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  • William Burnett 213 posts 262 karma points
    Jun 17, 2013 @ 22:40
    William Burnett


    Folks... as the chief complainer here, I gotta weigh in again: This site is bad, has been bad, and will always be bad. It is a confusing mess of information with a terrible search engine and a terrible editor. It is a sprawling mess of half organized incomplete documentation. Edit post, get an XSLT error. Search for something and get unordered irrelevant results. Use IE to post and get all formatting stripped out...

    So NOW we have abandoned codeplex and are using this site isntead? Really? So we have taken yet one more thing that works and shoe horned it into the borked "our" experience.

    From my perspective: Umbraco is great, but the management of the project appears to be a mess. You folks appear to spend more time farting around with touchy feely nonsense than you do working on the core code and delivering stable software. The documentation is terrible at best. The "vote it up" bug system does not serve the project well and the core team rarely pays attention to the forum posts. One or more of you should be here every day documenting the problems and helping to prioritize the workflow instead of relying on bug tracker votes... 

    There are pages full of contradcitory, incomplete or flat out ambiguous information and loose ends unraveling everywhere. The search engine sucks and most things that are time relevant don't have dates, etc. Coming here to find information is an exercise in frustration, every time.

    With each release of the MS browser this forum and the code editor in Umbraco become less usable. Insanity.... We can't use a Microsoft Browser to edit a .NET based website or post in a .NET based forum.... WOW!

    What about the old site... did any of you notice the tens of thousands of spam links appended to all the old forum posts. It is pure laziness not getting that thing cleaned up and locked down... really. Nothing like letting the link spammers abuse the old forum to spread viruses and malware.

    Why the outburst? Because once again I am trying to upgrade my sites in hopes that some of the bugs have been fixed, and once again find myself floundering around this horrible forum/site.  

    There is clearly a lot of talent surrounding this project... after this many years, don't you think we would be further ahead if the talent was better organized and leveraged? Is there a project manager? What does he/she manage? Would it not be wise to spend the valuable time and energy making Umbraco better instead of fiddling with a forum that is broken from the ground up?

    I have attempted to persuade numerous people to use Umbraco and almost every one them has declined to adopt Umbraco because of how poorly organized and terrible this site is. They simply walk away frustrated with the experience.


    Just my two cents...

  • Steve Temple 54 posts 288 karma points MVP c-trib
    Jun 17, 2013 @ 23:22
    Steve Temple

    Hi William,

    I agree with a lot of this, and I've switched back to IE10 and find quite a few issues. At codegarden '13 there was quite a bit of discussion about and I think it's about to get a lot of much needed attention. The new search looks like it will address some of your issues.

    Also, if you were so inclined, contributing back to the site would be an awesome way to address your issues and help make the site better for everyone. The source is here:

    Adding my two cents, I think moving to GitHub is a brilliant move as Codeplex wasn't the right place for this project anymore.


  • Funka! 398 posts 660 karma points
    Jun 18, 2013 @ 20:32

    I only discovered that the source code had moved to GitHub when I noticed and wondered why there hadn't been any updates to the Hg/Codeplex repo in about a week, then saw in changeset 0a7daa05c0b3 a comment saying "last commit into mercurial!" which was a surprise to me---especially since i feel like I have been spending a fair amount of time most work days trying to keep up with what's new. This involves scanning these forums on Our, keeping up with the YouTrack issue tracker, the Google Dev group, the source code commit messages, the "follow us" HQ umbraco blog, the documentation project, and also a lot happens on twitter which is hard to follow and easy to miss important notes that otherwise don't exist anywhere else. And that's on top of actually getting any real work done!

    I guess more on topic with the subject "AAARRGHHH... THIS SITE!", is that yes it has flaws but I guess I've become de-sensitized to it, doing things like making additional posts instead of editing existing posts, not using MSIE, and deferring to Google to search for anything instead of the built-in search which is flaky as you noted. For me the biggest gripe regarding these forums specifically is how so many posts seem to go unanswered and get lost (buried) so easily in the shuffle. If you make a post and no one replies to it within about 24 hours to keep it afloat, it seems like it gets buried for good.

    Regarding other project priorities, i too am frustrated and confused regarding the direction things seem to go sometimes. But while I certainly have many opinions that conflict with this direction, I don't have any good answers for that. I'm too busy just trying to keep afloat of what's current!

  • William Burnett 213 posts 262 karma points
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 22:40
    William Burnett

    Each time these subjects come up, folks kindly point out the things that they like, or that "things are not so bad", but in general everything about Umbraco (other than Umbraco itself) is a disorganized mess. The bottom line is that this site is beyond terrible and being de-sinsitized or getting used to it does not make it any better. I would go further and sate that (in my opinion)  most everything about the organization and managent of this project leaves MUCH to be desired. It really is time for the managers of this project to step outside the glass walls and look in, the view isn't very pretty or comforting.

    I was not kidding when I said I often attempt to get peers to adopt Umbraco. They spend a bit of time fumbling around trying to find help and realize how poor and fragmented the documentation is. They look around the forum and see little core support and then they leave.

    I know I am throwing a lot of stones, but as much as I love working with Umbraco it is BY FAR the most poorly run project of this scope that I have ever seen. Every interaction with this site and the upgrade process and documentation eats futher away at any confidence I have in the management of this project.



  • Martin Griffiths 784 posts 1181 karma points c-trib
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 16:27
    Martin Griffiths

    Hi William

    I tend to agree with your comments about the forum it's far from ideal. Searching is still particularly rubbish, I sometimes lose posts and get XSLT errors a lot. The site has on occasion completely YSOD on me too!

    But....I usually find what i'm looking for when I need advice and responses are almost always prompt and helpful...and I guess thats the key!

    So the rest is cumbersome, but bareable...not entirely forgiveable though and therefore it's always worth putting forward suggestions for change.


  • Steve Temple 54 posts 288 karma points MVP c-trib
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 17:17
    Steve Temple


    I've been thinking about this, and if you compare the forum/Q&A section of this site to something like Stack Overflow.. well there is no comparison.

    I'd vote for setting up an Umbraco Stack Exchange site, but I know the guys were after centralising as there a lot of disparate services currently. However picking the best tool for the job seems like a sensible idea to me, and creating a central site that points you in the right direction for whatever you need.



  • William Charlton 170 posts 217 karma points
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 17:46
    William Charlton

    William - You know that translates (roughly) into bull headed ;)

    I totally agree. We used DotNet Nuke for a LONG time and got pretty adept at de-bloating it. It finally go so we couldn't upgrade because so much broke when we tried. I had been watching Umbraco for some years and being a strongly XML/XSL based house it always looked attractive - if a bit quirky.

    We finally made the switch around two, maybe three, years ago and hit the learning curve - it was hard and the documentation was lamentable - it still is, in my opinion, but we persevered and finally got our heads round what we were supposed to do and in what order. The docs are still weak and given the age of Umbraco you'd think that over the years this could have built up to be worth reading or even worth paying to read.

    If anyone is interested I eventually wrote our own docs, for as much as anything, our own use - if they help anyone else that's great.

    The Version 5 fiasco AND the security alert in May, almost killed it for us but when Umbraco got "back on track" with Ver 6 I looked again and now I'm giving it another shot. It should be good, Umbraco is lean, fast and once installed pretty bug free - or it was. I get error after error. I tried 6.1.6 - I couldn't even save templates!!! A poster advised trying 6.1.4 (I had tried 6.1.5 and that failed saving Templates too). I still get errors but I'm persevering.

    I totally agree with the other William, why the emphasis on aesthetics? The bloody thing isn't finished yet. It's buggy, it fails poorly if you don't get the permissions right, there is near zero guidance for 3rd party devs so as a result they are poorly implemented and if an install fails,  it fails catastrophically, I haven't yet seen one fail gracefully.

    And don't start me on the forum.

    Improve, fix, streamline, document and simplify BEFORE you add new cool stuff, because that is just amateur.

    Where are the grown-ups???

    Oh and don't suggest that because I am griping it means I can't be arsed to contribute. I would if I thought anyone would listen. The cabal of dudes is too happy in its garden, sipping whatever the current cool beer is, to really listen it seems.

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