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Moving forward with Composr

ocPortal has been relaunched as Composr CMS, which is now in beta. ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.

Head over to compo.sr for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.


Positive(s) & Negative(s)

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Posted
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#25808 (In Topic #6029)
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Community saint

Some observations . . .

v3.0.13 rolled out several Catalogue 'improvements', amongst other things, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to see my Catalogue pages display in a way that they didn't do before. Other areas have also been firmed-up, and I have noticed recently that the areas that I am concentrating on haven't been throwing up as many 'glitches' as they did before. Many of my problems stemmed from not quite understanding what a certain feature did, or did not do. However, a quick 'ticket' has always elicited a positive response and solved most of my problems, often much to my embarrasment.  This doesn't mean that I can claim that everything has been sorted out, because I, like many other OCP users, use only what I need from the CMS. But I have tried to 'activate' just about every feature just to see what it has to offer. Many of the features have great potential, but since I am still in the process of porting over the data from my previous site, I have to put them on the back-burner and return to them at a later date.

I make this statement in the hope that visitors to this Forum take away the message that "ocPortal" is not a 'bug-laden load of tosh', but that it is probably the singular most powerful CMS available, complex in its build, and is only limited by the respective users' imagination as to how to deploy it. Many people appear to want (sometimes demand) that OCP replicate elements, or modules, that can be found on other CMS', but I have to ask why?  If it wasn't promised in the first place, and if the lack of a feature is so important, why don't they (the complainants) just go with the software they think suits them best?

I am sure that the promise to include new features in the next version has been driven by these requests, and that is only to be applauded. Of course, a CMS needs to continue to move forward, but I have found in the past that once a package has been heavily modded, major releases really do need to be carefully considered before installing them, or your neatly designed site 'breaks' until you can address all the changes. And that too is time consuming.

I decided to add a negative comment about 'updating' or 'upgrading', but this time referring to IE7. I rushed off and took the 'Gold' before having it forced on me during the update process. Big mistake - for me, anyway. It was a totally bad experience from the word 'Go'. Many areas got zapped, especially the 'load-time', 'display' and 'scrolling' that I had particular problems with. But there were other things that contributed to me removing it within 72 hours. It doesn't seem to integrate too well with MSN (Hotmail via OEXP gets broken, BHO's that ran happily with IE6 don't want to work any longer, Active-X is generally switched to OFF in the default mode . . . and there were several more minor irritations that would take too long to list. Checking IE Forums it appears that I am not alone with these complaints. I hope that by the time I am 'forced' to accept 7 that these things have been ironed out.

Moral of the story? I am inclined to complain about 'glitches' that appear in OCP because I know that there is a team here that quickly investigate the complaint, whether or not it is founded in fact, and where there is a genuine glitch they will admit it ("Confirmed and fixed") and roll out the fix. I don't think I will even begin to approach Microsoft about their latest offering, least of all because they would probably expect me to pay for it, but mostly because I don't think my whinge would make it to the desk of 'the somebody' that is responsible to fix the matter.

Be Happy!

 :thumbs:

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Posted
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#25819
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Community saint

I hope your not refering to me when you talk about demanding features. I do not mean to sound that way, I just state my opinions just as any one else.
Yes I want things ocPortal does not have, cuz ocPortal has things no other cms has and is the most complex and complete cms out there. Heck I started a support site for it.
I also plan to make those features people want to get more people into ocPortal.

I do agree with you though and I have done the same thing as you, so basically we feel the same way.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
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#26708
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Community saint

I have been following other threads that debate the pro's and con's of ocPortal against other software packages - mainly Forum engines.

The anomaly is that, however much I'd like to see certain features incorporated into OCP, I am content with the OCP package 'out of the box' and that is why I decided to part with my moolah in the first place. If I see a feature in another package that I like I wouldn't have any hesitation in requesting it from the team using the 'ticket' system for modding_help.

I am reluctant to ask openly for a 'mod' for several reasons:
1. Was this promised as an original feature with OCP and not delivered?
2. Would my request for the 'mod' be of use , or even of any interest, to the larger community?
3. How does the 'mod' enhance the functionality of OCP above what is already available, albeit it has to be accessed via a different route?

When I recommend OCP to others (and I have on several occasions) I then leave it entirely up to them to decide whether the software meets their requirements. On the rare occassions (2 so far) that I have been asked why a certain feature is not included, I have gently reminded the person that it is not a core function, and that if they wish to have it included then they should register (buy) the software and then lobby the software authors themselves!

I too have had some experience with various software packages, CMS and Forums, and I can list a bunch of stuff that I've liked about the vast majority. But my approach is to weigh up the feature-set of each against its competitors and then make an 'educated' decision as to which of the packages answers my demands. I then go and get it. Having 'acquired' it (most of it freeware, I hasten to add), I sit back and concentrate on learning how the package works, tweaking it to suit my needs as I progress. Mostly things work out fine, but the one factor that I score highest on my 'MUST-HAVE' list is that the software is SECURE and that it poses no threat to my shared-server hosts. Most freebies fall short in this department, because the vast army of peeps that provide FREE add-ons almost always overlook the security angle and before long the users are being subjected to patch after patch to plug the loopholes that the enthusiastic 'modders' have introduced into the core software!

With OCP security appears to have been built from the ground up (even though it causes my hosts a lot of head-scratching to get their security filters set just so). I also find that there is so much that can be extracted from the 'basic' package that I only have time to concentrate on OCP with a few visits to this Forum to snatch a few ideas from the answers to problems that users find WITH ocPortal.

Perhaps it is an 'age' thing (I am pretty ancient for this game), but I don't seem to have the time to run a website, continue to investigate ocPortal's features AND play around with other software packages wishing that X, Y or Z was included in OCP.

But, I am happy to say that I've reached a stage where I am putting in more time on my website and less time in 'investigating' features. I am also not ashamed to say that I am quick to incorporate ideas for OCPORTAL features that are thrown up here on the Forum - and may that long continue!

Keep on asking questions, people, 'cause I keep picking up the breadcrumbs (sorry, couldn't resist that)!!

 :lol:

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Posted
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#26711
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Community saint

I do not disagree.
It may seem as if I disagree but I do not.
Yes I know what I have said and the threads I started recently. The thread I made today was a thread I made because it was asked of me.
I bring the thread up as you said you said you see ocPortal being comparied to other software.
My thread today was mearly to explain to some one who had asked why I use IPB over ocf.

I like ocPortal and all that it can do.
I opened my site to help those who use it know how to use it and to even make it better by making it more for them. Like the skins/ themes and mods/ add ons.

I will admit I compare it to other software. But you must understand why I do that.
1. My whole thought process works by comparing one thing to another, I remember one of my friends got so mad at me a few times for constantly doing it but I have no control over it as it is the way I understand the world around me.
When I post a comparision here or any where else I am more or less trying to explain the product in a way that is understandable to me and to others. I really have not other way of explaining things except using pictures.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
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#26726
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Community saint

LOL, Amy.

My post wasn't meant as a 'dig' at you. It was just an 'update' on my thought process about how to approach the challenges that OCP throws up - and there are many.

I once said, in the very early days of using OCP, that prospective users needed to shrug off preconceived ideas of what a CMS does when they start to use ocPortal, because OCP is a complex beast and one needs to start thinking laterally to gain the most from it. I can't honestly say that I've scraped even the first layer of its complexity, but I'm getting there. And in the 'getting there' I know I have to clear my mind of what other software manages to do so that I can concentrate on what OCP has to offer me.

The 'face' of my website hasn't changed much from Day-1, because I was absolutely thrilled with the 'basic' (default) theme that almost exactly reflected the site I was running at the time, using php-Nuke (there, I've just mentioned another CMS). But, of course, that was/is superficial. It is the wonderful ability to change things in one area and find that OCP has anticipated this and has already changed things in other related areas so that everything just 'works' when a user visits the site - that is what encourages me to continue. Security wise, I've managed to ban myself 7 times by doing things that the software considers a "naughty-naughty" action, and I feel relatively satisfied that the mindless hordes of spammers and defacers are being kept at bay. OCP is not bullet-proof (only a few days ago Chris had to quickly fix a 'hole' that existed in the Feedback (email) module), but it is a darn sight more secure than its competitors.

The main reason I visit this Forum regularly is because there is a nucleus of dedicated users who keep putting OCP through its paces and are quick to highlight areas in which it doesn't perform as it is expected to. That's when the team (the "Fab-Four" - with apologies to the Beatles) step in and 'fix' the problem, if it is a problem, or better still, explain in some detail how to achieve an objective.

Sorry that my explanation has rambled on, but I just wanted to reassure you that there was no intention to single you out. Others, too, have asked for 'mods' or 'add-ons', and it appears the team are considering implementing some of the requests in their v4.0. For me, that is just going to be another headache, but I can't take a narrow-minded view on this, as adding these 'extras' may well make OCP more appealing to a wider audience. And that can't be a bad thing!

Be Happy!

 :lol:

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Posted
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#26729
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Community saint

Thanks and I do agree with you.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
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#29508
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Community saint

Another 'UPDATE'

I am 'reassured' by the hair-pulling that new users (some are even REGISTERED!) are undergoing. It reminds me of my 'early' days when everything seemed to conspire to make my life hell while I was trying to get my site up and running using ocPortal.

This is not a post that is meant to belittle anybody, or make them feel that they aren't getting the big picture. It is just meant as an 'encouragement', and to say that things eventually become clearer as you hack away at the functionality of the software, and you will eventually get the site of your dreams if you persevere!

A couple of 'plus-points' that I haven't seen mentioned in the forums:

1. Did you know that, without any assistance from you, that ocPortal is already raising your standing in the SEO world? I know that this is true of my own site. My search engine ranking has rocketed up the charts and I invariably (in the truest sense of the word) end up in the top three. The reason? Each time a 'News' item (for instance - and there are others) is posted, ocPortal's hidden functionality extracts the 'keywords' that are relevant to that post. Which in turn is only displayed for that page. Which in turn is looked on favourably by the major search engines - Google in particular! This may or may not be important to you NOW, but I assure you it WILL be of value in the future.

2. I have been able to insert 'add-ons' that were never planned or promised by ocPortal, but which enhance the overall experience. What 'add-ons'? Well, Javascript-driven games and 'independent media-players', that were designed for use on general sites, can easily be incorporated into ocPortal without much effort, especially if used within an 'iframe'. I've also managed to replace the ocPortal Guestbook with 'LazarusGB' because that is what I was using on a previous site and which made sense to import to my new site. It works fine, AND it doesn't compromise the security of the site.

Enough for now. This is meant as an 'encouragement' to all users who are actively trying to make ocPortal work for them. More importantly, I would like this to be a recommendation to others who are still looking for a CMS that can do EVERYTHING. Well, okay, it can't do EVERYTHING, but I'd be surprised if you came up with more than a couple of features that are actually MISSING. You see, the 'missing' features are probably hidden somewhere within this fantastic software package - you just haven't found them.

You only need to take a closer look!


Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Posted
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#29585
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Community saint

Does that news for only the news system or the forum news?
I know I get hit by google all the time and my sites been better by using ocportal. The only problem is now I get lots of spam bots registering and posting.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
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#29596
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Community saint

amichan said

Does that news for only the news system or the forum news?
I only mentioned the "News" because that was fresh in my mind at the time of writing. I have no idea about "Forum News". There are other modules that build the 'keywords' automatically, but off the top of my head I am reluctant to mention any without checking, just in case I get it wrong!


amichan said

The only problem is now I get lots of spam bots registering and posting.
Now that has taken me by surprise. I thought that the 'captcha' security feature made it impossible for bots to register and/or post, or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

 :dry:


Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Posted
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#29604
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Fletch said

amichan said

The only problem is now I get lots of spam bots registering and posting.
Now that has taken me by surprise. I thought that the 'captcha' security feature made it impossible for bots to register and/or post, or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

You don't have to have CAPTCHA enabled in ocPortal, although it's highly recommended. Additionally, some spam groups hire cheap labour to manually fill in CAPTCHA fields, and so circumvent them. However, they should work for stopping almost all spam; Ami probably hasn't got them enabled.

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Posted
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#29609
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Community saint

I have dyslexia so I have them disabled cuz it stops me from using it.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
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#29626
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Community saint

Hmmmmm . . . not something to be taken lightly, or 'shrugged off'.

I wonder if the standards people have taken this into consideration? You've found a way around the 'problem' Amy, but not everybody has your 'computer-smarts', and there are probably tons of users out there who keep coming across this problem.

In fairness to ocPortal there is a message that says if you're having a problem (the user, that is) with the feature, that you should contact a member of the staff.

I just wonder how many have the patience?


Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Posted
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#29627
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Community saint

The CAPTCHA for ocPortal is not as bad as the one for IPB which is what I use for the members.
I can read to a point the ocPortal CAPTCHA but I can not read the IPB ones at all and have actually been unable to register at many sites or I have been ran into some where I got IP banned do to trying the CAPTCHA to many times just to figure out my password or get it reset.
I can not even read cursive as it just looks like a little kids scribbles, one of my friends wrote a letter to me and I had to hand it to a friend to read.

I run http://otakuplayground.com and am hopping to make themes and other things for ocportal even though I no longer use it for otakuplayground.com I still love it and feel it could go far with the right help. It needs themes and needs people to advertise for it.
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Posted
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#30740
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Community saint

Update . . .

Update - on how deployment is going:

Version 3.1.5 installed today. Not a single problem encountered during installation, and nothing untoward has happened to the site as yet (I am a bit of a pessimist by nature - the type that builds dungeons in the air!).

The reason I looked upon the patch release with trepidation was that I've been beavering away inserting a couple of 'add-ons' that didn't come with the core ocPortal package, nor was it claimed that they were supported or that they would work. But they DO!

The first add-on is a 'Media Player'. It gives me the flexibility to insert a simple 'play' button in the text of an article, that will fetch an mp3 of my choice to acompany the textual matter. It is free - (open source).

The second is a 'Lightbox' variant that displays a large graphic when a thumbnail, that is included in a textual article, is clicked. I was even eable to mix ocPortal's own 'tooltip' feature with this one. Also free - (open source).

Both started life as Wordpress plug-ins, but I've used the core JavaScript and integrated them into ocPortal without any major conflicts arising - except for the lightbox CSS that wanted to take over the world - and I soon zapped that! HEADER.tpl also needed to be edited to call the relevant scripts and to 'rel' the CSS.

That's it. If you're interested, take a trip to this page, where both are used. If you want more information about the original scripts and need a 'heads-up' on how to integrate them, PT me and I will be only too glad to provide an assist.

Be Happy!

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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