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Why OpenAtrium sucks

Submitted by Druss on Sat, 2014-08-16 20:17

OpenAtrium is a Drupal "distribution", a pre-packaged Drupal installation which targets a particular niche. I was told to consider it when I went looking for a support ticket package a couple of years ago. That project fell by the wayside but I did have a demo installation on my system and now that I do need to install a ticket management system again, I looked at resurrecting this installation and updating it for some snazzy new features.

And yes, there was a new Open Atrium installation available, a version 2.21 while mine was a 1.7 installation. The 2 signified a major upgrade and according to their site and the Drupal project page, an upgrade to Drupal 7. All very nice. However, this was where all the happy news ended.

Rather than making a fresh installation of the new OA, I chose to look to upgrade my old site. But even before I could head that way, my demo site's status page was complaining about an outdated Drupal installation and was jangling alarm bells about SECURITY UPDATEs. So (like is usually recommended) I needed to first update my site to the latest D6 version of Open Atrium before considering an upgrade to a D7 version. However, and to my amazement, there were no Open Atrium updates available for the 1.x (D6) branch with the 1.7 update being the final one. The project page also states that this branch is now unsupported and their homepage notes that it is no longer "in active development". Bully for all those people who are happy with their current installations and aren't interesting in a major upgrade. They will either have to keep running their sites knowing that they were vulnerable or bite the bullet and upgrade to the 2.x (D7) branch. This was some serious whip-cracking going on! Oh well. I supposed then that an upgrade of my demo site to 2.x was in order.

Umm. But no. You see, there is no upgrade path to 2.x from 1.x. OA's team has apparently been working on a "migration script". But it's already been close to a year since the official release of the 2.x branch. There is also no mention of the lack of migration support on OA's project page. So those users who are on 1.x will have to suck up and hope that no ev17 h4xx0r5 attack their sites or pay somebody to upgrade even vanilla installations of Open Atrium whether they like it or not.

This, frankly, is the kind of shit that you are forced to put up with in the FOSS world. There are good projects and then there are bad projects. Like Open Atrium. In my experience, faeces often collides with ceiling fans when there are profit-minded companies with the decision-making powers rather than fun-loving coders.

Anyway, Fuck You, Open Atrium. I'm not going to choose software that is happy to leave its users in the lurch.