Oracle forums upgrade raises a ruckus among users

Don't be "whining wussies" about the changes, one user says

Oracle's recent upgrade to its online forums has divided the portal's many users, with some saying the update brings welcome changes but others claiming it is bug-riddled and inferior to its predecessor.

After the revamped Oracle Technology Network Community site launched earlier this month, an official asked for feedback from members, and the thread has drawn nearly 300 replies since then.

One early responder called the new site a "great effort" and "amazing and nice."

But supporting the adage that one person's treasure is another's trash, another poster called the site "clumsy and more complicated," with "a lot of unnecessary enhancement which is quite similar to social networking."

"There are so many interface gotchas," another said. "I'm only surprised and quite disappointed so far."

The new forums have a more modern and colorful look and feel than the previous version. However, there are other alleged problems with the upgrade apart from the forums' appearance, such as a "useless" editor, broken links and lost user profile points, according to forum participants.

The reported problems have resulted in many harsh comments on the feedback thread.

"I lost almost all this day trying to do something, and nothing worked," one poster wrote on June 12. "If I release[d] such a mess to one of my customers, the minimum I would expect would be to be fired."

"All I can say is, what a shambles," another said. "Supposedly one of the world's best technology companies has released an update to its forums that is absolutely, shockingly, diabolically bad."

But a number of other users vigorously defended Oracle and the new site, with one calling complainers "whining wussies" who don't want to put in the work needed to learn the new system.

The old forums "were not good," went down often and had a poor search capability," the poster wrote. "But year after year using it, one got use[d] to the pain and ignored it." But now, instead of discovering what the new forum can do, "so-called technical experts are complaining because they do not want to learn," the poster added. "No, instead Oracle is slammed. The new [forum] is slammed."

OTN members aren't charged any money to use the forums, where Oracle IT professionals convene to exchange ideas, ask questions and seek answers to problems they're having with Oracle's vast technology portfolio.

Oracle is well aware of the problems and working diligently to fix them, said Sonya Barry, director of community infrastructure, in another post. "We knew it would be bumpy, and it is," Barry wrote.

Site stability and performance and login problems, among others, are being given priority status "and are being worked on around the clock until they are resolved," Barry wrote.

Lower-priority issues will be handled afterwards, and Oracle is also holding off on activating some features until the site is stabilized, Barry added.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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