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The most recent stable release, recommended for production websites running J! 2.5 and J! 3.x, is Kunena 3.0.3
Details about Kunena 3.0.3 are contained in the release notes at http://www.kunena.org/docs/Kunena_3.0.3_Read_Me
For more details about the extent of Kunena features see http://www.kunena.org/docs/Kunena_Features
The documentation is well written and thorough. The forum for their forum is thick with developers' and users' input. I received a quick response to one inconsequential issue.
THANK YOU KUNENA!
The back-end admin panel is very complete and offers many options to configure and run the forum.
I had to migrate a site developed in Joomla 1.0 (yes it was time!) using the Fireboard component forum. I first used the migrator component with the Fireboard migrator plugin to backup the old content. When I've installed Kunena in the new site, it asked me if I wanted to restore the Fireboard content or proceed with a virgin install. And voila done!
Well... Almost ;) There is something that's not clearly explained in Kunena docs. It needs Mootols 1.2 to install and run properly. Which means that you have to enable the System - Mootools Upgrade (mtupgrade) plugin in Joomla plugin manager. Without it, the Kunena installer will end up with an awful php error :(
Apart from that little trick it's definitely a 5 stars component.
But Kunena lacks support of user groups. After looking at its support forum, this seems to be the major complaint for some years now. The forum users are classified according to the quite-limited Joomla . I hope this choice can be re-considered someday.
Hell Fabricio, thanks for your feedback. Yes, Kunena uses the built-in Joomla user groups for the best integration possible. We believe this is a strength in comparison with other solutions.
Also, Kunena supports free third-party extensions like noixACL, JXtended Control, and the ArtofUser component which offer fine-grained user control, including group features, in Kunena. These are great solutions and, in our opinion, are better than the options available in other forums.
Kunena 1.6.4 (to be released very shortly) will support Joomla 1.6 and that includes the native groups (which are more flexible). Kunena 2.0 will also have increased group support (due out in beta soon). So check back to see if either of those versions (or the above free group options) meet your needs.
Kunena has proven to be the simplest integration I've seen. No dual databases...no dual logins...fast installation...straight forward configuration....plenty of available templates...Plus, the option to integrate into your existing template.
I am impressed.
I cannot express how impressed I have been with the Kunena team from top to bottom on my experience thus far.
When I encounter problems on the Kunena installation I posted on the forum and the support was perfect, quick and helpful answers. They even chat with me to be easier and faster.
I've been ''playing'' with Joomla for the last 6 years and I is the best support I received so far.
Congrats to the developers and the forum support.
Keep your great work !
Pro's: stable, fast, easy to install and configure even for a beginner, great support, great modules to support your forum.
If you need help, just ask the large community, moderators and devvs!
Cheers Josh Lewis.
Can't rate it highly enough and cant recommend it strongly enough. If you want forums and you have Joomla! you NEED Kunena. 'Nuff said.
I very nearly jumped ship when Fireboard could no longer do what I wanted, but thank goodness I stuck with it! Kunena forms the core of my site, its my primary consideration when adding any other features to my site.
The improvements in the recent 1.6 release make this a serious contender for anyone wanting to setup a forum, even over its non-Joomla counterparts. I readily recommend Kunena.