Tal.ki Review

(July 8, 2010 23:05)
Last Version June 21st, 2010 (Hosted). Released under Proprietary License.
Resources Website Tal.ki Website Download Host your Forum...
Company Lefora.
Price Free $0, Pro $9.95/month, Platinum $59/month, Max $249/month .
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Why Tal.ki?

Tal.ki website claims that Tal.ki is the easiest way to embed a forum on a website. After creating an HTML page and add the code snippet given by the wizard, the only thing we can answer is: Yes, this is true!

Installing a forum on a website has never been that much easy! Let's see now what features you can have for this installation in a minute process...

Review Updates:

  • July 8, 2010: First Review.

Tal.ki is recommended for Large Community.

(and supports smaller communities perfectly as well.)

Client Requirements

Browser & Client Requirements
Compatible Browsers
List of Compatible Browsers.
Mozilla FirefoxMozilla FirefoxInternet ExplorerInternet Explorer
Google ChromeGoogle ChromeOperaOpera
Apple SafariApple SafariKonquerorKonqueror
Mozilla SeaMonkeyMozilla SeaMonkey
Required Plugins/Technologies
Additional or Basic Requirements from Client Side.
Javascript, AJAX.
Localization
Languages supported by Tal.ki.
Yes.
Supported Languages:
German Spanish
Italian English (British)
English (American)

Note that French and Portuguese translations will be available soon.

As an hosted service, it's really simple to integrate Tal.ki to your website, and you therefore have no architecture requirements.

As usual with Tal.ki, integration is the main point. It will then automatically select the right language depending on the configuration of your browser.

Compatibility with Smartphones
Compatible SmartPhones
Compatible Cellphone Brands and Manufacturers.
No.
Application Distribution / Type
How it is distributed / App Store Availability
No.

Forum Threads & Posts

Forum Threads / Topics
Forum Style Flat Forum Organization
  • Forum Categories
  • Sub Sections
Thread Icons No Topic Tags No
Hot Topics - Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics Yes Sticky Threads Yes
Related Threads - Detect Duplicate Threads No
Announcements No
Posting Messages / Answers
Message Editing Form
How to Post Messages.
  • Plain Text
  • Formatting Buttons
Post Editing Format
Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
  • BBCode
Spell Checker
Checks typos on posts and topics.
No
Image Attachment
How Images can be Attached and Displayed in Message Posts.
  • Upload via Classic Attachments. Images are all at the end of the post.
  • Use BBCode or HTML. Need to type the URL of an already hosted image.
  • Upload with Image Hosting Site. ImageShack, Photobucket,...
Embedded Videos
Videos and Media Websites Supported in Message Posts.
No.
Posting Features
Quick Reply Box Yes Smileys No
Attachments No Syntax Highlighting No
Message Rating
No Message Quoting Yes

The thread icons are actually from the picture of its author. It's of course sufficient, and help to graphically categorize each topics. BBCodes capabilities are described on the Tal.ki Support page.

Classic attachments have not been implemented simply because most of the time, forum members do not use that, and when it is used, it's generally to store virus and other malicious codes.

Additional & Technical Features

Additional Forum Features
Poll Creation No
Private Messages
Users Can Communicate using an Internal Messaging System.
Patch
Instant Messaging
Discuss with Visitors and Members in a Chat Window.
No
Calendar
Topic, Member Birthdays, Events are available from the perspective of a calendar.
No
Online Users List
Connected User List (Often Found in the Forum Footer).
Yes
Members List
Search and Consult the List of Members.
Yes
Technical Features
Bundled Software
Additional Software Available with the Forum.
No.
RSS/Atom Syndication
Posts and Threads Exported to Feeds Aggregators Syndicate.
R
Friendly URLs
URLs are clear and contain information about the topic (title, message,...). Highly recommended for SEO purposes.
Yes
Post by Email
Post Directly From your Email Box.
No
Remote Control
Remote Control from External Software/Websites.
  • XML/RPC
Cache System
Cache pages to optimize bandwidth and load times.
Yes
Template Engine
It is easier to theme a forum using a known template engine (more docs & examples,...).
No.

This time, we could not consider Tal.ki to be bundled with additional software, but I would say the opposite: it's actually Tal.ki that could easily be bundled in any type of websites, including project management, pictures manager, CMS, wiki, blog,...

Note also that the remote API is only available with the Max plan.

User Profiles & Options

Some details about Tal.ki features regarding members.
Member Options & Features
Bookmark Threads
User Profiles Keep a List of Followed Posts and Topics.
No
Email Notifications
Receive Emails When New Messages are Posted in Followed Threads.
Yes
Export private messages
Private Messages can be Downloaded by Users.
No
Payment Subscriptions
Paying Membership Subscription.
No
User Profiles
User Profile
User Information and Settings.
Yes
Avatars
Pictures of Members, Useful to Easily Identify their Posts.
Yes
Signature
Signatures Added at the Bottom of Each Message.
Yes
Ranks
Tags and Labels Identifying the Members, based on specific criteria (Total Posts Count, Credits, Moderation Level...)
No

You can only register to a Tal.ki forum with on of your existing account on any major platforms and social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google Account, Windows Live ID,... It is therefore very easier to register, and you don't lose time to find an new password for this Xth account.

Moderation & Users Management

Moderation & Threads Management
Moderation
Post-Moderation The moderation is done afterwards, if an administrator notices a problem or if a member reports something wrong. Each message is therefore directly published.
Reactive Moderation By reporting any problems, members are reactive against moderation problems. Moderators' main objective is to regularly check user reports, without having to follow each threads.
Distributed Moderation By organizing the forum around moderators, who are usually power and experienced users, moderation is self-powered and only depends on the community.
Moderator per section No
Global Moderator Yes
Move Threads
Move Threads from Topics
Yes
Shadow Topics
When a thread is moved, the previous position is kept in order to inform users of this modification.
Yes
Close/Lock Threads
Close/Lock Problematic Threads
Yes
Users Management
User Groups
Organize and define groups of users, and apply different actions and settings on them.
Common Groups: Guests, Members, Moderators, Administrators,...
No
User Registration
  • Free Registration
  • Confirmation sent by email for validation
Limit Features For New Users
Features are limited if a user has created a small number of posts.
No
Guest Posting No
Multiple Administrators Yes
Send Warnings to Users
Inform users by email or PM that they infringe the board rules, and could be excluded for such behavior.
No
Forum/Section Restricted Access
ACL could be use to determine if a user or a group of users can access (in read only, post message) to some sections and topics.
No
User Banishment No

Administration & Support

Database Management
Backup Database
Backup forum datas that you could store somewhere else.
Yes
Prune Database
Remove old and unused datas from your forum.
No
Restore Database
Restore a backup of your database if the previous install crashed.
No
Administration Tools
Statistics
Statistics about posts count, users, traffic...
No Error/Notice Log Viewer
Forum Logs could be consulted.
No
Tasks Scheduler
Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
No Mass Mailing
Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
No
Installation & Upgrading
Installation Method
How this forum software could be installed.
Installation Wizard
Upgrading Method
How this forum software could be upgraded.
Upgrade Wizard
Updates Notifications
The Admin Panel informs you when a new version is released.
No
Forum Migration
Convert an existing forum to Tal.ki.
No.

You are able to export your database in the Max plan only, but this is particularly useful and rare for such hosted service. From the hosting point, Tal.ki uses the Redis cache system, to improve processing speed.

Security & Spam Protection

Security & Spam Protection
CAPTCHA
Captcha protects your forum against spam bots.
e.g., Syndicate
Yes
Abnormal Behavior Detection
Detect users or request strange behaviors, and try to process proactive actions.
No
Words Filtering
Offensing Words are automatically replaced.
No
User Blacklist
Prevent specific user accounts to register (based on email address, name,...) and disable potentially harmful members.
No
IP Blocking
Prevent access to spam robots and other scripts that could attempt DDOS or Brute Force attacks on your forum.
No

As user accounts are managed using third-parties, spamming and security are more efficient.

Customization & Social Networks

Customization
Plugins
Add new features to your forum installation.
No.
Themes
Modify the style of your forum easily.
Yes.
Custom BBCodes No Smiley Packs No
Custom
Thread Icons
No Additional User Profile Fields
Ask more about your members with custom fields.
No
Integration with Applications, Social Networks, Intranet...
Social Networks
Users can share information from their social network account...
CMS / Blog Bridges
Integration with existing Web publishing tools.
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • WordPress
User Accounts Integration
Do users be able to log in with their corporate, Google, Facebook,... accounts?
Content Aggregation
Forum allows to integrate news and content from other website, using an aggregation protocol (RSS, RDF, Atom,...).
No.

Tal.ki provides nice plugins for well known CMS and blog system, like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal,... We suggest you to regularly consult the Tal.ki Blog for more information. Please also remember that if there is no plugin for your publishing platform (or if you have written your own website), integrating Tal.ki just needs to integrate a line of Javascript on your source code.

In Tal.ki, the "theme" concept is no longer needed: Tal.ki is indeed able to automatically integrate itself in your website layout and style. It therefore chooses the right colors, fonts and background, to, again, embed a forum in a minute. If you however want to customize it, then you can simply modify the CSS stylesheet of your own website, and Tal.ki will reflect these changes.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
HTML / XHTML Markup
XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
XHTML 1.0 Transitional
Click to see if it respects HTML norms.
CSS Stylesheets
CSS 2.
CSS 2
Click to see if it respects CSS norms.
Accessibility (WAI)
Web Accessibility ensures that the forum is usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.
Conformance to AA level.
AA
UTF-8 Support
Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
Yes
Conformance to W3C Norms
Does Tal.ki correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?
Yes.

Unique Features

Key points and major differences that make Tal.ki unique:

  • Integration on any website in one minute
  • Huge range of user accounts supported
  • Theme automatically matches your website appearance

Final Words


Great!

Tal.ki is a really surprising good forum software. It combines several rare things that we love to see in software development: integration with third party products, easy installation, no attempts to reinvent the wheel (user accounts, theming,...). This is finally the kind of product we were expecting with the Web 2.0 wave, that has some difficulties to reach the forum domain. Indeed, you still see today to many forum without SEO capabilities, accounts integration, old layout that does not use CSS,...

Fortunately, Tal.ki has overwhelmed these classic mistakes and simply provides the best way to integrate a forum to any website in a minute. About the features themselves, it's clear that Tal.ki does not compete with major commercial softwares like vBulletin or IPB, but who really cares today? Have the success story of Twitter been based on a complex tool? No, it was only based on an idea, a concept, like Tal.ki concept: Smooth Integration.

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