Here is a list of the bugs I experienced while migrating from .Text .95 to Community Server 1.0 (as it pertains to the blog piece of CS only)…it’s obvious that I still have some work to do to get everything fixed:
- CommentRSS/API was generating Http 404 errors for RSS subscribers (fix is here).
- Individual Post Category RSS feeds were generating Http 404 errors for RSS subscribers (fix is here).
- Comments made to blog posts on the website itself were not generating Email responses; generated the following exception (fix is here, writing a simple trigger hacks it):
System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException (0x8004020E): The server rejected the sender address. The server response was: 553 5.5.4 ... Domain name required for sender address Anonymous
User Agent / IP Address
RSS Comments show comment author as Anonymous; the feeds section of the website displays the name the author used in the comment (no fix yet, working on it); feed readers should show the same information.
Trackbacks show up as Anonymous; should display the name of the site that generated the trackback (no fix yet, working on it).
Comments/Feedback on blog posts in the admin section shows the author as being Anonymous; should display the value the author left in the comment (no fix yet, working on it).
By default, Community Server only allows a specific subset of HTML elements to be used in posts; this is configurable in the communityserver.config file (edit your communityserver.config file to allow the HTML elements/attributes you need; not extremely intuitive IMO).
Referrals migrated over from .Text don’t page correctly in the Admin/Referrals section; only the last 20 are displayed with no paging mechanism to see the rest of them (no fix yet, not a show stopper so I probably won’t fix it).
The timezone for RSS feeds was incorrectly set to GMT with no option in the Admin section to change this (fix is here, though you’ll need the CS source and a recompile).
Feedback in the Admin section for blogs should link back to the actual comment; you have to manually search for the post to view the feedback (no fix yet, working on it).
Trackbacks (sometimes) format incorrectly by using URL encoding for special characters (no fix yet, and this issue is probably last on my list).
Clicking the "Comments" link from the main page takes you to an anchor at the top of the comments, requiring scrolling up to see the "Add a comment" link; I prefer the old school "Show all the comments, and have the 'add comment' bit at the end" -- the present situation means a lot of scrolling up and down to read comments and post a response, and there's no way of seeing the comment you may be responding to without opening a second browser window (no fix yet, I have a feeling this will be addressed in 1.1 though as a lot of people are unhappy with this).
Unable to comment posts via CommentRSS/API (no fix yet, working on it).
There has been mention of a ton of issues with the version of FreeTextBox that ships with Community Server; I use BlogJet for posting so thankfully I haven’t seen these issues firsthand. I do know that even though the version that ships with CS (v3.0) is supposedly compatible with Firefox, there’s some functionality that still doesn’t work. I personally hate free text box and would recommend that folks use a 3rd party posting tool.
Link Categories/Links don’t sort properly when migrated over from .Text (manually updated the SortOrder column of the cs_Links/cs_LinkCategories tables).
Through some trial and error, figured out that the “Email me replies to this post” option under “Advanced Settings” in the post editor doesn’t do anything. I confirmed this with Scott over at Telligent; it’ll be removed in 1.1. The reason I tracked this down is that it’s set to false when posting from BlogJet; attempting to set it to true didn’t work in trying to resolve my email issues…given that it does nothing, makes sense. The email fix is mentioned above.
Tons of build issues when compiling from source. It compiles in Debug mode, but switching to Release broke everything on my machine (assembly references), and then Debug wouldn’t work either. If you’re going to compile from source, just leave it in debug mode and manually copy over udated assemblies to your target machine.
This one is strictly my opinion: The CS database (as it relates to the blog piece only) is a trainwreck; violates 2nd normal form quite a bit. For example, there are no less than 3 tables that deal directly with blog posts themselves, and there is a lot of redundant/duplicate data in each table.
Again, strictly my opinion: CS blogs really abuse the hell out of the Anonymous user account. Blogs are supposed to be anonymous in nature, I don’t expect my audience to all have an account set up in CS (though if you do set one up you get some added features)…so everything gets lumped into a generic anonymous account which makes hard to keep track of who’s doing what on my site. This may work well for forum type scenarios, but it doesn’t lend itself well to the blogging model.
So, obviously not a trivial list of bugs/issues/complaints. That all being said, there a few things that make Community Server a compelling product:
- Search. This was loooong overdue; makes it very easy to find pertinent content.
- For those that can get FreeTextBox to work (and don’t mind using IE), it’s a huge improvement over the version that shipped with .Text.
- In the admin section, there’s a reports section that will list all of the exceptions generated by CS, making it incredibly easy to track down bugs and either fix them or report them.
- User accounts. I know that most folks are reticent to sign up for accounts on sites, but it’s nice to have this option.
- Initial deployment is much easier than it was with .Text (bugs aside). Out of the box, it works pretty well if you’re willing to put some time into fixing the minor annoyances.
- For those hosting (n) number of blogs, the notion of blog groups is quite nice, and the aggregate page looks great.
- And finally, though a little overwhelming, the admin piece is a huge improvement over .Text.
If I had it to do over with, I would have waited for 1.1…it’s been an interesting experience so far though. It’s all about learning right?
I have a feeling this list isn’t complete; I’ll post new bugs (and hopefully fixes) as they present themselves. If anyone notices anything, please ping me and let me know. And of course if anyone has fixes to the issues listed above, let us all know. Cheers.
Wed, Apr 6 2005 7:58 PM