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Kunena—the project—has lost its way

I’m a pretty upbeat kind of guy and I’ve been a happy and (I hope) helpful contributor to the Kunena project since I began my involvement with it in 2009.  Kunena (actually it was its predecessor, Fireboard) was one of the main reasons that I adopted Joomla.  The original project had some wonderful guys and I had the immense privilege of meeting them and becoming friends with them.  I mention them by name:  Oliver Ratzesberger, Ron Severdia (a former member of the PLT), Louis Landry (one of the founders of Joomla who undertook the fork from Fireboard) and Matias Griese; all of these people are well-known and widely respected within the Joomla community.

User Rating: 5 / 5

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Joomla 3.6.0 is here.  What should we do about it?

Key points to how to build a trouble-free website

J! 3.6.0 was released about a week ago. If people have enabled the System - Joomla! Update Notification plugin (this was a new feature introduced in J! 3.5) they are probably receiving emails[1] once or twice a day advising them to upgrade to J! 3.6.0. There are three things you can do: you can ignore the emails, disable the plugin, or upgrade.

Since the announcement of J! 3.6.0 the Joomla forum has been filled with stories—mostly tales of woe—about difficulties that people have experienced. Like most people, one reads these stories to gauge the veracity of claims that people have made before taking that giant leap-of-faith and going ahead with the procedure oneself.

There are a couple of known issues but, for the most part, they are relatively insignificant.

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Quick reference

Kunena 4.0 is a Joomla 2.5/3.x component that ships with with two different template “styles” technically called MVC and HMVC[1]; these are informally referred to as Blue Eagle and Crypsis respectively.  All currently available third-party templates are based on the “MVC style”. The “MVC style” style is deprecated—meaning that the developers would have preferred to have removed entirely but it was mainly allowed to remain for people who use J! 2.5. The developers will remove support for all MVC templates from the next major version of Kunena [K 5.0].

Aside from the obvious differences in appearance, there are structural differences in the use and administraton of the product depending on the choice of template used with Kunena.  As far as I know, no-one has attempted to list the important differences between the MVC and HMVC forms of Kunena. This article is a first attempt to list the major structural differences between Blue Eagle and Crypsis. The table below is incomplete and it may contain errors.  If you find mistakes or important omissions to the list please let me know by using the comments form at the end of the article.

User Rating: 5 / 5

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Installation / intial setup

Functionality / features

Look and feel

Reliability

Documentation

Internal software design

Support

My last report about Kunena was not favourable; it was written more than six months ago and there have been four releases since then.  It is therefore time to update the report card.  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.

User Rating: 4 / 5

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Measuring customer satisfaction about Kunena

Questions we need to ask

Opinions matter.  In today’s poll-driven world public opinion decides the fate of governments, business success and little “successes” (and “failures”) like which movies you watch, the restaurants where you dine and even what brand of toothpaste you buy.  All opinions are personal and subjective; everyone has a different opinion about what they like and dislike.  In the end, we are totally responsible for choosing how we think and act:  we cannot blame someone else because we followed their example.

In today’s world—where opinions become the news—is it any wonder that governments want to know what voters think, that manufacturers and suppliers want to know how consumers rate their products and services, what your friends, colleagues and family think of your views?

This article discusses our current perceptions about Kunena and, just as importantly, whether the Kunena developers care what we think.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.Evelyn Beatrice Hall, The Friends of Voltaire, 1906

User Rating: 3 / 5

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