I was greatly impressed with the first release of JomSocial and its core social networking capability. If your community requirements match that of the un-customized JomSocial, then it is a good choice.
Unfortunately, as my community has grown, I need more robust community capabilities and better product support than is currently offered.
- User Profiles
- Template modification
- Support - many / most troubleshooting support forum posts go unanswered currently. JomSocial has no customer system for reporting and tracking resolution of confirmed bugs. Bugs are not address update after update.
- Architectural issues - The functionality in JomSocial is tightly bound to their own user interface and does not directly work with Joomla Templates easily unless JomSocial is customized. There is no method to customize functions so that changes are not lost during product updates - so the support staff recommends not to customize.
- Lack of Product Direction - After its initial release, the newly delivered functionality, like Events, has been greatly lacking in design and execution. This no long term vision / statement of direction for Joomla communities.
- There is very poor support for administration and maintenance of communities.
My Fair rating of JomSocial may seem harsh, as my JomSocial community has grown and prospered. If I still had an immature community, I would not be so critical. But I have invested in JomSocial technology and they are not growning to deliver the more robust features and support that will keep my community healthy. Now I am stuck with increased cost of operation with any sign that JomSocial understands large community issues at all.
We appreciate your response and we are glad to be apart of your growing site. I hope I could resolve your concerns and issues below.
Template issue: We have thought about inheriting Joomla template for most of JomSocial pages. The approach might be suitable for a small component that has predictable styling. However, since JomSocial has grown into a fully featured social networking component, we think that the approach is a big risk. There are many variation of Joomla templates out there that might cause conflicts to our JomSocial pages if we give them the control to style JomSocial pages. That's one of the reasons we consolidate our styling into our own template and let the users customize from there. We think this is the best approach for majority of JomSocial users out there.
Architectural issue: For experienced developers, they are free to do custom modification even for the core functions. To help them upgrade, we provide patch files so they can manually upgrade the files that are modified for the latest version.
Lack of product direction: Each year we released a roadmap for users to peek into the future of JomSocial. We recently published 2011 roadmap in our forum: http://www.jomsocial.com/forum/index.php?f=5&t=26424&rb_v=viewtopic (requires login)
For every release, we often incorporate a new feature (just like Events). The feature might not be perfect but from there we will see how the people use it and get their feedback. Further improvement will be done based on these feedbacks and the feature will be enhanced for the next release.
Support: Our official technical support will handle any issue from our users regarding installation and troubleshooting for official template and plugins. We also have the categories for community support which cover third party template and other customization.
If you have further questions or concern you can contact me directly at irwan at azrul.com.
This module really provides a lot of capability. It can store a cookie that you specify expiration date. It has various formatting options. It lets you specify the links for the Enter or Exit buttons. You can have an optional user agreement text box. You can optionally have a control panel appear in the module position which is very useful during testing to erase the cookie, etc.
However, I had to hack the module because it tries to manage all the formatting for the pop-up window. I think many if not most will need to customize the output to their own needs. I would rather have the option of displaying an external HTML or Joomla article, instead of having this all in the module itself. Also, I think many people will need to have a log of users entering the website with their IP address.
All-in-all though, after trying all the other available extensions, this is the best for my purposes.