HomeHomeCoreCoreRants and RavesRants and RavesOpen Source at it Worst?Open Source at it Worst?
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11/17/2008 8:04 PM

I think OWS is a terrific idea, and has incredible potential, but as a project it needs a LOT of work. Right now it represents Open Source at it's absolute worst:

  • Apparently only a small elite group has any real idea of what it's capable of and how it actually works.
  • The documentation is practically nonexistent, and what there is isn't particularly useful.
  • The web site itself seems at least 50% broken. Virtually every link in the Wiki (the primary "documentation") goes to the same page (every link is, but the topic name is apparently ignored).
  • Many other links are also broken.
  • The documentation, help, community, etc. links in the program itself don't work. All you get is the login screen, repeatedly.
  • There's no downloadable, printable documentation. Many programmers, like me, enjoy kicking back and learning something new by reading PAPER documentation.
  • There's no use online help.

Don't get me wrong, I think the concept is awesome, and what little I've been able to actually use of the program itself (basically a tiny modificaiton to the QuickBuilder Demo) is pretty amazing, but I'd love to be able to learn how to actually use OWS to it's fullest!

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11/17/2008 9:19 PM

I think you're far from alone on this, and most would agree with everything you've said.

It seems only those that worked with ListX have much of an understanding of it, along with the developers of course.

What can one really say when the website doesn't work properly and people have said this for months?

Broken links in most cases just need to change from default.aspx?topic=topicname to wiki.aspx?topic=topicname but is this too big a task to take on so people can navigate the information that's here more easily?

I've taken to trying to learn further steps myself, break it right down and push it a bit more, which I'm documenting so it may be of some use to others.

Plus I've contracted a part-time developer to work with me specifically on this, though he's concerned about the learning curve when no information is easily available and feels it's better to just use Visua Studio.

How is anyone else battling through OWS as a new tool, considering these extra unexpected challenges?

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11/25/2008 1:53 PM

I came across listx about 18 months ago, just when we were trying to determine if DNN was a viable corporate intranet framework. Listx has gotten me out of a ton of jams (it has amazing abilities for building customizable snippets and even full miniapps), and honestly it's been the most useful tool I've used in the many years I've been doing development.

That said however, the Open Web Studio, while it is much more powerful, is even more cryptic on iniitial use (and listx had a decent curve to begin with). It has a number of concepts which are great and flexible, but very hard for people to grasp without good documentation and explanation. 

We will start using Open Web Studio and hopefully get competant at it, but I can imagine the huge struggle those of you who are just coming to this product are experiencing. The original product had resonable documentation (and much of it is still applicable in the new version), but the UI has changed so much it will be difficult for new users to utilize it properly.

Hopefully the docs and examples will get more plentiful, and they have talked about adding videos which would be beneficial as well. I hope they don't turn away more users, this product is really useful but I agree to this point this new website is lacking useful content so far. 




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11/26/2008 1:58 AM

Looks like a batch of video's have been released. check it out here


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11/26/2008 5:52 AM

Hey guys, thanks for the info - it is very aware to us the lacking areas and we are hard at work transitioning content into the platform for help. A batch of videos are done, the full list that is coming is also provided. The Wiki area is being revamped due to a critical issue with the wiki module. It will be online shortly.

Kevin M Schreiner
Open Web Studio
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