I have tried several form tools and what you want is something bug-free and which works without that steep learning curve and without having to build up the form using bits of twigs and mouse droppings.
This tool gets a form going pretty quick, it is not so intuitive in some areas, adding menu links for instance is done the opposite way to all other components, ie. it occurs within the mailforms component and not in the joomla menu tool (why?). However, that issue aside, it is easy to build a simple form and the result works straight away. It also looks good on the page. The advertising is discrete and can be got rid of with some cash to the developer.
I'd say it was worth the money.
For complex forms with complex scripting please feel free to use facile/breeze forms. But I want a life - so I'll be using mailforms for almost all my requirements from now own.
Once configured there is some simple scripting to do to implement the rules. You will however need to be able to understand very basic or simple PHP scripts but that is all.
It is powerful too being able to display any module in many different conditions.
Not perfect however, it still takes up module space even if the target module is not being shown. On my template it left a white space 'hole' in the middle of the page in the area that I was trying to make invisible according to my rules. Not for me in this case but I can think of many instances when this module would be very useful.
Hi Beededea, thanks for the review. There are just a few points I'd like to pick up on:
1 - yes, there's a patch you can make to a core Joomla script to make a list of modules and their IDs show up when you are editing the module, but it's not compulsory. And, it's only for the Joomla 1.0.x version of MetaMod -- the Joomla 1.5 version doesn't need it.
2 - yes, the ability to do some simple scripting is a bonus. There are some simple operations you can do without any scripting at all (GeoIP country selection and time/date limits on module display). There's also an increasing number of PHP recipes on the home page that need only minimal customisation in order to use them. When I get an enquiry from someone about how to do a particular task I usually add a new recipe to the list.
3 - module space when the target module isn't showing... sigh... this certainly can be a pain. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn't, depending on the template. Thankfully there are a number of ways to tackle this, but it often depends on the template and CSS that you are using. One quick thing to try if this is happening to you is to add a "module suffix" to the MetaMod instance you are working on. Often, a random suffix added here fools the CSS into not allocating extra space for the missing module. This can also sometimes help if the included module isn't getting its CSS styling right - work with the module suffix for MetaMod, the module suffix for the included module, and the "style for included modules" in MetaMod to find a combination that works.
Sometimes though, if your template makes design decisions about whether to make space for a module position depending on whether there are any active modules in that position, MetaMod fools it into making space, when it really shouldn't (cos MetaMod will later decide not to put anything in there). In that case you need to do some work on the template. As a last resort, of course, you can always get MetaMod to put in an alternative module if it decides not to include anything else -- e.g. a nice graphic, google adwords, a link (advert) to some other page on your site, etc. Be creative! Often we forget that not everything on the site needs to be utilitarian...
beededea, if you e-mail me I'll see if it's possible to get around your spacing issues.
Don't let the developers website confuse you, it is a demo and nothing else. His site is difficult to navigate and not the best selling tool in the world. Nevertheless his product deserves a mention from me as being highly recommended.
It has a few quirks, one of which is that when you cut/paste from the JCE WSIWYG editor into an external editor like MS Frontpage using the design tab, the HTML generated has '/administrator/administrator' inserted into every URL link. When you edit that in your external editor and paste it back in, then beware...your links won't work.
I don't know why that is but I've learnt to live with it. I seldom edit externally anyway so it isn't much of a problem.
Another quirk is that the editor is susceptible to the wrong URL, if you put sitename.co.uk in the browser and your Joomla site is configured as www.sitename.co.uk, the editor content pane may not show up at all. This may be a Joomla problem though and not a JCE specific issue.
I have also had problems trying to get JCE as the default editor, sometimes having to de-install all the other editors and re-install JCE a couple of times before it would work.
Once installed and working it is my editor of choice and all my sites now have JCE installed by default.
The backup and restore works for a small site. You really need to read the documentation to get it to work. However, it does not back up one of my bigger sites, it hangs mid way with the following message.
"Creating archive file
This might take several minutes. Please wait...
14808531 / 25565004"
The admin user is then logged out and your backup is incomplete. I cannot rely on it as a backup solution for this obvious reason. I will try the next version when it is stable and see if the problem is resolved but for the moment backups are done another way.
I have used a lot of 'packagers' in my role as tech support and I feel Joomla Cloner is just not up to the job yet. It needs to be more intuitive, give some support on it's various functions and make some of the field descriptions a little more helpful too. Anyhow, I bought it without the trial and I now regret it. The support bloke will not give a refund even though I told him I have no intention of using it again.
Joomla Cloner was only needed to speed up the process. It didn't work and won't without some support therefore it is of no use to me. The chap wasn't as understanding as I would have liked so he's not getting any more of my money.
The lack of properly reading the documentation or asking for support does not mean JoomlaCloner doesn't work!
While we try to make JoomlaCloner as intuitive as possible, there are some technical glitches that are independent of it, this is why we provide full support to get the client understand and pass them! When importing, you need to make sure you are using an empty database first!
While we regret the clients bad experience, the fact that he doesn't request support although we provide it all the time for all situations related to JoomlaCloner, leaves him with the full responsibility on using and understanding the component!