This month’s Extension of the Month has caused more excitement about a component release than almost anything else I can remember in the short history of Joomla.
Fireboard has caused people to sit up and pay attention because it is the sucessor to Joomlaboard which had been the only fully-integrated forum for Joomla.
Why use Fireboard?
- Developer power. The new development team consists of the old members of Joomlaboard, plus some members of Clexus.
- Complete integration. It doesn’t create any extra user tables, which means it plays nicely with other components such as Community Builder, Virtuemart and others.
- Improved design. It already looks a lot better than Joomlaboard ever did. There is a demo of various available templates on the main project site.
- 1.5 Compatible. It will work with Joomla 1.5 (in legacy mode).
- Stability. Being based upon means a 4-year old component means that most of the bug-shooting has already been done.
Why is it better than Simple Machines for a Joomla site?
SMF Bridge: As Zorro wisely pointed out in response to our review of the Joomla-Wordpress integration, using a bridge means that “you may be stuck with legacy / insecure code if the dev who did the Joomla integration doesn’t follow up quickly in releasing a new version.” The bridge also has SEO, although these can be fixed using Moonray’s tutorial at Joomlaspan.com.
SMF Standalone: This is the solution chosen by Joomla.org. It works well if you don’t need to integrate the userbase with a Joomla installation. If you do, ELearningforce.biz produce a workable bridge. However, when it comes to a standalone forum, my recommendation would be VBulletin. After months of trying to do SEO work on a Simple Machines site, we moved to VBulletin with VBSEO and made more rankings progress in three weeks and than we had in the previous three months.