God bless Open Source

Yes, it’s just yet another success story.

But still worth mentioning isn’t it? Especially when it happens right to you and right in one of the toughest period of my entire career.

So to keep it short: I’m working together with Marijn on some fully fledged complex Alfresco workflow, working on 3.0 but still on the “old” Alfresco web client (now renamed to Repository Explorer ).
Apart from Alfresco a bit odd JBPM Javascript implementation, we could get quite close to the fully working solution, but now that users are a bit struggling with the usability of the web client (and some lack of training) we are a bit delayed and trying to prioritize some issues.

One big requirement that has been left out was the possibility of displaying the task history of a workflow on the document details page. To be clear, Alfresco allows showing documents associated to a workflow, but the reverse association is not displayed and a document has no means of showing the task history that a specific document has undergone to.

About to drop this requirement, while googling around I came across this genius post, in which Marc de Kwant describes and shares the code of exactly this feature. Ok, I understand it’s a quite obvious requirement, especially in enterprise controlled documents contexts, but I mean, look at the picture, it’s exactly what I needed ­čśëAlfresco Task History┬áPanel

That is extremely cool, and will allow to implement the feature in a matter of minutes.

Makes me wanna contribute to the project, just to give all my kudos to his great work (still have to try it actually, but appreciate the effort ­čśë ).

The code is hosted here and if I look better at some comments on the blog post , seems that the gap of poor packaging of this feature (just a bunch of files dropped there) can be easily bridged with another success story, a one shot execution of my Maven AMP archetype. Guess it can make a really nice Forge contribution as such. Anyone interested to try it out?

I especially love when open source achievements come together in a product, which is typically more than double valued than the original addendums. That’s why I probably will always like, enjoy, be interested in being an open source integration pioneer.

3 thoughts on “God bless Open Source

  1. Hi. Currently I have installed Alfresco 2.1 for one of my client. It’s in production for about a year, right now. I found that process management on top of the document management is almost perfect solution for most common office tasks.
    This is because processes in the office, tends to be invoked by some document and at the end you will get updated or newly produced new document or set of documents.
    Sadly process creation, bebugging and support is not as easy in Alfreaco an has a lot of rought edges. One of these is related with BPM versioning. BPM is versioned, because this feature comes form JBPM but it’s useless in real life.
    Once you update you workflow, you have more than one version of workflow. Problem comes from workflow dependency on other code, UI and repository model updates which also should be versioned, but they are not.
    This is my experience, be aware.


  2. Hi Remis,
    that’s right, Alfresco integration with JBPM is one of the most tricky and less documented parts of Alfresco.

    I’ve found developing that nasty Javascript stuff as difficult, misleading and complex as it can be.

    Problems are actually a bit better when using Java, at least for debugging’s sake, but I’m not really a fan of it.

    Thanks for your comment and for the advices anyways!


  3. Hi,

    It is nice to see that other developers can use what I put on the Internet. My apologies for the poor packaging.

    Kind regards,
    Marc e Kwant


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