Ok, I got Silverstripe installed and already fell in love with the admin interface of silverstripe 2.2.1. But...
Here are the problems that I ran into right away. Upon successful installation I had checked the blackcandy theme. It would have been nice if the installation instructions talked about the consequences of not choosing the blank theme.
1. By choosing blackcandy this meant that the links described in the tutorial don't work as stated in the beginner instructions to open the page tutorial/templates/Page.ss. Also the tutorial seems out of date by more than one version. There are lots of pictures that don't look familiar that are only described in the version fixes.
2. The beginning tutorial instructions to "Open tutorial/templates/Page.ss." should mention whether the file is to be opened in a browser, text editor or the admin panel. I assumed that it was for a text editor, but still have lingering doubts about whether I was able to open it in the admin interface and see syntax highlighting or some other surprise.
The solution to getting my admin to work, which seems obvious now, but was completely baffling at the time, is to edit Page.ss in the blackcandy templates folder. I finally found this in a user post, but it was hard to find.
3. Perhaps there could be something in the installation instructions indicating whether new users wishing to try the tutorial should just reinstall and choose blank template ready for the tutorial, or instead move whatever files and folders are necessary to access tutorials with the blackcandy theme. At this point I have no idea how difficult or easy this would be to do and would be happy to reinstall if that is recommended.
4. The answer to how to do this and some other beginner things came from a brief user post to the Silverfrost forum. It wasn't described in the Common Problems and I am still looking for the FAQs. It seems that the Common Problems site could be more like a FAQ and could include answers to this question (how to edit page.ss).
5. In post after post and prominently in the common problems link, the solution to everything seems to be to append ?flush=1 to the url. This is pretty geeky for a site that boasts its humanity. I suspect that flush functionality can be enabled in the Publish button in the admin interface somehow, and would like to know if this is possible.
6. Is there someway to make the visited links in the forums change color or sort by date? Without those improvements browsing for help in the forums is tedious and one is better off resorting to google to find the answers to persistent questions.
7. Right now Silverstripe is running fine under xampp on localhost, while I learn how to use it. I think that the Download site could have mentioned that for use on a local machine, xampp users (and probably lamp and wamp users also) can use the php installer fine under windows, followed by copying the extracted silverstripe folder to their localhost root folder (and possibly renaming it to a short name prior to running the install script. I was afraid to try the windows installer because I have had poor luck in the past with windows and xampp not communicating very well, so pardon me if this is my own fault for being scared of my windows computer. I am retarded about computers.
Thanks again for making such an intuitive interface and giving it care and feeding. I would love to get past these newbie things in due time and become an active supporter.