Forum OpenACS Q&A: Reset and Restart: Getting started yet again

After lurking, reading, and playing around with this for the last few months I finally have time to get serious about developing my first site (thanks to a layoff). A couple of quick questions for those of you who have all been so helpful up to now:

  • Is now the right time to use ACS4? I seem to read alot about people releasing sites in 4 or upgrading from 3.x to 4. Is it stable enough for production?
  • If I continue with 3.2.5 for my initial deployment, will I need a lot of retraining/effort to move to the 4.x platform later?
  • RPMs vs Source. Up to now I have been using the RPMs which were wonderful in terms of getting all the pieces and actually making them work. Is there any advantage/disadvantage of proceeding this way especially wrt getting updates via CVS?
  • Any other words of wisdom that could help me or others? I am really excited and anxious now to get this puppy working and be a more productive member of this community.
A last comment, I live in the Phoenix area and would be interested in getting to know others out here. Perhaps we could have a similar local group like the Seattle area has. The coffee here is not as good but we have some great Salsa. Anyone interested?
Posted by Gilbert Wong on
Use OpenACS 4, upgrading from OpenACS 3 is tedious since things don't map 1-to-1 between the versions.  The core data model for OpenACS 4 has been stable for a while already.  Officially, it's in Alpha 2, but a beta will come soon and Don's promising a first release soon after.  No pressure Don 😉

Getting things from the CVS is easy, but you could get partially working code.  Read the documentation for OpenACS 4.  It's a good start.  Then look at the code in some of the packages.  I would start with the notes package because it's small and easy to understand.

Posted by Don Baccus on
I've spent the day ironing out little weirdnesses in the Oracle version, in preparation for the beta release ... it will happen!

Anyway, I'd make my decision as to OpenACS 3 vs. 4 based on:

1. The packages I need.  Some OpenACS 3 packages have, as of yet, no OpenACS 4 analog.

2. Long-term goals for your site.  OpenACS 4 is the future and our community seems intent on focusing efforts there.  I really mean it that way, OpenACS 3 is there for bug fixing and enhancement for those who interested in that path rather than the OpenACS 4 path.  But general community interest does seem to mostly lie in pushing the OpenACS 4 toolkit forward.  But if you need some of the packages in OpenACS 3.2 that have no OpenACS 4 analogs, and don't expect to be forever seeking additional functionality as web technology shifts, OpenACS 3.2 may be right for you.

3. OpenACS 4 supports Oracle as well as Postgres, so if you strike it rich you can buy a Really Expensive Oracle Enterprise Edition license and impress women!  Yes!  Really!  NOT!  Damnation, where is justice in this world! :)

I wouldn't worry about stability at this point.  As Gilbert points out the core datamodel's stable for our OpenACS 4.5 release and overall the toolkit's in pretty good shape if you accept it for what it is (a port of aD's work to a framework supporting multiple RDBMSs along with a bunch of bug fixes, performance enhancements, and minor improvements but lacking any large-scale rewriting to get rid of package deficiencies).

Posted by Robert Locke on
<blockquote> 1. The packages I need. Some OpenACS 3 packages have, as of yet, no OpenACS 4 analog.

Are there any in particular which stand out as high priority to port soon?  Just curious...

Posted by Jun Yamog on
Hi Rick,

1. I believe OpenACS 4 is stable enough we have rolled out production sites with it.  Some sites are heavily hit sites, although we are growing to about 10K acs_objects a month.  We do purge some of them.

2. You may need to break some old habits from OpenACS 3.x or ACS 3.x, this is what I have learned.  Just read the docs and approach 4.x with an open mind.

3. I use source since it gives me some custom capabilities.  If you are now familiar with OpenACS I suggest that you try to use from source.  See it you need the extra customization if not continue to use RPMS.

4. Just read the docs and know why was 4.x designed that way.  The object like way of using the RDBMS has advantages and disadvanteges, as well as the concept of packages and mounting application.  Just give the 4.x style of framework after a while you will get to used to it and appreciate it.  Dont go againts it or it would be better of just using 3.x and extending it.

Posted by David Walker on
3. OpenACS 4 supports Oracle as well as Postgres, so if you strike it rich you can buy a Really Expensive Oracle Enterprise Edition license and impress women! Yes! Really! NOT! Damnation, where is justice in this world! :)

Question: If I had the money for an Oracle license should I purchase Oracle or stick with Postgres and try to impress women with one of these.