Laying in the dentist's chair today (not my favorite past-time, I'll tell you), I thought about his rant and came up with a few responses I'd like to share.
Claim 1: Valuable functionality must be bought
The only way to get the functionality you would ever really need beyond basic content management is to pay large sums of money for commercial modules.
This is of course plain wrong. There are plenty of examples showing that the best and most popular extensions for Joomla is in fact free.
Off the top of my head I can mention the following free Joomla extensions:
- JoomFish (multi-language)
- JCE (WYSIWYG editor)
- VirtueMart (shopping cart)
- Events Calendar
- SOBI2 (directory component)
- JoomlaXPlorer (FTP and File Manager)
- DocMan (document management)
- Akeeba Backup (backup)
- K2 (CCK for Joomla)
- Xmap (sitemaps - both HTML and XML)
- JCal Pro (event calendar for Joomla)
The list goes on and on!
I don't blame anyone for charging a fee when they have developed a valuable extension for Joomla. Why shouldn't they? If an extension has taken thousands of dollars to develop, I would be happy to (and I do) pay a fee of everything from a few dollars up to a couple of hundred, if it solves my problem and has a good support system. I've written previously on how to pick the perfect Joomla extension.
Claim 2: Huge community is bad
The community is huge in the worst possible way.
How could a huge community (which Joomla has) be bad? I urge you to read this blog post about Joomla and community by Brian Teeman. A large community means a large user base, more developers supporting the platform (look to iPhone, for instance), which means it's easier to get help when you need it.
Claim 3: Too many extensions
There are a million modules for one problem and it is near impossible to find the right one.
Quite amusting, this one. There are between 7000 and 8000 extensions in the Joomla Extensions Directory today, the vast majority of them being free. To find what you need you can search, use the categories and sub-categories, as well as use the 'popular', 'new' and 'recently updated' lists. The extensions are clearly labeled, rated and user commented. And, of course you have the forums where people recommend extensions for solving specific challenges on a daily basis.
Claim 4: Bad interface
The interface is deplorable.
I can agree that the interface could be improved - and that's just what's happening with Joomla 1.6. The developers have spent a great deal of time making the interface better. Less clicks to do a single task, more polished user interface etc. There are also a lot of things you can add (for free) to Joomal to make it even easier to manage. It also depends on what you like. This has a lot to do about personal taste.
Claim 5: Not user friendly - and corrupt?
None of the methods of content management make any sense, and it is obviously not meant to be user friendly considering the top dollar training offered for the system.
Is he saying that the Joomla developers are creating the interface in a complex manner so they can charge for support? The author has certainly not been to the Joomla forums, where developers and users alike help each other daily and continuosly for free. To say this is a blatant attack on people sacrificing a lot of time to create a great, free CMS that hundreds of thousands of users enjoy every day.
And to say that the methods of content management doesn't make sense is quite strange. How come such a large number of sites are happily running Joomla - publishing thousands of articles each day?
Conclusion - Don't Avoid Joomla!
The mentioned blog post is written from one users perspective only. The author seems to be fond of simpler solutions for content management. I suspect he's had some bad experience with Joomla, and finds it appropriate to hammer away at a CMS so many have come to like and base their websites on.
It's OK not to like Joomla. Everybody can't like the same way of doing something. I don't care too much for some of the other solutions out there, but that's just me. I like the way Joomla works and it works for me. I don't go around talking down on other systems just because I don't like it. It's like the neverending story of 'what's better - Windows or Mac?'. I know which platform I like - but it depends on who you are and what you want to do!
I believe the whole thing boils down to is who you are and what goals you have. Joomla offers great flexibility and requires very little knowledge to get started. To get the most out of it you would be well off knowing basic HTML and CSS. Programming knowledge is not required. I can't write a single line of PHP and have made a lot of websites with Joomla. Both for myself and for a large number of happy customers.
I will stick with Joomla and support the community, development and spreading of the platform. I hope you are with me - and don't let rants like this ruin your day or your perception of Joomla ;)