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#1 Mike007  Icon User is offline

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CMS an Overkill?

Posted 13 August 2009 - 09:04 PM

Hi, one of the projects I am working on is a photography website(portfolio) for a friend . He already has an existing website using flash and some HTML hacks which looks bad. But, one of the things he needs is a blog, which I installed for him. I choose serndipity because it uses smarty and I love how well their templates work. But I think I will switch it to WordPress since it has a better community support and more extensions. He also needs a way to manage his pictures. So the media functions should help him. The images themselves are presented in the flash file that reads an XML document. I can write a php script to read in a directory and write that XML file. But how would you integrate the existing flash website with Wordpress?

Previously, I just put it in a separate directory like /blog and use it from outside as I needed. But this other project I am also working on, using Joomla got me thinking. Maybe I am doing it all wrong? Is there a better way to do it?

For the Joomla project I am doing it all through Joomla, editing their template and using the CMS to manage the content. Should I be doing the same for this project? Is Wordpress a good choice for a CMS? Should I even be using a CMS?

Any other advice will be much appreciated, I am new to using CMSs I am more used to be playing by my own rules rather than someone elses.

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#2 dsherohman  Icon User is offline

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Re: CMS an Overkill?

Posted 14 August 2009 - 06:01 AM

View PostMike007, on 14 Aug, 2009 - 04:04 AM, said:

For the Joomla project I am doing it all through Joomla, editing their template and using the CMS to manage the content. Should I be doing the same for this project? Is Wordpress a good choice for a CMS? Should I even be using a CMS?

Short, overly-reductionist answer: This photo site's primary function is to manage content (i.e., photos) for display. A Content Management System is probably what you want to use for that.

Longer, more useful answer:

Yeah, a CMS would probably be good for that sort of thing. If photos are being added/updated regularly, then it'll make everyone's life easier to use software which supports doing that instead of having to make all the changes by hand each time. Even if you've got the site set up to look in a directory and automatically update itself with any new files found there, most end users will find it easier to use a web-based image upload function than to ftp the files over.

WordPress is primarily a blogging engine, but it has a ton of plugins which I hear can be used to turn it into a passable CMS, at least for relatively simple use cases.

The only major CMS I've used is Drupal, which has a great reputation and people who have used both Drupal and Joomla tend to say they prefer Drupal (rather strongly). If you're familiar with Joomla and believe it can do what you need, though, then I'm not aware of any reason you'd need to switch.

As far as WordPress vs. Drupal, it seems to me that Drupal does blogging a lot better than WordPress does CMS. Drupal also has a better reputation than WordPress when it comes to security.

In the end, though, I'm sure you can do it using any of these three packages or by writing up your own custom code, so do what you're most comfortable with. A good CMS can be a great force multiplier once you get used to it, though, allowing you to do a whole lot more in a whole lot less time, so I'd suggest going that route and using someone else's code to handle the common stuff, giving you more time to hand-code the distinctive parts.
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#3 Mike007  Icon User is offline

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Re: CMS an Overkill?

Posted 14 August 2009 - 08:18 AM

I have heard the name before. Never realized it was a CMS (well never had a reason to look into it before). But what kind of templating system does drupal use? because it seems the Joomla uses none. Joomla uses lines like <?php echo $this->param->something; ?> and a bunch of logical statements from php. I personally know php pertty well, even I find it somewhat confusing at times. Using a templating system like Smarty is a much better solution for, designers and coders.

About writing it all on my own, no I am not going down that path again :). Besides the fact that time is not at my side, I also do not want to maintain it when someone else could (i.e. the open source community).
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#4 evinrows  Icon User is offline

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Re: CMS an Overkill?

Posted 14 August 2009 - 09:44 AM

You could try blueskycanvas. It's meant to be a lightweight cms.
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#5 markhazlett9  Icon User is offline

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Re: CMS an Overkill?

Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:56 AM

Wordpress is a great CMS for a blog engine. I don't find it to be too useful without a ton of plugins for anything else however. The way I chose to do it was use wordpress as my CMS for my blog and then create pages on my own for everything else. So potentially you could do the same thing and then have multiple CMS's running. One for your blog and one for your photo's, etc.

Cheers
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#6 dsherohman  Icon User is offline

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Re: CMS an Overkill?

Posted 15 August 2009 - 04:42 AM

View PostMike007, on 14 Aug, 2009 - 03:18 PM, said:

But what kind of templating system does drupal use? because it seems the Joomla uses none. Joomla uses lines like <?php echo $this->param->something; ?> and a bunch of logical statements from php. I personally know php pertty well, even I find it somewhat confusing at times. Using a templating system like Smarty is a much better solution for, designers and coders.


Drupal uses raw-ish php as templates, probably much the same as Joomla, based on your description. For example, the default "node" template, node.tpl.php looks like:
<?php
// $Id: node.tpl.php,v 1.4 2008/01/25 21:21:44 goba Exp $

/**
 * @file node.tpl.php
 *
 * Theme implementation to display a node.
 *
 * Available variables:
 * - $title: the (sanitized) title of the node.
 * - $content: Node body or teaser depending on $teaser flag.
 * - $picture: The authors picture of the node output from
 *   theme_user_picture().
 * - $date: Formatted creation date (use $created to reformat with
 *   format_date()).
 * - $links: Themed links like "Read more", "Add new comment", etc. output
 *   from theme_links().
 * - $name: Themed username of node author output from theme_user().
 * - $node_url: Direct url of the current node.
 * - $terms: the themed list of taxonomy term links output from theme_links().
 * - $submitted: themed submission information output from
 *   theme_node_submitted().
 *
 * Other variables:
 * - $node: Full node object. Contains data that may not be safe.
 * - $type: Node type, i.e. story, page, blog, etc.
 * - $comment_count: Number of comments attached to the node.
 * - $uid: User ID of the node author.
 * - $created: Time the node was published formatted in Unix timestamp.
 * - $zebra: Outputs either "even" or "odd". Useful for zebra striping in
 *   teaser listings.
 * - $id: Position of the node. Increments each time it's output.
 *
 * Node status variables:
 * - $teaser: Flag for the teaser state.
 * - $page: Flag for the full page state.
 * - $promote: Flag for front page promotion state.
 * - $sticky: Flags for sticky post setting.
 * - $status: Flag for published status.
 * - $comment: State of comment settings for the node.
 * - $readmore: Flags true if the teaser content of the node cannot hold the
 *   main body content.
 * - $is_front: Flags true when presented in the front page.
 * - $logged_in: Flags true when the current user is a logged-in member.
 * - $is_admin: Flags true when the current user is an administrator.
 *
 * @see template_preprocess()
 * @see template_preprocess_node()
 */
?>
<div id="node-<?php print $node->nid; ?>" class="node<?php if ($sticky) { print ' sticky'; } ?><?php if (!$status) { print ' node-unpublished'; } ?> clear-block">

<?php print $picture ?>

<?php if (!$page): ?>
  <h2><a href="<?php print $node_url ?>" title="<?php print $title ?>"><?php print $title ?></a></h2>
<?php endif; ?>

  <div class="meta">
  <?php if ($submitted): ?>
	<span class="submitted"><?php print $submitted ?></span>
  <?php endif; ?>

  <?php if ($terms): ?>
	<div class="terms terms-inline"><?php print $terms ?></div>
  <?php endif;?>
  </div>

  <div class="content">
	<?php print $content ?>
  </div>

  <?php print $links; ?>
</div>


I definitely understand your comment about Smarty, although I'm not familiar with that specific template engine - I'm a Perl monger and swear by Template::Toolkit (on my newer projects) or HTML::Template (on older ones). Still, though, Drupal's templates are well-enough written that I was able to customize them with little difficulty, even to the point of adding new layout regions and modifying PHP callbacks, despite having next-to-no knowledge of PHP.
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#7 mocker  Icon User is offline

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Re: CMS an Overkill?

Posted 15 August 2009 - 05:01 AM

One tip: after you evaluate the different CMS's, try to pick one that you'll use for the majority of your projects. The learning curve to understand them and able to use them rapidly (the whole point of using a CMS instead of a custom program), depends on how experienced you are with that particular software.

I also swear by perl's Template::Toolkit . The php template it looks like Drupal uses kinda fails the whole separation of presentation and logic. Smarty is much more similar to Template::Toolkit
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#8 Mike007  Icon User is offline

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Re: CMS an Overkill?

Posted 19 August 2009 - 03:31 PM

View Postmarkhazlett9, on 14 Aug, 2009 - 09:56 AM, said:

The way I chose to do it was use wordpress as my CMS for my blog and then create pages on my own for everything else. So potentially you could do the same thing and then have multiple CMS's running. One for your blog and one for your photo's, etc.

Cheers


But doesn't it defeat the whole purpose of using a CMS if you are going to go around it like that? i.e. Creating custom pages that are NOT managed by the system?


View Postdsherohman, on 15 Aug, 2009 - 03:42 AM, said:

View PostMike007, on 14 Aug, 2009 - 03:18 PM, said:

But what kind of templating system does drupal use? because it seems the Joomla uses none. Joomla uses lines like <?php echo $this->param->something; ?> and a bunch of logical statements from php. I personally know php pertty well, even I find it somewhat confusing at times. Using a templating system like Smarty is a much better solution for, designers and coders.


Drupal uses raw-ish php as templates, probably much the same as Joomla, based on your description.


Actually the Drupal templates are a little simpler than the Joomla ones, at least as far as I've seen.

View Postmocker, on 15 Aug, 2009 - 04:01 AM, said:

One tip: after you evaluate the different CMS's, try to pick one that you'll use for the majority of your projects. The learning curve to understand them and able to use them rapidly (the whole point of using a CMS instead of a custom program), depends on how experienced you are with that particular software.

I also swear by perl's Template::Toolkit . The php template it looks like Drupal uses kinda fails the whole separation of presentation and logic. Smarty is much more similar to Template::Toolkit


Thanks for the tip, but I started doing a little review. Got a nice table going, and it seems (the obvious thing) there is no "perfect" one, there is one to suit the situation. Drupal seems to be a little more flexible than Joomla. But I will post my table here when I am done.

One question I have about drupal, where is the media manager?
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