Forum OpenACS Development: Re: OpenACS: the core and the packages/plugins

Posted by Carl Lemp on
Hi Jon,
If the offer to provide the contacts-lite package is still open I would like to evaluate it for my project. It did not take me long to figure out that using the Contacts package will be a burden I can't afford.

I'll document the issues I found with the Contacts package here for anyone else who might be evaluating it in the future:

Contacts Package Issues in 2021
Changes were required just to install it and those changes were made by others. But, after it was installed, I found:

1. It pulls in an additional 5 packages that are not on the 5.10 branch (AMS, Postal-Address, Telecom-Number, Organization, and Mail-Tracking). As Gustaf pointed out, Contacts and those packages will need to be maintained by the project using them. In my case 49 out of the 50 other packages I think I need are all on the 5.10 branch already so adding 6 unmaintained packages would be a burden.

2. There are a large number of configurable parameters and some of them point to folders and portlet files used to build the UI. As installed, the referenced folders do not exist so the data is not always displayed. The help text for the parameters is not helpful in determining what folders these parameters should reference now.

3. Going through the screens to figure it out, some screens of data can't be submitted because of missing data. Attempting to add the missing data through other screens can throw errors. These may be due to item 2 above but maybe not.

4. Adding a person through AMS breaks the Members package.

5. Everything is based on flexible lists of parameters in AMS but understanding the intent of the lists is not easy since language translation keys are missing so the names of the list are somewhat obfuscated.