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Some remarks about the web client

Question asked by smarcon on Oct 5, 2005
Latest reply on Oct 9, 2005 by lintonb
First I would like to thank the alfresco team for trying to provide the community with an open-source tool that aims at really being a real document management tool. Thanks for the initiative.

The Alfresco adventure only starts of course and there are a lot of functionnalities that are to be implemented. But I installed and tested the application and I must say it looks like current functionnalities will most of the standard document management needs and we are certainly confident in the future functionnalities that will come. I just wanted to be sure that focusing on document management, Alfresco will not forget about WCM, which was maybe, in my point of view, the error some important document management systems did. Of course, when beginning that sort of initiative, one must focus on some needs and I really understand that the DM needs were looked at first, I just want to be sure that WCM needs will also also be addressed soon.

Now, I did not look deeply at the system itself and just followed the tutorial provided. Looking at this preview version, I'm really thinking that we will soon be able to propose the alfresco alternative (sorry, the alfresco solution) to our customers. Testing the PR6 interface, I just have some comments I know I would get from my customers and I just wanted to give you this feedback. So sorry, if it looks like I'm nit-picking but it's not my fault if your interface is so good :D.

1. When performing any action, it would be interesting to have all steps wihtin that action (in left pane under "steps") as links. It is OK to have to click next -> next when learning how to use the product but when you already know how to do the action, it would be interesting to jump to any step with a simple quick click.

2. When editing a space name, the information in the navigation bar is not updated. For example, following the tutorial, if you change the name of the "Projects" space to Projectss, you will see the changes in the space properties but the navigation is only impacted when going to another space and coming back to the "Projectss" space. The problem persists if you do anything in the current space, until you go back to a higher space and come back to the space you changed the name of.

3. Still following the tutorial, when making a checkout of the "system-overview" example document, I get a "more actions" link next to the checked-out version of the document (cut, paste, view details and this "more actions" are available). But it seems no more actions are available on that object, it would be interesting not to have any icon then if there are no actions available.

4. Within the interface, each time the user has to select a folder (for checkout for example), the selection is made trough a list of option boxes with the "Go-up" link to go int the higher space. It would be very intersting here to have a tree instead of that list of links. IT is very difficult for the user to know where he really is. At least, one could use the same some navigation bar like the glocal one (on top of the interface).

5. It would be interesting to know in the document details where is the "working copy" of that document. If I browse to a checked-out content, how can I know the location it has been checked-out to?

6. When checking a content in, I find the click upload button quite unnecessary for the user, why not asking only for the location and checking/uploading on "next".

7. It would be interesting to have an history in the workflow section of the properties of a doument

8. When selecting a category for a document, when reaching the last leef of the category "tree" if you enter one given category that has no leefs, you get an "OK" button and a "Go Up" button. The problem is that if you click the OK button, the category is not affected. It would be interesting to have either the category affected or the category not being a link if it has no more child categorie.

9. It is very nice to have a special icon for a folder (sorry a space :-)) that contains documents. It would be interesting to have that behavior recursive. Today, if a space does not contain documents at its root but contains spaces that have documents, it will be display with a normal icon (as containing no documents) but it would be interesting look recursively on all spaces within that space to see of any contains a document. I know there may be some performance issues with that but I find the special icon would be very very interesting if it could be extended.