[Phpwm] My site/admin project

Rob Allen rob at akrabat.com
Sun Dec 17 11:53:40 GMT 2006

Elliot Smith wrote:
> I also agree about the admin. system (though I've got used
> to it now): it is poorly organised in version 4, but is much improved in
> version 5 (soon to be fully released).

I'll have to check out v5 at some point :)

> Joomla! and CMSMadeSimple also have their sweet spot, in the small to
> medium brochureware region 

I agree.

> But
> where Drupal excels, though, is as a platform: you can build any kind of
> content-managed site with it, pretty much, and it gives you tools for
> all the common stuff you're likely to want, plus a smart API.

The Jooma! guys would probably say the same about their new version : )

> Of course, writing a CMS is fun, and a good way to learn PHP, so I can
> see the attraction. 

*grin* I agree that it can teache a lot. Possibly fun too!

> I used to love writing web frameworks (until I came
> across Ruby on Rails). 

In the same way as in the old days we all used to write our own DB
Abstraction layers, I'm expecting that most people will use a famework
as their starting point within the next year or so. Of course, the RoR
guys argue that CMSs are unnecessary with RoR (and hence any reasonably
full-stack framework) as a base. The most obvious example I can think of
is http://www.loudthinking.com/arc/000528.html.

In some ways I agree in that at work we generate very specific CMSs for
every site. e.g. a car dealer site would have a "cars" module for adding
new cars to the site. They might be functionally identical to "articles"
from the CMSs point of view, but the client wants to add a car, not an
article. Same for categories: he wants to group his cars into "ranges",
not "categories". On the flip side, starting at the framework level
every time you need to add dynamic article pages with breadcrumbs and
menus gets boring very quickly.

> The other advantage of your own CMS is that you
> know it inside and out, and can tack on new functionality as you see
> fit. But I'd still rather put my faith in a CMS being worked on by
> dozens of talented programmers, rather than in something I've hacked
> together :)

In principle, I agree as long as you aren't trying to fit a square peg
into a round hole. i.e. when we needed an intranet, I just used drupal.
The whole way search works in the version of drupal that I installed
hurt though as it appeared to need a cron script working and even then
appeared to index things in a very odd way. After a while we worked out
that we didn't need 90% of the features of drupal; we just needed an
articles site with a search that thought like we did.

The advantage of starting at the framework level is that you get to make
the peg :) Certainly, we have projects at work where we have used the
wrong CMS for the job and it's hurt badly two years later when we are
trying to add new features to a system that wasn't designed to flex
where we need now it to. If I was to do those projects now, I'd use ZF
and have more flex points available to me.



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