The Orchard Experience

April 3, 2015 Learning Experiences

I love challenges but I have never been particularly happy with trying out new things, and most importantly, things I know nothing about. But in this particular instance, I thought to myself how bad could it actually be. It’s not like I didn’t know the language, and, I actually had to prove myself to my seniors… 1st mistake.

On the list of things to do, was to covert a HTML template into a theme, and secondly, create a bookings system. After reading through the documentation, or lack thereof as my colleagu would put it, we decided to get our hands dirty and start writing some code. To our disappointment, it was actually easy to get started, and after the 2nd day we actually looked forward to learning more about this CMS…. 2nd mistake.

Despite getting assistance from a senior developer who was mostly not available, our mistakes came back to haunt us. See with Orchard, it was like the more you learn the less you understand, the less code you write the more you can get from it. So after 3 whole weeks of trail and error, the theme was ready. It took so long because Orchard kept wrapping up content ‘items’ & ‘parts’ with markup that was sometime hard to catch, and the theme being based on bootstrap (which required exact markups and classes) ┬ádidn’t help one bit. The ‘shapes’ kept taking on their own shape, and the flow of the code kept getting blurrier every line of code we wrote. There were times where I had to question my own sanity, and other times where the code looked so foreign, and documentation didn’t help one bit. Saying it was hell would be an understatement. We finally explained to the senior developer why we weren’t going to touch the booking system and he seemed to understand.

Looking back, I really think Orchard is a great CMS, for intermediate to senior developers that is, and wouldn’t mind playing again with it in the near future, but for now it better stay far away from me. Very Far!