I have developed several Joomla sites over the last couple of years, using many different extensions for various applications - I'm not a complete novice. Unfortunately this is the first time I have come across a major extension (free or not) which simply did not work out of the box. It installed like a breeze, no issues with the install, but when I came to try and set up the config in the backend, not a single one of the screens had any kind of "save" button! Thinking I must have done something wrong in the setup, I thought I would check the documentation. Oops, there isn't any documentation! There is a short pdf file published by a 3rd party which deals with some setup tasks, but this was no help in my case. A quick email to ninjaforge was promptly replied to, but the reply (containing as it did the implication that "Ninjaboard is fine" and there must be something wrong either with my webserver, or with my Joomla setup, or with one of my other extensions), was really no help.
Disappointed, I downloaded another very popular free forum extension. I originally avoided this "other" extension because some of the reviews claimed that it was complex and difficult to setup. I had it working perfectly, fully configured, within 30 minutes.
Having read about the compatibility issues with Jomsocial, and now with my missing "save" buttons, it seems to me that Ninjaboard needs some attention from the developers.
We're sorry that Ninjaboard did not work on your server.
As mentioned by the support person you communicated with, it is likely that it was an issue of compatibility.
You assert that this is a problem with the extension, using the fact that every other extension you use works flawlessly as evidence to support your assertion. That is of course, a fallacy.
Say you have a Joomla 1.0 website, and install nine Joomla 1.0-compatible extensions on it before installing one Joomla 2.5 extension. Of course, the Joomla 2.5 extension will not work, and it would be silly to claim that the extension is somehow at fault, when it is clearly incompatible with the software you are trying to install it on.
Likewise, you might have installed 10,000 Joomla extensions on your website that worked flawlessly, but if Ninjaboard doesn't work on your server, you cannot extrapolate from that that Ninjaboard is broken.
Ninjaboard is not broken, it is just incompatible with your server.
We will not make Ninjaboard compatible with every server out there, for doing so will mean polluting the code and removing features that make Ninjaboard what it is. We'd prefer to remain cutting-edge and take advantage of new technologies rather than produce code written for ancient releases of PHP.
Thanks for trying Ninjaboard. Hopefully we will win you back in the future :)
Some advantages of JomSocial over CB:
Smooth, clean, professional looking application.
Built-in “make featured” option for profiles, which allows easy switching between featured & non-featured members.
Latest photos thumbnails display.
Easily administered photo galleries, with Admin ability to edit on the frontend.
Automatic listing of activities.
In-built video sharing, but cannot upload videos unless you have access to either a paid service or special server software.
Ability to insert modules into the profile pages
Some (important to me) areas where I believe JomSocial is lacking:
No support for animated gifs as avatars – unless you have server access to ImageMagick
No possibility for members to select from a library of default avatars.
No possibility to have admin set global restriction of access to specific fields (restrict access to registered members only for phone number for example).
No possibility (at least in core JomSocial) for Admin to edit member profiles in frontend
No possibility AT ALL for Admin to change which “profile type” a member has selected (except by going into the SQL database)
No possibility in core JomSocial to add custom tabs to the profile (except by hacking)
Poor layout of information on the profile page (eg a multiple selected list is displayed as a narrow vertical column of information in JomSocial – ie CRLF-separated items; in CB it can be displayed as comma-separated items)
In-built private messaging system, but inflexible (no possibility to setup autoforward, setup autoreply, cannot choose whether message is replicated in email notification or not, etc), and no possibility to use a 3rd party PMS instead.
And finally - JomSocial is not free!
To be fair, I have to say that (given that I have now done a lot of "hacking" of core code to get my JomSocial page to look just the way I want) I have recently decided to go ahead with a full migration from CB to JomSocial.
I just wish there were a few less "cons".
Thank you very much for your feedback. Hope you enjoy developing with JomSocial!
Incredibly easy to install and setup, I had it running and producing impressive results on my website within a very short time. This is the kind of software that I would normally expect to pay for, and to see it being given away for free is amazing. No bugs, no hassles, no special coding or tweaking needed - it does just what it says on the box, without hassles.
Well done guys!