[Smaug] CMS strengths/weaknesses

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Nov 10 10:28:51 PST 2005

Quoting Thomas Leavitt (thomas at thomasleavitt.org):

> Rick's criticisms of CMS systems are right on, in my view. At the same
> time, I can say, flat out, I'm never going to spend the time to figure
> out how to deal with the current system, but I'd be happy to click on a
> wiki's "edit" button.
> I agree that simple is better - scruz.org doesn't need an enterprise
> class CMS... we simply need an easy way to edit and update content. I
> haven't used Moin, but I'm going to download and install it to play with
> it.
> My wiki preference has been Dokuwiki up to this point.
> On the other hand, if folks are comfortable with Drupal, then the
> security/administration issues are really Jay's problem, not ours (as
> long as we make good backups). :)

Thomas --

Thanks for your comments.  I did follow up separately with several
friends, asking them what Drupal site they can think of that _best_
escapes that looks/acts-like-every-other-Drupal-site syndrome.  Their
best example turned out to be... one of Jay Campbell's.

http://bayosphere.com/ is a Drupal site Jay set up for noted journalist
Dan Gillmor as a community news/comment site.  It's a good site to know
about, and Jay's done the Bay Area a significant good deed by helping
Dan Gillmor set up and run it.

And it doesn't look and behave _exactly_ like every other Drupal site:
Although it does _behave_ exactly like those, its looks are merely
_almost_ the same as all the others.

The basic design is exactly the same as Slashdot and other Slashcode
sites, schemetically like this:

                H E A D E R

   S        news story                 S
   I           comments links          I
   D                                   D
   E        news story                 E
   B           comments links          B
   A        [...]                      A
   R                                   R

                F O O T E R

People post news-like items.  Other users can comment on them.  People
can also have personal blogs, which functionally are also treated as
news-like items that others can post comment on.  And forums are another
way of presenting the same underlying news item / comments structure.

Bayosphere's a potentially news resource good to have, if only so I can
still read Dan Gillmor's analysis pieces.  (I gather that he must have
left the _Murky News_.)  I personally think its software framework is a
really poor fit for a user group's Web site -- but, maybe people here
_want_ Smaug's Web presence to be yet another Slashdot-style
news/comment/blog site.

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