The Joomla! Extensions Directory ™


bySilbook, January 4, 2012
Phoca Gallery
I dont htink the rating has much value here, and only care about what people write. having said that, working with Joomla as platform for my business there are 2 things which to me are monumentally more important than anything else - whether an extension is commercial and documentation/support.

I have just wasted an entire week trying to adapt properly a variety of galleries, the only real condition being upload from front-end. Apart from that, I was open to anything, from accepting stuff missing to having to completely style it myself.

Still this flexible, I havent found anything proper, from Oziogallery who has only support in Italian to HWDphotosahe which I even after having paid for can find no documentation about and which as a component is so bad that it seems clear that they spend all their efforts on their video component.

This time I will do the unusual of posting my review BEFORE installing the extension, and I do so with a purpose - I KNOW that this one is the best alternative for me. Why? Because having studied it I know that this Jan, on the contrary to all his "rivals" here works on this component day and night like I do, is always available and most importantly - has provided endeless amounts of documentation.

That to me is Joomla spirit, these people who develop complex components with neither documentation or support should be banned from offering them, they have cost me and other more time and money than people can imagine.
Vertical Accordion Menu - All in One
To me, rating an extension is rubbish, this comment system should be exclusively for sharing useful information with other users which is exactly what I will do.

My advise and opinion regarding this module is also affected by it being commercial AND expensive for being a small menu thingy AND the developers behind it being smart and skilled people.

I would be far more lenient with some novice, but these guys are among the best extension developers Ive seen here so when they cannot provide proper documentation - even AFTER you have paid a massive 25$ for a menu, im immediately steaming.

In my job I have no time to waste and Offlajn have unfortunately made themselves guily in wasting already 4 hours of my time when it could have been avoided, this of course on top of the frustration of not understanding what to do.

The module itself is amazing, marvellous, splended, magnificent, by far the best accordion menu out there. Top stuff, really TOP stuff, but with its quality I see that the developer has also done the usual mistake of getting cocky and overconfident in his own solution by thinking that his smashingly great backend panel covers everybodys needs when they dont.

But there are small things which one may want to amend which still arent adjustable from the parameters, such as item border, alignment etc in the "clean" layout. And this is where my problems start, because being quite clever I was still unable to track the string of functions which create the final CSS layout back to the root.

The module cleverly creates or modifies a file names system.css in the cache folder og your joomla, but as this is the only reference I could fing via webdev or firebird I ended up changing it numerous times, then deleting it, then changing all kinds of file permissions to 777 and tear my hair out before I realized that it somehow had to be rewritten from somewhere as it even reproduced itself.

The magnificent but colorblind developer find it suitable to add in the module description that this is an extension for all levels of webdesigners, and that is where he goes wrong because it certainly isnt - it is ONLY for complete novices or absolute experts. Anyone else will find themselves lost when trying to play with the css.

So my advise to the developer is to learn from others, such as JFBconnect who have added all thinkable documentation (while Offlajn have no documentation, neither here or at their site) and VTEM who instead of asking for 20-30 dollars for EACH extension charge a club fee and still does well.

Offlajn is definately among the top developers here and I will continue to buy their stuff as im only interested in the very best solutions, but it doesnt make them galvanized to critics when it is deserved.

Their website is fantastic, their work is tremendous but that unfortunately also tells me that the only reason that there is no ready documentation - especially when they use a selfwriting css file in the cache - is that they are not bothered.

I only figured out this problem by scooping this comment list for possible solutions and seeing that another user had the same problem (you have to edit a PHP file inside the theme folder, named theme.css.php)and that is embarrassing for a client already having paid more than usual for the module.

So, as the module itself is one of the clearest five stars ever, but the support (regardless of answering time when submitting a ticket) is a patethic zero, im obliged to give it two stars.

I hope this has been helpful to people, especially the skilled guys at Offlajn.
Owner's reply


We took your suggestions seriously, so we fixed every bug you wrote and we made a brand new demo site with included documentation and tutorials.
I hope it will help you to use our Accordion Menu system.

Also we are working on a new support system with built-in knowledgebase system, which will improve the quality of our service.

Thank you for your suggestions! :)