DeeEmm

Pragmatism in code

Waxing lyrical about life the universe and everything software related since lunchtime 2006.

JomSocial v's Dolphin

A current project that I am looking in to is an update for an existing community site that I run. The site is based on the Geeklog platform and is a typical community site with forums, photo galleries, blogs etc. The problem that I have found with Geeklog, is that the plugins are not really actively maintained. Geeklog used to have a very active community, but a period of stagnation saw many of the contributors leave for other platforms.

I have updated the site a few times in the past, and each time I have ended up having to re-write the integration scripts for things such as the gallery, to be able to update them to the latest versions.

So a recent discussion with the other guys involved in the site has spurned me to take a look into alternatives.

Joomla has always been a candidate for migration, it's perfectly suited to running a site migrated from Geeklog, and has enough pugins already available to the community to be able to replicate our existing featureset. The only real problem, is that there are no migration tools, so this will have to be a custom migration job. Not really an issue, just a little more work.

So with the migration to Joomla, I have also been taking a more in depth look at JomSocial, the social networking plugin for Joomla.

Installation

JomSocial is pretty easy to install. You basically need to have an already set up Joomla, and then JomSocial is installed the same way that you would install a normal Joomla module or plugin - via the admin panel. There are some compatibility checks and then the plugin automatically installs. It is exactly how you would expect an installer to work.

With the installation finished - you are basically up and running - there is no more to do other than add in some additional plugins or applications for your members.

JomSocial vs Boonex Dolphin - Out of the box

For me, the obvious comparisons have to be made. I am both a Joomla user and also a Dolphin user, I have live sites running on each platform, so to compare the two products is naturally an automatic thing.

First off the installation for Joomla / JomSocial is a two fold process, the core Joomla installation has to be up and running before JomSocial can be installed, so there is an extra process to take care of here, but the installation process is actually very very simple - there are no directory permissions to play about with, or cron jobs to set up. and no additional modules to set up afterwards. The installation is pretty much automatic.

Feature-wise, JomSocial has instant appeal. It has a well functioning 'wall' - something that the Boonex product lacks, photo and video support is integrated into the base version as 'applications' available to users, as are events and groups. Not only this - but it works out of the box without any issues.

To add additional functionality JomSocial requires additional modules the same as Dolphin does for all it's additional functionality, but this is where JomSocial starts to shine. Not only does JomSocial have it's own dedicated extensions, but it can also use existing Joomla plugins and modules, meaning that there is already a massive resource pool for extending the functionality of the product. Whats better is that most of the extensions available to Joomla / JomSocial are free.

The available Joomla and JomSocial extension library takes the Joomla / JomSocial platform way past Dolphin in terms of extendability, and whats more, being a stable and well supported product, many of these extensions have been proven and tested over a much longer period than the relatively younger (and arguably - still in beta stage) Dolphin product.

Stability is a massive issue for Dolphin, with many bug fixes causing other issues with subsequent releases, and as Dolphin has never reached a stable release, looks like it will always be an issue.

Joomla on the other hand, originally based on legacy code from it's Mambo days, has continued to enjoy a stable and well supported platform. The support community are exactly as you would expect from an open source product.

No Ajax Masturbation

The overall layout and appearance of the JomSocial package is excellent, and includes a 'fakebook' template, which  will please many looking to emulate the popular website. The implementation of Ajax has been carried out in a very sympathetic nature, and has only been used to enhance the user experience, rather than beat the user into frustration by it's overuse, as appears to be the case with Dolphin. This is summed up perfectly in a quote from someone over at the Unity forums, where Dolphin was described as  'Ajax masturbation'.

No Smoke and mirrors

Boonex is also very good at selling Dolphin. It has various videos made about it, support is a purchased commodity, extending it's functionality will generally involve a financial investment, the whole package seems to be one that it professional and well put together, but underneath all of this is a product that still has a massive bug list, and is actually very poorly supported.

JomSocial on the other hand, is not promotod quite as fanatically, it's generally left to promote itself, which it does very well. This can be seen in the awards that it has won, and also in the clientele that it attracts. The support is excellent and there is none of the ego present within the Dolphin support community.

The coding standards followed and the coding structure adopted is much better presented within Joomla than within Dolphin, making it much easier to support and modify than it's counterpart. There is no code spaghetti and learning to maintain and modify your site is a much easier and less daunting experience.

Just a nice stable extensible product

In summary, I think that JomSocial is easily a match for Dolphin, and from a coders perspective is much better product.

It is better supported, and has many more extensions, most of which are freely available,  not only this, but perhaps the most important factor is that it is a stable platform that also supports legacy versions - something that Boonex have never achieved with Dolphin.

Joomla / JomSocial also have a massive developer network, whereas Boonex only have three or four active developers - who share their time between coding for Dolphin and writing premium extensions to sell for the Dolphin platform. In this respect, the Joomla / JomSocial platform has much better vendor support.

The community support is also much better, for both Joomla and JomSocial.

At the end of the day the choice is yours. I have used Dolphin for two community sites now, and whilst it can be made to be a capable product, this is not without a lot of work. JomSocial / Joomla is pretty good out of the box, and is a much better supported product, with a wider variety of extensions. My investigation into using JomSocial for the site update I mentioned at the beginning of the post has been a very positive one, and one that will likely result in my adoption of it for the update.

Of course - YMMV

/DM

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Comments 22

mike on Tuesday, 31 August 2010 23:50

Hello nice article, but i have a question since you are a coder.

boonex is free with lost of features.
jomsocial is for $150 with less features.

So in your opinion, how much a person should pay to have jomsocial having same full features as boonex? including chat and messenger... ?

Hope you reply to my comment, even to my email if you want, because i am thinking to launch such site, i already uploaded few days ago boonex.

thanks

0
Hello nice article, but i have a question since you are a coder.

boonex is free with lost of features.
jomsocial is for $150 with less features.

So in your opinion, how much a person should pay to have jomsocial having same full features as boonex? including chat and messenger... ?

Hope you reply to my comment, even to my email if you want, because i am thinking to launch such site, i already uploaded few days ago boonex.

thanks
DeeEmm on Thursday, 02 September 2010 12:02

Hi Mike.

It depends on your usage. If you're talking about a hobby site, then sure - the 'free' Boonex product has a lot of appeal, you will invariably have to suffer with some issues - there are many known bugs, some of which will affect you, and others will not. Of course, you will have to retain the Boonex advertising - which for a non-commercial site, is probably not an issue.

The real benefit comes when you want to create something other then a hobby site. The $150 is exactly half the $299 for the Boonex product, and when you factor in the cost saving for not having to invest in developer time to bug fix, you are already 'quids-in'.

To include a messenger and chat function, you will have to either invest in a Joomla plugin, or look to integrate a third party solution. There may be free integrations available, but to be honest with you, it's not a feature that I have needed, so would not like to comment on whats available. But given that the average price for a decent high grade extension for Joomla is in the region of $50-100, I would expect to pay about this amount.

So even with the investment in JomSocial, and a third party chat / messenger solution, you are still $50-100 in pocket - not to mention not having to deal with bugs, which is worth $$$$'s (go ask anyone who has run a commercial Dolphin site)

And this is not even mentioning the support. Which I will leave up to yourself to decide.

In my experience - those that choose product over a few hundred bucks when starting up a social website, are already prone to failure - even before launching the site. Unfortunately, it takes some time to figure this out - usually by making the wrong decision, and suffering with the result.

Running a website is much like running any business - you need to put an initial investment into it to get a return. Sure you can opt for the free option and see if it takes off, but by the time things start to pick up and you need to improve the script, you would probably wish that you had invested the $150.

As for how much a site will cost you - this depends on how far you want to go with design etc. But one thing I will say is go take a look at Dolphin templates - there's maybe a few hundred - and they are all basically variations on the same layout but with different colours, and a different implementation of a suckerfish menu. Then go take a look at the 1000's of Joomla templates. This fact alone should convince you - 1000's of templates - many of which are by professional designers.

Dolphin has a lot of potential, but it is along way off of being a commercially stable product. Just take a look at the regulars over at Unity - they all complain about something very similar - been waiting 2 / 3 years or more for a stable product to launch their websites with.

To me - Dolphin is slow, clunky, bloated and has too many bugs, not to mention a dev team that have no self discipline. Boonex also refuse to utilise community developers, preferring to keep everything within their own little closed shop. I've been following them for a few years now - and in this time things have not changed, so I cannot imagine the situation improving any time soon.

My 02c for what it's worth.

0
Hi Mike.

It depends on your usage. If you're talking about a hobby site, then sure - the 'free' Boonex product has a lot of appeal, you will invariably have to suffer with some issues - there are many known bugs, some of which will affect you, and others will not. Of course, you will have to retain the Boonex advertising - which for a non-commercial site, is probably not an issue.

The real benefit comes when you want to create something other then a hobby site. The $150 is exactly half the $299 for the Boonex product, and when you factor in the cost saving for not having to invest in developer time to bug fix, you are already 'quids-in'.

To include a messenger and chat function, you will have to either invest in a Joomla plugin, or look to integrate a third party solution. There may be free integrations available, but to be honest with you, it's not a feature that I have needed, so would not like to comment on whats available. But given that the average price for a decent high grade extension for Joomla is in the region of $50-100, I would expect to pay about this amount.

So even with the investment in JomSocial, and a third party chat / messenger solution, you are still $50-100 in pocket - not to mention not having to deal with bugs, which is worth $$$$'s (go ask anyone who has run a commercial Dolphin site)

And this is not even mentioning the support. Which I will leave up to yourself to decide.

In my experience - those that choose product over a few hundred bucks when starting up a social website, are already prone to failure - even before launching the site. Unfortunately, it takes some time to figure this out - usually by making the wrong decision, and suffering with the result.

Running a website is much like running any business - you need to put an initial investment into it to get a return. Sure you can opt for the free option and see if it takes off, but by the time things start to pick up and you need to improve the script, you would probably wish that you had invested the $150.

As for how much a site will cost you - this depends on how far you want to go with design etc. But one thing I will say is go take a look at Dolphin templates - there's maybe a few hundred - and they are all basically variations on the same layout but with different colours, and a different implementation of a suckerfish menu. Then go take a look at the 1000's of Joomla templates. This fact alone should convince you - 1000's of templates - many of which are by professional designers.

Dolphin has a lot of potential, but it is along way off of being a commercially stable product. Just take a look at the regulars over at Unity - they all complain about something very similar - been waiting 2 / 3 years or more for a stable product to launch their websites with.

To me - Dolphin is slow, clunky, bloated and has too many bugs, not to mention a dev team that have no self discipline. Boonex also refuse to utilise community developers, preferring to keep everything within their own little closed shop. I've been following them for a few years now - and in this time things have not changed, so I cannot imagine the situation improving any time soon.

My 02c for what it's worth.
DeeEmm on Thursday, 02 September 2010 12:06

Mike BTW - you can download JomSocial for $1 for a trial license. This is - as far as I know - a fully working product. My advice is go build your site in Dolphin - work through the issues - and then try it again with JomSocial. i doubt that you will need my testimony to realise the difference

/DM

0
Mike BTW - you can download JomSocial for $1 for a trial license. This is - as far as I know - a fully working product. My advice is go build your site in Dolphin - work through the issues - and then try it again with JomSocial. i doubt that you will need my testimony to realise the difference

/DM
Chad on Friday, 01 October 2010 16:13

Thank you for the free mods and advice at boonex. Your vdubber and yack sites are the best D7 examples they have. I am considering moving my site OnFitness.com from the current D7 platform. I have found the stability and support to be as poor as you have been reporting. However, I am having a tough time finding an example of a JoomLa/JomSocial site that I like in terms of function and look. I am looking to create an advertising revenue stream with my fitness community site so sponsorship placement and SEO are very important. Can you point me to the best example of what Joomla/JomSocial can do for this goal (or is there another platform and sample sites that would be best)? Can you also suggest the best way to take advantage of the $1 / 30 day trial at JoomLa in terms of temporary install and hosting (the guy I was using has been completely unresponsive since he jumped ship from the BoonEx community several months ago)? Any help you can give would greatly be appreciated.

0
Thank you for the free mods and advice at boonex. Your vdubber and yack sites are the best D7 examples they have. I am considering moving my site OnFitness.com from the current D7 platform. I have found the stability and support to be as poor as you have been reporting. However, I am having a tough time finding an example of a JoomLa/JomSocial site that I like in terms of function and look. I am looking to create an advertising revenue stream with my fitness community site so sponsorship placement and SEO are very important. Can you point me to the best example of what Joomla/JomSocial can do for this goal (or is there another platform and sample sites that would be best)? Can you also suggest the best way to take advantage of the $1 / 30 day trial at JoomLa in terms of temporary install and hosting (the guy I was using has been completely unresponsive since he jumped ship from the BoonEx community several months ago)? Any help you can give would greatly be appreciated.
DeeEmm on Friday, 01 October 2010 23:44

Hi Chad, thanks for the compliments.

I've just been taking a look at the 7.0.3 update, and it seems to be much as per the other versions, still with bugs, and still not addressing some critical issues. Boonex are heralding this as the biggest update that they have ever done. This may be the case, but to me it's still a bugfix release. Wait a few weeks and I am sure that the same people will report the same issues. Nothing seems to change over at Boonex.

As far as a good example of Joomla is concerned. I'm not really involved too much with the Joomla community, and can only really give you a site that I am currently developing as an example. However, it is very far from being finished.

Take a look at [url]http://type34.splitbus.com[/url] it's a jomsocial based community site with a few additional plugins plus some custom extensions I'm developing. It might work for your kind of site, and certainly could be developed to suit your needs.

Go take a look. If you have any questions - fire away - happy to help if I can.

/DM

0
Hi Chad, thanks for the compliments.

I've just been taking a look at the 7.0.3 update, and it seems to be much as per the other versions, still with bugs, and still not addressing some critical issues. Boonex are heralding this as the biggest update that they have ever done. This may be the case, but to me it's still a bugfix release. Wait a few weeks and I am sure that the same people will report the same issues. Nothing seems to change over at Boonex.

As far as a good example of Joomla is concerned. I'm not really involved too much with the Joomla community, and can only really give you a site that I am currently developing as an example. However, it is very far from being finished.

Take a look at [url]http://type34.splitbus.com[/url] it's a jomsocial based community site with a few additional plugins plus some custom extensions I'm developing. It might work for your kind of site, and certainly could be developed to suit your needs.

Go take a look. If you have any questions - fire away - happy to help if I can.

/DM
Lucien on Monday, 11 October 2010 10:38

Hi DM,

I am in the process of evaluating social network platform software for my new site. I installed Dolphin just yesterday. I have been tweaking around and installing modules. Everything seems to work fine but my tweaking can hardly be considered a stress test.

Having implemented different open-source web shops in the past, I am very suspicious when evaluating new Software. Joomsocial is coincidently my first choice at the moment in my evaluation process. However, it is great (beneficial for me) to have someone with insight into Dolphin compare the both. Your statements confirm the suspicions I have had.

The most important statements and insights you gave were about bugs & stability. Thinking of how many Hours/Days, I have wasted tracking & fixing bugs. I take bug free & stable software over costs, always!

0
Hi DM,

I am in the process of evaluating social network platform software for my new site. I installed Dolphin just yesterday. I have been tweaking around and installing modules. Everything seems to work fine but my tweaking can hardly be considered a stress test.

Having implemented different open-source web shops in the past, I am very suspicious when evaluating new Software. Joomsocial is coincidently my first choice at the moment in my evaluation process. However, it is great (beneficial for me) to have someone with insight into Dolphin compare the both. Your statements confirm the suspicions I have had.

The most important statements and insights you gave were about bugs & stability. Thinking of how many Hours/Days, I have wasted tracking & fixing bugs. I take bug free & stable software over costs, always!
Lucien on Monday, 11 October 2010 10:38

Do you know any other platform you could recommend? What about non open-source like Jive or Telligent?

Thank you for your honesty!

Lucien

0
Do you know any other platform you could recommend? What about non open-source like Jive or Telligent?

Thank you for your honesty!

Lucien
DeeEmm on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 09:51

Please note that the Jomsocial site above is only an example, it is not for testing.

I cannot recommend any other platforms as I have not used any extensively. I've tested many, but none really shine. Best thing I can recommend is to try some out and test for yourself. Set up a LAMP / WAMP / MAMP environment and install a test site for each platform, then check to see how easy they are to set up and manage.

/DM

0
Please note that the Jomsocial site above is only an example, it is not for testing.

I cannot recommend any other platforms as I have not used any extensively. I've tested many, but none really shine. Best thing I can recommend is to try some out and test for yourself. Set up a LAMP / WAMP / MAMP environment and install a test site for each platform, then check to see how easy they are to set up and manage.

/DM
Fun Zillion on Sunday, 17 October 2010 16:48

Hi DeeEmm,
I found your article while searching for an alternative of Dolphin.
I am currently on Boonex platform since 7.0.0, i've recently updated to 7.0.3 and yes you are right that bugs are still there.
So i was planning to move to Joomla but need an advice that if i can transfer my Database from Dolphin to Joomla (i dont want to lose my current users and some stuff on my site).
Any help will be appreciated.

0
Hi DeeEmm,
I found your article while searching for an alternative of Dolphin.
I am currently on Boonex platform since 7.0.0, i've recently updated to 7.0.3 and yes you are right that bugs are still there.
So i was planning to move to Joomla but need an advice that if i can transfer my Database from Dolphin to Joomla (i dont want to lose my current users and some stuff on my site).
Any help will be appreciated.
DeeEmm on Sunday, 17 October 2010 22:58

FunZillion,

Yes, it is possible to migrate data from Dolphin to JomSocial. The user data from the profiles table in Dolphin needs to be migrated to two places in Joomla - jos_users - the joomla user table and jos_community_users - the jomsocial plugin user table.

Easiest way to do this is to make a backup of each table via phpmyadmin, and then modify the sql in the backup so that it populates the correct table + fields in your joomla installation. The same can be done for other aspects of the site - photos / videos / etc.

At present there is no migration tool available.

One thing that may be an issue / require more work, is password handling. Both use a password and salt, but they are a little different.

Joomla uses the following method

$crypt = md5($pwd.$salt);
$row->password = $crypt.':'.$salt;

Where the crypt is the MD5 of BOTH the password and the salt - both the crypt and the salt are then stored in the database.

Boonex uses the following method

return sha1(md5($sPwd) . $sSalt);

The Crypt is the SHA1 of both the MD5 of the password with the salt added to it.

The crypt and the salt are stored in separate rows of the profile table.

Easiest way of migrating is to change the Joomla code so that it uses the same method of password handling as Dolphin - this would require modification to the following files

\administrator\components\com_users\admin.users.php
\components\com_user\user.php
\components\com_registration\registration.php

If you are migrating from software that does not use a salt, but simply uses an MD5'd password, then there is nothing to do, the lack of salt is simply ignored.

HTH

/DM

0
FunZillion,

Yes, it is possible to migrate data from Dolphin to JomSocial. The user data from the profiles table in Dolphin needs to be migrated to two places in Joomla - jos_users - the joomla user table and jos_community_users - the jomsocial plugin user table.

Easiest way to do this is to make a backup of each table via phpmyadmin, and then modify the sql in the backup so that it populates the correct table + fields in your joomla installation. The same can be done for other aspects of the site - photos / videos / etc.

At present there is no migration tool available.

One thing that may be an issue / require more work, is password handling. Both use a password and salt, but they are a little different.

Joomla uses the following method

$crypt = md5($pwd.$salt);
$row->password = $crypt.':'.$salt;

Where the crypt is the MD5 of BOTH the password and the salt - both the crypt and the salt are then stored in the database.

Boonex uses the following method

return sha1(md5($sPwd) . $sSalt);

The Crypt is the SHA1 of both the MD5 of the password with the salt added to it.

The crypt and the salt are stored in separate rows of the profile table.

Easiest way of migrating is to change the Joomla code so that it uses the same method of password handling as Dolphin - this would require modification to the following files

\administrator\components\com_users\admin.users.php
\components\com_user\user.php
\components\com_registration\registration.php

If you are migrating from software that does not use a salt, but simply uses an MD5'd password, then there is nothing to do, the lack of salt is simply ignored.

HTH

/DM
Lucien on Friday, 22 October 2010 23:15

Hi DM,

thanks for the advice. I am running Joomla with Jomsocial now. It is going to be a work in progress for a while because I do this on my free time.

Which Chat or internal Messenger from 3rd Part Devs would you recommend? The problem with Joomla is there is too much out there and it is very hard to tell which extension is good or not. There is going to be Jomsocial 2.0 coming out in a couple of weeks maybe they will integrate it.

Thx,
Lucien
http://www.my-lifequest.com/

0
Hi DM,

thanks for the advice. I am running Joomla with Jomsocial now. It is going to be a work in progress for a while because I do this on my free time.

Which Chat or internal Messenger from 3rd Part Devs would you recommend? The problem with Joomla is there is too much out there and it is very hard to tell which extension is good or not. There is going to be Jomsocial 2.0 coming out in a couple of weeks maybe they will integrate it.

Thx,
Lucien
http://www.my-lifequest.com/
DeeEmm on Friday, 22 October 2010 23:42

Hi Lucien,

Good luck with the site. If you need any help feel free to post in the forums, I will help if I can. I'm away from the computer over the next week but back online after that.

I do not use a messenger system on the site I'm developing, nor on any of the other Joomla sites I run. We simply rely on normal messaging, so cannot comment on what messenger extension to use. Best thing I can recommend is simply try some until you find one that suits. The JED is a great place to start.

The multitude of choice is a benefit in my opinion. Sure it might take a bit longer to do the research, but generally the choice ends up more balanced and informed, rather than simply being the only option available.

DM.

0
Hi Lucien,

Good luck with the site. If you need any help feel free to post in the forums, I will help if I can. I'm away from the computer over the next week but back online after that.

I do not use a messenger system on the site I'm developing, nor on any of the other Joomla sites I run. We simply rely on normal messaging, so cannot comment on what messenger extension to use. Best thing I can recommend is simply try some until you find one that suits. The JED is a great place to start.

The multitude of choice is a benefit in my opinion. Sure it might take a bit longer to do the research, but generally the choice ends up more balanced and informed, rather than simply being the only option available.

DM.
Brandala on Monday, 17 January 2011 15:24

Hi DM,

Thank you very much for the advice. I'm new to Dolphin, so your informed and experienced opinion is greatly appreciated. I've read quite a few bad reviews/opinions about Dolphin, and this is a real shame because I really like the look of Dolphin, and feel that it will suit my site very well. So DM, are you able to provide any positive opinions about Dolphin/Boonex? And is the new Dolphin really that buggy and frustrating to use for a novice user like myself? What do you mean exactly by "Buggy"? Inspired by your Dolphin sites, I feel like I really want to give Dolphin a go, but am hesitate because I dont want to waste my time. I've looked at Jomsocial and I like the look and usability of it as well, but feel that it is just lacking some elements and looks somewhat basic.

Some light and encouragement will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks DM for all you info and wisdom.

Best wishes,

Brandala

0
Hi DM,

Thank you very much for the advice. I'm new to Dolphin, so your informed and experienced opinion is greatly appreciated. I've read quite a few bad reviews/opinions about Dolphin, and this is a real shame because I really like the look of Dolphin, and feel that it will suit my site very well. So DM, are you able to provide any positive opinions about Dolphin/Boonex? And is the new Dolphin really that buggy and frustrating to use for a novice user like myself? What do you mean exactly by "Buggy"? Inspired by your Dolphin sites, I feel like I really want to give Dolphin a go, but am hesitate because I dont want to waste my time. I've looked at Jomsocial and I like the look and usability of it as well, but feel that it is just lacking some elements and looks somewhat basic.

Some light and encouragement will be greatly appreciated. :)

Thanks DM for all you info and wisdom.

Best wishes,

Brandala
Brandala on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 12:39

Hi DM,

I’ve done more research and have realized that Jomsocial is an excellent community building software to use. I think that the features and look of Jomsocial is good and will only get better. Joomla is an amazing software with a huge community, and with the recent launch of Joomla 1.6, Jomsocial has got a very bright future. Having an attractive product and a growing number of users will hopefully result in Jomsocial in investing in itself to provide a more advanced and innovative product. What concerns me though, is that because of Jomsocial's popularity, there are many community sites that look homogenous or cookie cut. This will hopefully change with future developments and a supporting network. I am optimistic of Jomsocial and am happy to support them in advancing a great community building software. After saying this though, I still think that VDubber.com is an awesome looking site! Do you plan to build another site using Dolphin?

Best wishes! :-)

0
Hi DM,

I’ve done more research and have realized that Jomsocial is an excellent community building software to use. I think that the features and look of Jomsocial is good and will only get better. Joomla is an amazing software with a huge community, and with the recent launch of Joomla 1.6, Jomsocial has got a very bright future. Having an attractive product and a growing number of users will hopefully result in Jomsocial in investing in itself to provide a more advanced and innovative product. What concerns me though, is that because of Jomsocial's popularity, there are many community sites that look homogenous or cookie cut. This will hopefully change with future developments and a supporting network. I am optimistic of Jomsocial and am happy to support them in advancing a great community building software. After saying this though, I still think that VDubber.com is an awesome looking site! Do you plan to build another site using Dolphin?

Best wishes! :-)
DeeEmm on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 20:53

Hi Brandala

Thanks for the compliments RE vdubber.

Dolphin has slowly improved over the past few releases (currently 7.0.4), but there are still many residual errors in the code. A look at their bugtracker will show you that there are still many bugs, and flaws in functionality that are yet to be fixed. Over time, you simply 'get used' to these bugs and quirks, much like you do if you use 'Microsoft Windows'. The best thing I found about using Joomla / JomSocial, was that there were simply none of these annoyances. Plus there are many features that are included as core functionality, that are an expensive, and often, less than 100% functioning, extension. Just take a look at the JomSocial events function to see what I mean. This is just one example.

Boonex will argue (as they have done) that Dolphin includes many features that are only available as extensions with other software. And that this makes dolphin 'better'. For example, Dolphin comes with a forum, but JomSocial does not. I personally use Kunena, but there are others. This integrates perfectly, with no issues at all. The fact that it is developed by a third party is actually a benefit, as it means that more focused, resources are available for its development.

RE popularity. I'm not sure of figures relating to JomSocial usage, but also notice that most Dolphin sites are either standard design, or a poorly executed template mod. IMHO the basic JomSocial template is clean enough to use As-Is, and this may be the reason that you see many sites using it.

I personally think that it's best qualities are the fact that is based on Joomla, and has the weight of the Joomla support community behind it, plus all of the Joomla extensions are available to you to use. JomSocial is only an extension to Joomla, and easily sits along side many pre existing extensions. For example, the Kunena forums I mentioned earlier, have a plugin that allow forum posts to be displayed on the wall (or activity stream as they refer to it). It is the same for many other components too.

Would I build another Dolphin site? In short. No. And I am strongly considering writing a migration script to allow people to migrate from Dolphin to JomSocial. I have no real need of the few features that JomSocial does not offer, that Dolphin does (video chat etc). At the moment I have to pay for extensions to give me the functionality that I can get for free with Joomla / JomSocial, and at the next update, I will ponder long and hard whether it is worthwhile migrating. It is a fair amount of work to convert, but so is upgrading - lol.

I wish you luck with your site

/DM

0
Hi Brandala

Thanks for the compliments RE vdubber.

Dolphin has slowly improved over the past few releases (currently 7.0.4), but there are still many residual errors in the code. A look at their bugtracker will show you that there are still many bugs, and flaws in functionality that are yet to be fixed. Over time, you simply 'get used' to these bugs and quirks, much like you do if you use 'Microsoft Windows'. The best thing I found about using Joomla / JomSocial, was that there were simply none of these annoyances. Plus there are many features that are included as core functionality, that are an expensive, and often, less than 100% functioning, extension. Just take a look at the JomSocial events function to see what I mean. This is just one example.

Boonex will argue (as they have done) that Dolphin includes many features that are only available as extensions with other software. And that this makes dolphin 'better'. For example, Dolphin comes with a forum, but JomSocial does not. I personally use Kunena, but there are others. This integrates perfectly, with no issues at all. The fact that it is developed by a third party is actually a benefit, as it means that more focused, resources are available for its development.

RE popularity. I'm not sure of figures relating to JomSocial usage, but also notice that most Dolphin sites are either standard design, or a poorly executed template mod. IMHO the basic JomSocial template is clean enough to use As-Is, and this may be the reason that you see many sites using it.

I personally think that it's best qualities are the fact that is based on Joomla, and has the weight of the Joomla support community behind it, plus all of the Joomla extensions are available to you to use. JomSocial is only an extension to Joomla, and easily sits along side many pre existing extensions. For example, the Kunena forums I mentioned earlier, have a plugin that allow forum posts to be displayed on the wall (or activity stream as they refer to it). It is the same for many other components too.

Would I build another Dolphin site? In short. No. And I am strongly considering writing a migration script to allow people to migrate from Dolphin to JomSocial. I have no real need of the few features that JomSocial does not offer, that Dolphin does (video chat etc). At the moment I have to pay for extensions to give me the functionality that I can get for free with Joomla / JomSocial, and at the next update, I will ponder long and hard whether it is worthwhile migrating. It is a fair amount of work to convert, but so is upgrading - lol.

I wish you luck with your site

/DM
richard on Monday, 24 January 2011 17:39

Hello DM,

that would be great if you made a migration script from dolphin to jomsocial, because after 8 months and nothing but issues I'm ready to switch over. dolphin has a never ending bug issue that will never be ready as a commercial product. I'm done. please let me know if you decide to develop the scripts

Thank you
Rich

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Hello DM,

that would be great if you made a migration script from dolphin to jomsocial, because after 8 months and nothing but issues I'm ready to switch over. dolphin has a never ending bug issue that will never be ready as a commercial product. I'm done. please let me know if you decide to develop the scripts

Thank you
Rich
DeeEmm on Monday, 24 January 2011 21:42

Hi Rich.

At the moment I am too tied up to think of it, but it is something that I may look at in the future.

Rest assured, that if I do choose to do this, it will soon be known by the Dolphin community.



/DM

0
Hi Rich.

At the moment I am too tied up to think of it, but it is something that I may look at in the future.

Rest assured, that if I do choose to do this, it will soon be known by the Dolphin community.

:)

/DM
Rashad Glover on Tuesday, 29 March 2011 18:23

Please do this. I need your help so bad. I have spent tons of money from my little pay check over the years trying to get people to come to my site and fix radom issues. About a year ago I gave up on boonex and started to use Jomsocial and have not looked back.Joomla is great once you learn it and I stand behind Joomla and Jomsocial. Boonex has let me down . God will bless you in many ways once you get this done. You will end up helping so many trapped people like myself. God bless you.

Also, what is your ETA on the migration tool?

0
Please do this. I need your help so bad. I have spent tons of money from my little pay check over the years trying to get people to come to my site and fix radom issues. About a year ago I gave up on boonex and started to use Jomsocial and have not looked back.Joomla is great once you learn it and I stand behind Joomla and Jomsocial. Boonex has let me down . God will bless you in many ways once you get this done. You will end up helping so many trapped people like myself. God bless you.

Also, what is your ETA on the migration tool?
Patrick on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 22:57

I just feel as if I should put my input on this as well.

I run Norway's fastest growing and most active social network (it runs on Jomsocial 2.0 and it's much of a dating site, really). It has 47.000 members, about 4 million weekly page views, circa 9-12.000 of our members login daily and we tend to reach 4600 online members on good days (average days top 3900 online).

Here is the site, if you want to take a look: http://skybyen.no/

Now here is my Jomsocial vs dolphin dillema.

Joomla/Jomsocial are a pain to scale, we have spent hundreds of hours using memcache, varnish, recoding joomla/jomsocial to get the site to run well. We have spent about 25k dollars on 4 HP servers to run the site, but now we still need to buy more servers.

Ill continue on a new comment

0
I just feel as if I should put my input on this as well.

I run Norway's fastest growing and most active social network (it runs on Jomsocial 2.0 and it's much of a dating site, really). It has 47.000 members, about 4 million weekly page views, circa 9-12.000 of our members login daily and we tend to reach 4600 online members on good days (average days top 3900 online).

Here is the site, if you want to take a look: http://skybyen.no/

Now here is my Jomsocial vs dolphin dillema.

Joomla/Jomsocial are a pain to scale, we have spent hundreds of hours using memcache, varnish, recoding joomla/jomsocial to get the site to run well. We have spent about 25k dollars on 4 HP servers to run the site, but now we still need to buy more servers.

Ill continue on a new comment
Patrick on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 23:03

Our problem is scaling. We plan to open another "adult" dating site and social networks in Sweden and Denmark. So the less servers we need to buy the better.

We considered Dolphin because we think it would allow us to grow a lot more without needing to spend a fortune on servers.

But here is why we will stick to Jomsocial.

For one, it's the obvious, we all know Jomsocial extremelly well and don't want to spend months learning another platform.

Second, Jomsocial is quite bug-free, yes we fixed many bugs ourselves but it was mostly on our custom stuff.

Third and of the largest. Jomsocial is VERY developer friendly. We added a mobile/sms system within days, now we accept payments for sending "shouts", we will put a "plus" feature there too and a lot of other stuff.

0
Our problem is scaling. We plan to open another "adult" dating site and social networks in Sweden and Denmark. So the less servers we need to buy the better.

We considered Dolphin because we think it would allow us to grow a lot more without needing to spend a fortune on servers.

But here is why we will stick to Jomsocial.

For one, it's the obvious, we all know Jomsocial extremelly well and don't want to spend months learning another platform.

Second, Jomsocial is quite bug-free, yes we fixed many bugs ourselves but it was mostly on our custom stuff.

Third and of the largest. Jomsocial is VERY developer friendly. We added a mobile/sms system within days, now we accept payments for sending "shouts", we will put a "plus" feature there too and a lot of other stuff.
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