(First, I would like to thank everybody who answered to my dotLRN forum question).
I think my concerns regarding stable release will be relevant to those planning to make investment into OACS based site. I want to build my small consultancy site which I hope to turn into a community. I've been following ACS since 2000 and would love to use the platform. I am not a programmer. I know some Linux administration and HTML design as a hobby, but all I really need is to fill the site with content and business logic.
I have a problem deciding which OpenACS version to use. Version 4.5 is powerful, and exists for 1 year as beta. I am really exciting aobut all the complex business processes I can implement there, and would like to start building on top of it (and learning by doing). But then I have this feeling that maybe it's a "transition" copy which will be poorly supported later. Threads speak today about changing data structures, depreciating modules; versions 4.6 and 4.7 are mentioned. I know that there will be upgrade scripts, but I don't like the idea of investing time again to re-install and re-tweak the system.
Since I'm a user, not a developer it seems I should stick to 3.2.5, however strange it may seem. Yes, it is obsolete in some ways and less efficient, but I may be sure that it is very well-known and I will have to move my data only after 1-2 years and possibly later. I am speaking not about run-time stability, but about protection from feature creep and design changes.
I think OpenACS community will demonstrate maturity by introducing "better less but better" principle as to new releases and being really perfectionist about polishing existing ones. Who would invest in poorly supported bloatware?(Not that I consider OpenACS a poorly supported bloatware... ;) )
So, would you advice me sticking to 3.2.5 or is 4.5 stable enough to use as a foundation? On my side, I intend to document my learning process and contribute to prospective user manual.