@Sirwan.. talking for myself, I was not going on the defensive, I was just trying to be factual.. for marketing reasons, all software distributors will always tell you that you can use their code and you're in business in minutes.. we all know that is not always true.. The fact is no matter what piece of code you work with, it takes time to dress up.. I am sorry that you are having such a hard time, and I know that you would love to use elgg because you like it.. but at the same time, this is just one of those things that only time can deal with. I would take what those other guys are saying seriously as they have been doing it for some time and Dhrup over there knows the script like the back of his hand, so, he wouldn't be making up bullshit.
@Soulz.. money for peace of mind?? sounds like a good deal to me.. and yes, it is the right thing to do... (Note: you should tell Bill Gates to put his money where his mouth is and get a hair stylist..LOL).
elggs a beast but you can tame it.
Yes, I was afraid of that. Dhrup, you already know everything, have exactly the right interests and abilities for those docs. If there was someone exactly like you who just needed the Elgg info you have, then those docs would be ideal. But for the rest of us? I dunno, but I feel more in line with jededitor, who seems to grasp that there is something missing. By the way, now that I have seen Eduspaces.net (which took a bit of doing) I have a more specific point to make. Why, when you first install Elgg, doesn't it look a lot like Eduspaces? Then the adminstrator could make all the fine hacks and tweaks that jededitor can tell us about, with a nice working system. Preferably with a "save changes" button, a "restore from saved changes" and a "restore to defaults" button. This me in my analyst mode, something I would have suggested upfront if I had been here, but surely it could be done now. Then the amount of "idiot's" documentation needed would be much less.
Firstly, I never thought you complained, rather I could see that you are frustrated with some issues. This is something we both have in common as I too am frustrated with a few issues. And I know that you'll eventually get your project done because you are taking the time to analyse things.. That's all it takes.
Now, I know you directed the above comment to Dhrup, but I hope you don't mind me giving some input on that.. and by no means am I claiming to be an expert, because I am not. When you look at the 'plugin/theme' integration and management system in Elgg, you'll find that the 'save changes' and 'restore' features do in fact exist. Once you enable a plugin, it is deployed, once you disable it, the default alternative is restored. This is a little different to the traditional 'modify' and restore functions which commonly affect the same file (ie, modify file.php, then, restore the same file.php). Despite this, the outcome is the same. My take on the benefits of using the elgg method are:
Thank you all very much, this has helped me a lot. I see that I will have to learn a lot more about plugins. I am glad to see that Dhrup and Jededitor have just started groups or topics about plugins -- perhaps a bit too developer-oriented for me, but I will follow along and see what they say. What has made the greatest difference to my understanding of Elgg is getting into a good active site -- Eduspaces, one that answered my original question about where there might be a fully operational site. (By the way they have no registration button -- I only got in through the kindness of Tami, who agreed to invite me). Anyway, I greatly enjoy the site, which does what I wanted -- it lets you find people on the basis of interests, and does other things I hoped for too. I wonder how they did it? I don't know enough to emulate them yet, but I am getting very optimistic now. Thanks again to all of you.