I'm very a new comer to Joomla and couple of plug ins in Joomla uses variables as with brackets. For instance '' shows Google maps in Joomla. I wish to understand how it works to ensure that I'm able to personalize the wordpress plugin for my needs.

in joomla, [] in wordpress, they're known as alternative tags. I have never done Joomla pluggins although used to do some modules and components however i did shorttags in Wordpress and my prediction is that they work the identical way.

The engine, Joomla or Wordpress, picks up or [] and parses this content into something that may be transfered for your pluggin and your pluggin can act onto it.

For instance, in Wordpress:

[mytag id="6" image="blabla.jpg"]

Relays to my wordpress wordpress plugin being an array during my function like:

function mytag_plugin($data){

    [id] => (int)6,
    [image] => (string)"blabla.jpg",

I'll recommend reading through http://docs.joomla.org/Plugin for additional info on it...

tags are utilized in Joomla plug ins as alternative tags. It really works using regular expression matching and alternative. For example we are able to begin to see the code for load module wordpress plugin which utilizes because the alternative tag(You'll find the entire code at file is <Joomla_installation_folder>/plugins/content/loadmodule.php)

It really works within the following manner-

// expression to search for
$regex = '/{loadposition\s*.*?}/i';
$pluginParams = new JParameter( $plugin->params );

// check whether plugin has been unpublished
if ( !$pluginParams->get( 'enabled', 1 ) ) {
    $row->text = preg_replace( $regex, '', $row->text );
return true;

// find all instances of plugin and put in $matches
preg_match_all( $regex, $row->text, $matches );

The above mentioned code is perfect for Joomla 1.5. Joomla 1.7 uses same method with a few variations, but you'll find the precise code at (<Joomla_installation_folder>plugins/content/loadmodule/loadmodule.php inside the onContentPrepare() function).