Enabling comments on Downloads with JComments


The exstreme organsation (opens ina new window/tab) has created a free Joomla 4 version of JComments. You can download it from here (opens in a new window/tab).  It is totally compatible with the original JComments.  Note: The original creator of JComments has decided not to upgrade to a Joomla 4 version!
Stack Ideas have a free version of Komento, version 4.06, which supports also supports comments in jDownloads.  See Enabling comments on Downloads with Komento (opens in a new window/tab)


Comments may be added to a Download by using the free JComments component to give something like that illustrated opposite.

Note: Comments only appear in the Download Details view.

You can also setup to show the number of comments in each Download by including the placeholder  {sum_jcomments} in the active Download layout as noted below.

Because Comments only appear in the Download Details view it may be useful to modiy the active Downloads layout to remove the V4 button download Button so that the user will click on the title which will take them to the Downloads Details view. This is also descibed later.

Configure jDownloads

The jDownloads part in setting up JComments is straightforward. In the Joomla! Dashboard click on V4 button components and then onV4 button jDownloads. Click on V4 button optionsat the top right of the view. Now select V4 button frontend tab tab.

Because comments are only shown in the Download Details view then, as illustrated opposite, it is essential that you also set in the Download Sequence section of the Frontend options:

1. 'Activate direct downloading' to No;

2. 'View Download Details page' to Yes;

3. Either set 'Use Download title as download link' to Yes;

4. Or (both) 'Use link in Symbols' to Yes;

In the 'Other Options' section

5. 'Activate support for all Joomla content plugins' to Yes.

6. Set Use JComments to Yes and if you wish to show the number of comments in a Download also set View Number of Comments to Yes.


Show number of Comments in Download view

This requires a small edit to the active Downloads layout. So make a copy of the layout and then Activate the copied layout as indicated opposite.

For details of layouts see the section Layouts (opens in a new window/tab) in the documentation.
V4 activate layout

In this example we have added {sum_comments} in the header line as shown below.
V4 modified layout line

After adding {sum_comments} in the active Download layout the number of comments are shown as indicated opposite
V4 sum comments show

Remove V4 button download button

As above if you have not made copy of the layout and then make one and set the copied layout as the active layout.
In the first half dozen or thereabouts you find a line such as illustrated below.
V4 modified layout url downloadWe can make this line into a comment so it does no show the Download button by adding <!-- at the begining of the and --> at the end of the line.
V4 layouts remove download button

Migration from JComments 3

In the upgrade from Joomla 3 to Joomla 4 JComments needs to be uninstalled.  Importantly the JComments database, which stores the setup and all the existing comments, remains in the database.
(1) make backup of site;
(2) make a copy or notes of the settings and the the access rules;
(3) uninstall JComments 3 (your comments will be saved in the database);
(4) after upgrading to Joomla 4 install JComments 4;
(5) run database repair (i) Click on V4 button system then in the V4 button section maintainence section click on V4 button database. It will show JComments in the list. If it shows V4 button no problems then all is well. If it shows it needs attenions select JComments and use the V4 button database update structure button at top left.
(6) Go to  V4 button components in the System Dashboard, click on V4 button jcomments then, at top right, click on V4 button options.  Next select the V4 button permissions tab and check that the permissions are as required. 
It is also worthwhile examining all the V4 button options tabs as a check.

Installation of JComments

The first steps are to download the relevant version of the JComments component and then the appropriate jDownloads plugin as noted below.

Get  JComments for Joomla 4

This is available from exstreme at JComments Download (opens in a new window/tab).  Presently it is version 4.0.27. It is a GitHub project that shows the status. 
Scroll down to JComments 4 and use the link 'latest version' to take you to the 'download' section of JComments.
Then click on Link to package to actually download pkg_jcomments_4.0.27.zip.

Installing JComments 4

The next step is to install the JComments Component.
In the Joomla main dashboard click on V4 button systemthen in theV4 button install section click on V4 instalJConJ3 01.
Either you can browse for the JComments zip file or you can drag it from File Explorer or some other file manager onto the upload and install view as shown opposite.

After the instalation completes it shows a view such as below.
V4 after upload and install
instalJConJ4 03
Clicking on the V4 button next button takes you to the backend setup.  But before configuring, load the jDownloads plugin for JComments as described below.

Installing Plugin

This Plugin is available in the Special Download(V4) section of www.jdownloads.com - JComments-Plugin 4.1 (opens in a new window/tab). It downloads file com_jdownloads.plugin_4.1.zip
So after downloading as described above, extract the contents - I use the free 7zip.exe app from www.7-zip.org (opens in a new window/tab).
The zip file only contains one PHP file which is called com_jdownloads.plugin.php dated 16/02/2023.
The next step is to copy the file com_jdownloads.plugin.php to <yoursite>/components/com_jcomments/plugins using an FTP utility such as File Zilla, your site control panel or a Joomla files manager extension.

Note: there maybe a file with that name already at that location so overwrite it with the present one downloaded from jDownloads.

Configure JComments

The rest of the setup is carried out in the JComments Component.There are many customising options available in which you may explore depending on how you want the comments to appear, so consult the JComments documentation as appropriate.
Here we set up just the minimum necessary to allow adding comments to Downloads. These are setting which Categories is allowed to Access and the Permissions granted to each User Group, such as which Groups  can add comments, publish comments and so on.

When you have completed the setups as noted below, it is perhaps useful to 'experiment' a little with the JComments settings to get the style you want. Remember you need to set up each User Group that is to be allowed to add comments.

Setting up JComments 4

Click on V4 button jcomments in the list of Components, then on V4 button settings.  this shows a set of tabs, V4 settings tabs
 with various settings.  Also at top right of there is an  Options button J4button whch shows more settings. Some of these may settings may be duplicated!
Note: We are not JComments 'knowledgeable' so in case of querries contact exstreme  There is some documentation at RoundTheme (opens in a new window/tab) which may be useful.

First select Categories from the JComments options  and choose which Categories are to be included for adding Comments.

Usually it is simplest to allow All Categories as shown opposite.
set categ J4

Next select Permissions.  This allows configuring which user group is allowed to add carry out  which available actions such as posting comments,  posting replies, and similar.

There are about 40 settings for each Usergroup that are available so you may need to experiment with what is suitable for your requirements.  Each setting has a useful popup with explanation.
set permissions J4JComments
ColinM Nov 2014, revised Oct 2015, May 2016, Updated September 2019, May 2023, August 2023

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