Just in case anyone else runs into a similar problem, I was looking at the wrong api urls to get what I needed.
I needed to be getting JSON from the topic data, rather than category or post. Most everything is working now.
can anybody help me?
Apparently no theme works on my nodeBB site except the default theme.
Whichever theme I used, the homepage will always look like this (I had already restarted nodeBB)
The default theme (Lavendar) on my installation looks like this
Lavender looks like it's working. The default theme is vanilla, and what's happening is probably that the themes you're trying aren't updated and therefore it's falling back on the default.
Thanks for your prompt response pitaj.