The Kunena team has announce the arrival of Kunena 6.2.4 [K 6.2.4] which is now available for download as a native Joomla extension for J! 4.3.x/4.4.x/5.0.x. This version addresses most of the issues that were discovered in K 6.1 / K 6.2 and issues discovered during the last development stages of K 6.2
Question Which came first? The template or the forum?
(1) Let's install Joomla (I dunno, any version will do) ... heck, I might just re-use some old website that's been gathering cobwebs for the past two years.
(2) Let's find a really good template. I can't do anything until I get that Joomla template installed.
(3) I don't know, maybe we need some dazzling graphics, banners, flash video when people first go to the home page ... and before we forget, a menu system that plays "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen when you move your mouse over the items.
(4) I probably need a registration package *yawn* ... just in case people want to register at my site, and I'd better wrote a few dozen articles *bigger yawn* about what my site is all about because people will need a good read when they come here.
(5) What else do I need? Oh, I know, how about a forum discussion component *snore* to let users actually do something on my website ...
... and that's when the wheels came off. :laugh:
Maybe that's not what really happens, but I've seen plenty of examples where it seems to be what's happened! :whistle: So this is my advice:
(1) Plan what you want, before you start building anything. If the main reason that you want a website is to have people discuss topics in a forum setting, then that's what you need to do first. Then concern yourself with other trappings, like flashy graphics.
(2) Start building the site content; implement the user registration processes and shop around for your template, menu system, but make sure that your forum doesn't break when each time you install something new.
Sorry to go against you sozzled, but I would have thought finding a template (before you install joomla) and then get it working before kunena would be useful because in my experience templates dont play ball (much less than Kunena :laugh: ) and its easier to fix a template that broke after kunena than one that dont work to begin with.
Just my thoughts - plus a good looking template is useful but flash videos and banners etc. are useless if they break your site and arent necessary to begin with!!!
Obviously there is no "right" answer to this kind of chicken-and-egg question. There will be those who maintain that the first requirement in any new website development is how it looks. There will be others who will feel just as strongly that the first requirement in any new website development is to define its purpose and function; looks are secondary. I happen to belong to the second group.
There is nothing wrong with looks. Nothing at all. However, as we all know, looks are superficial and looks do not define the quality of a good website.
Joomla site templates: my goodness, we could chat for days about the problems that people have had with these! You see, the main problem with Joomla site templates is that they're all - well, just about all of them - made obsolete whenever there is a new version of Joomla.
Joomla 1.0 templates, for the most part, will not work with Joomla 1.5. They certainly will not work unless you run with J! 1.5 in "legacy mode"! Joomla 1.5 templates, for the most part, will not work with Joomla 1.6.
The same goes for Kunena. In K 1.0 there were 4 templates; 3 of them were made obsolete when K 1.5 was created (but people still kept using them)! K 1.6 made K 1.5 templates obsolete. K 2.0 will make K 1.6 templates obsolete, too.
So, we can talk about how things look, but the reality is that looks are ephemeral just as much as people's opinions on what are their favourite websites. In a more technical sense, though, the software that people depend upon to drive the look of a website may be old, outdated, or not able to adapt to the needs of new software technology. Therefore the quest to find something that looks good and works is a continual challenge.
It's actually easier, in my experience, to get Kunena to "play ball with Joomla" than to get a other Joomla extensions to co-operate with one another (or with Joomla, for that matter).
My advice, to new users of Joomla and to people who have just begun their journey into the wonderful world of webcraft, is to play around and to develop their skills. We all have to start somewhere. However, when you are developing a website as a business you have to have a clear plan of your objectives and you need to focus on the primary goals of that plan. It's my view - and I may be out of step with many people - that you can usually adapt a good site to work with an attractive look than go at it from the other end.
I also agree that looks are superficial and sites need content. However sites can be limited by template restrictions (for example a lack of sub menus can make for untidy and confusing navigation). In my quest to build a website for free (bar hosting because it isn't always reliable when free, understandably) good free templates are difficult to come by and setup as well as notoriously breaking extensions on me. When done the other way around its been much simpler for me as if something broke finding an underlying cause has been easier.
Therefore, I think the closest actual answer I can conclude is that research compatibility problems between potential extensions and templates FIRST is a must and that there is always an alternate solution (particularly if less technically minded) which is to set a different template (that doesnt cause issues) on pages (such as kunena) where the default causes problems because no one really looks at the template of you site when on the forum - just the forum template.
Some more of my thoughts (unfortunately for you guys, or not?)
P.S. I recommend the Euro series of templates and the formality template for Kunena 1.6
I think people need to remember that above all else, our job here at www.kunena.org is to help people to get Kunena to work. People can make that process a lot easier on themselves if they focus on the problem and don't allow their personal "prejudices" or "tastes" interfere. I do not, for one moment, mean this in a mean-spirited way; I mean that people often come to this forum with a lot of "baggage" that would be best left outside the door.
Let me give you an example. Suppose someone has spent the past 3 weeks carefully building their website. Everything seems to work. Then they decide to install Kunena and things don't work. So they come to www.kunena.org and immediately launch themselves into your-product-doesn't-work-you-have-to-support-me adversarial frame of mind and demand that we fix their problem (or complain that the design of Kunena isn't universally adaptable to their requirements. When we politely suggest that they might need to re-evaluate and reconsider their setup the response is, as you've probably seen it yourself, "I'm not about to change anything, mate, after I've spent 3 weeks working on my site!"
I didn't arrive at where I am after spending three weeks playing around with one website. I've had 40 years experience in the Information Technology industry, the last 15 years working directly on internet/intranet web-design and the past 3 years working directly with Joomla. But, as the saying goes, "you can't put an old head on young shoulders."
So, while we may express ourselves slightly differently, I think we are in agreement that, as a general principle, research is the key. In my experience, most "compatibility issues" surface when you introduce new templates. Therefore, these are the issues that I tend to leave to the end.
What I think people forget is that this component is FREE, people have given their free time and effort to develop it in the best way they can. They are not obliged to develop it and are quite entitled to charge for its use if they like - if people can get past that fact and treat it like a free product (ie its awesome but not perfect - nothing is) and accept that support is also from people giving their own time then they should be more appreciative, or go elsewhere. However, I am sure they will not find one single extension that works perfectly with their setup first time, its just the way it is.
Acceptance, thought and planning are key!