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Kunena 5.1.5 Released - Security Release (14 Oct 2018)

The Kunena team has announce the arrival of Kunena 5.1.5 [K 5.1.5] which is now available for download as a native Joomla extension for J! 3.8.x. This version addresses most of the issues that were discovered in K 5.1 and issues discovered during the development stages of K 5.1. This is a Security release.

Question Is it possible to have private topics that only the topic author and moderators can view?

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2 years 4 months ago #1 by nemmar
Hi,
Below is my Kunena config report. Is it possible to have private topics that only the topic author and moderators can view? I know the "hidden" BB code tags will hide text from guests viewing a forum. But I was looking for a way that when a registered user creates a new topic and posts it in the Kunena forum, they could select a "private" setting so that only themselves and the forum moderators can view or read that topic?
I don't see a "confidential" BB code tags icon in the topic/post editor so I guess it's not available as an icon. If it is possible to add that icon, then please let me know how I can do that. I see the "confidential" BB code tags in the Kunena Report and that works well.

The reason I ask is that Kunena could be a very good ticket system for a Joomla website and I would not need to install a separate customer support ticket system extension since I already have Kunena. But one option I need in the "ticket system" is for users to be able to set their written topics/posts as "private" if they had confidential info to post in their "ticket" for the admins/moderators to view and reply to. Topics set to "public" could be viewed by anyone.
Is this possible? Thanks for any advice.

This message contains confidential information

Database collation check: The collation of your table fields are correct

Joomla! SEF: Enabled | Joomla! SEF rewrite: Enabled | FTP layer: Disabled |

This message contains confidential information
htaccess: Exists | PHP environment: Max execution time: 480 seconds | Max execution memory: 512M | Max file upload: 24M

Kunena menu details:

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]

Joomla default template details : JoostrapBase-v3-5 | author: Joostrap | version: 3.5 | creationdate: 22 April 2016

Kunena default template details : Blue Eagle | author: Kunena Team | version: 4.0.10 | creationdate: 2016-02-18

Kunena version detailed: Kunena 4.0.10 | 2016-02-18 [ Villavicencio ]
| Kunena detailed configuration:

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
| Kunena integration settings:
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
| Joomla! detailed language files installed:
Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]

Third-party components: None

Third-party SEF components: None

Plugins: Search - Kunena Search 3.1.2 | Content - Kunena Discuss 3.1.2

Modules: Kunena Latest 3.1.2.1 | Kunena Stats 3.1.2 | Kunena Login 3.1.2 | Kunena Search 3.1.2

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2 years 4 months ago #2 by 810
No this is not possible, kunena is a forum not a q/a system.

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2 years 4 months ago #3 by nemmar
Hi 810,

Thank you for replying to my post.

1) Are there any plugins or add-on extensions that you know of that would enable me to add the "confidential" BB code tags into the post editor? That way users would have easy access to inserting the confidential tags into their posts to enclose private text.

2) Are there any plugins or add-on extensions that you know of that would enable me to charge a subscription fee to users with access to specific Topics/Categories on my Kunena forum? For example, everyone assigned to a Joomla "Paid Subscriber" user group would be the only ones able to post in that topic/category. So I would need to find a way to integrate the paid subscription fee ecommerce payment with assigning the customer to the "Paid Subscriber" user group.

Thanks.

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2 years 4 months ago #4 by 810
On K5.0 the confidential icon is added.

You can use serval extensions, like RD-Subscriptions or Akeeba Subs
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2 years 4 months ago #5 by sozzled

nemmar wrote: Is it possible to have private topics that only the topic author and moderators can view?

It is theoretically possible to do this in Kunena but the implementation is not easy. Kunena can be used as a question-and-answer purposes (most forums, even the one here at this site, are Q&A) but if you're talking about total one-on-one privacy, that's not the primary purpose of forum software.

It is unlikely that any web-based discussion forum would make an "ideal" job-ticketing system which is what you've asked about.

This question has been asked before— there is a long list of topics about using Kunena as a "help desk" application. Here are some other topics you might like to consider:


It is possible to convert Kunena into a help desk application but it's not easy and there will be costs involved.

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2 years 4 months ago - 2 years 4 months ago #6 by nemmar

810 wrote: On K5.0 the confidential icon is added.
You can use several "subscription" extensions...


Hi Sozzled,

Thank you for the reply. I read those links you gave me. Let me know if you think the following information is a possible way to use Kunena as a help-desk or ticket system, in addition to Kunena's core function as a discussion forum.

I think "confidential" BBcode icon is a way to use Kunena as a ticket system or help-desk, without having to edit/hack the core Kunena files. That sounds like the best solution and it prevents the need of core file edits/hacks which will be overwritten or conflict with future upgrades of newer Kunena versions.

I would first create a Joomla User Group (i.e. "Help Desk") that has ACL permissions to view/post in the help-desk category of the Kunena forum.

So if I understand what 810 wrote correctly, the next stable version of Kunena is K5.0x and that version will have the "confidential" BBcode listed as an icon in the post editor screens, along with the rest of the BBcode icons. That's great because then any "Help Desk" users that want to post a topic/reply could just click the "confidential" BBcode icon to enclose their text to keep it private. Just like the way Kunena Configuration Reports function when you post them into a topic. This will enable all "Help Desk" users of the Kunena category to be able to still view the subjects and non-confidential enclosed text of all the topics/posts in the forum. At the same time it will allow the forum moderators to read the confidential text and reply to the "Help Desk" user who posted the topic/reply with a confidential reply... If the confidential BBCode posted by the moderator as a reply can be seen only by that one "Help Desk" user and not other users. (If that's not possible with K5.0x then maybe that is a feature request for the next version or update.)

With that setup, then you do not have to worry about making core hacks/edits or special Joomla ACL permissions to create categories or topics where only one user and the moderators have access to that area of the forum. The user can easily use the confidential BBcodes to enclose their text and keep it private to everyone except the forum moderators. So it's not a problem if all users in the "Help Desk" User Group can view/post in that category/topic, because they still cannot see the private text because it's "confidential".

Then if needed, you can make access to the "Help Desk" part of your Kunena forum, a subscription based access to create a paid service help-desk or ticket system. You need to install a Joomla extension that creates membership subscriptions that integrates with Joomla's ACL. That way whenever a user becomes a "Help Desk" member or subscriber, they are automatically assigned to your "Help Desk" Joomla User Group that has access to view/post in your Kunena forum "Help Desk" categories.

This all sounds easy but maybe it's too good to be true... I'm not an expert with Kunena and Joomla so I will have to rely on what Sozzled and 810 have to say.

Thanks.
Last edit: 2 years 4 months ago by nemmar.
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2 years 4 months ago - 2 years 4 months ago #7 by sozzled
As you probably saw in one or two of those links I posted, it's possible to create separate categories for each user (assign a unique Joomla ACL to each user, then use Joomla ACLs to control who can view/create/reply to topics in those categories) but, at the present time, it's not easy to do and it will involve a large management overhead to create and maintain those separate forum categories.

Alternatively, as you say, you can still use the confidential BBcode tag (to protect the sensitive information that people post) but, unfortunately, the contents of the confidential tag can only be seen by the person who posted a message containing it and/or a forum moderator. So, the problem is that, if a moderator replies to a message using a confidential tag, only the forum moderator(s) can see it (that is, the person who is not a moderator will not be able to see what a moderator my write if they use that tag).

Even if there was a "button" to generate the BBcode
[confidential
[/confidential]
this probably will not do much if moderators reply to topics and use it with the intention of communicating "privately" with other [non-moderator] users. For this reason, Kunena is probably unsuitable for use in a true help desk environment (unless, as I said before, you set up private areas (categories) for each user.

I hope that more detailed explanation may help you to decide how you go about setting up a help desk environment for your website.
Last edit: 2 years 4 months ago by sozzled.

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2 years 4 months ago - 2 years 4 months ago #8 by nemmar
Hi Sozzled,

Yes, I understand that there are limitations now with the forum moderator replying to a topic using the confidential BBcode. That is why I asked about having a feature request for the next updates to Kunena:
If the confidential BBCode posted by the moderator as a reply can be seen only by that one "Help Desk" user and not other users. (If that's not possible with K5.0x then maybe that is a feature request for the next version or update.)

Do you think it would be possible for the Kunena developers to add a confidential BBcode that only allows the original user who started a topic to be able to read the confidential tagged text in replies in that same topic? If that's too much code changes to make, then maybe just have it so that the original user that stated a topic would be able to read confidential replies by the forum moderator only in that topic. I'm not a programmer so I don't know if that is something the Kunena devs can do without being too difficult or creating problems with other parts of the code.

Would it be easier for the devs to implement that feature if the "secret" or "confidential" BBcode tag used in the forum mods reply added the username, or userID, or post #, to the end of the confidential BBcode? Again, I'm not a programmer and I realize that it must be very difficult to write code that adds new options/features without having it conflict with other parts of the code for Kunena and Joomla. But maybe an identifier added to the BBcode tag would make it easier to code and function without conflicts.

With that added feature, then you have the best of both world's - Kunena as an excellent forum discussion extension with the ability to also have help-desk ticket system categories.

Thanks.
Last edit: 2 years 4 months ago by nemmar. Reason: Added another item.
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2 years 4 months ago - 2 years 4 months ago #9 by sozzled

nemmar wrote: Yes, I understand that there are limitations now with the forum moderator replying to a topic using the confidential BBcode

It's not just Kunena. Other web-based discussion forums implement similar functionality (although they may use different BBcode tags to do it, e.g [private] ... [/private]). Basically, the tag is designed to provide "one-way" traffic between the user and forum moderators. That's the way that nearly all forum products (that I've used) work. You might consider "PM" as an option :dry:

nemmar wrote: That is why I asked about having a feature request for the next updates to Kunena:

I haven't seen anything on the development roadmap that suggests this might be a future feature (at least not in K 5.0) or, at the very least, not in the foreseeable future. Of course, plans change and the developers might consider it. Who knows? :unsure:
Last edit: 2 years 4 months ago by sozzled.

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2 years 4 months ago #10 by nemmar
Hi Sozzled,

Okay, thank you for the reply and info.

Is there a way for me to submit a link to this thread to the Kunena developers to ask them to consider adding this feature to future updates of Kunena?

I'm sure the devs have already thought of possible ways to add many new features and maybe they've already decided this type of idea is not feasible. But I still would like to suggest it to them in case they have extra time to look into it.

Thanks.

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