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1 Jan 23, 2008 05:52    

I have been a business analyst, usability analyst, solution designer, database consultant, (lightweight) software developer, plus some, whose career stretches back to making my first solutions using something called Nutshell in 1985 on a computer with no HD. Lately I've become drawn to the OS "phenomenon" which suits my personal "belief system", plus I think the support and dependability and rapid fixes of a solid OS project are far superior to that of any commercial offerings. Only very recently finished my evaluation and installation of b2evolution, in my quest to find a title for administering and blogging on a new site I'm putting together.

Because I am brand-new to b2evo, and have barely been exposed to php, css and other technologies involved, I am writing this not only as a pro who has evaluated hundreds of software titles over the years and who is really familiar with what it takes to maintain and rev solutions and to manage a team and to write the end-user documentation, but in this case I also share things from a "n00b's" eyes. Here goes:

-- Installation: after getting around a couple of minor hurdles on my VPS (I mean hurdles with the server itself, having to do with php configs and whatnot), the process was *so* easy, smooth as butter, and amazingly friendly. (I installed version 2.3.) I was especially pleased to see the security check done for me on the System tab, since this was one area of major concern (having heard much about the hackability of php apps) and indeed I needed to make a couple of corrections to my config. The instructions were clear and with a little ssh/CLI support from my hosting providerI was up and running the same day.

-- Admin User experience: I could have gotten my blogs going minutes after installation (which I chose not to do), or I could delve a bit into the manual and made some tweaks without knowing a scrap of coding of any kind, or I could get deep into it and make php mods/create a skin/etc. This is good software design. Set up to be ready-to-go for those who Just Want To Use It, with a rich feature set for those who wish to dig deeper, and with several levels of how much deeper one can choose to dig.

-- End-user experience: b2evo blogs I've looked at are easy to navigate and use for the site visitor.I can't speak yet to the experience of the bloggers themselves using b2evo, since I've not yet actually blogged on the new site, nor yet invited anyone else in, but I am anticipating the same good balance of power and ease.

-- Support: Thus far I've found this forum community to be amazingly prompt and friendly and helpful. Far exceeding the experiences we've all undoubtedly had wading through automated telephone menus and being left on hold for an eternity waiting for (and perhaps paying significant money for) the very spotty support offered by so many commercial software companies.

Note to any other non-php-programmer readers: "every project participant" (see my topic subject) includes not just programmers and QA pro's but also includes every user of b2evo who has ever: submitted or confirmed a bug, helped someone out on a forum, made a suggestion to improve the docs, or recommended b2evolution to others. So, to all of you, Great Job. Much gratitude.


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