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Activity low?

Topics: General
Jun 24, 2016 at 4:12 PM
Edited Jun 24, 2016 at 4:25 PM
(disclaimer: I am still a learner when it comes to all this so please don't kill me for this post, but I'm genuinely asking these questions because I am interested/care) This forum appears to be not so active (trying to be tactful), however also appears to be pretty much the best/only source for folks with knowledge that is moderately up to date...

From a system longevity/health this worries me a little so I'd like to just risk poking the bear by putting this general ?philosophy/theory? and a bunch of talking points:

It seems to me that except for simple/trivial and bespoke utility webapps, these days its almost mandatory for a website to implement many non-trivial aspects such as accessibility (WCAG), email communications, solid logging, globalization and security which is a lot of work and takes a reasonable chunk of time (much in brainstorming and architecting a maintainable framework that is manageable for the life of the application)... Orchard (and other CMS) seem to cover a lot of these bases much better than what you could come up with in any kind of short timeframe, even if you are a nuget wiz, not to mention that most non-trivial websystems often end up having at least a basic CMS like requirement, plus why constantly reinvent the wheel...?

I know its no sharepoint/Jira/confluence/salesforce/whatever(yes all different, but bigger systems also)... but its not a small system either... I guess where I'm going with this is a) is it (or will it be) more of a PLATFORM than a CMS
  1. is Orchard still in active use? (I know its got fairly low market share, but it seems to be a fairly good system without a lot of the legacy cruft of other CMS systems... (not an expert in any but have been battered by many frameworks and platforms philosophies... enough to know the general ropes)) (has everyone gone elsewhere? or is the system doco so good that no one feels the need to ask questions that much?)
  2. a lot of the modules seem to be pretty old and not super active in their evolution, this could be a good sign or a bad one... any insight into which it is?
  3. I've heard rumours of 2.0 release... is this near/far and is it (as the version number implies) a big change to things?
  4. while I like the system as a whole I find the edit workflow is a little too slow (or is it the JS in my browser that is slow? ;) heheh) as a UX thing... "click click click" is there plans to address this (or is there something I'm missing that improves this)?
  5. while I love the flexibility of things (and this may be related to its relative youth as a platform) I find that you have to jump into development much sooner than I would like from a CMS system, is this because its MVC based or is this kind of aspect still evolving?
what do you think? Is all of this hokum?
Or is this (as in so many IT situtions) dependant too highly on the needs of the application and so the idea of a CMS being a webplatform that is a simple baseline for non-trivial application development a pipe dream and will never be solvable by something akin to a "general web application starter kit"?
Jun 26, 2016 at 11:13 AM
I can't honestly tell why the forums appear a somewhat quiet, but my theory would be that the community is still relatively small. As for the project's longevity, I would not worry, because there are plenty people and companies out there that rely on Orchard who also contribute back. Check out GitHub where we receive many issues and pull requests. There is also Orchard Pros where people gather to ask and answer questions.

Regarding your other questions:
  1. Although Orchard provides pretty advanced CMS features, at its heart its a framework that enables many other kind of web applications. Because of its sound architecture, it's a beautiful system to extend and customize. This is why I personally love it and haven been working with little else since 2011. On top of this framework comes a set of pretty advanced modules. Although the UX may not be on par with many other systems, the features are powerful ones.
  2. Orchard is definitely in active use today, and has been since its first release. I know quite a few people and companies that rely on Orchard and that are invested.
  3. I think this is a good sign. Most modules are actively used and serve a need. Since it's a community-driven project, people focus their contributions on what they find important. Some of those modules are good enough, so no need to keep update.
  4. Orchard 2 is a rewrite of Orchard 1 and is being built on ASP.NET Core. It will inherit all of the good things of Orchard 1 and apply lessons learned over the years. You can find its road map and current state on GitHub. Although there is no official release date, I've heard rumors it will be in a stable state before the end of 2016.
  5. Could you elaborate on what specific workflow is slow? Is the browser slow in responding to your clicks, and/or are you saying that managing content requires too many clicks? If so, what kind of content are you editing? If you're referring to the Layout editor, you might consider replacing the LayoutPart with the BodyPart on your content types, if all you care about is entering a body of text for example. I think we would all like a better UX, but it's a tricky thing to get right due to the modularity of the system. where we can't make much assumptions about how the user is using the system. However, we are always open to suggestions (and contributions!) via GitHub.
  6. Definitely not because it is MVC. The core product ships what we think makes sense for the majority of the users. The platform is meant to be extended, which is why there is a module and theme gallery where others can share much more functionality than comes with the box. But if you think that we're missing something, please do open a discussion and/or create a GitHub issue with a feature request.
I don't think there will ever be a system that has everything for everyone. In my mind, the vision behind Orchard is to provide a strong framework with essential features to get up and running quickly. It's true power lies in its extensibility, enabling highly customized, beautiful and advanced web sites and applications.
Jul 1, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Jul 1, 2016 at 2:16 PM
Hey Nick, looks like you pasted in the wrong URL (it points to this very thread :))
Jul 1, 2016 at 3:05 PM

Jul 1, 2016 at 3:32 PM
Jul 9, 2016 at 2:25 AM
Edited Jul 9, 2016 at 2:29 AM
Yep, so I think you got exactly what I was on about, cool.
(#5) slow not generally on the browser as such (although I occasionally notice the "modules page" sometimes "hangs" (various browsers say page has stopped responding/long running script do you want to reload? but if you give it around 15 seconds it does eventually come good... mostly this is on dev (not debugging) so not sure what's going on there, but generally in PROD its pretty snappy from a 'tech' perspective). However, yes, I was referring to the experience of the user (eg content manager) in managing content - and yes, mostly its with layout pages - its great that the CM can actually graphically control the layout of the content - its missing from a lot of other CMS's, but I wouldn't say its intuitive (but totally understand what you are saying in that its hard to be all things to all folks - so I'm cool with it, but just wondering if there is a "solution" to this - esp. advice to/education of content managers - sounds like the answer is "if you don't need layout, just use html page or something else..."?
On top of this the GUI of the administration is very "scroll down further and further... and then all the way back up..." to grab widgets/snippets to then drag onto the layout area - which a lot of my users are struggling with (especially with smaller monitors...) any advice/suggestions (beyond the layout/body part swap out... which is a good one and might be just what I need, thanks - it would be better if there was an alternative to modifying the ContentType though... like telling users to follow a particular workflow "choose 'X' when you want to..., choose 'Y' when you want to..." or is this just trial and error/experience learning for the Content Mangers)?

(#6) okay so sounds like I'm not really missing much in having to jump into coding sooner rather than later, in this system, perhaps I'm just too used to some of the other CMSs around... and I feel... similar to you in that it feels like a much better webPlatform than just a 'from scratch' webApp - even if you ignore all the 'freebies' you get from the existing modules, its worth it just from the guidance of architecture you get from the existing code...

(ASIDE... man, I'm really struggling with whatever this markdown is! ;) hehe )