Which CMS to use?

Anderson Lizardo lizardo at linuxfromscratch.org
Thu Jan 8 21:20:01 PST 2004

Jeroen Coumans wrote:
> Hi Anderson Lizardo. You said the following on 01/09/04 02:01:
> <snip>
> > systems" or "Content Management Framework" (CMF). I'll ASAP test Plone 
> > (http://plone.org/), a good example of this system. See 
> > http://plone.org/documentation/faq/AboutPlone#ref2 ("What is a CMF?") for 
> > better description.
> Plone seems like a good candidate indeed; it's based on Zope, thus 
> endlessly extendable, and their default templates are very good. I'm 
> looking forward to your review of it.

My thoughts about Plone:

Really good. Easy to use, well-documented, nice default theme, standards 
compliant (although the W3C validator reports some syntax errors, they are 
minor and can be easily fixed). It runs on top of Zope, a high quality Open 
Source web application server.

Using your "needed capabilities" list as base:

1. The generated website should be mirrorable without requiring the CMS 
on the mirror (eg. generate static pages)

Here resides the main problem. Plone runs on top of Zope, so it needs Zope 
running on server. This can difficult mirroring A LOT :(

2. It should manage all our content so I don't have to edit all files if 
I want to add a header element.

Plone uses a powerful templating system, so this should not be a problem.

3. Readable URL's

See the links of zope.org itself. Nice readable URLs.

3. Poll system

I did not see this on Plone, but certainly CMF (on which Plone is based) has a 
module for this.

4. Version control of the content (or integratable into CVS)

Zope has a integrated version control system.

5. The possibility to hook our search system, user database, CVS 
changelogs, Wiki, etc. into it. Extendability and well-defined interfaces.


6. Total freedom in the templates (eg. no fixed content and valid markup 
by default)

Absolutely. Plone uses a powerful templating system called "Page Template". 
See http://plone.org/documentation/zpt1 and become impressed ;)

7. It should allow a user policy similar to Wordpress (eg. admins, 
category owners, category news poster)

It has even a better privilege system, based on "local roles". A brief 

"A local role is a way of allowing other users into some or all of your 
folders[1]. These users can edit items, publish them - et cetera, depending 
on what permissions you give them.
Local roles are ideal in cooperation projects, and as every item has a history 
and an undo option, it's easy to keep track of the changes."

[1] Plone manages the site like a directory tree, similar to the UNIX file 
system. So you can give permissions on per-section basis, and based on user 
function (Member, Reviewer, Manager or Owner).

8. It should be Open Source and be actively maintained


9. It should have basic blog features (news posting in different 
categories, moderated comments, permalinks, etc.)


10. Automated and customizable RSS generation (for different categories, 
all-in-one, etc.)

I've not tested this, but Plone seems to have built-in RSS generation.

11. Easy interface for news posting, polling, forums and whatever else 
we may need.

except for the "polling" and "forum" (which Plone does not have), Plone has a 
user-friendly and intuitive interface.

Conclusion: the only drawback is that Plone uses Zope (which is also because 
it rocks). Zope needs to be running on server, which difficult mirroring a 
lot. There are some hacks on Zope.org to permit mirroring (like fetching with 
wget), but they are ugly and do not work with a dynamic tool like Plone.

Anderson Lizardo
lizardo at linuxfromscratch.org

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