Tuesday, August 12, 2008

rm -rf /opt/liferay

Sheesh, another Liferay install down the tubes. This is getting ridiculous.

Unfortunately I can't find another portal application with a half way decent document management system included. If anyone knows of anything, let me know. I'm currently downloading the just-released Liferay 5.1.1 which I'll be hating in approximately ten minutes.

Here's some advise for anyone who is thinking about using Liferay:

1) Liferay is extremely convoluted. The end-user system is organized the way a Java programmer might organize his source files. This does not lend itself to useability. Your users, if not extremely competent, won't know what the hell is going on or where they are in the system half the time.

2) Liferay is extremely customizable, but not in a meaningful way. The concept of a "personal space" and a "public" space within the portal all exist, as you might expect, but merging the two concepts into one concise "website" is very difficult.

3) The permissions system has fine-grained itself into sand. You have users, roles, groups, communities, and organizations all duking it out at once over private and public pages organized by user, community, and organization.

A prime example of how this fails is this: you can add users to an organization, and then add organizations to a community. This sounds good, especially for an extranet application. However, just because a user belongs to an organization that belongs to a community does not mean that the various portlets within the community will recognize that the user is part of the organization that belongs to the community. Whew, that's a mouthful. Here's what I mean: if you create a community-wide announcement, users who only belong to organizations that belong to the community will not see the announcement, because the system doesn't realize that they are implicitly part of the community. One way around this is to create a catch-all user group where you dump all of the users who belong to the various organizations that are part of your community. You should also then create a group for each organization in case you want to send announcements to individual organizations through the same announcement instance. Ok, so you're now managing three groups in addition to your community and organizations. Why? Who the hell knows. It's a nightmare.

4) Extending the system is a horrible thing. Just don't, unless it's going to be your full time job. Every single Java technology that has ever escaped from Java Hell is used behind the scenes. You're going to have to know them all. In depth. There are so many references to references to references that you're going to have half a dozen files open just trying to figure out how to make one silly change. Be careful, do something wrong, even in an external portlet, and you could break your install. (why do you think I'm here bitching while waiting for 5.1.1 to download!?) And of course in Java web development style, every little change you try out means restarting the application server, regardless of whether it's in an actual java class or just raw HTML in some template. Wearing a watch? Don't.

5) Documentation was good at around 4.4. Now it sucks. And the fact that liferay.ca expired and the last Wiki overhaul broke every link in the universe, don't even bother using Google. The Wiki isn't getting updated very well. Development documentation is awful. Just awful. The days of the Lifecast seem to be over.

6) The community is virtually non-existant. I would speculate that 70-90% of all questions asked in the forums go unanswered or unresolved. People posting code examples don't often check their work (because it would take about an hour to do so!). The forum software itself doesn't handle code examples at all because they're using a stupid fixed width template.

7) It's a resource hog. Most Java portals are. It's amazing at all the code that runs just to render a typical payload. They've got all their bases covered, for sure, having used every existing technology all at once, but unfortunately there's only one guy playing, and he's standing in right field with his finger in his nose looking up at some birds.

7) What's with the Christian portlets? I mean, Jesus H Christ, nobody ever mentions this. It's a bit odd. Is it a statement? "Look, we know this shit is hard... so here's a Prayer Portlet."

The sad thing is that Liferay seems to be miles ahead of other opensource portal solutions. Nothing would make me happier than a complete feature freeze and a complete examination of how the system is actually being used by, like, people 'n stuff. I really think that all of the features are there, they just need to work properly and take into consideration more than one use case.

As it stands I am very close to keeping Sharepoint as my internal portal even though I really don't like being locked into Microsoft products. The project I'm currently using Liferay for is an extranet and not entirely critical. Based on what I've learned from the experience there's almost no way that I can deploy this software internally and expect it to function well in the short or long term. (BTW, this little project of mine is supposed to be demoed tomorrow. Haha. haha ahdhhahaha haha ah ah ahha aha ah aha aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ha.)

Oop, my download is done. Ahh, nothing like a fresh install to reinstate my sense of hope.

Back in ten minutes...

23 comments:

Xeramuh said...

liferay é feinho...

Anonymous said...

Looking at this software as a designer I was searching blogs for specific instruction on how to customize the look of a page...found this entry and busted a nut laughing. You nailed it! Liferay needs a lifeboat.

Anonymous said...

We feel you pain.

Anonymous said...

You dont know how I understand you...
I must work with an "extended" version installing it on other companies and it sucks.

crapful liferay is crapful.

sweet Steff said...

I was searching for tutorials on how to customise pages and voila! A blog that expresses my truest sentiments on Liferay. funny and too true!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I absolutely agree with you. Liferay is some kind of pain that you just want to forget and not to suffer from any more. The things that really sucks are: stupid situation with debugging portlets (have no any idea how to do that) and liferay's vision of portlet specification - they implemented some piece of shit that is not compatible with other portlet containers. I wish i would not face to liferay ant portlet technologies any more.

Anonymous said...

You nailed it however I would like to have gound the thread juat before starting on this project :). Would have saved me ride to portal hell and back. In short the good, bad and ugly part are there. When you start with it you only see the good part; features, etc... Then slowly you see some bad parts but still you can overcome these issues (like why is there source so big or why aren't they fixing issues that should work (check there jira)); but after some time when your portal is about to be delivered you completly freak out; it is slow as a snail, has a scriptkiddies way of fixing stuff. So I am not sure what the good points are anymore; with all there supported features they manage to get on a shortlist but that is truly not worth to waste your time; rather pick pluto or jetspeed or sun container and start from scratch

Anonymous said...

Liferay rulezz

Patrick Steil said...

I am evaluating LR 5.2 and it seems to rock... may be time to give it another try...

Anonymous said...

I am the kind of hombre who passions to taste unused stuff. Currently I am making my personalized solar panels. I am managing it all alone without the assistance of my men. I am using the internet as the only path to acheive that. I saw a really awesome website which explains how to contruct solar panels and so on. The website explains all the steps needed for solar panel construction.

I am not really sure about how precise the information given there iz. If some guys over here who have xp with these things can have a peak and give your feedback in the site it will be grand and I would highly treasure it, because I really enjoy [URL=http://solar-panel-construction.com]solar panel construction[/URL].

Tnx for reading this. You people are great.

Anonymous said...

I'm currently using Liferay for a client project and I have to say I agree with all of your points. I will never again take on a project where the client insists on using this hot piece of garbage.

Sean said...

Seriously. I'm currently using Liferay for a client project and I want to throw the whole goddamn thing out the window. Fuck Liferay.

Anonymous said...

i agree totally.
We spent 8 hours + (2 programmers) to find a way to resolve a tag routine problem, without solution. tomorrow problaby we'll implement some raw and direct code...

Many questions on the forums and no answers, no comments in the code, api without comments...

Anonymous said...

After two painful, slow years and scores of issues from unhappy clients we have found that it is more cost effective to write our own CMS in Ruby and migrate 5 sites to it than continue quoting and working on LifeRay portlets and themes.

It took our developers close to three fulltime weeks to write a portlet for a simple web form than to write it as a JSP (which took me under a day even while being distracted by other client requests). LifeRay looked good to start with but it shouldn't take a PHD in Java and 120 man hours to code even the most simple functionality. Get with the times LifeRay!

Anonymous said...

two years down the road the product is more horrible than ever.

I can see only two types of projects that could work with liferay

1. a mostly completely static html site

2. a site that only uses the Liferay login portlet and other than that only your own portlets

Anonymous said...

I have been working on Liferay for the last three months and I'd advise everyone to stay away from it. It is for your own sanity.

It is convoluted, extremely resource hungry and expensive.

Anonymous said...

For past year of experience with Liferay. First 2 months I was fighting it very hard, nothing done. Next 5 months I was able to actually create a few portlets. And last 6 month I'm trying to finish a project that would otherwise be done 4 months ago. Praying for leaving Liferay behind and never come back....If you look at their core testing framework, that runs out of the box on MS windows only, you gotta be sick instantly. And you want to die after 2 hours of trying to test a patch that you'd like to commit, but nobody wants you to contribute :-) Fuck this shit

iPhone5 ,A6, said...

Credit for your excellent entry.

Anonymous said...

yssxgbm [url=http://www.guccisprings.com/]グッチ アウトレット[/url] yqgcppu zdgnfki [url=http://www.guccisprings.com/]グッチ 財布 メンズ[/url] uqjirua btcentm [url=http://www.gucciiget.com/]グッチ バッグ[/url] qqnwzes pzdnibr http://www.lovelovegucci.com/ グッチ バッグ ndfdwca ingndhh http://www.gucciiget.com/ グッチ メンズ emtkoto qjpzkrn [url=http://www.gucciiget.com/]グッチ メンズ[/url] kmbjpar wmfxldn [url=http://www.lovelovegucci.com/]グッチ 財布[/url] dahclpa nffjmfw [url=http://www.gucciiget.com/]グッチ アウトレット[/url] odzsmqx owsfani [url=http://www.guccisprings.com/]グッチ 財布[/url] dkfydyg scyrxya http://www.guccisprings.com/ gucci 財布 czohcis uulextk [url=http://www.lovelovegucci.com/]グッチ アウトレット[/url] yxfghla zjmwtxb [url=http://www.lovelovegucci.com/]グッチ 財布 メンズ[/url] fcaqjbq akwvzra [url=http://www.gucciiget.com/]グッチ 財布[/url] ounsiag evfdtfn [url=http://www.lovelovegucci.com/]グッチ バッグ[/url] lclhzuh kriaeid [url=http://www.guccisprings.com/]グッチ バッグ[/url] cyzfokb kaajhoj [url=http://www.chloefind.com/]クロエ アウトレット[/url] cxbbmy uqiyya [url=http://www.chloefind.com/]クロエ バッグ[/url] zhmqna csmokq [url=http://www.chloefind.com/]クロエ 財布[/url] qzsasz iufcay http://www.chloefind.com/ cpdhkh vsytqvr [url=http://www.chloe2013ss.com/]クロエ 財布[/url] dpyssi sjjody [url=http://www.chloe2013ss.com/]クロエ バッグ[/url] ntntep vnwyps [url=http://www.chloe2013ss.com/]クロエ 財布新作[/url] yvzjzj pebcij http://www.chloe2013ss.com/ juilvd
fjytyua http://www.gucciiget.com/ グッチ アウトレット fbatkbg
upvvnrs http://www.lovelovegucci.com/ グッチ 財布 メンズ thvkqeq
lbhuoho http://www.guccisprings.com/ グッチ アウトレット xdhajbr

Anonymous said...

Asking questions are genuinely pleasant thing
if you are not understanding something fully, however this article gives pleasant understanding yet.


Here is my web blog - ジョーダン

Anonymous said...

The other day, while I was at work, my sister
stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop,
just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it
with someone!

my web-site http://seawayblog.blogspot.fr/2010/11/new-underwater-sculptures-by-jason-de.html

Anonymous said...

I've learn several just right stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how so much attempt you put to make such a great informative web site.

Also visit my web site ... ロレックス

Anonymous said...

Generally I don't learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite nice article.

My weblog ... www.rolexwatchoutletsale.com