My take on .NET CMS’s – Orchard

January 8th, 2011 by Gareth1 / Comments

I threw myself at Orchard for 3 months from August 2010 to November just when version 0.5 had been released. Orchard is based on ASP.NET MVC and at the moment is an open source project financially backed by Microsoft. There are some very clever chaps working on Orchard.

I really tried to use the early 0.5 version of Orchard. The module development infrastructure was baked in so I started creating simple modules by going through the docs. If I had had this blog at the time I would have blogged with lots of detail about how to start working on Orchard modules, as well as a FAQ of all the error messages I’d received and how I fixed them which would have been useful for developers to see

Wow look at this code!

At first I was impressed by the quality of the code and the high level of experience and expertise that has clearly gone into Orchard. They’ve also used lots of open source libraries which introduced me to lots of new concepts and .NET code I would otherwise have never realised was possible. But in the end I just gave up!

Wow. I suck!

In a nutshell it was too hard to get results with the 0.5 version. They’re at version 0.8 now with a 1.0 release coming soon. I gave up at version 0.5 so I can’t say anything about 0.8 or 1.0. My head-against-wall moments could easily have been due to a lack of documentation, which is fair enough as Orchard isn’t even at version 1 yet! The available docs really helped but after I’d read them 20 times I came to the conclusion that I was stuck.

My personal opinion is that in order to produce a flexible CMS in a pre .NET 4 language the code has to be engineered to the point that there is too steep an entry level for a typical enthusiastic module developer. I base this on having worked with Kooboo and Orchard as well as Drupal and WordPress.

I also have the opinion that new CMS’s (not just Orchard) think they can push things off to the community too early.

We can’t do that module the community must do that. Yes that ungrateful lot over there. Look at them, expecting us to do everything. Idiots

Do they think they can just follow the “WordPress model” and watch the magic unfold? A community like WordPress’ cannot be prescribed, it is simply down to how easy and flexible it is for a module developer to use combined with good support

I have now officially dropped the idea of “creating websites for people“. It was just something to fill the time and soak up my flailing eagerness while I found a better idea.

The idea of creating websites for people now makes me sick. Now I should stop writing blog posts about technology I am no longer using and focus on my real passions


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