Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 11, 2016, 07:54:31 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: My great doomed CMS search continues...  (Read 9108 times)

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
My great doomed CMS search continues...
« on: May 11, 2009, 06:58:25 PM »
When I started on this road over two years ago, Mouser told me I would go insane, but would I listen? Nah...

And now my wife needs a nice, clean business site too, so as the purpose of my pursuit doubled, so did the pace of my head-first launch into cuckoo-land.  Now, a sadder and a wiser idiot, at least I've begun to know what it is that I'm looking for. Here;s my WANTED notice, plastered to a telephone pole along the electronic highway (excuse the platitudes). The musts are what I cannot live without; the shoulds are highly desirable:

- MUST be Php/MySQL, because this is what my host supports best, and this is where I have some experience. Though given a compelling reason, I'd trade php for python. It's OK if it uses local files instead of a database, though this is quite rare (DokuWiki).

- MUST be clean, valid xhtml/css, also when using custom themes.

- MUST have an easy way to maintain static pages (it's OK if they are called something else or aren't distinguished from dynamic content, as in Joomla).

- MUST support tags (keywords) for articles. Ideally, out of the box (like WordPress) - or through a plugin. MUST be able to show tag catalogs (as clouds or otherwise) and tags MUST be links.

- MUST have a flexible categorization system. SHOULD support assigning multiple taxonomies to individual articles (e.g. more than 1 category/section/etc)

- MUST provide some method to predefine templates (layout, not css stylings) for articles. SHOULD be able to associate templates with taxonomies (e.g. assign a different predefined article layout with each category. TextPattern can do this; too bad it's about the only thing it does).

- MUST support clean ("nice") URLs.

- MUST have an easy way of linking to articles internal to the site. This could be in the form of wikified links, or some other human-readable form. Allowing only for full URLs such as  http://www.example.c...;id=26&Itemid=40 is unacceptable. Fully-formed clean URLs (http://www.example.c...foo/bar/this-article) are also unacceptable, because it's still tedious, error-prone, and the link will become stale if the article is later reassigned to a different category.

- MUST have a code (non-WYSIWYG) editor: using Textile, BBCode or similar approach, or just plain html. (Though some of those are quite evil too. Using six apostrophes to get bold as in MediaWiki is a bit on the absurd side, but I could live with it.)

- MUST allow raw html in articles. SHOULD allow raw php in articles.

- MUST allow inlining images. (TextPattern allows only 1 image per article - now try to make a page of screenshots).

- MUST generate RSS feeds for internal content.

- MUST have a reasonably good search engine built in.

- MUST have a systematized method of uploading files of all types and linking to them in articles. (WordPress does well here.) SHOULD be able to display download counts.

- MUST be translatable and able to switch languages on the fly; it it's not, I'll just rip it apart and make it.

- Creating themes (styles, templates) MUST be relatively painless. I don't expect to find a template better than this for my personal site, or one that my wife will prefer to this for her company. Joomla templates both, so I'll likely be buying those and adapting them for our sites. That will not be a pleasant process, but at least it SHOULD not be torture :)

- SHOULD have a basic versioning system that is at least able to retain old versions of articles. Diffing is not required.

- SHOULD be able to syntax highlight code (via a plugin or otherwise).

- SHOULD really have some smarts! When I add an inline image (and *especially* if there is a WYSIWYG editor with a UI dedicated to that purpose), then it SHOULD generate the width and height parameters for the img tag. Putting a big dialog box in my face with an Upload button *and* empty text fields to fill out the image dimensions is just lame. Every HTML editor since HomeSite 1.0 would do this automatically.

Hello cmsmatrix!

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 07:05:51 PM »
You said in another thread you were about to give up on Joomla - can I ask why? I have started to use it and as far as I can tell from your list it supports most of the things you wanted above - and anything that isn't there as standard is almost certainly available via an extension.

housetier

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 1,321
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009, 07:24:04 PM »
except for the easy theming, I would recommend Drupal. Mind you, however, such a rich feature set comes at a price: complexity.

To get started quickly you could try the package from acquia which bundles drupal and load of modules.

Drupal will not be perfect. I can help a little if need be.

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 07:28:20 PM »
You said in another thread you were about to give up on Joomla - can I ask why? I have started to use it and as far as I can tell from your list it supports most of the things you wanted above - and anything that isn't there as standard is almost certainly available via an extension.

Hi Carol, thanks for being so patient with me :)

In that other thread I listed some of the deal-breakers. The wysiwyg editor is horrid if you ever hope to maintain consistent layout of pages, and when you switch to html mode, it's unusable (try it), so much so the only viable option is cutting and pasting between the browser and a desktop html editor. Strike one.

Then the issue of linking. I didn't realize before it was going to be such a big deal, but use internal linking a lot in whatever I write. having to use links like this http://eee.example.c...;id=26&Itemid=40 is another dealbreaker; even clean URls aren't too good because you still have to look them up every time and they can go stale easily. Strike two.

Strike three is that the sections and categories just seem to be empty vessels. They have no structural meaning and no functionality. And there seems to be no way to predefine page layouts for specific sections and categories. Basically, every time you go to create an article, it's a blank page. I need to be able to associate - automatically or even manually - layouts to sections (or individual articles, at least) to keep the page layout consistent. (It's completely impossible to achieve with a wysiwyg editor).

I haven't given up completely on Joomla, because I've invested much time in it already, and because I really love the templates I mentioned. I can't believe that last third point is a no-go. But the first two definitely are. Installing Joomla is a breeze, configuring it likewise, but adding articles, structuring them, formatting and linking between them is a surprisingly fragile process. Then I saw that all editor add-ons for Joomla are wysiwyg (except one that hasn't been updated for 1.5), and that was where my knees went weak :)
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 07:31:12 PM by tranglos »

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 07:34:31 PM »
except for the easy theming, I would recommend Drupal. Mind you, however, such a rich feature set comes at a price: complexity.

I've been looking at Drupal again since it's supposed to be strong on taxonomy. Then I read this and remember Mouser's recent wail and I think maybe I'd better leave it alone :)

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 07:54:55 PM »
You said in another thread you were about to give up on Joomla - can I ask why? I have started to use it and as far as I can tell from your list it supports most of the things you wanted above - and anything that isn't there as standard is almost certainly available via an extension.

Hi Carol, thanks for being so patient with me :)

In that other thread I listed some of the deal-breakers. The wysiwyg editor is horrid if you ever hope to maintain consistent layout of pages, and when you switch to html mode, it's unusable (try it), so much so the only viable option is cutting and pasting between the browser and a desktop html editor. Strike one.

Then the issue of linking. I didn't realize before it was going to be such a big deal, but use internal linking a lot in whatever I write. having to use links like this http://eee.example.c...;id=26&Itemid=40 is another dealbreaker; even clean URls aren't too good because you still have to look them up every time and they can go stale easily. Strike two.

Strike three is that the sections and categories just seem to be empty vessels. They have no structural meaning and no functionality. And there seems to be no way to predefine page layouts for specific sections and categories. Basically, every time you go to create an article, it's a blank page. I need to be able to associate - automatically or even manually - layouts to sections (or individual articles, at least) to keep the page layout consistent. (It's completely impossible to achieve with a wysiwyg editor).

I haven't given up completely on Joomla, because I've invested much time in it already, and because I really love the templates I mentioned. I can't believe that last third point is a no-go. But the first two definitely are. Installing Joomla is a breeze, configuring it likewise, but adding articles, structuring them, formatting and linking between them is a surprisingly fragile process. Then I saw that all editor add-ons for Joomla are wysiwyg (except one that hasn't been updated for 1.5), and that was where my knees went weak :)


I think you are missing some things in Joomla:

1) Install JCE Editor for your editor - it is much better than TinyMCE and you can use HTML (and advanced HTML). You can even embed objects and include PHP etc if you want to. You can download it from the extensions website.
2) Rename htaccess.txt to .htacess and then go to Global Configuration and all the SEO settings to YES and hey presto you get meaningful URLs complete with .html extensions!
3) You don't need to enter any internal links. In JCE Editor select your text and then click the link with the green star - you can then navigate via a section/category tree to the content you want to create the link (which is then automatically updated if you edit pages and change their IDs).
4) There are a number of ways to use Category and Section views on the website - when you create a menu entry choose artcile and experiment with options other than Article Layout.

Re. standard layouts for articles - you can really do what you like - you can even use overlays in JCE to build layers of content, you can insert and style div tags, use tables - you can even import content from Word documents.

Why not just decide on your the layouts you want and then copy the HTML to a text editor and simply paste it in to each new document. To be honest I have looked at a lot of CMS systems and haven't seen any that provide a way of applying standard layouts to each article other than by coding the layout yourself as I have suggested here.

The only thing I would warn about is that if you allow 'front-end' submission and editing of articles Joomla seems to prohibit some HTML and code based content (presumably to avoid potential security issues). This is not the case if you submit new articles and content from the backend.

Also I mentioned Artisteer before to you - it really is a fantastically easy application to generate templates for Joomla/Drupal/Wordpress etc. without having to do anything really by way of design - just choose a few fonts and change a few pictures and dimensions until you like what you see.

If you want a hand just send me a PM and maybe we could arrange to be online at the same time and use a messenger client to chat (I am no expert but I will try) .
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 08:01:15 PM by Carol Haynes »

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,435
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 07:57:16 PM »
Quote
Then I read this and remember Mouser's recent wail and I think maybe I'd better leave it alone

make sure you read the later pages of posts where i start to waiver and decide to use drupal again as a programming platform.

however, i still say it's a truly evil nightmare from an end-user perspective.

rgdot

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2009
  • **
  • Posts: 1,882
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 09:40:21 PM »
I would say CMSMS, I mentioned in the Joomla thread, could be worth a look. No tagging but pages can be assigned to a hierarchy like www.example.com/category1/hello.php. It uses Smarty so you should be able to get most things you have listed.

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2009, 05:48:03 AM »
Quote
Then I read this and remember Mouser's recent wail and I think maybe I'd better leave it alone
make sure you read the later pages of posts where i start to waiver and decide to use drupal again as a programming platform.

I admit I dropped out of that thread :) Will revisit.

I think the keyword is "programming" though. The time you spend coaxing Drupal to do what you need isn't wasted, as long as you get where you want. To me, any time spent tweaking the platform is nothing but waste, since I'd rather be working on more apps to publish.

Since Drupal is notoriously reviewed as hard to create themes for, and since all I ultimately want is to adapt a template I like to a platform I choose, going with Drupal seems counterproductive.


tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2009, 06:04:14 AM »

1) Install JCE Editor for your editor - it is much better than TinyMCE and you can use HTML (and advanced HTML). You can even embed objects and include PHP etc if you want to. You can download it from the extensions website.
2) Rename htaccess.txt to .htacess and then go to Global Configuration and all the SEO settings to YES and hey presto you get meaningful URLs complete with .html extensions!
3) You don't need to enter any internal links. In JCE Editor select your text and then click the link with the green star - you can then navigate via a section/category tree to the content you want to create the link (which is then automatically updated if you edit pages and change their IDs).
4) There are a number of ways to use Category and Section views on the website - when you create a menu entry choose artcile and experiment with options other than Article Layout.

1. I had tried JCE before I posted. Granted, the html view is better. There's something wrong with the build or the way it installs though, both on my XP test machine, and on my hosting provider's server. The administration interface is completely messed up, and the wysiwyg part of the editor is missing critical buttons - I can't even add a link. In other words, it looks nothing like the author's screenshots. Perhaps it's because there seems to be a version mismatch between its two components: plg_jce_152.zip and com_jce_155.zip. These are the only downloads listed for Joomla 1.5. I wrote to the author and hope to hear from him.

2 and 3. I have clean URLs enabled, but that's not what I mean. Having to manualy enter even clean urls like http://www.example.c...category/somearticle is still wrong, since (a) the links will go bad if you later change the article categorization; and (b) it's almost impossible to type such links from memory; (c) this is exactly the job for the computer. In Joomla each article has an alias, so I hoped the CMS would force those aliases to be unique and use them for linking, something like {link:my-alias}, but that doesn't seem possible. Joomla basically wants you to create menu items for every article, but they seem to have neglected the need to have easy inline links to content within the same site.

Picking a link from a dialog box is fun the first three times, but not when you're migrating content from a static site and will be creating / updating hundreds of links between articles.

4. I still hope to get somewhere with layouts, but the docs don't sound optimistic on this, and neither is the Joomla forum. See this, for example - you can only assign a template after you've created a page *and* a menu link for it.

Carol Haynes

  • Waffles for England (patent pending)
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,986
    • View Profile
    • Dales Computer Services
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2009, 06:27:05 AM »
I haven't had any problems with JCE installing? Maybe something is corrupt or as you say maybe there is a mistmatch. I have attached the 1.52 version plugin to this post - see if that helps.

You don't have to create menus for every article - you can include category pages or section pages in list or blog formats. I haven't tried applying different templates to different pages much so I am not sure how that works but are you actually sure that is what you want? I thought you wanted to use a standard layout for articles within the current template - have I got that wrong (sort of an article template that displays within the normal page)? I am not sure that exists as a standard feature but you could do it by creating your own 'artlicle template' in HTML and paste that into each article before you fill in the content.

If you actually want different templates for different parts of your site these are linked to menu entries but they don't have to be single articles - I have just tried this out on my own server and I can change template for a category blog layout and it works fine with a number of articles list underneath.

I know what you mean about moving a static site to Joomla (it also applies to moving WordPress sites to Joomla!) - there is a lot of work but using internal links does work (and they are automatically updated if you change an article). Granted doing each link via a dialogue is a bit slow and irritating (especially as it doesn't remember where you were last time so you have to navigate the tree from scratch each time). I suppose the simplest solution would be to use something like clipboard help and spell (one of Mousers applications) or AceText (from JGSoft) to keep a list of content link prefixes which you just add the article alias too manually - which would do what you want - though not as neatly.

Have you looked to see if there is a link plugin that will do what you want? If not do you fancy writing one - I am sure it would be really appreciated!)

Quote
Picking a link from a dialog box is fun the first three times, but not when you're migrating content from a static site and will be creating / updating hundreds of links between articles.

Just a thought have you considered using Search and Replace on the original static HTML pages to replace all the links with the new ones. Create a set of sdummy pages, update all the links en masse in the original HTML files and then import them to the new empty pages?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 06:34:38 AM by Carol Haynes »

tranglos

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,079
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2009, 10:09:09 AM »
Why not just decide on your the layouts you want and then copy the HTML to a text editor and simply paste it in to each new document.

Only because if that's what I end up doing, what good is the CMS, other than giving me the Search button out of the box? That process has no advantage over a static site typed up by hand in an html editor.

To be honest I have looked at a lot of CMS systems and haven't seen any that provide a way of applying standard layouts to each article other than by coding the layout yourself as I have suggested here.

TextPattern does that, and it's a fantastic feature. You design "forms", which are reusable blocks of code that you can then display anywhere (really anywhere) on the site. A form can be something relatively big, as a common page header, or something very small, such as a div with a download link. And wherever you include that form, it's going to look and work exactly the same. This is a great way of subdividing the functional elements of a site and maintaining consistency.

But as I said in my OP, it's practically the only real "feature" TextPattern has. Out of the box it's not even a functional blog (no archive links, for example, until you install a plugin.) The free themes are few and badly designed (IMO; no usability, no fluid css layouts), and I haven't found any good commercial vendor of TextPattern themes. Also, installing themes is a pain in TextPattern, because themes are css + forms, so you have to manually copy and paste a dozen or so of these forms to install a single theme. And since there is no way to switch between themes, even trying out a theme can take hours just to see what it looks like on your site.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 11:12:36 AM by tranglos »

CmputrAce

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2009, 03:19:31 PM »
except for the easy theming, I would recommend Drupal. Mind you, however, such a rich feature set comes at a price: complexity.

To get started quickly you could try the package from acquia which bundles drupal and load of modules.

Drupal will not be perfect. I can help a little if need be.

I completely uninstalled Acquia - you don't get any of the real benefit of it unless you want to pay them.

Take a little time to learn about Drupal. I am a LONG TIME Mambo / Joomla site builder who finally made the switch.

Joomla has some real coolnes and ease-of-initial-setup, but you quickly run into problems if you want to deal with EVENTS. com_events is pretty much dead, and the new version they are coming out with kinda sucks (at least when I tested it). Have you ever looked at the DATABASE?? ?OMG someone needs to be shot (OK, I'm a database NAZI). And the new rage on Joomla is to offer open source components, but charge for the download service. Sure, it's legal, but don't start b****ing when someone takes your open-source component and offers it for free to the world - also perfectly legal.

I rant.

Drupal is a minor pain to get right, but you get so much more control, and even true MULTISITE ability.

Other than that, go with Typo3 (v4)

psionics

  • Participant
  • Joined in 2007
  • *
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
    • freestyle (nunchaku) forum.net
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2009, 04:41:55 AM »
would you like to try http://websitebaker.com its very flexible, allows to use .js and htmls in it and easy to manage. that is for CMS.
my sample: http://careexclusive.com

if you would like to try using http://opencart.com for your business site, I can recommend that also.
my sample: http://bico.shop-ph.com (not yet migrated to the new version)

I also done some searching with these and drupal and joomla didn't bring me justice. so thats the result for now.  :)
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 04:46:07 AM by psionics »

compeek

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2009, 10:43:01 PM »
tranglos, have you considered MODx? I recently became interested in the project, and my initial experimenting with it has been positive. Since I'm not completely familiar with it yet, I can't guarantee it does everything you specifying, but I think that most or all of it is attainable. In fact, just today or yesterday they released a beta of the new version, which is completely rewritten, and it's supposed to be even better than the first. You can find it on the downloads page. The original is called Evolution, and the new version is called Revolution.

MODx definitely relies a lot more on custom designing than Joomla or Drupal which lean towards preexisting themes or user-submitted themes, but that's the beauty of it. MODx makes it very easy to base your site around the MODx engine without it taking over the design of the site also. It isn't for everybody, but it may be what you're looking for, so give it a look.

Hope this helps!

kwacky1

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 182
  • i am Cody's cousin
    • View Profile
    • CrazyLittleWebsite
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2009, 06:09:12 AM »
add another vote for MODx, i went through a similar process when choosing a cms for this website.

let me know if you need any assistance with it, i've been using it for 6 months or more now...

icekin

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 264
    • View Profile
    • icekin.com Technology,Computers and the Internet
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2009, 10:24:32 AM »
Another thumbs up for Drupal here. It is all I use for making my sites after I made the switch from Mambo/Joomla in 2003. I agree it has a learning curve, but there are plenty of books on Drupal now, so head down to your local library or bookstore for a copy if you need help. I also train people in using Drupal and I have managed to teach a complete layman on how to use Drupal in less than 3 days.

Here are some good Video tutorials on Drupal:

http://drupal.org/node/124318

http://www.drupaltherapy.com/


Jammo the OrganizedFellow

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 212
    • View Profile
    • OrganizedFellow
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2009, 12:11:01 AM »
WOW!
I'm surprised my #1 CMS wasn't mentioned?!

ExpressionEngine http://expressionengine.com/ does EVERYthing you ask for and more.
Extremely expandable http://expressioneng...om/downloads/addons/
Highly rated community http://expressionengine.com/forums/

The Core version is free (with limitations), while the Personal is $99 and the Commercial is $249.
I've used it for over 3 years, and am using the Commercial version for the first time for a client of mine.

There are TONS of incredible tutorials, How-To's, etc.
As an aspiring web developer/designer, it is a constant struggle to cope with my ADHD + Hypomania/Bipolar Disorder.

The slow growth of my web dev projects is eclipsed by my patience, understanding and desire to learn AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE as I slowly progress.

X_____jamjammo_____

compeek

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: My great doomed CMS search continues...
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2009, 12:15:29 AM »
ExpressionEngine sounds interesting. I'll have to look into trying the free version.

I also wanted to say that I've been working with MODx for the past few days, and I'm really impressed. Especially when combined with some key extensions, it is extremely powerful, and it's actually enjoyable to use. I highly recommend it. :D