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  • Frederik T 216 posts 306 karma points
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 15:22
    Frederik T
    0

    About Google Analytics and plugins...

    I was wondering, something as important and heavily used as Google Analytics, i dont understand why there isnt any useful dashboard plugin for it today. All we have is the outdated "Google Analytics for Umbraco" http://our.umbraco.org/projects/website-utilities/google-analytics-for-umbraco .

    It hardly installs and doesnt really work anymore, and cries of help from users are going unanswered. Why is that? Am i the only one who wants this? For something this important, i dont understand why there isnt made a bigger deal out of it.

    What do you guys do instead? Is there some alternative that i have never heard of? Or is the demand just so low for some reason?

    Yes this is a semi rant, I just find this very odd. In general I feel that the amount of plugins for Umbraco is in general lacking, and weeding out outdated/dead plugins is difficult, so its hard to make out the good from the bad.

  • Dave Woestenborghs 3213 posts 10799 karma points MVP 4x admin c-trib
    Apr 25, 2013 @ 09:32
    Dave Woestenborghs
    0

    I don't what version of Umbraco you are using but the page of the package states it should work on Umbraco 4.7

    Also if you need modifications, the source code is available

     

    Dave

  • Frederik T 216 posts 306 karma points
    Apr 25, 2013 @ 21:24
    Frederik T
    0

    I am using 4.9. But people are having trouble even with 4.7. And besides, i am well aware of the source code, but that is not the point. My point is with so many users of Umbraco, why is the plugin ecosystem in such a bad shape?

    And it doesnt help to answer my question: What are others doing with google analytics, or the lack of plugins in general?

  • Jan Skovgaard 11242 posts 23390 karma points MVP 6x admin c-trib
    Apr 26, 2013 @ 00:54
    Jan Skovgaard
    1

    Hi Frederik

    There can be a number of reasons why the plugin is not working. Some of them may be due to Google changing their API, which means that the creator of the package needs to modify his source code. When the Umbraco API and inner workings change the package creator may need to do some changes as well. - but if he does no longer have the time to keep the package updated then nothing ever happens.

    Also keep in mind that people are using their spare time on these projects and they're doing them for free so unfortunately we can't expect them to keep the packages updated. That's simply the way of OSS development...I know it's a bit frustrating and it sure is frustrating to see there is a package and be told it's abandoned/not supported for a specific Umbraco version and then being told that the source is available. That does not really help if one does not have the skills to make the corrections needed.

    An alternative could be to encourage the community to work on getting the package working or perhaps asking some of the brilliant freelancers if they could help out with fixing the package for a certain price.

    Perhaps you can even be lucky to ask the package creator if he is willing to/has the time to do a new version of the package. After all this is a friendly community. It's ok to rant but if you do so please remember to give some constructive feedback as to suggest how things could be done better etc.

    I think that collaboration is the key creating good packages for Umbraco that become popular and maintained unless you're one of those who make a living from doing commercial packages. The commercial packages are usually of high quality and being kept up to date. It's not fair to expect that from free stuff - However I think that the uComponents project shows that it can be done. So it would indeed be very nice if a project called "uMarketing" saw daylight where integration with Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, Mail providers etc. could be handled somehow...like we have a lot of nice Umbraco extensions in uComponents...if that idea makes sense? But what would the ideal approach be?

    So what are others doing - I'm not sure. Why do you think it's important to have access to Google analytics from within Umbraco? The client can still access Google analytics statistics outside of Umbraco, right? - However I agree...the way I see it Umbraco is like the cockpit for all online activities the client has so it's nice for the client to only worry about logging into Umbraco and then being able to edit content, send out newsletter and check up on the statistic in Google analytics or whatever tool they use.

    A way to achieve this in a non-fancy way could be to use an iframe in a Dashboard so the access GA could be given by calling the site with an iframe in the dashboard. That way the client will login to GA from within Umbraco. I'm not sure if the credentials to GA can be passed in a safe way somehow so the client does not need to enter them each time they want to check though...but that's a suggestion for a simple way of doing it allthough it's not as elegant.

    Ok, that post turned out to be a bit longer than I expected...hope it makes sense, since I may be a bit tired and a bit drunk as well as I'm writing this :)

    Have a good night.

    /Jan

  • Frederik T 216 posts 306 karma points
    Apr 29, 2013 @ 09:36
    Frederik T
    1

    Woah, an impressive reply! My post was a bit of a rant, i have worked professionally with umbraco for two years now, i like it and i will continue to do so, but some frustrations have been added up over time. This was one of them, or just plugins in general. On the other hand, it's easy enough to "hack apart" and make your own stuff for it, but as you said, not all have the necessary skills to do so. I am proficient with C# but sparetime in my workplace to experiment with homemade plugins, is not available. So over time i see plugins for stuff like Wordpress and get saddenned by the fact that they dont exist for Umbraco. Obviously, the install base of Wordpress and Umbraco is quite different, and they have somewhat different audiences in mind, but still. In the meantime, it seems more like that users of Umbraco have a tendency to create their own modifications on a case basis. They have this great CMS "framework", they then hack away at and modify to their needs. This makes their own creations so highly specialized, that they arent fit for public usage. Well, this is just my idea on why the plugin community is like it is.

    Well, back to Google Analytics. Personally, i would just check google's own website, but this is a request from my employer to reinstall the google analytics dashboard. It has been removed ever since the site was upgraded to 4.9. Well there is no other option than just try it out and see what i can fiddle with to make it work.

    You are right about the community, many, many here have gladly helped me as i started working with Umbraco, and their help has been invaluable. Even the most silly and stupid questions, has been answered in a well-mannered professional tone. No mocking at all. I owe a lot of people beers if i ever meet them. Also, when posting threads here of a problem i have, whenever i find the solution i try to leave information behind so others can find the thread and hopefully find it usefull. A thread i made about upgrading from Umbraco 4.0 to 4.9 comes to mind. Now that was a big obstacle if i ever saw one.

  • Jan Skovgaard 11242 posts 23390 karma points MVP 6x admin c-trib
    May 09, 2013 @ 11:46
    Jan Skovgaard
    1

    Hi Frederik

    You certainly have many valid points and I share some of the same frustrations.

    Especially the thing with people mocking around figuring out a solution that is so tightly integrated that it's hard to modulize. We need to somehow make an effort for making people more engaged about creating more great community projects like uComponents, which we can all benefit from.

    I don't know much about the wordpress community but I think it's pretty safe to asume that their community is bigger than our and hence there are more people doing nice packages all the time that makes it a breeze to setup new functionality. However I also see many packages created by different peoeple to solve the same issue. So something is telling me they don't neccesarily collaborate very well.

    This is something we should encourage on all levels in this wonderfull community and I think uComponents is one of those projects where this is being done with success.

    Are you by any chance attending CG13 this year? Perhaps it would be an idea to do an open space about this friday at the festival?

    /Jan

  • Frederik T 216 posts 306 karma points
    May 13, 2013 @ 13:49
    Frederik T
    0

    Thank you for your reply again, it's a little late so i hope this post wont go unnoticed.

    Having not made a plugin myself for umbraco, i might not have a big say in this, but the plugin community with umbraco is anemic. And i think we both agree on this. We have a handful of super users churning out great plugins like uComponents... And thats it. In these two years i have used no more than five plugins in production, and its more or less the same everyone else uses. There really isnt anything else to choose from, unless its some highly specific case.

    Granted, like i said i am not helping by not collaborating myself, but i would like to try some day, as i have the skills that are required.

    We have a helpful, professional community, but the bystanders need to be invited in to create new plugins or collaborate. Maybe thats "all" thats needed, maybe it's an easier way to implement plugins, maybe how plugins are produced need to be revised or simplified.

    I would very much like to attend codegarden, but i dont have the money to buy in, so i havent considered it. Also i am soon switching jobs to a place where i would likely not work with umbraco anymore (sadly), but will continue to use it privately and keep my skills sharp.

    Either way, perhaps this thread will encourage at least some discussion at codegarden.

  • Jan Skovgaard 11242 posts 23390 karma points MVP 6x admin c-trib
    May 13, 2013 @ 21:20
    Jan Skovgaard
    1

    Hi Frederik

    Rest asured that I'm always keeping an eye on my mailbox - unfortunately it's not always I remember to get back to people though. Time is an issue for me ;-/

    It's a shame you don't have an opportunity to attend since I'll try to make an effort to put focus on this exact issue. But I'll see if I can use some of your input during CG13 at least.

    Even though you're changing job I hope you will follow this project along the sideline :)

    /Jan

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