Forum OpenACS Q&A: Re: Some Feedback From an OpenACS Newbie

Posted by Patrick Giagnocavo on
Hi Caroline,

I would definitely welcome a case study involving aolserver/tcl/postgres, including their reasoning on why they used this combination of webserver/language/database - they must have studied the use of Apache plus Java or Perl plus MySQL.  What are the factors that they felt favored their choice?

Posted by Tom Jackson on

I assume Caroline is speaking of what Scott Goodwin is working on (maintainer of ns_openssl and a bunch of other AOLserver modules). I think he is switching the sites he is responsible for from Vignette. Anyway, the case study seems like it would be more proof of why you don't need to use OpenACS, I don't see the point. If someone is uncomfortable with tcl/AOLserver/postgreSQL, why would the choice of a currently troubled government agency make them feel better about it?

IMO Scott is a real star in the AOLserver world. NASA is cool and the platform AOLserver/PostgreSQL is unbeatable, but the issue is selling it to non-believers. This problem has existed _forever_. Maybe truth in advertising would be a better method. Maybe a paper examining when you should, and shouldn't use OpenACS. Showstoppers, non-negotiables, etc. There are a lot of products out there that simply waste your time by promising they can do _everything_, while hiding the important information. At least and the folks here don't try to hide or oversell the product (too much), but some of it is hard to find. The best test for whether OpenACS is useful is, unfortunately, to install it. This is probably the best test for any technology, because you learn how easy it is to follow the instructions. When you run into the inevitable problem, how quickly does the community respond to help you get through it. Does it work as advertised? This also proves that you have the required skills to actually use the platform, because all programs have bugs and kinks which require specific skills to fix or overcome them.

Posted by bill kellerman on
hi tom,

andrew s. aside...

i agree with both you and caroline.

i think any case studies of aolserver/tcl/postgresql in use is welcome.  would it take away from the openacs userbase?  possibly, but you add to those case studies the reasons why openacs was/wasn't/should have been used.  i think the value of that material outweighs the risk, and if someone still makes the decision to not use a platform, at least they've made an educated decision.

as mentioned before, i'm having to go through my own justification with my employers.  it can be difficult to build a case based mostly on things i've accumulated myself.  people aren't necessarily going to believe in the platform until they understand why they should.  the more i have to back my position, the more easily i can ask for time to make demos and proof-of-concept stuff.

it can be oversold and there can be too many hands in the cookie jar with too many promises made, but i think some of this stuff would be good.