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"Easy Wordpress Integration" LOL!

edited October 2011 in Feedback
I was looking for a forum solution for my brand new Wordpress website. Found Vanilla and based on what I read and saw, it seemed like the perfect solution. The website touts how powerful and easy the forum software is to use, as well as the fact that it easily integrates with Wordpress.

I immediately downloaded the latest stable version of Vanilla ( to work with the latest stable version of Wordpress (3.2.1). I also downloaded and installed the latest stable version of the Wordpress Vanilla plugin (1.0.5) to work with the latest stable version of ProxyConnect (1.9.7).

Long story short, I would have been better off foregoing having a forum all together and just having my users mail letters to each other. This is just ridiculous. None of the latest stable versions of anything work with each other and getting the "Easy" software to simply do what it is supposed to do is like pulling teeth. The documentation is over a year old and leaves out everything that is important.

The fact that you are actually charging money for this is beyond me. The fact that you are able to pull this off proves how smart you guys really are.

All I wanted to do was have a forum that uses your "Easy" Single Sign-On option for my Wordpress site. However, unless you want to change this code and downgrade that plugin or try the beta of this, it is simply not possible.

I have been building CMS based websites and forums using different open source clients for many years now and I truly do appreciate the community and hard work that goes into a project such as this. I am no genius, but simply put, it should not take someone with my experience over two days to try and figure out how to configure something as menial as SSO using "Easy" plugins...plugins.

The ProxyConnect plugin says "We'll take it from here." Take what? Hours of my life? I still have not gotten this thing figured out and I'm on the latest stable everything on clean installs on one of the most respected CMS hosts in the world (Rochen). Plus I know it's not my setup because spending two minutes on the forum results in reading a plethora of posts regarding hardly anything working correctly.

I love Vanilla and I want it to work. I love open source and I want to see this community flourish. What I don't want to see, is more people fall victim to false advertising as I have. This software is not easy to use, is full bugs and does not easily integrate with Wordpress. End of story.


  • UnderDogUnderDog MVP
    Answer ✓
    You're clearly a blog writer. Nice text.
    Now if you have problems, did you start a new topic reporting your problem?
    If you search on the forum and find people having problems with Vanilla, most of their problems is not bug-related.
    I can't help you with SSO and ProxyConnect yet, but if you open a topic and explain the problem, maybe someone comes along and can help you.
    I know about the old documentation. Maybe you can help updating the documentation once you've found the solution to your problem.

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  • I am not a blog writer actually, but thank you for the kind words ;)
    I started topics for my issues, but other issues already had topics open with no responses, so I was not going to fulfill the definition of insanity.

    I found that in order to have a prayer at getting SSO to work with Wordpress on the latest stable everything, you need to go back 4 versions on ProxyConnect to 1.8.4. Why this is, I don't know, but it seems to work. Hopefully it is not full of security flaws being 4 versions old, but I/we have no choice.
  • sorry where are they charging money?

    grep is your friend.

  • @x00 vanillaforums.com is charging money for hosting your vanilla forum
    vanillaforums.org is of course for the open source vanilla, which is free

    @codylarson good that you found your solution.
    There are many ways to go to the latest version, now that you've solved this problem. I think focusing on 2.0.18 RC2 for users and programmers is no1 priority.

    I would even think of setting up a localhost environment with wordpress, proxyconnect etc and vanilla 2.0.18RC2 just to be prepared for the new Vanilla release that's coming up soon.

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  • sure but that is not comparing like with like, you would hope that with a hosted solution then they would try to make sure your option work out of the box.

    Wordpress has been around for years it hasn't always been smooth.

    grep is your friend.

  • LincLinc Detroit Admin
    I agree we're not managing our open source releases as well as we could. It's extremely time consuming to make sure the right version of each product is out at the same time. My hope is the upcoming release of 2.0.18 will simplify things.
  • edited October 2011
    Hi all,

    I too, this very evening [*], tried to make proxyconnect work with latest wordpress (3.2.1). The Vanilla Forum plugin for WP does work, but proxyconnect couldn't be activated - "FATAL ERROR IN: GGdn_PluginManager.xAvailablePluginFolders();".

    So I installed Vanilla 2.0.18 rc2, activated it (no errors thrown), installed wordpress3-proxyconnect plugin in wordpress, copied its settings into vanilla, saved.
    Redirection, for example when clicking 'login' in Vanilla, works fine, just... it won't login correctly, at least not in Vanilla. For example, after I login in WP and then navigate to my forum (either forum.mysite.com or embedded in mysite.com/forum), the 'login/register' mask shows up instead of 'start a new discussion'. If I click login, the page just reloads. I guess it reads the 'vanilla' cookie generated by WP (it's there, I checked), but it is not enough...? I'm not very authentication-methods-savvy.

    TL,DR - It's not like nothing works, 3/4 do, just proxyconnect (temporarily?) does not. Is there hope for everything coming together as 2.0.18 is released?



    [*] It's 9.30 PM here ;-)
  • Whoops, my bad!

    It DOES work!

    It didn't occur to me that my registration method was still set to "Approval", so my WP test users were just there, waiting to be approved.

    Of course one has to set the registration method in Vanilla to "New users are only registered through SSO plugins."[*]

    And so, at the end of the day I feel urged to say to codylarson: you are wrong.

    This software is easy to install and embed in wordpress.

    Maybe the documentation about making it work with WP users per proxyconnect (which is a huge plus in my book) is not step-by-step-tutorial-complete-with-pictures easy, but hey, it's free!



    [*] By the way, Lincoln, how does one add a custom registration method without hacking class.entrycontroller.php? Please tell me!
  • edited October 2011
    Wait a minute!

    It works on Chrome & Firefox... not on IE9 though :-(

    I thought IE9 was on par with the competition... I am quite displeased.
  • @Lincoln
    I agree we're not managing our open source releases as well as we could. It's extremely time consuming to make sure the right version of each product is out at the same time. My hope is the upcoming release of 2.0.18 will simplify things.
    I know your budget is probably down-to-the-wire, and you're stressed beyond belief trying to get releases out... but if you spend some time setting it up, automation will save your bacon.

    Selenium is a wonderful web testing tool that could help you out tremendously. Do you guys have any automation suites that you maintain?

    I know this is off topic, but now I'm curious :)

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  • edited November 2011
    What if you have a wordpress sign in? Do I have to make my users sign in to two different pages? just to write a post. loading a page in a frame is not what I call integration. How can can I have vanilla use the wordpress login?
  • @soundgod1818 that's what SSO is for.

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  • i have a few points.

    we need a system set up, that is both internal and externally reviewed for plugin/addon compatibility. There should be a team dedicated to testing the top 50-100 plugins for basic compatibility. or the entire process could be community driven with user reviews and ratings. Either way, this is desperately needed not just for the sake of working addons, but to save me from having to read 20 million posts about plugin XYZ doesn't work with version 1.2.3 ... again.

    i think this topic brings up some good points about how the decision to have a simple and basic core with everything as a plugin helps to reduce the core devs work load yet has an undesirable effect on the end user.

    The dev team works on what they have committed to, and plugins and addons are not, generally speaking, a commitment. Even though a sso plugin may be developed by a core developer, there is no commitment between the user and the project for continue support because its not a core feature. The core devs could, at any moment choose to stop supporting or maintaining any number of plugins.

    other forum solutions that pack in features, usually have a long discussion and review before a feature is removed. This isnt because they like to chat whimsically, its because once its added there is a comment made to continue to support it in the future. This is something we can improve on.

    i think that we are experiencing a Darwinian effect of our plugins. The stronger, more popular plugins have a higher demand and the core devs to attract and please a larger user base choose to develop or help to develop a plugin that fits the needs of today. But as time passes and the demand changes, the support and demand for these plugins parish. Its the survival of the fittest.

    this issue is usually "solved" by a large strong supporting community. a community that supports and maintains its own addons/plugins/apps/etc. Wordpress is an easy example. If we look at our existing plugins and filter them by popularity, take a look at the top 10 plugins and who their author is.

  • TimTim Operations Vanilla Staff
    I don't think you'll find anyone here who would disagree with the *idea* that a plugin code review system would be amazing.

    The reality is that none of the people working on Vanilla right now have the time to do that. We already work every single day of the week, the evenings of those days, weekends, holidays...

    There are some people in the community that have built good plugins and that is truly wonderful, but as you said - the top 10 most popular plugins are dominated by core devs and I haven't seen anything that suggests this is going to change any time soon. Until it does, we as core developers will be stuck trying to justify free support for a community that gives, lets be honest, very little back, while working feverishly to make money from paying customers.

    The only people who can fix this problem are community members. If you want this code testing dealio, organize it. None of us will stop you if you do it properly.

    Vanilla Forums COO [GitHub, Twitter, About.me]

  • @Tim oh it's on, man...

    In all seriousness, I know how you feel. We do appreciate what you do and I know I personally try to give back what I can by answering questions I know about here on the forum and by providing some plugins (one of which you should totally use for your blog category :P) for the community.

    I'll think about what it would mean for community Addon reviews and how it might be organized. It might help to know a bit about how your system is set up now. Can you explain a bit here or in a PM?

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  • TimTim Operations Vanilla Staff
    I should clarify that there are several notable exceptions to the "very little back" and we do notice and appreciate the familiar names that have stuck around and contributed actual code and help. I don't want to throw water on anyone's fire by accident.

    Vanilla Forums COO [GitHub, Twitter, About.me]

  • @Tim you didn't (at least not for me) :)

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  • ToddTodd Chief Product Officer Vanilla Staff

    Please continue this discussion here.

This discussion has been closed.