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Web Studio problems

Question asked by ljnelson on Aug 26, 2009
Hello; my sincere apologies if this is not the proper forum for Web Studio user-related questions.  I did not see an obvious forum for it, and this one seemed to have other Web Studio posts, so, well, there you are.

I have successfully installed Alfresco 3.2 Community Edition on my Windows XP box on Tomcat 6.0.20, following all the installation guides, including the Tomcat 6 modifications necessary.  I have also successfully deployed the studio.war webapp.  I can therefore go to http://localhost:8080/studio and see the Web Studio application.

I began by creating a new web site.  The first thing I noticed was that the default message on the new page–the one that tells you you need a template association–didn't do anything.  I could see in the status bar that it was attempting to run a Javascript function off the object, but nothing happened.  I bashed around for a while, and finally found that the floating menu held the secret: I chose to assemble my Surf Application pages (or something like that), and found under one of the top menus a place where I could associate a template.  First question: is there anything obvious I did wrong here?

Next, I followed one of the tutorials on the Alfresco Wiki.  The first thing I noticed was that the screenshots in the tutorial didn't really look like the version of Web Studio I have.  No problem, I figured, that's probably just a version thing–for example, one of the screenshots refers to an item in the floating menu called "Start Editing".  Mine instead just said (initially) "Preview".  There were various text mismatches here; "Design" seems to have become something like "Assembly Tools", and so on.

I figured out how to activate the assembly tools, and the first thing I noticed was that the template didn't show up.  That is, although I had a valid template association, there were no dashed-lines boxes/regions on the page; it was just entirely blank with the kaleidoscope logo "behind" it.

I reloaded the whole application, navigated back to the page assembly area and–lo and behold–the template showed up.  OK.  Second question: Is there something that I should do to somehow manually "activate" the template association so that when I go to the page assembly area the template shows up without my having to reload the application?

Next, I went under the "Images" slider on the left, and found lots of sample images.  Following the spirit of the tutorial, I dragged one of them to one of the two blue regions on the page and dropped it.  And waited.  Nothing happened.  I clicked on the region to get its back panel, and the region indicated that it was empty; i.e. there was nothing there.  I examined the server logs.  No problems there either.  No matter what I did I could not drag one of the images from the images area onto the region.  Third question: Am I wrong to suspect that I could drag a sample image onto the template?

From here, I benevolently gave up.  The basic operations that I was hoping such a basic user-oriented tool would provide me did not work for me.  I am certainly more technical than the users of this application will be, so I'm not giving up because I'm angry, or because I think that everything is broken, but it definitely needs more polish.

But before I truly give up and look elsewhere, I'd like to know where I can find out more information about exactly what is known to be broken, what is currently in the development pipeline, and so on.  Since these basic, basic functions don't work, I have to assume folks are actively working on them, and that's fine–I'd just like to get a sense of when this application will be ready for prime time.

Thanks as always for throwing this software out there under an open source license.