Since Imulus is a Certified Umbraco Gold Partner, a few have asked our stance on the demise of Umbraco 5: a little shocked, but it feels right.
Version 5 was announced back in October of 2010 and stated that it would be built with a smart, state-of-the-art architecture on the latest technology using .NET MVC and allowing the use of Razor for its scripting engine. Here at Imulus, we were all excited to start using this latest and greatest version of our favorite content management system.
But then we started using it…
Our first issue was how slow it was at rendering web pages, especially after the website grew to 15+ pages. Looking into it more, we found the Umbraco community was experiencing the same problem. The second issue we found was the lack of features that were present in Version 4. The biggest feature missing was the Members area which meant we couldn’t create websites where users could log in. So, we either needed to wait until an update of Version 5 came out or use the older Version 4. So, after working in Version 5, we had to ask ourselves: Was this new version of Umbraco an improvement? It wasn’t.
Then on June 13, 2012 at CodeGarden, the annual conference for Umbraco developers, Niels Hartvig, the founder of Umbraco, gave his now-famous speech.
“We will stop the development of v5 and we cannot recommend any new projects to use v5.”
This is a very bold direction for Umbraco and something that would never happen with a large software development corporation. It’s always hard to admit you made a mistake, especially when you’ve put your heart and soul into for three years. We here at Imulus are actually excited to see this decision made.
What Umbraco has done is to avoid the second-system effect. This refers to the overwhelming need for a software company to rewrite from scratch their initial successful application. The one example that always comes to my mind is Netscape Navigator, the widely used web browser that peaked in the 1990’s and rapidly declined after their 4th version was developed. It was a complete rewrite of the software, took forever to come out, and was plagued with bugs that were fixed in previous versions. This was the time when Microsoft released their web browser, Internet Explorer, and concentrated on incremental updates. Due to the many bad decisions at Netscape in a very short period of time, Internet Explorer became the dominate web browser.
Now Umbraco is focusing on what made them strong: the community. Recently, Umbraco released their roadmap for Version 4 and is pushing the Umbraco community to help with bugs and enhancements. You can view this roadmap at: http://our.umbraco.org/contribute/roadmap
Here at Imulus, we are thrilled to help spread the word of this amazing content management system. It has recently had some bumps during its growth but was able to re-focus itself and return back to its roots. Sometimes a big step backwards is a giant leap forward.