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Development Technologies

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. John S.
    John S. avatar
    126 posts
    Registered:
    09 Aug 2004
    20 Apr 2011
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    Hello,

    First off, this is not meant as a critique of Sitefinity or telerik. These are my perceptions and they are genuine. I am looking for help.

    Secondly,, I typically do not build brochure/advertising type websites and perhaps Sitefinity is not meant for what I am doing (if that is the case I am wanting to know)

    In the past (Pre SF4....all the way back to RadDesigner) I used Sitefinity as a framework for ASP.NET applications. It provided a nice structure for security, menus, layout, ... and I could create user controls for the actual application functionality. With the developer license it was nice because there was not an added cost for using this framework. There was an added benefit that simple intranet type web pages and such could be added to sites for news and stuff quickly without adding significant cost to the customer. All worked pretty well.
     
    About a year and a half ago I saw things were changing with the development of SF4 and I was told the development license would not be available for SF4. At that point, I stopped using Sitefinity for this purpose (because of unknowns) . When Sitefinity 4 (actually RC) was released I planned on upgrading some of these application sites to SF4.  There were problems with the viewstate and because of this (and being told it would not be ready for the January release) and a deadline of end of January I had I scrapped that idea and wrote my own structure for 3 of these applications. There is also the migration tool which, forgive me if I am off base here, doesn't work. I was told SF3 would be able to be migrated over to SF4 with a conversion tool way back when the develop license was removed. I seriously expected to run a program that said 'where is SF3 application', I select it, and it converts everything (which perhaps problems in usercontrols that would have to be adjusted after the conversion)

    This was a rough start for me in regards to SF4. I wasted a few weeks of development playing with RC and such before deciding top scrap things.

    So here I am....from what I have seen Sitefinity 4 and (4.1) is very nice. The raise of pricing I thought was reasonable for Standard and didn't see that hindering anything I would use it for (an aside, I do have a typical CMS customer that I know will eventually have major problems with this Concurrent User limit based on him buying something that said unlimited with annual support/upgrades). My plan was to steep myself in the new system and use it for development; however, I am starting to see development in this system is not straight forward and many new technologies seem to be lurking about. 

    I use VB.NET and the SItefinity team basically ignores this technology now. New technologies are fine sometimes and I understand that things change. With that said, comments like this are concerning to me (my bolds)

    "Sitefinity 4.x’s Backend UI does not rely on PostBacks. Instead, the Sitefinity architecture uses client-side Javascript and WCF RESTful web services to respond to end-user actions"
     
    I don't even know what WCF RESTful web services are and for some reason they are fooling with Viewstates which to me at this point are very important.

    "Sitefinity 4.1 contains several new enhancements to provide backwards compatibility with traditional ASP.NET technologies."

    "With this this 4.1 release Sitefinity is fully integrated with the current OpenAccess ORM Q1 2011 release. Which means Sitefinity inherits the latest benefits of OpenAccess. In addition, we’re guaranteed to continue inheriting these benefits with each new release (4.2, 4.3 and beyond). "

    I tried to us OpenAccess ORM back in mid 2010 in some applications and ran into all kinds of problems with IDE integration and no way to easily convert existing SQL that I gave up.

    The FluentAPI is very confusing to me and there is no VB.NET documentation (that I know of)....and so many parentheses.

    My role as a developer is to solve a problem. It is not necessarily to write something in the most elegant way or to write it so that it is 20x faster (1 millisecond compared with 20 milliseconds is not perceivable for a single calculation) If someone presses a button and they get what they want in under a second or two they are happy...it is a major waste of time for me to try and be more efficient when it is not necessary. That is why I purchase controls.

    So I look at Sitefinity 4 and it seems to be creating a monster for me behind the scenes (the end user experience is wonderful!!!!).

    Ok with all that said.....I see a tag line for Sitefinity, Unmatched Developer Productivity. Perhaps this is true if I knew everything under the hood. From my point of view, it is such a learning curve. It almost seems to me like an exercise in "proper programming" and if you don't get it you are not a real developer.

    Now three questions:

    1) Is there something I am overlooking and seeing incorrectly here?

    2) Why is not the same attention to ease-of-use afforded the developer as the end user? Obviously, ease-of-use is relative to job scope, but I think you know what I mean.

    3) Are there actual plans to evolve Sitefinity. What I mean by this is RadDesigner, SF2, SF3, and now SF4 have not been bridged to allow somewhat hassle-free conversion. Will we SF5 in two years that renders SF4 code close to useless?


    Thanks,
    John

  2. Georgi
    Georgi avatar
    3583 posts
    Registered:
    28 Oct 2016
    26 Apr 2011
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    Hello John S.,

    Thank you very much for your questions.

    1) Is there something I am overlooking and seeing incorrectly here?

    I don't think you are overlooking. We've done some things that really require extra efforts from the developers coming from 3.x, but we believe it is for good. Once you get used to the system it really has more to offer. As for the new technologies we are adopting, we are not doing this without a reason as well - such is the demand.
    I'll give you more answers to this question, with the answers in the others, and in the end of my reply.

    2) Why is not the same attention to ease-of-use afforded the developer as the end user? Obviously, ease-of-use is relative to job scope, but I think you know what I mean.

    This was our idea with the introducing the Fluent API. In most of the cases, the design idea is that it's self-explanatory and you don't even need documentation for it. In some areas we did it great, but as most things in life - it's not perfect. Still we are looking forward in getting it better. This valid for the entire API not only the Fluent one.

    3) Are there actual plans to evolve Sitefinity. What I mean by this is RadDesigner, SF2, SF3, and now SF4 have not been bridged to allow somewhat hassle-free conversion. Will we SF5 in two years that renders SF4 code close to useless?

    We are not planning, and I am 100% sure that we will not rewrite Sitefinity as we did with SF3->SF4. We really needed more powerful platform on which we can build on, and we achieved that. Now we are polishing stuff and constantly adding new features. 

    What is more important here is that by Product, we understand the documentation, the support services and all the examples and little documents that can make your life easier. We have formed new teams over the last couple of months, and specially dedicated teams to the documentation and the SDK.

    Let me know if you have any further questions. I'll be glad to answer them.

    Best wishes,
    Georgi
    the Telerik team

  3. John S.
    John S. avatar
    126 posts
    Registered:
    09 Aug 2004
    29 Apr 2011
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    Georgi

    Thanks for the response.

    As far as FluentAPI are there plans for VB documentation?

    Are the ASP.NET AJAX controls being phased out?

    Thanks,
    John

  4. Slavo
    Slavo avatar
    295 posts
    Registered:
    24 Sep 2012
    05 May 2011
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    Hi John S.,

    Currently we don't plan to offer VB documentation for the Fluent API. It is a big hassle to support an additional language and we have to constantly update samples with new releases. Instead we want to concentrate on clearing out all issues in the current documentation and make sure that you have no problems following it and working with the system.

    As an aside, one of the main benefits of the fluent API is that it helps you while you code by providing rich intellisense and inline comments. I can advise you to use the Telerik code converter on our samples to obtain the VB version of the code.

    As for the ASP.NET Ajax controls - I don't fully understand what you mean in your question, but I can assure you we continue to rely on them, and will continue to distribute them with Sitefinity so that third party developers can use them in their applications.

    Regards,
    Slavo
    the Telerik team
    Do you want to have your say in the Sitefinity development roadmap? Do you want to know when a feature you requested is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items
  5. Markus
    Markus avatar
    2763 posts
    Registered:
    25 Nov 2005
    05 May 2011
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    @John

    If you don't see your Rad Controls in the tooblbox you have go to:

    - Administration - Settings
    - Advanced
    - Toolboxes

    And tick the Enable under the RadControls section. Some of my stuff seem to be German now. So I attached a screenshot so you can see where it is located.

    If this is why you asked your question I hope it helps. If not you got to provide more details about what you mean by Phased out.

  6. John S.
    John S. avatar
    126 posts
    Registered:
    09 Aug 2004
    05 May 2011
    Link to this post
    Hi Slavo,

    Back in December I asked this question about VB documentation and was told ...

    "We are really looking forward to produce VB examples out of the C# ones. First we will start with the examples in the SDK, then we will continue with those in the Developers Guide." ~
    http://www.sitefinity.com/devnet/forums/sitefinity-4-x/general-discussions/sitefinity-and-vb-net.aspx#1443268

    This kind of stuff gets very aggravating from my side. Instead of being disappointed I now feel misled. Why tell me something that is not true?????? Also, Telerik Code Converter does not work for most things without tweaking and the tweaking takes hours and support tickets. If that is not the case, then why is it a hassle to support both VB and C#?

    As far as the  ASP.NET Ajax question...it seemed from words used that the Sitefinity team was moving toward other technologies that would render ASP.NET technologies as old technology (which to me means future support fades fast) . To requote what I mentioned previously:

    "Sitefinity 4.1 contains several new enhancements to provide backwards compatibility with traditional ASP.NET technologies."

    What does it mean by backwards if this is a currently used technology in Sitefinity?

    @Markus
    My remark of phased out refered to this last topic in this reply

    Thanks,
    John
  7. Georgi
    Georgi avatar
    3583 posts
    Registered:
    28 Oct 2016
    11 May 2011
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    Hi John S.,

    Sitefinity 4.1 contains several new enhancements to provide backwards compatibility with traditional ASP.NET technologies."

    We were using a little bit different lifecycle and page rendering mechanism in 4.0 - this was causing problems sometimes. In 4.1 we changed the lifecycle of the pages and the controls to the ones in asp.net. There are many reasons why we didn't do that earlier.

    As for the examples in VB - we are still looking in that direction, but we really want to advance first with the documentation at least in one language. It's much better to have something to translate from, than having nothing to use as a base.

    Greetings,
    Georgi
    the Telerik team
    Do you want to have your say in the Sitefinity development roadmap? Do you want to know when a feature you requested is added or when a bug fixed? Explore the Telerik Public Issue Tracking system and vote to affect the priority of the items
7 posts, 0 answered