It's been nearly 2 years since we released the last CComment update. Unfortunately there is always a moment in the life of a software product when adding a new feature means breaking 10 others. The first version of CComment was developed in 2005 (originally !joomlacomment) following the best programming conventions back then. But as it happens -> what was really great 8 years ago is outdated & unmaintainable today. CComment was feature full, but extremely hard to support. That is why in the end of 2011 we've set on the task of rewriting it, but before we've started with any code we've laid out some of the most important areas that needed improvement:
1. MVC Support
Imagine that you are a developer and you are building a website for a customer. The client requests a feature, that is not supported by the comment system and you'll have to roll up your sleeves and code it. At the end it is something really easy - it should not take you more than 20mins... Well, you look at the component and you have no idea what's going on. There are 100s of classes with cryptic names & it just doesn't make sense. We've felt this way with a lot of joomla components and sadly with CComment as well... Not anymore! With CComment5 we follow closely the joomla MVC - so if you've worked once on a joomla component you should be able to find your way in CComment5 in seconds!
2. Template system
If you have a joomla website chances are you know your way around. You've learned what template overrides are and each component on your site looks the way you want it to! Now you got this comment extension that has template support, but you need to learn all this new stuff & you don't have time for this. Not anymore! In CComment5 templates can be overwritten just as you are used to in joomla. (this applies even to the comment email templates)
3. BBCode support
Every version of ccomment came with bbcode support. The user was able to create links, make text bold etc.
In CComment5 we made some tasks even more easy now. Do you remember how often you forgot to put the [url] tags around your link? Well, you actually don't need them anymore! Just paste the link and CComment will create a link for you. If you paste a link to youtube -> it will be automatically transformed to a video player. And if you use the [video] tag, then you can link to metacafe, myspace, vimeo etc.
Sharing code has also become a much more pleasent experience. Now your code samples will be highlighted!
4. Email notifications
It will be now possible to unsubscribe from future notifications just by clicking a link in your e-mail
5. Publish/unpublish from email
Now it is possible for moderators to publish/unpublish a comment by clicking a link in the email.
6. Plugin development
A lot of joomla developers have asked us how easy/hard it was to develop plugins that would integrate ccomment with their own extensions. Well, it's easier than you think! With just 100 lines of code one can integrate ccomment in nearly every extension out there.
These are the 6 most important areas that we've been working on. Of course there are a lot of other things that have been improved. For example, now the author of an article can moderate the comments on it, all plugins & modules are being installed with the main package, the templates are based on the bootstrap markup etc, etc!
Have a look at the screenshots & if you want to see CComment5 in action leave us a comment below ;)
So, don't wait! Go ahead and take this baby for a spin! However be carefull, don't install it on production sites! We are talking about a beta here and stuff might not work as expected!
And last but not least: CComment5 is going to be distributed in 2 versions - Core & Pro.
The core version will be free of charge, but it won't contain all available plugins & modules and it will miss some features such as recaptcha and akismet support. It is for those of you who need basic comment support on their sites & don't need support.
The pro version on the other hand will be the swiss army knife of commenting for joomla! It contains all plugins, modules & features that someone would like to have on their joomla site & includes top notch support.