{kun´ēzē}
(Reading time: 6 - 11 minutes)
24May2016

A Tale of Two Forums … Take #2

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2156 hits Updated: 24 May 2016 Blog

Who uses Kunena as a support forum?

Reasons to use Kunena as a support forum

Joomla-based forum products

Revised impressions of Chronoforums

What′s next?

We all make mistakes—tactical decisions which, with the benefit of hindsight, we wish we hadn’t made—but, if we’re honest with ourselves, we try to make the best decisions in the prevailing circumstances.  It may turn out later that the decision was the wrong one but we play the cards we’re dealt or we walk away from the game.  When I wrote my earlier article (A Tale of Two Forums) I had to make a choice:  continue using a forum product that was impossibly stuck in trouble or venture into the great unknown and try something else.

I chose to go with Chronoforums because it seemed like a viable alternative for my needs at the time[1].  I knew the risks, I weighed up the evidence for and against, and I followed my instincts.  A lot has changed with Kunena since I took that decision.  Even though Kunena has changed (and it’s still far from being completely trouble-free) I decided a few days ago to re-install it here.  My journey for the “ideal” forum product is not yet over but I thought I would share some things that I’ve learned in the hope that people reading this will find some usefulness if they’re in a similar situation

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(Reading time: 15 - 29 minutes)
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27Sep2015

A Tale of Two Forums

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13218 hits Updated: 12 October 2015 Blog

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.

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(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)
31May2015

Forum help page for Kunena

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2864 hits Updated: 27 September 2021 Blog

Create the forum help page article

Create the Kunena menu item

One of the current problems with the Kunena website is that the documentation is out of date and no-one is maintaining it properly.  This article is part of an ongoing series to update the information so that it is more relevant to Kunena today.

K20 help defaultContentsWhen you first install Kunena on your Joomla site, a help menu item is created for you but its contents are not very useful (see the image on the right); many people choose to hide or remove this menu item completely.  The menu item is more of a “template” for a help page indicating that there are several ways to build your real page but it is up to you to write your own text if that will eventually appear on the Help tab.

The help page can be anything you want.  It can be used, for example, to show your community how to use the forum, what is allowed and what isn’t allowed and to educate your users about the features of Kunena and how use them.  I wrote a sample forum help page for Kunena several years ago but it contains errors and it is sorely in need of a major rewrite.

The help page is built using the Kunena custom content menu type.  Menu items using this menu type can be used for more than only providing a help guide for your users. They can be renamed or used for any purpose that helps your community and you can also build other pages using the techniques we will describe below.

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(Reading time: 11 - 21 minutes)
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03May2015

How to stop forum spam in Kunena

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16627 hits Updated: 09 January 2018 Blog

Is there a 100% effective remedy again spam?

Prevent spam account registations

Other tools to prevent spam account registration

Kunena’s built-in anti-spam mechanisms

The best way to prevent spam:  category management

Other tools to prevent spam in your forum

Summary

I’ve recently installed Kunena on my website and love its functionality. The only problem is I’m getting spam and it’s getting worse.  Are there recommendations or some sort of cheat sheet to follow to stop these bad guys/robots?a “forum user”, Kunena forum, 3 May 2015

The problem with spam is not confined to Kunena.  Indeed, the discussion about forum spam has been going on long before Kunena (or Joomla) first appeared.  People can spend almost as much time researching the subject as they may have to spend dealing with an outbreak of spam in their forums. The short answer to the question “How can I stop forum spam [in Kunena]?” is that you cannot.  You can never completely eradicate spam—there is no 100% guaranteed solution to combat spam.  Kunena does have some configuration settings that will help you to manage the amount of spam that you may get but those configuration settings, by themselves, will not completely innoculate you against the spam epidemic.  This article is therefore only a guide—a collection of some ideas that I have found useful—in minimising the level of spam in your forum.

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