.

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Where did the Mambots go?

Mambots have been renamed as Plugins.

Mambots were introduced in Mambo and offered possibilities to add plug-in logic to your site mainly for the purpose of manipulating content. In Joomla! 1.5, Plugins will now have much broader capabilities than Mambots. Plugins are able to extend functionality at the framework layer as well.

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Where did the Installers go?

The improved Installer can be found under the Extensions Menu. With versions prior to Joomla! 1.5 you needed to select a specific Extension type when you wanted to install it and use the Installer associated with it, with Joomla! 1.5 you just select the Extension you want to upload, and click on install. The Installer will do all the hard work for you.
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What is the purpose of the collation selection in the installation screen?

The collation option determines the way ordering in the database is done. In languages that use special characters, for instance the German umlaut, the database collation determines the sorting order. If you don't know which collation you need, select the "utf8_general_ci" as most languages use this. The other collations listed are exceptions in regards to the general collation. If your language is not listed in the list of collations it most likely means that "utf8_general_ci is suitable.
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What is the FTP layer for?

The FTP Layer allows file operations (such as installing Extensions or updating the main configuration file) without having to make all the folders and files writable. This has been an issue on Linux and other Unix based platforms in respect of file permissions. This makes the site admin's life a lot easier and increases security of the site.

You can check the write status of relevent folders by going to ''Help->System Info" and then in the sub-menu to "Directory Permissions". With the FTP Layer enabled even if all directories are red, Joomla! will operate smoothly.

NOTE: the FTP layer is not required on a Windows host/server.

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What is the difference between Archiving and Trashing an Article?

When you Archive an Article, the content is put into a state which removes it from your site as published content. The Article is still available from within the Control Panel and can be retrieved for editing or republishing purposes. Trashed Articles are just one step from being permanently deleted but are still available until you Remove them from the Trash Manager. You should use Archive if you consider an Article important, but not current. Trash should be used when you want to delete the content entirely from your site and from future search results.

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What is an Uncategorised Article?

Most Articles will be assigned to a Section and Category. In many cases, you might not know where you want it to appear so put the Article in the Uncategorized Section/Category. The Articles marked as Uncategorized are handled as static content.
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What happened to the locale setting?

This is now defined in the Language [lang].xml file in the Language metadata settings. If you are having locale problems such as dates do not appear in your language for example, you might want to check/edit the entries in the locale tag. Note that multiple locale strings can be set and the host will usually accept the first one recognised.
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My MySQL database does not support UTF-8. Do I have a problem?

No you don't. Versions of MySQL lower than 4.1 do not have built in UTF-8 support. However, Joomla! 1.5 has made provisions for backward compatibility and is able to use UTF-8 on older databases. Let the installer take care of all the settings and there is no need to make any changes to the database (charset, collation, or any other).
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Is it useful to install the sample data?

Well you are reading it right now! This depends on what you want to achieve. If you are new to Joomla! and have no clue how it all fits together, just install the sample data. If you don't like the English sample data because you - for instance - speak Chinese, then leave it out.