Our 4th event took place on Tuesday 6th November at the Centre for Creative Collaboration.
Liferay Social Office tool:
After reporting on our experience with the Social Office, we called for a larger participation of the user group in using this tool, for exploring its full potential and more importantly to report and fix the issues.
Liferay News (Webinar, Mobile dev, Liferay Sync)
Presentation on the Open Player Social Gadget
Debate on the future of the user group
Next event to be announced soon
Find below the recent news about events, tutorials and reviews around Liferay.
Upcoming Web events
This Webinar will take place today 7th November at 6pm and might interest a lot of LR users:
Everyone is talking about the cloud, but does running Liferay in the cloud make sense for your business?
Around this subject: Cloud portals, Amazon and more: A quick overview about Open Source clouds, Liferay architecture on cloud and some "devops" tools
Other webinars are scheduled as well: Events list available here
Liferay Mobile dev
Inspiring blog posts on building mobile friendly Liferay sites. Software developer Ronal Sarayudej is reporting on his experience working on the Spain Symposium website:
Blog posts: Steps To Baking Websites For Mobile Consumption and We've Responded: Mobile Symposium
Take your phone to this link if you want to see for yourself: http://www.liferay.com/spain2012
Some of you might already be familiar with this Liferay feature as it's been released for Iphone earlier this year. It is now available on Android:
We didn't have time to demonstrate at the event this app but you'll find here all the links and info:
"Liferay Sync is a document-sharing and synchronization tool that gives today’s business users a seamless experience editing and accessing documents across mobile, desktop and web environments. Sync complements Liferay’s broader strategy to unify access to enterprise assets under a single user experience. With growing complexity in the enterprise content management landscape and a move by enterprise users toward mobile technologies, the Liferay family of products makes it simple to get the right content to the right people, wherever they are.
“With Liferay Sync, we are helping Liferay users stay connected to their enterprise assets without worrying about which systems they come from,” said Liferay CEO Bryan Cheung. “We’re happy to welcome many of those professionals here at the Liferay Europe Symposium to collaborate, share and learn more about how to leverage the market-leading open source portal platform for their industry.”
Test and demo of this app will take place at the next event
Open player social gadget
Hamish demonstrated a rss feed media player that was build in collaboration with the Spring of Code project.
is an opensource video player that contains a RSS-feed that creates list of videos next to the video that is being watched based on a pre-defined tag. The player is based on JWPlayer, using the opensocial wrapper to enable embedding videos in other websites.
It is easily customisable via the portlet configuration option.
The player can display a playlist of videos from various sources
You can see an example of the player running at the bottom of this page.
Social office tool
Since the last meeting in September we've started using as a group the Liferay Social Office tool. Here is a quick overview of our experience so far. We will report more in details at our next event.
Only a few members of the group really used the tool so we have to do better if we want to build a efficient communication platform for the user group.
Overall the functionalities of SO offer what you would expect from a collaborative platform.
From a user:
"On the whole it seems fairly straight forward though and I guess it does what we need it to do, which is enable members of the group to share information and learning with each other"
Some members reported having problems with the registration process, in particular getting the validation email or the reset email when requesting a password reset. For some it might be a simple problem of emails stored in the spam folder but it doesn't explain all the reported issues.
Navigation / Permissions
Even when logged in some members can't always have access to all the pages functionalities:
"some pages don't recognise me as being signed in when I am"
"only have access to comment on some forum discussions and not others"
By default the profile page of each member displays: picture, your activity feed, projects, contacts, tags, sites, links and is of course customisable.
Problem reported with the profile picture which can appear oversized:
"I don't find the profile area very logical. I also think it's very restrictive about profile photo size and dimensions. It needs to have an inbuilt image resizer and be able to optimise photos that are larger than 300KB".
There is no doubt about the potential of this tool but we still need to be convinced it can be used easily by "non-techie" users!
More feedback to be added on the Social Office at our next event.
For exploring his full potential and more importantly to report and possibly fix the bugs. Join us now on the user group social office:
On the site: Click on "Sign up" on the top right, after signing up, don't forget to click on "join the site" on the frontpage to be part of the community! Check your spam folder if you don't receive an email confirmation.
Don't forget to introduce yourself to the community.
Future of the user group
At each event we try to have a discussion on what's next for the group as we really think a user group should be run by it's users! Since we are still a recent and small group it is key that more members get involve in running it.
How to get more developers involved the group?
Possible incentives: perspective of job offers or information about the job market, promoting the event on other tech groups, getting "famous" Liferay developers to come share their experience to the group, contact some developers who created themes/portlet and get them to present to the group.
As for getting more Java developer to work on Liferay: it is key to explain to them that they would then become not only a Java developer but also a "portal developer".
How to attract more people to the Liferay portal?
If everybody agrees about the quality of the product, there is still the problem of the learning curve and the lack of documentation. The Liferay.com forums can be a big help but some members feel the answers are often very technical. Again a sign of a need for an active user group so we can help and support each others (hence our support session).
Some members suggested it could be useful to have some of our events organised in a pub where we could have more informal meetings. It was also mentioned having events in C4CC (near Kings Cross) wasn't central enough. These are valuable feedback and we'll try to find easier venues for the next events. Remember that you can yourself organise an event! (Drop me an email and I will help as much as I can)
We had interesting and active contributions from developers about their views on Liferay's strategy in the UK on EE and customer support and what it means for CE. They also talked about how difficult it is in the UK to convince people or companies to use Open Source solutions and portals.
As usual we published the event on social networks and various sites (meetup, twitter, linkedin, Liferay.com forums and user group page). Additionally, as suggested by Ben we created an event page on Lanyrd: http://lanyrd.com/2012/lets-talk-about-liferay/.
Where else do you think we should promote the event?
Our next event will be hosted by our friends from the LGA in December or January. More details coming soon.