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Worst install for Wordpress ever

edited December 2013 in Feedback

You folks probably know what you're doing coding Web software, but suck at install instructions. I found Vanilla while searching for a forum that would nicely integrate with a Wordpress install on my server. After looking at other solutions I settled on Vanilla because it looked the cutest. Now thank goodness I did not try to set this thing up on a live site, instead on a local Linux server. This is WP 3.7 with no other plugins using Vanilla install I just downloaded.

In less than 30 minutes I determined:

  1. Vanilla does not integrate with WP login. There is no Widget or other mechanism to show on the WP front-end that the two are integrated other than post, comments and other nonsense.
  2. The plug-in by Nicholas P. Iler, "WP Vanilla Connect" does nothing. Installed it after I realized the "Vanilla Forums" plug-in, that ironically has a description that starts, "Integrates Vanilla Forums with Wordpress," does nothing as I mentioned above.
  3. In Vanilla Plugins page you have "Embed Vanilla." Copy/paste a script that does nothing.
  4. I needed yet another plugin! I Google to find out I also need something called, "Vanilla jsConnect Auto SignIn." Drag the extracted folder into the Vanilla plugin folder and enable it only to get, "jsconnectAutoSignIn is missing the following requirement(s): jsconnect >=1.0.3b."

What I don't understand is why you folks even offer this as a WP solution when it clearly is not something that can be integrated even though the description misleads people to believe it does.

Comments

  • hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New Moderator

    Welcome to the community!

    What version number of Vanilla are you running?

    Are you looking to embed to forum inside of a word press page?

    It looks like you are looking to use SSO. You will need the jsConnect plugin installed and enabled in Vanilla's dashboard. The community supported "WP Vanilla Connect" plugin requires jsConnect to work, as does the auto sign in plugin.

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

    peregrineUnderDog
  • I agree the instructions and documentation is well-behind the time.

    there has been effort on volunteers to produce a wiki which may help, and searching the forum can help. But ultimately you are correct - clearer cleaner instructions for many things on the documentations could be improved. cross your fingers and after the beta version is stable their will be an effort to do this.

    Once you do get what you are looking for done. I suggest you write a brand new spanking set of instructions and post it on the wiki, if it is not already there.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    mcu_hqUnderDog
  • edited December 2013

    I FINALLY GOT IT! Almost. Holy Smokes.

    Need to d/l and extract to the Vanilla plugin folder:

    jsconnect-plugin-1-0-3b

    jsconnectautosignin-plugin-0-1-7b

    Still not sure what the WP Vanilla Connect plugin is supposed to do because I deactivated it inside WP and I am still able to access the forum. With it activated I can stay logged into WP and be logged out of the forum and vice versa.

    Jeesh what a mess.

  • @hgtonight said:
    Welcome to the community!

    What version number of Vanilla are you running?

    Are you looking to embed to forum inside of a word press page?

    It looks like you are looking to use SSO. You will need the jsConnect plugin installed and enabled in Vanilla's dashboard. The community supported "WP Vanilla Connect" plugin requires jsConnect to work, as does the auto sign in plugin.

    As I mentioned I just d/l Vanilla so I assume that is the latest version and yes my intent is to embed. Not familiar with SSO, which means what?

    At this point I would really like to know what the significance of WP Vanilla Connect plugin is since as I mentioned earlier, works for nothing.

    thanks.

  • As I mentioned I just d/l Vanilla so I assume that is the latest version

    we try to avoid assumptions, because thats all they are and the answers may be different depending on the "latest version" which means next to nothing.

    there are many latest versions. You can find it in lower right corner of dashboard.

    SSO single sign on - i believe it is described in vanilla documentation and wiki and probably explained in the forum under search SSO

    http://vanillawiki.homebrewforums.net/index.php/Version

    I don't know the answer, but did you try searching for any of the terms like WP connect or WP Vanilla Connect.

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    UnderDog
  • x00x00 MVP
    edited December 2013

    Vanilla does not integrate with WP login. There is no Widget or other mechanism to show on the WP front-end that the two are integrated other than post, comments and other nonsense.

    wrong

    The plug-in by Nicholas P. Iler, "WP Vanilla Connect" does nothing. Installed it after I realized the "Vanilla Forums" plug-in, that ironically has a description that starts, "Integrates Vanilla Forums with Wordpress," does nothing as I mentioned above.

    wrong. Although the Vanilla Forum plugin has some shortcomings due to a poor choice of hook, which it why I recommend WP Vanilla Connect. It is all dependent on supplying the right information through, it does work by magic.

    In Vanilla Plugins page you have "Embed Vanilla." Copy/paste a script that does nothing.

    wrong. But as wordpress themes can vary greatly it might need some debugging.

    I needed yet another plugin! I Google to find out I also need something called, "Vanilla jsConnect Auto SignIn." Drag the extracted folder into the Vanilla plugin folder and enable it only to get, "jsconnectAutoSignIn is missing the following requirement(s): jsconnect >=1.0.3b."

    Try reading the description properly, and the official documentation on using jsConnect. In fact generally reading the description of the addon you are using would have got you a lot further.

    If you want help it is a better idea not to bite hand that feeds you. In my experience impatience and unreasonable expectations are some of the main reasons why people don't succeed as a webmaster.

    grep is your friend.

    UnderDog
  • @peregrine said:
    I agree the instructions and documentation is well-behind the time.

    there has been effort on volunteers to produce a wiki which may help, and searching the forum can help. But ultimately you are correct - clearer cleaner instructions for many things on the documentations could be improved. cross your fingers and after the beta version is stable their will be an effort to do this.

    Once you do get what you are looking for done. I suggest you write a brand new spanking set of instructions and post it on the wiki, if it is not already there.

    The instruction on this are not so bad that he wouldn't be able to do it. Besides he needs to read the instruction on the wordpress plugins aswell.

    From his description I can assume he hasn't activated pluigns in vanilla. He said he just drop them in the pluign folder.

    He does know what WP Vanilla Connect does becuase he hasn't read the documentation on jsConnect or the documentation for WP Vanilla Connect, you will see its setting in the User menu.

    grep is your friend.

    peregrine
  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... MVP
    edited December 2013

    @MajorPayne

    You have installed the self-hosted version, which Vanilla make clear is for

    Developers

    Download, install, configure, and optimize yourself

    This forum offers support by other self-hosters, not affiliated with Vanilla, although from time to time a Vanilla bod is good enough to come on and pitch in.

    I get you are/were frustrated, but if you dropped the 'in your face' attitude it might be more motivating to those who can help you, who are volunteers, giving up their own time.

  • edited December 2013

    Whooooooa! I was pissed, frustrated, feeling held back, confused. I woke up in a better state of mind though.

    I appreciate all the helpful and insightful comments, however I did read the docs. Inside the Vanilla Dashboard, JS Connect Settings, are two links for "Help" - ironically they both go to a very brief and unhelpful blog entry. In fact and rather comically, one link just anchors to content further down the page. Additionally I did enable all Vanilla plugins, not just extract the files. I also filled in all data if a plugin asked for it.

    Everything works except the SSO (@ peregrine thanks for the acronym help). I sign into the WP dashboard and then from the site front-end click on a menu link I created to the forum, which is now embedded, and I still have to log into the forum. Also works in reverse - I log out of one framework and am still logged into the other.

    I realize the developers used the phrase whu606 mentioned, loosely. I can still call myself a developer, which does not necessarily mean I am intimately familiar with PHP, Ruby on Rails, Ajax, CSS and HTML. I'm pretty sure the intent of, "Download, install, configure, and optimize yourself" was to relive the Vanilla devs of providing concise docs to allow intermediate developers like myself the chance to get this forum easily integrated with another framework, thus providing them a way to charge for support.

    Makes good marketing sense.

    I also read through the Wordpress plugin support pages and they are ripe with complaints about it not working. And little to no response from the plugin author. In fact even as far back as a year ago I was hard pressed to find any questions answered by the author, "VanillaForums."

    So I'm not trying to make a case for someone to help me, rightfully understanding every setup, server, hosting environment is different, but I set this up as a test using a fresh install with no other plugins. After two days and a lot of Google-ing, it partially works.

  • whu606whu606 I'm not a SuperHero; I just like wearing tights... MVP

    @MajorPayne

    I expect I'm a lot less of a 'developer' than you!

    The point was that Vanilla for self-hosters comes 'as is' in the download package.

    The Vanilla bods provide some plugins, but mainly they come from the Community.

    People here will happily help anyone who asks; I was just suggesting that using honey rather than, well you know, might attract them more quickly.

    Try to be specific about what isn't working as you expect, and the chances are someone here knows the answer, and will give it.

  • So let me re-iterate the Urls you found:

    http://vanillaforums.org/page/SingleSignOn

    http://blog.vanillaforums.com/help/implementing-jsconnect-single-signon-on/

    http://blog.vanillaforums.com/jsconnect-technical-documentation/

    http://blog.vanillaforums.com/jsconnect-technical-documentation-for-embedded-sso/

    @MajorPayne said:
    Whooooooa! I was pissed, frustrated, feeling held back, confused. I woke up in a better state of mind though.

    Good, since whu606 is right about us wanting to help our community, let's see what we can do...

    Everything works except the SSO

    You want to embed, right? Would you like to reconsider? Make it a normal single sign on instead?

    I'm pretty sure the intent of, "Download, install, configure, and optimize yourself" was to relive the Vanilla devs of providing concise docs to allow intermediate developers like myself the chance to get this forum easily integrated with another framework, thus providing them a way to charge for support.

    Read through the Urls one more time. See if they help and we can use part of the Urls for the Vanilla Wiki page...

    The Vanilla guys are working very hard on the new version, let's let the community solve this one for you.

    Prepare to show Firefox and Chrome logs where necessary

  • Can't find a way to close/mark as resolved this topic. Maybe someone with higher privileges can make it so.

    I moved on to bbPress - got it installed and seemlessly setup with Wordpress in under 5 minutes. Also installed several related plugins that just do it for me. Wasn't my first choice, but after the grief I went through with Vanilla and then reading Chris Coyier's post about his frustrating experience with it at CSS-Tricks I thought, "why not give bbPress a try!"

    So, many thanks to everyone that chimed in trying to help me. I wish you all a very happy and safe holidays!

    peregrineUnderDog
  • peregrineperegrine MVP
    edited December 2013

    well - at least you got a place to vent your frustration. See you later when and if you realize you need to come back :).

    @underdog can close it.

    unfortunately your frustration and decision may be the case, until the documentation page is totally revamped and a functional faq with navigation links for user (that a user can understand) and links for developers (can understand) is in place. Clearly many users cannot follow or read the documentation on the documentation page the way it is, nor can they read the wiki. Not sure if it is a fault of the documentation or the user. but as they say, the customer is always right.

    The one downside of extremely good and easy to read user documentation and easy to navigate documentation would be this - we wouldn't be able to answer all the same questions that get repeated over and over endlessly on this forum. :) for people who are search-o-phobic

    I may not provide the completed solution you might desire, but I do try to provide honest suggestions to help you solve your issue.

    UnderDog
This discussion has been closed.