Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to OpenACS review: How might we improve this site? How can we support our community?

Site is fine - content is good - Templating and CMS dicussions and pointers greatly appreciated.

More work on these would be great.
Is it appropriate to also discuss the other end of the scale - beginners?

Having recently helped some-one through the teething stages - getting everything built and running - I'd say that the first step after that is the hardest. And I wouldn't be suprised if there are some people who build and then find it gets too hard, and give up.
The standard build gets you to a log-in page (necessary and useful) bu t it is not immediately obvious to a newbie how to get a nice index page up (such as this site). Not that its difficult one you've integrated the ACS/POstgres/AOLsever model into your design thinking ... but how do you get to that?

It's a pretty steep learning curve at the beginning, just to understand the broad framework and the separate functionalities, and thats layered on the additional complexity (for many prospective users) of understanding the way to use database backed sites.

There's tendency (among beginners) to start altering code in core tcl scripts rather than using the set-ups, and pretty son everything is broken!

The Book is a great start, but like much of the documentation, it focusses on the data-model, and the uses that can be put to,rather than the getting at the functionality implicit in the data-model. And then, for newbies, the issue is how to quickly design/ achieve results within the ACS/POstgres/AOLsever model.

Two suggestions - some howto type documentation at a module level - I found that starting with one module (photodb in my case) on working through was very instructive; it gave both rapid results and a good idea of the operating "framework".
And plea for some sample code - such as some of the OpenACS site, say or some simplified versions of other sites.