It’s been a while now that I’ve been eyeing the SQLite implementation of Joomla. There have been lots of teasers, so far, but never could I ever click on the “Select Database Type” field and enter, sqlite. Finally, I got sick of waiting on a release and decided to go solo. I would find out who was working on SQLite for Joomla, track them down, offer them encouragement and help, if needed cajole or threaten, and finally get a SQLite implementation that “just works.”

Why Joomla and SQLite?

At first, I was hesitant to want that combination. After all, installing Postgres or MySQL is not really a big deal, especially considering that installation of Apache is still orders of magnitude worse. But then I found that I can start a Joomla instance just by invoking the php server process in the Joomla main directory – suddenly life on development servers was much easier.

If you don’t know what I mean, here the skinny: you can just unzip the Joomla download into any directory, change into it, and type: php -S localhost:XXXX. XXXX has to be a number above 1024, something like 8000. Then you can simply go to your browser, type in localhost:XXXX (again, same number as before) and you can start installing Joomla. Once you are done installing, you can simply go there again and test and test.

That means that if you had a way to store your database locally, with your Joomla files, you could simply copy the whole tree and have a different instance running. You would go to the copy, change the paths in the configuration file, type in php -S localhost:YYYY and off you go with your new instance.

Can’t run MySQL on your web host? Problem solved. Don’t want to install a database server just for the occasional glimpse at your files? No problem. Want to see how a change to your site is reflected on your underlying files? There you go!