{kun´ēzē}
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27Sep2015

A Tale of Two Forums

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9881 hits Updated: 12 October 2015

Who uses Kunena as a support forum?

Do I need Kunena any more?

Joomla-based forum products

First impressions of Chronoforums

The verdict: Kunena or Chronoforums?

What′s next?

This is the story of a journey I am taking. I have a rough idea where I am heading but I feel like an explorer heading into unchartered territory with only a rough map sketched on a torn scrap of paper as my guide.  By the time I have finished writing this ar­ticle I will not have completed my journey; this is only the beginning but, I hope, others may benefit from reading my story.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us ...Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859

People may be curious as to why I’ve chosen to open my insignificant scribblings with one of the world’s literary masterpieces, considering I haven’t written much about anything lately.  I’ve been away because I overhauled this website in order to install Kunena version 4.0.  This took weeks of investigation, sifting the morass of defects reported on the Kunena website and, generally, re-learning just about everything I thought I knew.  In the last 3 months there have been five new releases of Kunena and, in my opinion, K 4.0 is no better today that when the project commenced 2 years ago: new features are added every day; features that worked in one release break in the next; the product is largely untested; and, the initial excitement surrounding the new Crypsis template has all but evaporated.  I was prepared to give Kunena the benefit of the doubt but things have gone from bad to impossible.

It has become impossible because support for Kunena has all but disappeared.  Questions asked at the Kunena forum languish for days, sometimes weeks, without reply and the response, if one is given, is likely to be “looks OK for me”.  Recently the developers attempted to arrest the paralysis that has gripped the community by writing an outline of the direction where they want to lead the project, entitled “What’s upcoming on the next big version:  Kunena 5.0?”.  Although the outline is sketchy on details, it prompted me to ask some questions on the Kunena forum.  Some of the answers made me more than just a little nervous; some of the proposals will be deal-breakers for me.

It is against this background that I will explain why I’ve decided to leave Kunena and what options are available for people who may be considering doing likewise.

Who else uses Kunena as a support forum?

The table below lists the companies who have, at some time, “partnered” with Kunena because their products integrated with the Kunena website in some manner.  It is interesting that, in all but one case, none of these companies uses K 4.0.  In no case—including the Kunena website itself—does anyone use the new HMVC Crypsis theme!

sForumComparison

I tried—I really tried my hardest to use K 4.0.x—but each time I discovered another new technical problem (and tried to figure out a way to fix it) the Kunena team would release a new version that contained new features and new problems.  In the end it has just become too darned hard.  There is no shame in admitting one’s limitations—in fact, it is sign that we’ve mellowed when we realise we’re not endowed with super-powers—and I have to admit that in the end I just didn’t have the energy or the enthusiasm to persevere.  I’ve occasionally considered abandoning K 4.0 and turning to something that is more reliable, robust, error-free and simpler to maintain and for me there are really only two choices:  go back to K 3.0.8 or change direction completely and look for a completely different forum product.

Going back/downgrading to K 3.0.8 is achievable but it’s not a strategic choice.  As far as I’m concerned, my need for Kunena depends on three things:  (a) whether there will be a demand for my services when people find that they’re not getting the help that they require at the Kunena website; (b) will people be prepared to pay me for help for a product that the developers obviously are unable to support themselves; and (c) does Kunena really have a viable future?  Given the tapering-off of community activity at the Kunena website, I think the reality about the future viability of Kunena is obvious.  Elsewhere on the internet, people are already asking around for alternative forum products.  People are tired of the developer’s lack of empathy, their cavalier attitude—some people have labelled it rudeness—to their clients and the growing sense of futility that the next version will be better than its predecessors.

I am tired of excuses; I am tired of trying to make excuses for the fact that, in less than one year, Kunena has gone from being the number one forum component for Joomla to being a laughing stock.  It’s embarrassing, these days, when I meet fellow Joomlaphiles and they ask me “So, Michael, how are things going with Kunena?”

Therefore, while it’s possible to struggle along with Kunena for the time being, there’s no profit in it.  There’s no future in the Kunena template market because in a few months there will be no templates that will work with the next version of Kunena even if there is some documentation that explains how to make third-party templates.  Every time someone designs a new template, the Kunena developers will add a new feature or change part of the core software so that third-party templates will break even with minor dot-point releases.  So, it’s just not worth the hassle.  It’s not worth the time and it’s simply not worth the cost of designing a template that works for K X.y.z but will not work for K X.y.z+1.

Of course it would be nice if new releases of Kunena contained new features but, as one whose task is to offer professional advice, the primary goal of new releases is to stabilise the product:  fix problems reported in earlier versions (not introduce new problems).  Adding new features can improve product marketability but when there’s a flood of “new features”—there isn’t even a list and more are added every day—and they’re not intuitively obvious what do to with them, it’s how one manages the changes (and mitigates the damage) that’s important.  The main problem is not that there are too many “new features”; the main problem is that these “new features” break the forum or change the way it behaves in areas that have previously been trouble-free.  I think this is one of the reasons why other commercial websites that use Kunena have not kept the forum software up-to-date; they’re not interested in new features—they’re only concerned with product reliability.

In short, few companies are interested in K 4.0 and, from some of the replies on their forum recently, the Kunena team’s enthusiasm for their flagship product is, likewise, fading.  The big challenge is whether K 5.0 will reinvigorate Kunena or whether the project will ultimately tank.

Do I need Kunena any more?

Faced with the grim realisation that Kunena has a limited lifespan and the fact that there’s no real profit in developing Kunena forum templates, I’m confronted with a difficult choice.  If I “retire” from the Kunena template-making business, I will have more time to spend on other more profitable pursuits.  Of course it will mean that I will have to change the purpose of the {kun’ēzē} website—it was established to provide professional services (including templates) for Kunena—and things will look a little odd if everything related to Kunena suddenly disappeared.  In the end it comes down to asking yourself the question "So what?" and how you respond with the answer.

Before I could answer the question, I had to reassess my requirement for Kunena.

  • I wanted a Kunena forum, specifically to demonstrate my template-making capabilities;
  • I used Kunena Discuss for people to comment on my articles; and
  • I use a forum as a way for me help others.

Kunena templates

If I decided to “retire” from the Kunena template-making business that would be one less reason to require Kunena (or, at the very least, to be forced into upgrading Kunena every time the developers released a new version).  If, as most people now strongly suspect, Kunena is headed towards catastrophe, it really doesn’t matter what version of Kunena I choose to use at my websites as long it’s (a) reliable and (b) compatible with the version of Joomla that the site is built on.  As I indicated earlier in this article, these seem to be the two major criteria used by other commericial websites in determining their forum software:  reliability and compatibility with Joomla.

In choosing a forum product, basic forum functionality is what most people require.  Is the forum secure?  Can I control who accesses it?  Do I have to spend hours learning how to use it and (more importantly) do my end users have to spend hours learning how to use it?  Can I easily moderate the forum topics and arrange things in a logical, easy-to-locate manner?  Can I perform most forum moderation activities from the site front-end; can I delegate some forum moderation functions to others?  Can I ensure that people’s privacy is respected but, at the same time, allow them to receive email notifications when something happens on the forum that they’re interested in?  These are the basic requirements of any modern web-based forum.  The forum’s aesthetic appeal is only important if the design meets the objectives I’ve just outlined.

Too much glitz and “whizz-bangery” can overshadow the forum′s purpose. If the forum’s design is ancient, if it doesn′t co-operate nicely with modern equipment like mobile phones or touch-screen tablet computers—if it doesn′t meet accessibility requirements—people simply won′t use it.  It′s the “Goldilocks” conundrum:  the forum needs to be elegantly simple; something that feels “just right”.

K 4.0 is all about glitz and “whizz-bangery”.  The improved functionality has not materialised; the product has to attract market share; K 4.0 is simply not stable enough to use in a professional environment.  I understand that some people will disagree with my opinion—I respect your right to disagree if that′s the case—but it′s not only my opinion.  Nine out of ten people who write to the Kunena forum are still using the “old-fashioned” Blue Eagle template (or a template based on Blue Eagle).  Nine out of ten people using Kunena are not interested in the “next generation” in forum template design.  The Kunena team does not use a fully-operational version of their product on their own website.  If a developer cannot demonstrate their own products, why would ordinary folk be interested in obtaining those products?

The community′s reaction to the “next generation″ of Kunena is palpable.  Twelve months ago the Kunena forum attracted about 10 new messages per day (300+ updated topics per month) and there were 6 advertisers promoting their services on the website.  Today there are fewer than 5 new messages posted at the Kunena forum per day (< 150 updated topics per month) and half the number of companies paying for advertising space.  Fifty percent of all new members at the Kunena website are spam posters.  After informing the community that they would not supporting K 3.0 after 31 August this year, the developers continue to answer questions about a product they are no longer supporting!  Forum management and moderation is almost non-existent:  forum topics and messages are disorganised and people are easily lost to knowing where to ask their questions.  The Kunena management team says one thing and does the complete opposite.  Is it any wonder that, en masse, people are abandoning Kunena?

Therefore, the community′s growing resentment towards Kunena made the decision to retire from the template-making business fairly easy. Although people can still download the templates that I′ve developed—as a benefit of subscribing to this website—I will not be maintaining or supporting them in future.  I will not be giving these templates away for free, either—people can download my templates as a benefit of being a subscriber—but they can use or not use them however they like.

Article discussions

There are other alternatives to allow people to comment on Joomla articles.  To be honest, apart from the Kunena website, I haven′t seen another site that uses Kunena Discuss to handle “’blog commentary”.  There are many tools available in Joomla for adding comments on Joomla articles; Kunena Discuss only one such tool. People will see, at the bottom of this page, where they can write comments about what they′ve read.  I made the change to remove Kunena Discuss yesterday.  It took less than 4 hours to find and test an alternative commentary tool.  Therefore this, too, eliminated another requirement for Kunena on this site.

Customer support

With two out of three “reasons″ to remove Kunena from this website, the last matter is an easy one.  I need a forum to answer questions about Joomla, website management, forum management (perhaps even about Kunena itself)—generally about anything that is related to webcraft—but I don′t need Kunena on this website to perform those activities.  I may require a website with Kunena installed, somewhere, for testing and to better understand problems that people may have with it, but I don′t actually need Kunena here.  Well, that′s a relief!

The next question is simple:  what are the other forum alternatives to Kunena?

Joomla-based forum products

There are five forum products for Joomla (excluding forum bridges).  These are:

ProductFirst appearedCostRatingNo. of reviews
Kunena 2008 free
248
Chronoforums 2012 free
8
Agora Pro 2009 $29.00
18
EasyDiscuss 2012 $59.00
64
CjForum 2015 $45.00 N/A 0

Each forum product has different features, different back-end management tools, different frontend GUIs and varying degrees of material to learn how to operate it.  For each product there is a different user experience [UX]; obviously, the UX will be different for each person and everyone′s experiences will be personal and subjective.  My evaluation “methodology” may also be different others but, for what it′s worth, the following is a list of the factors I used to help me decide what′s a good “fit” for what I need:

  • meets mandatory minimum requirements;
  • product is easy to use and yields a positive UX, overall;
  • training materials are available, current and comprehensive;
  • low mean time between failures (MTBF) and mean time to repair (MTTR);
  • economical in terms of projected cost containment and overall cost-of-ownership; and
  • product exhibits professional workmanship and pleasant aesthetic appeal.

Cost of software alone is not a reason to eliminate any of these alternatives.  The decision should be based on an analysis of the cost/benefit and whether the product's developers continue to provide quality after-sales support to their customers.  I did not rule out Agora Pro (I haven't been impressed by the quality of their support for a while), EasyDiscuss or CjForum (both unknown to me) purely on the basis of cost.  I found Chronoforums at the JED, read the reviews, looked at the demo site, liked what I saw and downloaded a copy for evaluation.

First impressions of Chronoforums

Forum structure

Kunena
Chronforums
Forum
Main Board
Section
Category
Category
Forum
Sub-category
N/A
Topic
Topic
Thread
Thread
Post (Message)
Post

The first difference that people will notice is the forum structure and terminology is different between Kunena and ChronoforumsKunena supports nested categories whereas Chronoforums does not.  Pehaps one way of illustrating the different forum structures is to look at the following diagram:

forumTree

The structure on the left applies to Chronoforums and the structure on the right applies to Kunena.  In effect, Chronoforums is a “flatter” structure and the downside is that all the “forums” will be visible (assuming the person viewing the site has the necessary permissions to see them).  Kunena, on the other hand, allows for nested categories which may be useful if the topics need a greater level of organisation.  The downside of deeply nesting the forum categories means that it makes it more difficult to locate the topic(s) that people might be interested in because the sub-categories are largely hidden from view on the top-level board index.

Managing discussion threads

As I have mentioned in other places, the term “thread” has a specific meaning in forum management.  People often confuse the term thread with topic; sometimes they use the term thread when they actually mean a topic.

k30 threadedThreaded discussions have existed on bulletin boards, blogs and forums for as long as I can remember.  One way of illustrating this concept is to look at the image on the right (click to enlarge it).  Kunena can display in a threaded discussion layout but I have not figured out how to achieve a similar approach in Chronoforums

Sometimes a long discussion branches off in several directions—in forum parlance, the term is “going off-topic”—and it may be beneficial split these “digressions” and create new topics for discussion.  Both Kunena and Chronforums allow forum moderators to split threads.

Sometimes different topics are created that address the same subject.  Occasionally the forum moderator may consider it useful to merge two or more topics together so that all the issues can be discussed in the one place.  Although both products allow topics to be moved from one forum category to another (just as both products allow for topics to be split) only Kunena allows for topics—or threads within topics—to be merged into other topics.  This is not a major problem but it would be desirable if such a feature might be incorporated into a later version of Chronoforums.

For example, if a forum topic is split in Chronoforums, there is no front-end utility to allow the split topics to be merged back together again.  It’s possible to fix administrative errors—if a topic is split by mistake—but only by hacking the raw data in the database tables.

Setup guide:  user documentation and product support

I have made the point numerous times that Kunena has no documentation for K 4.0.  For newcomers to a software product, a few simple setup steps (just to get things started) are important.  The information doesn′t have to be a 300-page manual; something as simple as Simple forum setup instructions will do.  If I was to rate the documentation for K 4.0 I would have to give it a zero.  Where the documentation is not clear, or if there people have questions about how to use a product, then the support forum should help (as long as the developers are available and prepared to make the time available).  If I was to rate the level of support for K 4.0 by way of their support forum, I would probably give it 3.5 out of 10.  The Kunena support forum is not completely hopeless but, sometimes, it takes a long time to get an answer.

Documentation for Chronoforums is probably its weakest point.  One Chronoforums community member wrote a user guide a while ago; it′s part-factual and part-guesswork on the part of the person who wrote it.  The reviews at the JED for Chronoforums give the product documentation a rating of 6.7 out of 10.  The people who reviewed Chronoforums rated support very highly (9.1 out of 10).  I cannot attest to this high rating:  I have tested Chronoforums for less than one day; I posted one question on their forum and I still have not seen any reply.

Migrating from Kunena

This is one area that is really good.  I was able to migrate from Kunena to Chronoforums in less than 2 minutes.  Once I had mastered how to manage category and forum permissions—and this took about 2 hours to figure out how it′s done—it took less than 5 minutes to adjust those things to suit my requirements.

I mentioned earlier in this article that Chronoforums does not allow for a nested “category” structure.  This meant that Kunena sub-categories were not migrated over.  That, in itself, was not a deal-breaker, either.  By promoting Kunena sub-categories so that they are transformed into level-1 categories below Kunena sections, it was then possible to migrate these things over.

A few minor irritations

Number one on my list of changes I would like to see made with Chronoforums is the way in which language constants are translated.  Ever since J! 1.6 introduced the concept of .INI-based language constants, together with the ability to override them using language overrides, nearly all Joomla extensions I have worked with use this mechanism.  Chronoforums does not; language translations are handled by specific PHP files.  Therefore, if you want to change a date format or some other constant defined by Chronoforums, you need to modify a PHP file.  The problem with this approach, of course, is that when new releases occur with the product, any modifications you may have made will have to be done again.  That′s the whole purpose of why language overrides exist; to overcome this post-upgrade administration task.

When people reply to topics in Chronoforums, the subject is automatically changed to “Re: <subject>”.  “Re:” is unnecessary.  If people are looking at a forum as a threaded discussion then the context is obvious.  Kunena did away with “Re: <subject>” a long time ago—and I′m pleased they did; the use of “Re: <subject>” in Chronoforums looks somewhat antiquated in modern communication; however, because Chronoforums displays topics in a “flat” way, the “Re:” might help allow people navigate through long winding topics when people gooff-topic and others are unsure what subject is being replied to.  Until the developers address the threaded discussion layout matter I referred to earlier, Chronoforums may not be an ideal forum choice if you expect to have long (and possibly argumentative) topics.

Most of the frontend controls in Chronoforums are glyph- or icon-based.  These are mostly intuitive but it may take some people a bit of time to adjust to the predominant use of images instead of having “plain text” links that highlight what tools to people interacting within the forum.

Most forum permissions are defined by Joomla ACLs.  This is both a good thing and a not-so-good thing depending on how well you understand how to establish ACL groups and assign them to Joomla accounts.  For example, assigning moderators within Chronoforums is accomplished by allocating moderation tasks to be used by ACL groups (unlike, in Kunena, where the Kunena User Manager is used to allocate those roles to individual users).  I personally think that Chronoforums permissions model is better than Kunena but it takes a little longer to adjust to the change, that′s all.  With the exception of allowing guest users to post in Chronoforums forums, and requiring the moderator′s to have the post published, I have not discovered any major difficulty in implementing what I need in a forum by using ACLs to control those things.  For example, Kunena has single setting to define a locked category (but still allow administrators and moderators the ability to reply to topics in that category.  Furthermore, there is an indicator placed next to the category to identify categories that are locked; while there is no “Re: <subject>” indicator in Chronoforums, the same end-result—locking all topics so that only moderators have the ability to reply—can be achieved.

There is only one forum template (or theme) available in the current version of Chronoforums.  This may be a deal-breaker for some people but I think the forum template works quite well.  Some tweaking of fonts, colours and styling other elements is, of course, possible by adding these to a custom style-sheet.  I can live with that.

It is not yet possible to use the Joomla search facility to include searching the Chronoforums topics.

Chronoforums does not have a built-in login module (like Kunena) but this is unimportant.  The product also does not provide integration with other commonly-used social components such as JomSocial, Community Builder, AlphaUserPoints or uddeIM; the product has a built-in private messaging system.  The lack of integration between Chronoforums and these components may be important for some people but, as I do not use them, it′s irrelevant to me.

There′s a built-in tagging feature—appears to be a proprietary system that doesn′t integrate with Joomla's Tag component.  I haven′t looked too deeply into this and it′s a little clunky but this is something worthy of further experimentation.  It would be nice if tags could be added in the frontend.

The menu system in Chronoforums is proprietary (similar, in some respects, to K 1.0/ K 1.5).  Unlike other true MVC-based Joomla components—different views can be accessed via Joomla′s menu system—the menus in Chronforums are fixed.  The benefit, however, is that it′s really easy to setup the forum provided you do not want to do anything too “fancy”.

Summary of first impressions

Overall Chronoforums is quite versatile.

  • It meets the basic minimum requirements of being able to categorise topics according to the forum owner′s needs (even though the forum structure may be “flatter” than people familiar with nested categories would be used to).
  • Security is tight.
  • Moderators can edit, delete and move topics; moderators ban and delete all posts from a member if they consider it necessary.
  • Adequate counter-spam, anti-flood mechanisms.
  • There is provision for private information to be communicated between users (similar, in some respects, to the confidential BBcode tag in Kunena)
  • Messages can be entered with a WYSIWYG editor and/or embedded BBcode.  I haven′t seen a list of supported Chronoforum′s BBcode tags but there are fewer than those available in Kunena.
  • Added ability to have multiple forum announcements, mark topics as solved, “hot” and “popular” topics based on user participation.  Also it is possible to use a reply-by-email feature (but I haven′t tested this, yet).
  • With ACLs, it′s possible to implement a “hot” feature:  list topics but require people to login before they can read the contents of those topics.
  • Simple menu system → faster setup.
  • Best of all, seems to be error-free.

The verdict: Kunena or Chronoforums?

FeatureKunenaChronoforumsDifference
(plus in favour of Chronoforums, minus in favour of Kunena or zero if the same)
Ease of setup

-1
Documentation

+1
Developer (forum) support
Unable to assess N/A
Forum structure
Nested categories

“Flat” category structure
-2
Moderator tools:  edit, delete, move, split, merge, lock and/or sticky topics; ban users

Cannot merge topics
-2
Overall forum design layout and user interface

+4
Message editing (including WYSIWYG and BBcode features); quoting; attachment uploads; inline images
No WYSIWYG

Fewer BBcode tags
0
Ease of overriding language strings
Native Joomla overrides supported

Requires modifying PHP code
-6
Migration to/from Kunena/Chronoforums
Not available

+6
Anti-spam, anti-flood, forum security

+1
Reliability, change management and general maintainability
Poor quality control: problems with many new, untested additions

Difficult to assess but no major problems currently known
+5
Community involvement in actual software coding
Little community involment
Unknown but probably little community involvement 0
Ability to mark topics as solved
Not available except by changing the topic icon

“best answer” feature
+5
Ability to reply to the forum by email
Not available

Untested
+2?
Forum rankings, user ratings
“thank you” feature; forum role- or activity-based rankings

ACL- or forum activity-based rankings
+1
Topic tagging
Not available

Proprietary tagging system
+3
Private messaging system
Integrated with 3rd-party components

Native
0
User profiling:  avatar image uploads, forum signatures, social connections, personal information, etc.
Proprietary, non-extensible

Proprietary, non-extensible
-2
Menu system
Joomla (MVC), extensible

Proprietary, non-extensible
-3
ACL-based forum roles
Limited to ability to create and reply to topics

+3
“Teaser feature
Global only

Can be defined for individual categories
+3
Mean time between failures
High
Unknown N/A
Mean time to repair
Long
Unknown N/A
Cost of ownership (dollars) Mostly free (3rd-party extensions are available) Mostly free; fees apply to register for professional support 0
Forum announcement features
Global announcement (one only)

Multiple topics can be tagged as announcements
+2
Professional workmanship and aesthetic appeal

+4
Overall assessment

+3

This is obviously not an exhaustive list of all possible features anyone may necessarily have an interest. I doubt that I will have a need for a couple of items on the list, private messaging and reply-by-email, for example. There are a couple of items that I simply do not have enough information in order to come to any conclusion.  It′s also conceivable that personal, subjective bias has entered into some of the scores and I may have been unfair on either or both of Kunena and Chronoforums in how I rated them; that′s a criticism I shall have to wear.

Perhaps I might undertake a more thorough review and do a one-for-one comparison of features but, for the time being, there′s enough subjective information for me to conclude that Chronoforums in a better investment in the short-to-medium term.

What′s next?

As I wrote at the beginning of this essay, I have only taken the first steps on a journey.  Knowing where I am heading, having decided the best means of “transport” and what “baggage” I will be taking along with me, the next step will be to activate my “travel plans”.  Let me rephrase that a little more bluntly.  I have already decided to stop my Kunena template-building activities; I may continue to write modules for Kunena but my days in the Kunena template-making business are over.  I have already replaced Kunena Discuss as my article commenting tool.  The next step is to migrate my existing [Kunena-based] forum to Chronoforums.  How well I achieve the next phase may be the subject of a future article.

I started this essay with the intention of explaining how I arrived in my current circumstances, how my ongoing misery with Kunena has left me with no choice but to gracefully withdraw from it.  The Kunena project will eventually implode upon itself—of that I have no doubt—but I have no further appetite for it.  It was an interesting seven or eight years of my life but I have better things to do from now on.

I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the three original co-founders of the Kunena project.  Thank you, Matias, Ron and Oliver, for your grace, your hard work, your patience and for teaching me so much.  Together we invested thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of lines of code into the Kunena project.  We may have gone our separate ways[1] but I still count you among some of the finest people I have ever known.  It was a great honour to have collaborated with you and shared your gracious hospitality.  Good luck to you in all your respective futures.

This, therefore, is the end of an essay I began writing over a week ago.  It is not, however, the end of the story.  I started with a quotation from the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities and it′s fitting, perhaps, that I conclude with quotation from the end of it:

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.A Tale of Two Cities

I just hope that, unlike Sydney Carton, I do not lose my head.

[1]  Oliver Ratzesberger is president of Teradata Labs.  Matias Griese is lead developer for Rockettheme.  Ron Severdia chief technology officer for Metrodigi and co-author of Using Joomla.

About the author:

is a Joomla professional and former member of the Kunena project for more than 8 years—a substantial contributor to the original Kunena documentation project with over twenty thousand messages posted at the Kunena forum. The opinions expressed in this article are entirely those of the author. View his profile here.


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