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Minitek Discussions

Minitek Discussions is an Ajax-driven, mobile-friendly, feature-rich Forum and Discussions component for Joomla. It features an innovative sections/topics taxonomy which can be used to effortlessly add structured Discussions sections to your website.

Minitek Discussions is built according to the latest MVC standards, is lightweight and easy to configure.

It supports out-of-the-box Search Engine Friendly URLs and allows users to submit and edit their own questions and answers through the front-end of the website.

To install Minitek Discussions:

  1. Login to Joomla administrator control panel
  2. Go to Extensions > Manage
  3. Click on Upload Package File
  4. Select the zip file of the extension and click on Upload & Install
    Installation

The extension must be authenticated before you can update it. To authenticate and update Minitek Discussions:

  1. Go to Downloads Section and download the latest version of the plugin Minitek Updates Authentication.

  2. Install the plugin in your website via Extension Manager.

  3. Open the plugin, publish it and paste your Download ID into the Download ID parameter. Click on Save & Close.

    (You can find your Download ID here)

  4. That's it! The extension will now notify you whenever there is a new version released. Please note that you will be able to receive updates only for the duration of your subscription at Minitek.gr.

Minitek Discussions content is structured according to the following hierarchy:

Sections:

Sections are containers that contain topics. You can create as many sections as you like, thus creating many independent Discussions sections.

Topics:

Topics are containers that contain questions. A topic can have an unlimited number of children topics. Any topic can contain questions regardless of the topic level.

Questions:

Questions are the central content type in Minitek Discussions. A question exists inside a topic and can have answers.

Answers:

Answers exist inside a question. A question can have an unlimited number of answers.

In Minitek Discussions, sections serve as topic containers. Each Section is an independent Discussions section and can be linked to a Minitek Discussions Section menu item.

Follow the steps below to create a new Section:

  1. Go to Sections and click on New.

  2. Enter a title for the new Section and optionally enter a description. Then click on Save.

  3. Under the tab Options you will find many parameters that control the appearance and functionality of the specific section:

    Section Options

    Top navigation: Controls the visibility of top navigation (breadcrumbs).

    Left navigation: Controls the visibility of left navigation. The left navigation contains links that change the questions ordering in the section page, as well as links for the section topics.

    Active tab: Controls the the active ordering of questions.

    Section description: Controls the visibility of the section description.

    Show 'Ask Question' button: This button allows users to post new questions. The button will be visible only to users that have permission to 'Create' questions. Permissions can be set in the component global configuration.

    User Questions: If enabled, a link to User Questions will be displayed in the left navigation menu. This link will show the user's questions in this specific section. If the user is not logged in, a question autorization form will be displayed instead. A non-logged in user can access and edit a question by entering the question hash in the authorization form. The user receives the question hash in his email when posting a new question as a guest.

    Question hash

    In order to create the questions hashes, you must open the component Global configuration and enter a password in the field Secret key. The secret key must consist of 16 characters (alphanumeric and special characters). The question hash is unique for each question and will be emailed to the user upon question creation.

    User Answers: If enabled, a link to User Answers will be displayed in the left navigation menu. This link will show the user's answers in this specific section. This link is not visible for non-logged in users.

    Recent Questions link: This link is displayed in the left navigation and filters questions by created date.

    Top Questions link: This link is displayed in the left navigation and filters questions by number of votes and number of answers.

    Featured Questions link: This link is displayed in the left navigation and filters questions by featured state.

    Unanswered Questions link: This link is displayed in the left navigation and filters unanswered questions (questions without answers) by created date.

    Resolved Questions link: This link is displayed in the left navigation and filters resolved questions (questions with a selected answer) by created date.

    Unresolved Questions link: This link is displayed in the left navigation and filters unresolved questions (questions without a selected answer) by created date.

    Open Questions link: This link is displayed in the left navigation and filters open questions by created date. You can select to display the link only to moderators (users that have permission to 'Edit state').

    Recent Questions tab: This tab is displayed in the section tabs and filters questions by created date.

    Top Questions tab: This tab is displayed in the section tabs and filters questions by number of votes and number of answers.

    Featured Questions tab: This tab is displayed in the section tabs and filters questions by featured state.

    Unanswered Questions tab: This tab is displayed in the section tabs and filters unanswered questions (questions without answers) by created date.

    Resolved Questions tab: This tab is displayed in the section tabs and filters resolved questions (questions with a selected answer) by created date.

    Unresolved Questions tab: This tab is displayed in the section tabs and filters unresolved questions (questions without a selected answer) by created date.

    Open Questions tab: This tab is displayed in the section tabs and filters open questions by created date. You can select to display the tab only to moderators (users that have permission to 'Edit state').

    Pending Questions tab: This tab is displayed in the section tabs and filters pending questions by created date. You can select to display the tab only to moderators (users that have permission to 'Edit state').

    See all topics: Shows the full Topics tree for the specific section.

    Maximum levels: Select number of topic levels that will be visible in the Topics tree.

    Columns: Select number of columns in the Topics tree.

    Show icons: Select visibility of folder icons in the Topics tree.

    Pre-text: This text will be visible at the top of the question form when posting new questions in this specific section. HTML tags are allowed.

  4. Click on Save & Close.

  5. Finally you must create a menu item for the specific Section. Go to your preferred menu in Menu Manager and click on New.

    In the field Menu Item Type click on Select. Select Minitek Discussions and click on Section.

    In the field Section select the Section that you created in the previous steps. Click on Save & Close.

    You can now visit the Section in the frontend. The Section will be empty since you have not created any topics yet.

    Warning

    It is highly recommended that you created a menu item for each section. If there is no menu item for a section, the SEF urls will not work properly.

As mentioned earlier, Topics serve as question containers. Each Topic can contain Questions and children Topics.

Follow the steps below to create a new Topic:

  1. Go to Topics and click on New.

  2. Enter a title for the new Topic and optionally enter a description. Also select a parent Topic for this Topic (optional) and select a Section. If this is a child Topic, the Section will be automatically selected. Click on Save.

  3. Under the tab Options you can configure the following parameters:

    Questions visibility: Select whether this topic will contain Public or Private questions or both. Private questions are only visible to owners and moderators (users that have permission to 'See private').

    Icon class: Select a fontawesome icon class for this topic. This icon will be displayed in the Sections page.

    Notify moderators: Select which users will receive email notifications for new questions in this topic. Note that this parameter will only include users that belong to one of the user groups selected in the field Moderators pool in the global configuration.

  4. Click on Save & Close. Now if you visit the Section in the frontend you will see the new Topic in the left navigation menu. For the moment the Topic will be empty since you have not created any Questions yet.

Follow the steps below to create new Questions from the back-end:

  1. Go to Questions and click on New.

  2. Enter the title and the content for the new Question. You can also select the Parent topic and set the question as Private, Featured, Pinned or Locked.

    A Private question will be visible only to the owner and the moderators (users that have permission to 'See private').

    A Pinned question will be always pinned to the top of the questions list when viewing Recent Questions.

    Featured questions will always appear at the top of the questions list when viewing Featured Questions.

    Users will not be able to post new answers in Locked questions.

  3. Click on Save & Close. Now if you visit the Topic in the front-end you will see the new Question.

Questions in Minitek Discussions can have one of the following states:

  1. Open This is the default state of new questions and questions without answers. An unanswered question will appear as Open unless it has been manually set as Resolved.

  2. Pending A question is marked as Pending when a moderator posts an answer.

  3. Resolved A question is automatically set as Resolved when an answer is selected. Also, a question can be manually set as Resolved by the owner or a moderator.

Follow the steps below to create a new question from the front-end:

  1. Go to Global Configuration of the component and under the tab Question Form enable the parameter Enable user questions.

  2. Under the tab Permissions enable the Create permissions for the user groups of your choice. Click on Save & Close.

  3. If you want to forbid specific user groups to ask questions in specific topics, you can do so by configuring the topic specific permissions for the action 'Create'.

  4. Users with Create permissions will now be able to see the Ask a Question button in the top navigation bar in the front-end.

  5. The Ask a Question button can either be displayed in the top navigation bar or inside topics. You can configure this setting with the parameter Show 'Ask Question' button that is located under the tab Options in the Section settings. Note that the button will be displayed in a topic only if the user has permission to 'Create' for this specific topic.

Custom fields allow you to collect additional information in questions. Each custom field can be assigned to one or more topics.

Follow the steps below to create a new custom field from the back-end:

  1. Go to Custom Fields and click on New.

  2. Fill in the following parameters:

    Title: This is the custom field label that will be displayed in the front-end.

    Alias: Will be used as the field id in the custom fields form. Only use lowercase letters (a-z), numbers (0-9) and underscores. Do not use accented characters (e.g. à) or characters with diacretics (e.g. ł).

    Description: The description will be displayed under the field. HTML tags are allowed.

    Status: The publication status of the custom field.

    Required: Select whether the custom field is required.

    Show in: Select whether the custom field will be displayed in all topics or in specific topics.

    Specific topics: Select the topics where the custom field will be displayed.

    Type: Select the type of the custom field.

    Options: For text, textarea and date fields, enter the placeholder text to be displayed in the field. For checkbox fields this is ignored. For select lists and radio buttons, use the syntax VALUE=LABEL with one value/label pair per line.

    Default value: Enter the default value for the custom field. For checkboxes you can enter on or off to select between on and off state respectively. For select lists (multiple), enter a value per line.

  3. Click on Save & Close. Now if you post a new question from the front-end you will see the new custom field in the question form. Note that the custom field will only be visible in the specifically assigned topics.

Configure ACL & Options: Allow users in the group to edit the options and permissions of the component.

Access Administration Interface: Allow users in the group to access the administration interface of the component.

Create: Allow users in the group to create Sections, Topics and Questions.

Answer: Allow users in the group to post Answers.

Answer Own: Allow users in the group to post Answers in their own Questions.

Delete: Allow users in the group to delete any type of content.

Edit: Allow users in the group to edit any type of content.

Edit Own: Allow users in the group to edit any type of content that they have posted.

Edit State: Allow users in the group to edit the state of any type of content.

Select: Allow users in the group to select Answers.

Select Own: Allow users in the group to select Answers for their own Questions.

Resolve: Allow users in the group to set Questions as Resolved.

Resolve Own: Allow users in the group to set their own Questions as Resolved.

Lock: Allow users in the group to lock Questions.

Lock Own: Allow users in the group to lock their own Questions.

Feature: Allow users in the group to set Questions as Featured.

Pin: Allow users in the group to pin Questions.

Create Private: Allow users in the group to create private Questions.

See Private: Allow users in the group to see private Questions.

See custom fields: Allow users in the group to see Custom fields.

Minitek Discussions has 6 types of email notifications:

  • Notifications for new questions (sent to moderators)
  • Notifications for questions hashes (sent to guest authors)
  • Notifications for new answers (sent to moderators)
  • Notifications for assigned questions (sent to moderators)
  • Notifications for new answers (sent to question authors)
  • Notifications for selected answers (sent to answer authors)

You can enable the notifications of your choice in the component Global Configuration, under the tab Notifications. You can also configure notifications separately for each topic by opening the topic and configuring the parameters of the tab Options.

View Changelog

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