Joomla! + Kunena Integration

Do you have an idea for the Joomla community that you can help implement? Discuss in here.
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3XPER7
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Joomla! + Kunena Integration

Post by 3XPER7 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:37 pm

Hi there Joomla! users and devs,

Working with Joomla! 1.7 has been amazing so far. Working with the Kunena Forum extension, however, a little less. So I was thinking: we have Joomla! and we have the Kunena Forum extension, but they are so very interdependent. For instance: you are working with Joomla! and you've found a great, pro template. You're all excited and happy because you really love that template. The next thing you do is 'developing' your site. While you're doing this, you think a nice Forum extension is exactly what you need. So, you start browsing for a forum extension in the extensions section of Joomla! Then you discover a few forum extensions: one that looks rather slick, simple and clean but almost has no configurable options, one that has a few more configurable options but is not compatible with the recent Joomla! release and one that is compatible with the latest release and also offers a lot of configurable options. The one I'm talking about now is Kunena.

So, you decide to pick the Kunena Forum extension and immediately add it to your website. But you start thinking "this is just not it.." and why? Well, Kunena has a template section of its own which means, you will have to change the layout. Then you go browse the internet searching for a Kunena template that might fit perfectly in your site. The templates you find are rather dissapointing as they are not all compatible with the Kunena Forum release. You are not happy or amused but you know a forum is what you need!

It all has to do with compatibility. In this case there are a few scenarios you have to consider:

1. Will my Joomla! template be compatible with the current Joomla! release?
2. Will the Kunena Forum release be compatible with the current Joomla! release?
3. Will my Kunena template be compatible with the current Kunena release?
4. Will the template I've chosen for Kunena match the template I'm using in Joomla!?
or:
4. Will there even be a Kunena template that matches my Joomla! template?

Here's an illustration to clarify the current situation:

Image

So.. 4 teams. There will be 4 different teams working on these aspects:

1. Joomla! Development
2. Joomla! Template Development
3. Kunena Forum Development
4. Kunena Template Development

All at a different pace. Problem? Well yeah, organizing 4 teams is way harder then organizing, say, 2 teams? This is how I think it should be:

Image

So.. 2 teams! Yes, really.

1. Joomla!-Kunena Development
2. Joomla!-Kunena Template Development

All in a more steady pace. I mean, this is the future foor Joomla! & Kunena. Both Joomla! and Kunena have an immense set of configurable options, which could be integrated perfectly. All the data for Joomla! and Kunena already exists, there's nothing really 'new' to program. Just a few extra options maybe..

Why am I so eager to see this happening? Well, I'm currently working on this website (it's all just sample data, still needs a lot of work so don't pay attention to the content svp) and I will really need a Forum. In my case, I've chosen a very specific Joomla! template which I can in no way get matched by any Kunena template.

What I also would like to see is an integrated option to auto-open a new forum thread after an article was posted. In my case, after a recently posted review:

Article Manager -> +Add Article:
Article Title... [x] Create a new forum in {forum (sub-)category}

There's no way I can make that happen with the Kunena Forum as a 'separate' extension really.

Also, why doesn't Joomla! have a default comments plugin? I think that should be one of the main features..

Anyway, how I can contribute to this idea? Well, I know 0.0 about programming but I've got the ideas. I could just submit ideas to this forum or even this thread and / or some illustrations of what I think it should look like. Anyway, I'm curious to hear what you think about this suggestion. Remember, key words to this suggestion are compatibility and optimization.

With regards,
Casimir -3XPER7- de Bruijn

 
janaf
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Re: Joomla! + Kunena Integration

Post by janaf » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:12 pm

First I have to say I fully agree.

And the same thing applies to the login, user profile, file upload, file archive etc, that instead of being integrated into Joomla, has developed on its own in Kunena.

While this might be just about manageable with Joomla and Kunena, suppose you also have a Blog, a shop, an Image gallery etc. Then it becomes really unmanageable and a total confusion for front end users, a lot of works for developers and admins. I have a bit of that situation with Joomla, Kunena and EzBlog. And an image gallery that I will probably not enable because of this. They each have their login / logout, their user manager, user profile settings, file management, menu system etc. :'(

I probably spent more than 95% of my first Joomla site development time on get the three integrated, feeling the same, looking the same. I still have not quite managed in all aspects, particularly for the user profile editor which there are three of, very confusing for front end users and I really can not get rid of two because the extensions have additional custom fields for signatures / avatars etc. All of the back end management is also essentially separate.
Anyway, how I can contribute to this idea?
For the general structure, I guess here. The Joomla core and Joomla developers, the JED should push towards making full integration possible and promote it as far as they can without hampering extention development.

For Kunena specifically, on the Kunena site forum. I know they are working on a major Kunena update release.
You want replies? Search the forum. Most questions have been anserd many times. If not; what have you done, what do you want to do, what have you tried? Be clear and explicit!
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3XPER7
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Re: Joomla! + Kunena Integration

Post by 3XPER7 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:32 pm

janaf wrote:First I have to say I fully agree.

And the same thing applies to the login, user profile, file upload, file archive etc, that instead of being integrated into Joomla, has developed on its own in Kunena.

While this might be just about manageable with Joomla and Kunena, suppose you also have a Blog, a shop, an Image gallery etc. Then it becomes really unmanageable and a total confusion for front end users, a lot of works for developers and admins. I have a bit of that situation with Joomla, Kunena and EzBlog. And an image gallery that I will probably not enable because of this. They each have their login / logout, their user manager, user profile settings, file management, menu system etc. :'(
Totally agree. On my website there are 2 'user profiles'. One for the general website and comments using the Disqus extension and one forum profile. The forum profile allows for an easy avatar upload and that avatar doesn't get integrated in the Disqus forum. The only thing that actually does work is logging in in one general form, being able to enjoy the forum and comment on all content available. 8)

3XPER7
Joomla! Fledgling
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Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:53 pm

Re: Joomla! + Kunena Integration

Post by 3XPER7 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 2:03 am

Just curious.. In case this is possible, how long would it take to get it all ready and good to go? Because I want to present a fully operational site to my vendor partners, first impression is all that matters eh :)

It wouldn't be a problem if it would take, say, 3 months, because I'll have to get some content ready to make that forum useful anyway. I'm going to copy this thread in the Kunena support forum first thing tomorrow, and hopefully be the mediator in this.

janaf
Joomla! Explorer
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Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:30 pm
Location: Stockholm
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Re: Joomla! + Kunena Integration

Post by janaf » Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:47 am

I really do not know and it depends on how you define it. For example for the back end I do not consider trying, neither will I ever try to edit the template to work with the basic core css.... Same thing for file management (upload etc)

You can see my site via the link in my signature.

With some luck there is a configurable front end user profile manager, that could be made to work with all fields of all extensions. I have not looked into that yet. I wIll take a look in the JED when I have time.

For the Search system, there are plugins for Kunena and other extensions (ExBlog etc) so this has worked fine.

While Joomla is great in many ways, the weak integration has been the biggest disappointment to me. To time consuming, to much of confusion expected from front end users.
You want replies? Search the forum. Most questions have been anserd many times. If not; what have you done, what do you want to do, what have you tried? Be clear and explicit!
----
ToolGeeks, handicrafts and tools community: http://www.toolgeeks.net

 

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