Anyone out there used the Dolphin community software from Boonex?
Would welcome experiences and opinions as to Drupal vs Dolphin, especially for social networking ...


FromLondon’s picture

Never used Drupal and investigating Drupal to replace Dolphin...

They have a good idea and I do like there software but it has nothing but bugs. I been using Dolphin for the past 5 months, and even payed to be a member but its very unstable. Its an excelent software if your a good programmer/database manager otherwise your tost!.
Reason why i'm here is to find a replacement for Dolphin and hoping Drupal is better then dolphin

example of how hard its to upgrade dolphin:
they recently released a upgrade with files missing. did they tell anyone, no! and it ended up crashing my site. do they take the upgrade down, no... so you have other users running into the same problems 2 weeks later they have a patch and starting to see problems with that tooo.
upgrade instruction dificult to understand if not the instruction they provide dont even apply to the upgraded.
- there forum hasnt worked in 5 months and its a known issue!

In the process of searching for a new software i asked one of the vender if they would move my current user to the new software, without giving the vender the name of the current software i'm running, his first answer was, let me guess, is it boonex, right?

theres your answer.

hardieas’s picture

Bugs is pretty much all I found too.
Have deleted it from my system now ...

Sree’s picture

You can move with drupal over dolphin for many reasons like stability, ease of usage etc etc

-- Sree --

-- Sree --
IRC Nick: sreeveturi

baronvoninternet’s picture

Im in the same boat. I absolutely hate the bloatware dolphin and Andrew seems more interested in protecting his licencing than providing a decent product.
I have successfully run a few member based sites on Drupal, but am not trying to add more features, for one, points leading to a higher membership level.

I think I finally am on the right track for listing the members, along with their pictures and bio's. It was a little tricky and I still do not know how I accomplished it. I am using the Corp clean theme with some Organic group modules. The glitch I ran into was, in order to be listed in the member listing, a member was required to post a status. No problem for me, as I am sick and tired of members whining about the chat rooms being empty or how nobody talks, when they are equally as guilty of the same thing. The complaining actually sent one of my moderators / site manager into a nervous breakdown (Dolphin issues as well)

IMO, having used dolphin for the last 5 or so years, Drupal is far more flexible and once you get over the learning bumps (I'm still having a bumpy ride) you will start to see the full power of this amazing software. Yes, there are compatibility issues between modules, and this can get VERY frustrating, but all in all, I love Drupal and would recommend it to anyone putting together a social networking site.

BTW, I have also tried several other platforms including Oxwall, Wordpress and some I will not mention (Because I forgot) and nothing compares to Drupal. The permissions engine alone, should be enough to convince you to switch.

Good luck eh!

netranger’s picture

Izabi looks soooo nice and I'm tempted to switch to it. A lot the modules and profiles require $$ but they are so nice. Have a look at the My Book theme showing the user profile Its to die for. You can buy themes from Its really nice looking and with a theme and a mod or two you have a sweet social site right out of the box.

Main site

giorgio79’s picture

Take a look at Dzoic Handshakes. They were out way before Boonex and phpizabi, I would say they may have been the first in offering a myspace like clone. They have a come a long way, and have a mature product. You can do sg similar with Drupal, but currently you would need to hack Drupal a big time to make it work. Dzoic is out of the box and open source, so you can even mod it yourself if you dont shy away from a little php.

ZEMCreative’s picture

While I prefer Drupal as a CMS, I think you should take a serious look at Joomla with the JomSocial Component ( ) if you want a CMS that has community software capabilities. I'm using it on one site and so far it has been very good. The development of the JomSocial software is very active. They add new features at every release and take care of bugs quickly.

crazy4u’s picture

i am a new comer, and i want to know drupal have something live community? or where it can bridge something like elgg?

baronvoninternet’s picture

Why would you want to bridge to Elgg? IMO, this is just asking for trouble because you will be running two pieces of software. Drupal will do everything you need. Just play around with it a little. As for the "you have to hack it" comment, I guess that would depend on your definition of hacking. Personally, I like to call it tweeking. Simply adding modules and adjusting the settings. Drupal can be as complex or simple as you want it and the best part is, unlike elgg and Dolphin, you do not have to go into the code to remove credits and logo's, unless someone hardcoded some sort of branding into their theme. If that is the case, removing the branding will not brick your site. I removed a logo from Dolphin and ended up bricking the forums module. ticked me off beyond belief.

richardkra’s picture

Why boonex is a scam?
Boonex problem nr1. No coding standard

Boonex is writen by several people using different technologies. Its main base (Dolphin) is writen in pure php with its own template engine and forum (Orca) uses xlst. That has large negative impact to integration of forum in site and site in forum. When coding, please use single technology and template system.

Whats even worser, different parts of dolphins code itself is writen by completely different people, and very in the hurry. So everyone has its own imagination how to interact with different parts of the code. It is very tricky to modify code that way to suit site needs.

Boonex problem nr2. Template engine and separation of code/design/database

This problem in dolphin/boonex needs a point on its own. Boonex uses custom template system ( that should be called layout system). The blocks of generated html code are pased to specific places in the template. That creates a big headache for programers as they need to search through code for the place where some box is generated. It might be generated in template, or in specific function in one of numerous includes. And so on. Even pligg has better templating than this.

It is very tricky to rip boonex templating apart, as whole coding is based on such poor programming practice. They would be better off using existing template system like smarty or similar one.

This leads to problem nr3

Boonex problem nr3. Crapy use of Database

We saw serveral other competing sites launched on boonex, but we did not care much. Why? Becouse when they reach 500-1000 daily visitors they will break apart. The reason for it is very bad programming and use of database.

For example, boonex uses profile builder which assigns fields to profiles. So the output of profile uses more than one table and is quite inefficient.

Also, there is a nice 20-30 query overhead on each page display to fetch all the configuration values from table. Silly, isn’t it ? They would be FAR better of using a file for configuring sofware or caching it in php file like it is done in most of the systems.

Another simple problem. When boonex wants to display a profile being online it additionally check database for its status. But that data was pulled from database already. So 20 useless queries again.


I would not suggest using boonex if you want to keep your programmers sane. We have have changed the code almost completely for now, and you will need to do that too. Boonex is a scam.

drollins’s picture

I am a startup building a networking site with both subscription and ad network revenue. The site has content to boost stickiness and organic search results. Upselling is critical. I am looking to support 50K users. I've been working with a Drupal dev team for 6 months which has gotten about 10-20% of the site completed and I'm missing the market and burning through working capital. I am considering to scrap Drupal altogether; scale back my site scope and still use Drupal; or change to Dolphin 7 or Joomla Social and CMS.

In your opinion what is the most appropriate solution to:

- quickly create a site with functionality that is market ready?
- upsell members and drive revs?
- scale to 50K users?
- find an abundance of reasonably priced talent?
- represents the best value given my needs?
- has relatively low maintenance costs?

The Synth’s picture

It's now July and I am in the same situation as you were in March. Consequently, wondering if you found a solution to your social networking problems. Specifically wondering if you went with Dolphin?