Last summer I changed roles at Alfresco and moved from technical sales to technical marketing. It has been a lot of fun to own a technology project again. My main focus since that time has been to replace the Alfresco Developer Forge with a new Add-ons Directory located here:
As of this writing, there are more than 70 add-ons listed!
I posted a few months ago to the Alfresco Forums about our plans to replace Forge. The system hasn’t received proper care and feeding, is increasingly hard to defend against spammers and mal-doers, and there are modern code forges that provide a better developer experience than we are able to deliver as a side-service (I am partial to Bit Bucket or Google Code because I find Mercurial so much easier to use that Git). When we examined what our community really wanted from Forge, the important service was to have a single place to locate an interesting add-on to Alfresco. So we build a site that does just that.
On the site you can submit an add-on hosted anywhere on the Internet. You can browse add-ons, rate add-ons, and leave comments. We still have some back-end work to do so that created accounts are stored in a system that can be leveraged by the forums, wiki, and issue tracker (I apologize for asking for a new username and password), but the system is currently usable. Important features like search, tagging, and usage statistics are also in the works.
For those who are interested, the site is built on Drupal 7 and will in the future be integrated with Alfresco. I have personally found Drupal to be a disappointing platform to work with, but that is a subject for a future blog post (summary: you should use Django). While building the site I learned a lot about HTML5 and CSS3, but I don’t know if it is actually improving search indexing of the site yet.
Forge has been a useful tool over the last five years, but we are encouraging all projects hosted there to move. Forge is closed to new projects and new users, and at the end of February we plan to make that server read-only. It will eventually be turned off completely.
If you have any feedback on Add-ons or concerns with the future of Forge, you should get in contact with me. I would enjoy discussing it with you.