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  Analyzed 24 days ago based on code collected 3 months ago.
Posted 15 days ago by (ocProducts)
8.1.16 released. Read the full article for more information, and upgrade information.
Posted 15 days ago by (ocProducts)
9.0.19 released. Read the full article for more information, and upgrade information.
Posted 21 days ago by (Chris Graham)
New version, new brand – so, new website. Here's a sneak-peek of our new Composr CMS home page:

The new site is far better organised. We've taken lessons from 10 years of to better convey what Composr CMS is and ... [More] does. We've designed 18 pages of the site at the Photoshop level, and have a separate mobile design (we've not yet decided whether this will be at launch or not, as this isn't implemented yet).

We will be launching Composr over on a new URL. After launch we expect to leave mostly as is, supporting the ocPortal versions (versions v9 and earlier).

Through the v10 development process we have been maintaining ocPortal versions 8 and 9. We chose to maintain 8 due to the big 'theme break' we had with v9 - even we didn't want to upgrade, given we expected to release a totally new site for v10. Once v10 is out we probably will stop supporting v8, but will continue to support important fixes for v9 for some time.

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this video/animation.

This was the fourth of five weekly news posts discussing the future of ocPortal. The next post will talk about our new mobile toolkit.

Composr CMS has been in development ever since ocPortal v9 has come out. We've been somewhat secretive of the overall re-launch because we knew it would take a lot of time and didn't want to get ahead of ourselves. We aren't giving a release date yet because product releases aren't a source of income, so the investment is sustained through our private client work, and done between projects. Never-the-less, it is a huge priority for us so we are getting this information out now, and pushing forward for a release ASAP. [Less]
Posted 28 days ago by (Chris Graham)
As a part of our total refresh for transitioning from ocPortal to Composr, we're doing a big update to our documentation.
Posted about 1 month ago by (Chris Graham)
Hello all,

We have 4 big challenges within ocProducts at the moment:
We have been developing v10 (Composr CMS) for some years now, and we need to devote time to getting it finished.We need to stop the feature-creep, new ... [More] sponsored-functionality has been extending the size of the v10 indefinitely.We have a lot of client projects on, roughly one large project per employee.Hiring skilled developers is a really big challenge nowadays. Projects are harder, the base of technologies is broader, and developer demand outstrips supply.
Here's the tough decisions we've had to come to:
No new sponsored functionality or functionality from client projects should be expected to get into v10, however much longer v10 takes to get finished. Consider it v10 to now be in feature lock-down. Sponsorships are likely to be in a v10.1 release, or a v11 release, depending on what our post-v10 plans turn out as.If you sponsor something on the tracker you should not expect it to be delivered for v9 anymore, as the v9/v10 codebases are very diverged now and we cannot do the substantial forward-porting or back-porting required.Any new customer development projects that we have not had a live discussion about yet, are unlikely to start until after v10 is released. We will prioritise getting v10/Composr out the door over most such new projects. This does not affect the projects that we have for our customers that are either currently ongoing, or we have already been discussing in more than a few words of detail. It does not affect design work. It does however include any new development requests within support tickets, regardless of ticket priority, and new sponsored functionality.
These are tough decisions for us for 2 reasons:
Almost all our income all comes from paid work, so it's a significant financial commitment to shut off new project income for an undefined length of time.We honestly feel we exist to serve our customers and our users, so telling people that a project could be many months until it starts (for example) is no fun. We have to balance the needs of our paying customers, against the needs of the wider ocPortal community.
We would like people to be patient where possible. Frankly speaking, prospective website owners almost always rush things far too much – in most cases taking some more time to actually prepare a project would be greatly beneficial in any event. Put together a proper business plan document, a proper financial plan, and create all the design documents you need (sitemap diagrams, user journeys/stories, page layouts). A few dozen pages in writing really should be done before starting any substantial project. You can work with ocProducts designers, or independent designers, to help you produce these kinds of materials.

We recommend that projects that have an urgency to begin development in less than 6 months be started up by third party developers. Such developers are very welcome in our community, and there's some chance ocProducts staff may answer programming questions posted on the forum. [Less]
Posted 4 months ago by (ocProducts)
9.0.16 released. Read the full article for more information, and upgrade information.
Posted 6 months ago by (ocProducts)
9.0.15 released. Read the full article for more information, and upgrade information.
Posted 6 months ago by (ocProducts)
8.1.14 released. Read the full article for more information, and upgrade information.
Posted 8 months ago by (Chris Graham)
Hello ocPortal users,

We are currently experiencing a back-log in our support tickets, due to a very high demand. We have taken on an extra developer to help clear the back-log, and reassigned staff, but please be aware there may be some ... [More] delays.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused here. Our terms and conditions state that if we can't meet the response time requested, we'll re-price the ticket into the bracket for which we were able to respond within. This means we really do want to hit our targets, as otherwise we will have to charge less.

In order to minimise the processing time of your tickets, please take the following into account:

Use budget tickets only when suitable
Budget tickets have a response time of up to 7 working days, not including the time required for any custom programming.

If you need a quicker response (either initially, or between replies deeper into the ticket), consider raising a higher priority ticket.

We recognise 7 working days can seem a very long-time, especially when repeated multiple times across multiple replies in a ticket, but we actually price the tickets lower than our operating costs – they're designed only for very low priority tasks that can be fitted in during gaps between projects.

Keep separate issues to separate tickets
Make sure to only include one issue per ticket.

If you post multiple issues, or request quotes on multiple items in a single ticket, it can seriously delay responding to a ticket.

This is because we may need to marshal multiple staff with different areas of expertise, or wait until a staff member is fully free able to devote a much larger chunk of time to the ticket. If you post multiple smaller tickets, each can potentially be assigned to a different developer, or at least we can get out some individual replies sooner.

Finally, large tickets that weave together many disparate issues can get very difficult to follow for all involved, and make it difficult for us to draw in supplementary staff resource if we feel the need to speed them up.

Make tickets self-contained
It often seems like I, your humble CEO / chief nerd, is answering all tickets. In actual fact we have several developers available to manage the tickets. One of our terms and conditions is that tickets must not assume pre-knowledge of anything outside the ticket, such as other tickets or past work. This is necessary for us to be able to assign different staff members to dive directly into tickets, but because it often isn't the case, this is the reason I answer a lot of tickets myself – which makes me a major bottleneck. Please try to make sure tickets are self-explanatory.

It's very understandable to want a continuous relationship with a personal project manager and developer. This is a service we do offer, but not through our ticket system – generally we offer it through our agency service, which you can enquire about via an initial conversation in a ticket. We also offer staff secondment / resourcing agreements. Custom arrangements may be made, depending on budgets and requirements.

Don't tack requests for free support to bug reports
We tackle bug reports for our users for free, personally corresponding with and helping our users. However, please don't try and follow up free tickets with requests for discussions about how to use various features you might desire. Please respect that we develop, distribute, and maintain, ocPortal for free – and have no external funding to allow our salaried staff to provide free support. All our funding comes from our support and software development services. The forum is maintained for free user to user support (i.e. voluntary support by people not on the ocProducts payroll).

We're really enthusiastic and ethical people here, so we always get uncomfortable when asked to work for free – it takes up a non-trivial amount of ongoing support time just addressing that we cannot do it. Often we make small exceptions then find us getting involved in a long ongoing discussion, and it makes it very difficult for us to deal with.

Thank you for your understanding, and again, our apologies for any support delays. We aim to clear through the back-log as quickly as possible.

Yours sincerely,
Chris Graham
(ocProducts CEO) [Less]
Posted 9 months ago by (ocProducts)
8.1.13 released. Read the full article for more information, and upgrade information.