First I want to make clear that I really love the Joomla Extensions Directory. There are currently over 4000 extensions available. Almost anything you can imagine is there and in a lot of cases for free. Joomla is a great CMS and the overwhelming amount of extensions that are available makes it just fantastic. Still there are 3 things that I really don't like about the JED.
1. The search function: if you have this amount of extensions, then you really need a good search function. Suppose you need an image gallery and you type in "image gallery" in the search function. It will return you 834 extensions and most of them really have nothing to do with an image gallery. There is no option to say that you only want the extensions which match all words. As a result, it can be quit a job so search for a certain extension. Joomla is upgrading it's site one part at the time and I hope that when the Extensions site is upgraded, we will get a better search function.
2. There are too many extensions: It's great that you have many extensions, but sometimes I wonder if there aren't just too many. If you need a photo gallery, then it's a good thing you have few options, but do we really need 58 different galleries? An even better example are the extensions for adding Google analytics to your site. This can be done with adding the few lines of code provided by Google to the bottom of your template. Installing an extension for this, will take you longer. So you can even wonder if there is a need for such an extension. But even if there is, you would think 2 extensions are enough: one for joomla 1.5 and one for joomla 1.0. In reality there are 12 different extensions for this. As far as I can tell, these all do exactly the same: adding a few lines of code to the bottom of your template. Do we really need 12 extensions for that? And the bad thing is, that this makes it a lot harder to find the extension that you really need. Officialy, you can only add extensions that have some new functionality. But in reality, you see a lot of extensions which have just copied the functionality of another extension.
3. There's a lot of cheating: Every extension owner knows that the links in the Joomla Extensions Directory can generate quit some traffic, and we all want traffic don't we? The better the reviews and ratings are, the more traffic you'll get. Unfortunately, this makes some extension owners want to cheat. I've seen extensions which get in the first few weeks after they are released 10 or more 5 star ratings and top reviews. And these reviews are often made by people who've never put a review before. Every extension owner can tell you that this is impossible without cheating. This can be quit frustrating for the extension owners that play it fair. I know that people who are caught doing this, get punished as their extensions are removed (temporary or permanently). And I also know that it might be difficult to prove these things. So I don't blame the JED for this and I also don't know how this can be solved. We can only hope that they will be caught as this is so not what an open source community is about.
written by steve, November 17, 2008
written by Spewy stuey, November 29, 2008