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modx problems - login fails

can modx be trusted?



10:06 pm on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Long time since I've been here, but need to bounce some issues off heads that might have seen these issues before.

Based on a variety of factors some time ago I decided to use modx for a client's cms when we moved from static/php flat file generated site to cms.

modx hits these all really well, friendly urls, good snippet/scripting ability, it basically fit almost perfectly.

The problem I'm having with revolution version is updates, they are painful, nervewracking, and I'm getting random failures that are very time consuming to track down, making the upgrade process something that is very expensive to bill for, and if I don't bill for the time, it's a pure loss for me. No fun.

This time around, I'm hitting, pre upgrade, an issue with not being to even login to my local dev box modx. With modx, unlike say wordpress, you can't even dream of doing an upgrade without fully testing and debugging on a dev server first, to do otherwise is insane sad to say.

modx irc is not helpful, so I'm starting to debate dropping modx, which means a huge hit for the client in terms of redoing all the work we have done over the years, creating new custom modules and integrating a lot of pretty complicated stuff which is working fine now on live site.

So what I'd like to know is: has anyone out there run modx revolution, applying all updates, no issues, over a fairly long period of time? Or, on the other hand, do any of you have similar headaches and have you noted a distinct lack of robustness in the core modx cms engine? It's this lack of robustness that concerns me deeply, for example, for a good user to not be able to login due to totally unknown issues is to me somewhat terrifying, since it points to a fundamental lack of robust code at the very core of the system. And this makes me afraid.

Any experience or feedback is greatly appreciated, I have to make some decisions here that are going to be very expensive for client, and I need to avoid errors in the process, but I'm very close now to giving up on modx permanently, and trying to find a robust and simple cms solution that isn't so over programmed like modx, but can still meet our basically fairly simple requirements (totally transparent import of existing site and urls, no changes there at all), easy snippet/custom module stuff, not a horrible learning cuver. Drupal I want to avoid, it has a bad upgrade history and is far too complicated for our needs, all we need is menuing and navs and new pages, but annoyingly, the modx menuing module wayfinder is totally perfect for our needs, generates exactly what the site needs for all types of menus/navigation.


11:28 pm on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Update: a full apache2/php5/mysql5.5 update on the dev system fixed the issue in question, but certainly does nothing to soothe the realization of non-robustness on modx.

So starting a search for a simpler and more robust platform for long term stuff.

Be warned, avoid modx, which saddens me very much to say, in many ways it was a solution that really looked good, but I think they may be lacking the necessary size and programmer skill levels to really support the complexity of their cms.

Obviously, a fix involving full upgrade of the server components is out of the question in most hosting scenarios, and also should not be necessary if the programming was robust in the first place.

<update>I spoke too soon, login is still failing, something is seriously glitched with maybe session handling, but who knows, a form submission to a data base asking for username / password that exists that returns that it doesn't exist is grounds for serious concern in my opinion, that shows a pretty major problem with the programming internally, I mean: if user exists and if user password matches then login is about as simple as it gets. Or should be. Clearly these guys have outsmarted themselves under certain scenarios.


4:22 pm on May 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Sorry... I have to say that modx strikes me as one of those CMS that was up and coming, the next big thing, but it just never really came up and got big.

I feel like there's a consolidation in the open source CMS market as people have experiences like yours and end up settling into Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, Xoops, and the like and it's getting harder and harder for people, once or twice burned, to jump on a new CMS.

I realize that does you no good, but I expect that's what you're seeing here - a small user base that is getting smaller.

I'm most familiar with Drupal, then Wordpress and have seen that as more and more enterprise-scale installs there are out there, the more professionalized the release cycle gets in terms of what constitutes beta/release candidate/release, having unit testing, etc etc.

sorry to hear about your woes!


2:54 am on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

ergophobe, the woes continue, I thought it had been fixed, but importing my remote db to my dev server to do the initial upgrade test on version 2.2.2 results in the same exact problem, the modx manager login persists in telling me my admin user account, the one I just used to login minutes before, after the upgrade, does not exist.

Same user account, etc. The more I look at modx, the more I want to warn people away from it, I have NEVER Had anything work right consistently on it, and my average time per upgrade now is 4 to 8 hours, if I am lucky.

To bill a client for this, well, it's just not something I can do, so I eat this time each time, but we have so much money sunk in the project that it's hard to tell him that modx just isn't robust enough to use.

Very sad. the problem is, I can take a chance, cut the time way down, and do the upgrade on the live server without testing it locally, but that's horrible practice, and has already resulted in one unaccountable 3 hour failure, where all contents were offline.

The really worrying thing here is that their irc channel has only 20-30 people in it, and if that's not the sign of a basically failing project I don't know what is.

Wordpress I use, I don't even bother testing the upgrade on that anymore, I used to, but it's so solid now that I don't worry anymore, plus I wait a few days after release for bug catches.

modx was really nice, and was a good move in the right direction some time ago, but it looks to me like their session handling is deeply and profoundly broken, the idea that passing a form a name and password, then the programming being so convoluted that it is unable to actually send that to the db to test it directly without some other layers interfering, well... that's a serious problem.

Wordpress though I find very slow, and very bloated per page load, really absurdly so, no real excuse for it, my old phpbb forums load literally 10x faster per page. Modx page loads, without caching, are almost 10x slower than wordpress, really they aren't usable for real web stuff in my opinion. How programming can take 5 seconds to generate a simple set of page values is beyond me, but it's probably one of the warning signs re modx.

Thanks for confirming my fears, sitting at yet another multi hour failed upgrade, initiated by yet another glitch in their stupid ajax stuff in the manager section, that makes page adds simply loop and fail, I have to really wonder here if this is a dead project masquerading as living.


6:50 am on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Is there any reason you can't use modx evolution? I ask because I currently use evolution (even the latest version) quite successfully and I love it. I couldn't use revolution but I don't exactly remember why. It might be that I couldn't get my head wrapped around it or I might've encountered other problems. It's been quite a while so I don't really remember.


7:12 am on Jun 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

revolution has some features I like, plus I considered that the evolution branch is largely dead anyway, revolution is what the devs are working on.

Plus moving to evolution is the same deal, they aren't the same system, can't move between them, so if we had to move to a new cms, I'd move to a more trustworthy one.

I had a lot of problems too with evolution though years ago, I realized I've really always had problems, and those problems were also related to running dev/remote servers and having things fail between the two. But that evolution install died and the client vanished as did their site so I never got to see how it did on upgrades.

I liked revolution when it came out, it had solved some problems that I considered important, but nobody is currently paying me my lost days time and stress and frustration and fear of full failure one of these days. I wish it worked, I truly do, I have zero desire to enter into the terrible learning curve of a new cms, modx in theory did what I wanted, but the practice of their testing and weak code is getting very stressful.

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