- Posted: June 09, 2008
At our first Joomla! User Group New England meeting, Barrie North told us that JoomSuite Content was a great new component that was going to have a big impact on the way people used Joomla going forward. He said the JoomSuite guys were responsive, and while the product still had a few bugs, it looked like it was going to be great.
We were pretty excited, looking over the screenshots. Basically, you can use this component to create input forms for all types of content. You can flag content with multiple categories, essentially a "tagging" type of functionality, so you could slice and dice content a bunch of different ways. Best of all, they were offering a beta of the software for 39 euros, with a promised early May launch of the stable version, so we bought a copy to evaluate. We even had a client in mind to use this with.
Installation was pretty tough for this non-engineer. Lots of errors thrown in the process, but Bill helped me get through all of that. Then we had to request a license from them once the initial install was done -- which took them 5 days to get back to us.
Once we put in the licence, we had a half-functioning piece of software. I could create a new content type, create the form, and create content based on that form -- but the content itself would not show up in a list of articles where I could edit them. There were other errors and bugs along the way.
I threw up my hands and handed the whole thing off to Bill to figure out. As I mentioned, we have a client with thousands of articles that need to be tagged in a variety of ways, and we had high hopes that this software would do it.
Bill couldn't get it working and contacted their customer support. And waited. Contacted them again, and waited. Remember, we paid for this -- and not cheap, at 39 euros ($61.26 US as of this writing). And we are still waiting.
As for Barrie, he's pretty well known in the Joomla world, so our guess is the JoomSuite guys were responsive to him for that reason. They don't know us, so they're not responding to our requests. It's a real shame, because the component does indeed look compelling -- it really would change the face of Joomla, if only it worked!
Anyway, Bill is in the process of evaluating some other Joomla extensions that look like they support "tagging" articles. There are at least 3 of these we could find with little trouble, so we're pretty confident that one of them will work out for our needs.
Meanwhile, that client with over a thousand articles? We're porting them from an old CMS to Joomla. And wow, what awful HTML in those articles! The CMS was built in 2002, so it's the usual mishmash of spacer GIFs, font tags, multi-layer tables, tags required to get any formatting to work, and on and on. We even have a few pages with multiple body tags!
Good thing we have Anne Campbell to help us clean all of that up for us, with her shiny new copy of Dreamweaver CS3. She was our New England Adobe User Group software winner for Jan-June 2008. Anne spoke at our April meeting, did a 10 minute talk, and donated a new graphic design to the website -- and blew everyone else out of the water for contributions to NEAUG. Yay Anne!
update: how did that pesky "pre" tag get in there, anyway???