Julien Vehent on 9 Aug 2011 13:11:48 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] File system search

On Tue, 09 Aug 2011 15:48:16 -0400, Eric at Lucii.org wrote:
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Okay, why "Never again" for Alfresco Community. I'm seriously considering it
for a customer so I really want to know.


I...must...control...myself.... Ah ! What the hell ! You asked for it.

Blaming Alfresco is probably not completely fair, but the issue is that Alfresco extensively uses Java frameworks that are literally crazy to configure. You know, that kind of XML configuration file that doesn't make any f***** sense to any human being except the 5 developers who created it. Yet again, I'm not a java guys, so maybe I'm just not very receptive to their logic.

After a few months of experimentation here and there, bying a couple of useless books and reading "business ready" documentation, I managed to build a setup that looked like something we could use for a basic document repository. But still I wasn't completely satisfied with it. The search was clunky, and the results obviously sub-optimal. The "nice" interface (share) was buggy and the "solid" interface (alfresco) was confusing but was also the only place were most of the admin function were implemented, so you needed both.

The killer feature : all of your documents are stored in binary blobs on the file system, and you MUST have the index in the database to access them. You lose the DB, you lose the documents. Yes, I know, file system accesses are probably 10x times faster than a DB lookup followed by a binary file access plus decompression. And from a disaster recovery, it's just so much easier to rsync a folder structure, but no, when you're a java guy, you recreate a file system inside your application.

That also means that once you use alfresco to store your documents, you can forget about using a standard file system command/explorer to browse the files. Oh, wait, no, I'm lying, they provide a webdav access point.... but then the permissions models doesn't work properly and everybody can view everything (they cannot open the files but they can browse the entire structure of folders/documents).

I could go on, but the big idea is: alfresco is probably a good software, but it's not for {me,small companies,people who like logic}.

But if you're interested, and read french, you can take a look at my notes:



Enjoy :)


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