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Now Available!  - Ask on liferay.dev

I am pleased to announce we will be upgrading liferay.dev and launching our new react-based forum replacement!

At DEVCON 2019 we announced several initiatives aimed at streamlining interactions between us and our community in order to make it easier to find the information needed to aid in a project or to provide feedback on features within the Liferay Portal product itself.

Liferay Portal CE Rolling Releases

The first of these initiatives was our new rolling release cycle which allowed us to continue to release new features and improve upon existing features between minor CE releases. The main idea being that instead of waiting to release new features with every major release, we could now incrementally improve each minor release without compromising stability. Another added bonus is it allows us to respond to bug reports and feature feedback on an ongoing basis instead of waiting for a new major release. 

New Documentation Initiative

Next we began a new project improving and consolidating our documentation on a new site called learn.liferay.com. This has been no simple migration but a complete reimagining of the documentation to make it simpler to consume and understand and to make it easier to find the information needed at any time. Currently the site contains documentation for several products including all new documentation for Liferay Portal CE 7.3/Liferay DXP 7.3 and Liferay Commerce 3.0 with new documentation being added every day.

Ask on liferay.dev

The final community initiative for this year is launching our new forum replacement on liferay.dev. This is a multi-faceted project involving many different pieces being built together in tandem. 

DXP Cloud 

liferay.dev began on the predecessor to DXP Cloud called WeDeploy. During the time on WeDeploy the site became highly customized in order to meet all of our needs. With DXP Cloud we took the accelerated path and migrated our custom build from WeDeploy to DXP Cloud. With the latest upgrade, we took the time to migrate liferay.dev to a properly supported DXP Cloud environment. Not only does it make it easier for us to support liferay.dev but for the DXP Cloud support staff to aid us should we need it.

Liferay Portal CE

One of our long standing goals with Liferay Portal CE is to upgrade to the latest versions as they are released. Along with the move to a supported DXP Cloud Infrastructure we also put the automation in place to easily pivot to a new version of Liferay Portal. The plan going forward is now to upgrade liferay.dev as a new versions of Liferay Portal CE are released.

Questions (Ask)

During the Liferay Portal 7.3 CE development cycle our Liferay Headless team has been working on our new forum replacement alongside every CE release. Questions is a tagged based react application that makes use of our headless apis. It uses existing Message Board data on the backend meaning all historical data will be available on launch, although each message is reorganized and tagged to make them easier to locate.  The idea behind Questions is to not only make it as easy as possible for anyone to ask a question but also make it easy for anyone trying to help answer questions by finding relevant posts using tags. The biggest challenge with our current forum is it is very difficult to find posts related to a topic of expertise. Now with questions if a post is tagged with "asset publisher" it is now far easier to filter by posts related to that topic.

A typical interaction with Questions:

  • On the Questions (called Ask on liferay.dev) landing page, choose a topic of interest. For liferay.dev these topics will be: Commerce, Community, Development and Portal


     
  • Once in a topic, click Ask Question and supply a Title and a Question.

     
  • Add tags to the post. One tag should represent the component the question is about (for example: asset publisher, web content, search, theming, fragments, etc). This will help component experts more easily find questions related to them.

     
  • If you are a new poster you will see a message stating your post is awaiting moderation. This is due to a new moderation system to prevent spam based on establishing trust with the system. Trusted posters will not see this step.

     
  • The Tags tab can be used to filter questions based on tags and may aid in finding help.
  • Top level topics such as Portal, Commerce and Development can be subscribed too for receiving notifications when new questions are posted.
  • The My Activity tab will show questions that are related to you.

What's Next?

This is our initial release of Questions with functionality to replace our Forums. In the next few iterations we will be working on some productivity enhancements to aid in other areas of our community. Once enhancement will make it easier to provide feedback on features in our releases and another feature will help contributors find and act on posts created within Ask.

Sorry to say: It's a mess, unusable and unorganized.

With Google Chrome even the entry site looks completely wrong with text exceeding the white boxes.

The forum wasn't the best forum but at last you knew where you have to look for an answer to your problem.

Hi Fredi. What  resolution are you using on chrome? We have tried and haven't seen any way to reproduce the case in which the text exceed the white container. 

The idea of this new app is to try to keep a more plain structure, and delegate the "organization" to search and tags. We may refine the tags, though. So if you think there is some set of tags that could help to make it appear more organized, just let us now.

Regarding "usability", we would love to  know which usability issues are you facing. You can email us to developer-relations AT liferay or put it on a new Question forums.

Every change will take some time and effort to adapt to it, and we really think this will offer a new experience for asking questions.

 

Hi David, 

I am using a 2K monitor. Screenshot: https://imgur.com/5k9MgeaThe height of the cards is set fix to 200px in CSS.

Regarding Usability: I am missing the create-date and modify-date of the answers in the Ask-Threads. It's hard to see how old an answer really is.  

 

Hi Fredi,

I'll check why the text is bleeding out from the cards. I thought I had that fixed.

I opened a feature request suggesting we add create date and modify date to each answer/reply

Thanks for the feedback!-Jamie

I am with Fredi here. The text overflows for me too but the main issue is that the ask forum looks really messy/ugly.

For me the Ask site is hard to read. Could you make it more compact, add separators between the items, move the stuff above the caption below it? (In general, rearrange it so that it becomes more readable)

Interestingly: I have a 4K screen, the page area is a bit small but actually better readable than when I zoom to 1920. I think, since 4K is rather uncommon,  you should optimize for a smaller resolution.

With a more common resolution I only see 3 entries on the page, which is really not a lot. On my laptop I currently zoom out, to see more, something I NEVER do, to make it better readable which is pretty weird.

Minor: The currently selected tag filter is shown nowhere but in the url. It should be shown somewhere that I have filtered the list and what my filter is.

My activities only shows the threads I have created. Where are my activities, I mean: my postings? The old behavior was far better, it allowed me to see if there were new postings to threads I have participated in. Now, I can't even find my own postings? (If the feature is there, I could not find it)

And I would like to have a view: "Latest posts" with the actual posts, not the "Last edited" list. I would love to see the actual replies.

I guess, the "last edited" feature still has the problem that if somebody adds spam and the spam is deleted, it still goes to the top? That was one of the most annoying flaws of the forum.

 

Thank you Christoph for your detailed feedback, we are going to discuss with the UX team to review some of the ideas to give it more space and to better use the space on really big monitors.

 

I think, you misunderstand. It works better on really big monitors. It is worse on "normal" ones.

On my laptop I can see only three questions since the rest of the space is wasted. On top of that: It looks messy since things are "floating around" which makes it hard to read.

Also: Could you please add something like: "Last post: today" (with mouseover and the exact date) to the threads? It would allow me to see which threads have been recently updated.

I am agree with others, every day I see if there are new posts in the forum or in the blog.

Now I must check 4 categories in Ask to see if there is something new.

Could it be possible to see all the new posts in one time ?

I am not reading all but sometimes I learn things with the others posts.

And more important, I see many of old  posts with a lot of div,<br>, <p>,... not very readable.

Thank you for your work, I am sure it will be better in the next release.

Eric.

Ok, can somebody explain the sort order of the message to me? I just don't get it.  Why is my last message on top?

https://liferay.dev/ask#/questions/development/why-liferay-don-t-recognize-jspdf

I wanted to answer the last post of the OP, but there is no reply button. Does this forum not allow to have more than 2 posts depth or something? That's not enough. To get answers, people have to discuss issues, going back and forth.

I would love to see my posts and the posts of the OP to be in an orderly thread.