Forge Improvements and Cleanup

By Curt Raddatz on 5 Mar 2014
As research for a project that I hope to get I’ve spent a large amount of time looking at components in Forge.  In my opinion, a lot of work needs to be done to make this area much more useful.  Much of the work is just manual effort though some coding changes would improve things as well.  Below is a list of what I think Forge needs.  (Note that there are some minor overlaps with existing ideas.)
I would be happy to donate time to clean up the things that can be done manually, manage the demo area and write code if given the authority to do so.
Grouping – while tagging is ok, it’s pretty inconsistent.  It would be better if the ‘keeper of the forge’ designated groups (charts, reporting, connectors, etc.) and assigned components to those groups while keeping the tags.  Components can be members of multiple groups.  For example, a search in the forge for ‘google’ forces a tag search which only returns one component, which is incorrect.  The grouping would also be used to populate the ‘similar components’ area.
Archive – Components that are no longer compatible with recent versions but kept for historical purposes (archive could be just another group).  For instance, I would archive anything before 5.0 and anything dependent on enterprise manager.  (Note there are a few that should just be deleted completely, particularly when newer better components exist.)
Missing data – the information supplied with each component cannot be optional as it is today.  Version, stack, database, etc. need to be supplied to make the search capability useful.  Full descriptions of the component's capabilities need to be supplied.  For example, the Aids for Elders component has no description at all.  It wastes a lot of time for a lot of people to download the component to determine what it is.
Always goes back to page one – whenever you click on a link for a component and hit the back button, the page shown is always the first page of components.  It ignores your Order By selection and the page that you were on.  This gets very annoying over time.
Demos and screen shots – most of the demo links don’t work and most of the components don’t even have meaningful screen shots which would take just a minute to do.  (For example, the one in Dropbox that just shows a login screen is not what should be used.)   For the demos, create a environment and put all the demos there.

Search - add a date range to the search that users can set (default to three years ago to today) which would allow users to skip reading old posts that don't apply to the newer version that most people are using.  (Added Mar 7, 2014)
J.6 Mar 2014
I like to add that I like to see the last "whats's new"" on the mainpage of a component, instead of having to click on "see all versions" 
José Antunes6 Mar 2014

I think it should be also a section for scripts or some windows utilities. These are not OutSystems components but help to make the developer's life easier. There are several spread out in different posts in the forums and should be in one place that is easy to find.

Curt Raddatz7 Mar 2014
The What's New could be handle by just manually structuring the Description section where most people have put feature list, etc. though enforcing that structure would be nice.

For the scripts and utilities, this is one of the reasons for the Grouping feature.  There would be a group for Java Script, Sheel Scripts, Batch files, Utilities, etc.  If we could get Grouping it would solve a lot of issues.

Thanks for your comments.