Kunena 4.0.6: report card October 2015

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4.3111111111111 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 86%
23Oct2015

Kunena 4.0.6: report card October 2015

Information
3269 hits Updated: 14 June 2016

Installation / intial setup

Functionality / features

Look and feel

Reliability

Documentation

Internal software design

Support

Kunena is a Joomla extension.  This means it relies on Joomla for account creation, user login and forum access.

Kunena is a popular[1] forum product for Joomla. Despite the overall declining popularity in internet forums and Joomla in general—and Kunena in particular—it remains one of the most widely-reviewed extensions in the JED.  Perhaps the best example of its use is at the project team’s website[2].  It’s difficult to say how well this product will satisfy your requirements (because everyone is different) but, in general terms, Kunena provides the essential features needed to run a forum.  Generally-speaking, Kunena is fairly intuitive from the end-user perspective and should require little training of your users to make the most of it.

Chronoforums 1.1.5: report card October 2015

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4.2790697674419 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 86%
12Oct2015

Chronoforums 1.1.5: report card October 2015

Information
4895 hits Updated: 14 June 2016

Installation / intial setup

Functionality / features

Look and feel

Reliability

Documentation

Internal software design

Support

After my preliminary evaluation of Chronoforums [CF] as an alternative to Kunena (and taking the decision to install CF here), I am now in a position to give a report card on the product.  Obviously CF is different to Kunena and it would be unfair to criticise (or praise) CF because of those differences:  the two products have different features and, internally, they operate differently.  Some people will feel that CF does not have the range of features necessary to operate a forum on a Joomla website; the same criticism can also be levelled at Kunena, too.  It is my overall opinion, however, that while CF lacks some of Kunena's features, the absence of those features is not a show-stopper.  On the other hand, the presence of certain features in Kunena may prevent people from using it.  This article is concerned with Chronoforums.  If people want to compare CF against other products, that’s something people may do for themselves.

Purpose

Chronoforums is a Joomla extension.  This means it relies on Joomla for account creation, user login and forum access.

Chronoforums is a popular[1] forum product for Joomla. Perhaps the best example of its use is at the Chronoforums website.  It’s difficult to say how well this product will satisfy your requirements (because everyone is different) but, in general terms, CF provides the essential features needed to run a forum.  Lacking some features, a non-MVC internal design (and, therefore, making it somewhat difficult to adapt the component to suit different localities) and poor documentation may deter some people from using CF.  However, if you operate an English-language forum, require a basic range of features and you have the patience and willingness to persevere, you will probably find that CF will meet your purposes without needing to “tweak” it.  Generally-speaking, CF is fairly intuitive from the end-user perspective and should require little training of your users to make the most of it.  If your users are familiar with the basic features of a web-based discussion forum then they should have no trouble using it.

A Tale of Two Forums

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3.8421052631579 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 77%
27Sep2015

A Tale of Two Forums

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8919 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.

Kunena 4.0.5: what the developers didn’t tell you

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23Sep2015

Kunena 4.0.5: what the developers didn’t tell you

Information
2272 hits Updated: 23 September 2015

The K 4.0.5 “teaser” feature.

K 4.0.5 dashboard:  FAQs … ?

Kunena 5.0 is “an­nounced”

Kunena project personnel changes

In recent articles about K 4.0.5 I made some points about difficulties people will have installing third-party Kunena templates and the changed behaviour with the subscribe checkboxAnother new feature added to this so-called “minor” release adds the ability to incorporate a “teaser” ability on your forum but it’s not for everyone and the devil is in the detail.

In addition to the features added to K 4.0.5, the Kunena development team has recently announced plans for the next major release of Kunena [K 5.0] together with plans to overhaul their website and update the user documentation.