Bad press for Orchard

Topics: General
Apr 30, 2011 at 10:04 AM

I was doing some googling, and I ran across this article in TechRepublic.  Not sure if you guys have seen it yet.

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/programming-and-development/pass-on-orchard-cms-until-the-feature-set-matures/4127

I was astonished by the bad information.  Virtually every issue he mentions is not true.  It appears he doesn't understand that Orchard attempts to keep the core extremely streamlined, and makes many features add-on modules (for instance, his complaint about sub-pages.. just install Orchard Chapters). 

I think someone from the team should set him straight on his comments.  I sent him an email, but it may carry more weight coming from the developers who can explain Orchards philosophy to him.

 

Apr 30, 2011 at 11:33 AM

I think based on what he's written, a comment from a user carries a lot more weight than one from a developer, showing there's weight behind the project to get it to the kind of feature richness he's looking for.

But, some of his comments (whilst not being entirely factually accurate) do highlight areas which could still be greatly improved, whether this ends up happening via community modules or core functionality.

What he really misses the point with, is how Orchard is designed to be extended in those areas. But that's something you can only really get first hand by actually diving in and building stuff.

Anyway; one bad review really shouldn't be of concern to anyone, it's the nature of journalism, and Orchard has also received a lot of very good praise. In six months or a year it will be very easy to dismiss those kind of criticisms when you can say "just look at such-and-such module, it kicks the ass of any other CMS out there" :)

Apr 30, 2011 at 2:24 PM
Edited Apr 30, 2011 at 3:56 PM

> What he really misses the point with, is how Orchard is designed to be extended in those areas. But that's something you can only really get first hand by actually diving in and building stuff.

I just read the techrepublic post, and it reminds me of the early days of 16 bit Windows. There would always be these shootouts between Lotus 123 and Excel where someone with a stopwatch would measure load times.

The key takeaway form the analogy to the early days of Windows is not how good Windows was (or was not), but what it became. Does anyone still run Lotus 123 or VisiCalc?

The more interesting question is what does it take to move a "great prototype" into the dominant platform? Windows originally shipped with a powerful SDK and a good C compiler, it was definitely designed to be extended. Say what you want, but until Microsoft  released Visual Basic, writing programs for Windows was simply too difficult for many (most?) people.

If I give Justin James the benefit of the doubt here, I think what he is saying is that most people will give more weight to the features and maturity of the CMS itself and less to what platform it is built upon. In other words Microsoft Word would never have beat out Wordperfect simply because it was a Windows app, it beat out Wordperfect because it was a better word processor, irrespective of platform (with apologies to Wordperfect lovers).

Or think perhaps of JavaScript. You can say pure JavaScript is great simply because it is powerful and designed to be extended, but I believe most developers want more, they want JavaScript libraries like JQuery.

So just like JavaScript 10 years ago, some of us look at Orchard and believe in what it will become. Even fewer of us roll up our sleeves and write  libraries (modules) like JQuery. But the plain fact remains that for the vast majority of users unless and until Orchard is buffed out like Wordpress, Drupal, Joombla etc. they will not select Orchard simply for its potential.

Apr 30, 2011 at 3:40 PM
JonnyBoats wrote:

Does anyone still run Lotus 123 [...] ?

Yes; my dad :) but then he'd still be running Protext in MS-DOS if he could get away with it ...

Coordinator
Apr 30, 2011 at 4:45 PM
Edited Apr 30, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Did anyone comment directly on the post yet? This being said I wouldn't worry too much: this post has been up since April 15th and has only two comments, one of which is from the author. That is indicAtive of a blog that not many people read.

May 1, 2011 at 8:10 AM

A bit of an update.  The author responded to my email, and he told me a number of things.

First, he said the article was originally much longer and he cut it because he felt people "tune out" of longer articles.  Not sure if that's a valid reason, but oh well.

Second, apparently he had issues with the Web Platform Installer correctly configuring the permissions, which required him to manually go in and change them.  Maybe that's a real issue with the WebPI, but my thoughts on the matter is that making sure the site is configured correctly is your responsibility ultimately.

Third, He believes that the core system should have all the bells and whistles, not require add-on modules.  I think this is just a difference in philosphy, but he seemed to take umbrage that it didn't do a lot of things "out of the box".  Perhaps documentation can better describe the orchard philosophy on this matter.  And maybe Orchard can include a few more modules by default (i've never understood why DateTime and other fields are modules, except as a way to illustrate Orchrds flexibility... and that is just as easily accomplished by including them).

Fourth, he was using IE9 and IE9 has some bugs with the TinyMCE version included in 1.1 (alrady filed a bug report on that).  His argument was that if this was a bug, it looks bad because Orchard is developed by Microsoft developers, and they should have been aware of IE9 issues... Whatever.

I don't necessarily disagree with his ultimate conclusion, that for most people Orchard will need more time to mature.  But I did feel the article was misleading, and made it seem like only a masochist would use Orchard, when in reality it's a very simple and easy system to use.

 

May 2, 2011 at 5:13 AM

I am interested in this issue as I am trying to promote Orchard in my organisation simply because I like Asp.NET MVC!! However, I have installed Orchard on my developement laptop and I find it unbearably slow. I cannt see it being useable in its current form. Is there anything that I can do to get it to go faster. My platform is windows 7, VS 2010, DELL Precision M6400 with 8GB memory. Why is it so slow?

Coordinator
May 2, 2011 at 5:51 AM

@GraemeWT: that is a little off-topic but I'll be happy to help you if you send me email at bleroy at microsoft. No, it is not normal that you don't get good performance.

@mystere: thanks, it was pretty clear from the article that Orchard is not the CMS for him because he has a set of expectations that is exactly the opposite of ours. I particularly appreciated his paragraph explaining that we're idiots who don't understand what a CMS should be (e.g. what his own idea of a CMS is). Different philosophies indeed.

To answer your question, other types of fields are not there out of the box for a very simple reason: we never had time to put them in and had other priorities. You can expect to see them appear in future versions. Here's a little comparison with another much more successful CMS: CCK (the part that enables you to build your own content types) only made it into the core distribution with Drupal 7! So other platforms do take this philosophy a lot farther than us...

FWIW, I do agree that for many people his title is actually accurate. OTOH, a less than five-months-old CMS with 144 modules is, I think, unheard of.

May 3, 2011 at 2:00 AM

@GraemeWT: If you're running Orcard in Visual Studio, then I too have noticed that it performs very poorly.  Especially in debug mode, but even if you run (rather than debug) and run the release version i've also noticed it performs relatively poorly.   Even if you enable IIS Express.

On the other hand, if you run it via webmatrix, it performs quite well.  I'm not sure what the difference is, but I keep it configured in both VS and Webmatrix for this reason, and I tend to run it in Webmatrix, and only use VS when debugging.

May 3, 2011 at 3:17 AM

Thanks mystere. I am told the same problem exists with DotNetNuke and that it is caused by a bug in ASP.NET!

May 3, 2011 at 11:15 AM
mystere wrote:

@GraemeWT: If you're running Orcard in Visual Studio, then I too have noticed that it performs very poorly.  Especially in debug mode, but even if you run (rather than debug) and run the release version i've also noticed it performs relatively poorly.   Even if you enable IIS Express.

On the other hand, if you run it via webmatrix, it performs quite well.  I'm not sure what the difference is, but I keep it configured in both VS and Webmatrix for this reason, and I tend to run it in Webmatrix, and only use VS when debugging.

 

I have notice that even in VS there is big difference in runtime performance between Orchard.Web.1.1.30.zip (quite responsive) and Orchard.Source.1.1.30.zip (much slower).

Coordinator
May 3, 2011 at 7:01 PM

@gkumik: you may want to try to run it without debugging (CTRL+F5 instead of F5 to launch the app). It makes a huge difference.

Jul 1, 2011 at 6:37 AM

Any idea why bleroy? It it just the nature of dynamically loading modules?

Coordinator
Jul 1, 2011 at 6:38 AM

It's a number of things in VS debugging. 1.2 is doing much better though.