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102 comments

Better than on a Drachma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965147)

Because a drachma won't get you much!

Those poor bastards (-1)

liamevo (1358257) | about 3 months ago | (#46965155)

Working with drupal is a nightmare. Drupal 8 is looking much better but all below are just terrible to work with.

Re:Those poor bastards (4, Interesting)

BitterOak (537666) | about 3 months ago | (#46965167)

Working with drupal is a nightmare. Drupal 8 is looking much better but all below are just terrible to work with.

As opposed to what? WordPress? Joomla? Drupal does have a steeper learning curve than some of the other open source CMS's but it has more flexibility, and if you're going to standardize on one, that flexibility is important. I'm curious to know if you have a specific alternative in mind.

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965175)

Hopefully the Personal Home Page (PHP) software will be up to the task of running mission critical government CMSs! It would be a real shame if the govt has chosen years of security problems for themselves.

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965853)

I hate to tell you this but there are several commercial websites that serve tens of thousands per day that run on PHP based content management systems. I know, I've helped build some.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 months ago | (#46972325)

I think some of them are serving millions, some 10s of millions per day. I'm not sure if you can count Facebook, since they are running their own engine, but I believe the 'pages' still look like PHP. Whitehouse.gov, data.gov are both Drupal. So are all of the Ivy League schools, soon if not already. Of course, Whitehouse.gov has more than 80 people working on their website but that's not all coding. I would think most of that is content development and other stuff.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

xanadu113 (657977) | about 2 months ago | (#46966499)

Wasn't Facebook originally on PHP..?

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 2 months ago | (#46968839)

The majority of Facebook is still PHP.
A lot of it no longer runs on the official PHP software but on their own called HipHop (uses a Just in Time compiler) but the code their programmers write is PHP.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

xanadu113 (657977) | about 2 months ago | (#46966505)

Who wants PHP version 1?!? It's been PHP:Hypertext Preprocessor since version 2 or so.. =)

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 months ago | (#46972373)

Ah, the good old days. I started with PHP 1.9s - one step past shell scripting. :) Things have come a long way. Nowadays of course I don't do it for my real job, just some side stuff I do to keep my hand in. One of those is manhandling Drupal - not a fun thing for newbies, but having tried WordPress (the other biggie), I would say Drupal is much more robust, more adaptable to real enterprise applications, more secure, and has a more involved community.

Which reminds me - I'm going to my first Drupal Con June 2-6 in Austin [drupal.org] ! Shameless plug: my employer Bright Plaza, Inc. is going public at the conference with its Drupal module for Picture Passwords for the Web [drupal.org] ! We are going to have a cool special offer for websites that install the module and sign up.

Re: Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46966671)

Whitehouse.gov is Drupal. Along with many many more USA and othe country gov sites
https://groups.drupal.org/government-sites#USA

Django. (5, Interesting)

mozumder (178398) | about 3 months ago | (#46965195)

Easy to learn (as long as you know programming) and ridiculously flexible and simple compared to Drupal, with the ability to scale up to more complex frameworks with apps. Pretty sure the Australian government is targeting this for more complex frameworks, instead of just blogs.

Django itself is more of an app development environment, although using it for blogging and such would be as simple as adding one of the existing blogging apps to it, or you could roll your own with a few lines of code.

The Django tutorial is great... so glad I found it after looking at Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, and other less popular ones.

Re:Django. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965447)

You guys miss the forest for the trees, fucking rubes on the site, rubes everwhere.

Re:Django. (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 2 months ago | (#46968857)

The Australian Government isn't looking for an app development environment, so they naturally aren't going to use one.

Re:Those poor bastards (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965201)

Disclaimer: Website developer that has used Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress, not liking any of them.

I find that Silverstripe [silverstripe.org] to be a pretty neat CMS for developers and clients. Find it much easier to work with than the other major players like you listed.

The New Zealand Government [silverstripe.com] actually use Silverstripe themselves and they seem to be pretty happy.

Seriously though, it is actually enjoyable to work with for the variety of projects I have used it for. In time like the others, it might reach a point that it is no longer fantastic to work with and at that point, I will find the next system to adopt.

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965209)

Probably should have added that I don't actually work for Silverstripe, it just is what I use currently to build websites.

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969541)

Hi,

Can you share an e-mail address? I am interested in putting together a site using Silverstripe and it'd be nice to see if you're available to help.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46967337)

Silverstripe is IMHO currently the CMS to build sites on. After dealing with drupal, wordpress, modX and a few others I find Silverstripe the easiest and the most "civilized" way to build custom things. If someone wants something that works out of the box on the other hand it might be not the very best choice.

Re:Those poor bastards (3, Interesting)

brantondaveperson (1023687) | about 2 months ago | (#46970791)

Silverstripe is great, I've used it quite a bit and it does stand head & shoulders above the competition. But, possibly this is because it's written in PHP, it's dog-slow. Odd that the four comments above are all AC...

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 months ago | (#46972513)

IDK anything about Silverstripe, this is the first I've heard of it. But if you are having slowness it could be a lot of things besides PHP per se. In my experience many if not most PHP and other applications are actually database-limited, so it could be that. I've had PHP scripts that spent 95% of their time in the database, both in elapsed microtime when wrapping the database calls, and in CPU load. I only occasionally have seen Apache/PHP at the top of the list in "top".

Failing that, there are almost always particular functions that seem to be the ones that take up most of the time, which can be recoded, split up, etc. Anything involving creation of large arrays of objects is a candidate, especially if you are memory limited.

If you have access, try dropping microtime calls into the code, for instance at the top of each class or even each function, and log the results somewhere to see where the time goes. I like to just keep the difference between each step, which shows the elapsed time for each function. But you can also keep the start time and print the total elapsed time at the end of the page.

In my experience slowness is almost always due to these few pathological points in the code. Sometimes it's as simple as some piece of code that needs to do a DNS request (for a curl fetch), or a bunch of NFS file accesses that take a long time.

Once you know it's not just one or two pathological functions, then there are multiple strategies. For database, consider using the MEM-whatever database engine if you have enough memory. I haven't used PHP cacheing, the Zend speedups, nor the HipHop tools but I assume they are pretty useful.

Finally, one thing that all these CMS systems have in common is that they do a lot of work compared to a simple web page - I am guessing that every single web page requires the CMS to open, read and parse as many as 100 files. It's rather amazing to me that they work as fast as they do.

Re:Those poor bastards (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965239)

Coding a custom CMS is a start. Programming web-based systems isn't that hard. I do it for a living, but I use Wordpress or Joomla when the customer wants it. Generally a custom CMS offers better flexibility - if you have a competent web staff that knows how to code, you can get something slick finished pretty quickly.

There's a lot of fear mongering when it comes to picking CMSes in the first place. Generally you will see people that aren't qualified to make decisions force technical staff members into a corner to "standardize" things, pissing everyone off equally. These types of decisions, in my opinion, should be left to the individual web teams that serve these separate units of government throughout the country. They have to use it every day - let them decide.

It doesn't sound like the Australian Government even knows what it needs a CMS for. At the end of the day, KISS is the best practice to follow. They're just webpages after all. You don't need a CMS that has 26,000 modules (point was made in the article) to plop up a website with a slideshow, a bunch of PDF files, an event listing, different pages full of text. You only need to determine what you want your website to do and let the technical staff make the best choice. One CMS to rule them all is quite stupid in this case, because they think they're solving a problem that doesn't really exist. They also think there will be some kind of magical collaboration that will save everyone money.

http://agov.com.au/features - Half of the features on this page are purely fluff, pointless, or outright misleading:

1.) Reponsive design - Responsive design is tied to the template and CSS - not the fucking CMS.
2.) Event management - every CMS out there features some kind of event management plugin, or you can just code one yourself. This isn't a good reason to "standardize" on. Again, let the web team working on the site pick the best option.
3.) Feature carousel - They're ... image sliders. Really now? This is a reason? Every Australian Government website must have this eh?
4.) Rich content editing - Good, finally they found one reason to standardize their CMS onto every agency - because this is such a huge problem with CMSes - wait, what? No, it's not.

You know, there's more to this than the stuff I managed to quickly slap together at 3:30 AM.

My viewpoint is the following:
Making blanket assumptions on how things are used and forcing decisions across an entire Government will only lead to unhappy workers, stifling of innovation, and harm to other great CMSes and developers out there.

That said, if every agency felt that Drupal was their best option... so be it.

Re:Those poor bastards (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965261)

3.) Feature carousel - They're ... image sliders. Really now? This is a reason? Every Australian Government website must have this eh?

Yeah, I know what you mean.

Should I use a carousel? [shouldiuseacarousel.com]

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#46967143)

Should I use a carousel?

They're OKAY, as long as they are merely things like feature ads for your product, as opposed to essential interface elements. It's a display, like a rotating billboard. There should be no requirement to interact with it.

And they should be relatively small, the delay should be no more than 6-8 seconds max, and they should be based on JS, not Flash. And one more thing:

For f*s sake, people, get the tags and CSS for your sliders right. If someone uses a script blocker, they should see the first panel of your slider clearly, not the entire set stacked on top of each other. I've seen major websites get this wrong.

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965263)

It doesn't sound like the Australian Government even knows what it needs a CMS for.

To be fair, neither do 90% of companies providing Drupal-related services, including the Dark Lord of the Enslaved Community.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965437)

May I remind you of the HBGary Federal break-in by Anonymous?
Part of the break-in was classical social engineering, but if I remember correctly another important part was played by their roll-your-own CMS that had a classical vulnerability.

Rolling your own CMS seems easy enough for the core functionality of slapping up and managing a web site, but security is not trivial and it's a, by definition, net facing program.

From a security and general bug perspective of at least the core system, going with a widely used open source package with active bug fixing is probably the smarter move for a large organization, never mind a government.

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965511)

May I remind you of Heartbleed?

Security is fundamentally a social problem, and the solutions are primarily social, involving the cooperation of everyone in the relevant community.

You can't "pick secure software" - you can only build a secure environment. This doesn't start by plugging in a black box which other people have assured is okay.

Re:Those poor bastards (2)

zmooc (33175) | about 2 months ago | (#46965461)

4.) Rich content editing - Good, finally they found one reason to standardize their CMS onto every agency - because this is such a huge problem with CMSes - wait, what? No, it's not.

As far as I'm aware, all available editors are based on contenteditable functionality, which has been bug-ridden for years and simply was not designed to offer a rich content editing experience to the end user of a CMS. Yes, this is a huge problem with CMSes, including Drupal. For this reason, this is not fluff, pointless of misleading, it is an outright lie.

Re:Those poor bastards (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#46966495)

Coding a custom CMS is a start.

Why does everyone want everyone to reinvent the wheel? It's cheaper to do it this way. Drupal mostly works. If you can get 99% of the functionality you need out of the box, why not use it?

It doesn't sound like the Australian Government even knows what it needs a CMS for.

Presumably, to make it easier for departments to maintain content. That's the usual reason. It's a pretty good one.

That said, if every agency felt that Drupal was their best option... so be it.

Right, let every agency decide, and/or wait for consensus. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Those poor bastards (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#46966529)

Generally a custom CMS offers better flexibility - if you have a competent web staff that knows how to code, you can get something slick finished pretty quickly.

True. But where I work, we plan for everything. Like upper management firing most of our "Competent web staff" Who's going to support your custom code then? If you're using an industry standard, it may not be as flexible but if the shit hits the fan at least you can pull in contractors and not have to rely on what would basically amount to the top tier of web developers out there as your only hiring resource. Use Joomla (or whatever) and you have an immediate pool of talent to hire from.

Re:Those poor bastards (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46968055)

There's plenty of PHP, ASP.NET, Django, Java, etc. developers out there. I would argue that there would be fewer developers for something like Joomla than it's parent programming language - PHP. This is because a Joomla developer needs to understand the idiosyncrasies of the CMS itself. They also need to understand how PHP works. So at the very least, they need to be able to code in PHP, otherwise you've just hired a crappy Joomla developer that probably Googles everything and copy and pastes stuff.

Coding a custom CMS or "reinventing the wheel" does have benefits. It provides security benefits by having less code, less eyeballs looking at the code, and alternative ways of configuration that may lead to better security (how it works with different server modules and such). It also allows for more rapid bug fixes for problems that arise, rather than waiting for a fix for 3 months after submitting it to a bug tracker.

You also have to think about how important the website is. Does this website provide a basic press release listing, PDF files, and a couple of pages? It probably doesn't need a massive CMS.

Let the web team decide what they would like to work with.

Re:Those poor bastards (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 months ago | (#46968329)

Coding a custom CMS is a start. Programming web-based systems isn't that hard. I do it for a living,...

But there are so many features that customers eventually want that you end up reinventing lots of wheels hand-adding them along the way, eventually ending up with a Big Ball of Mud.

It may be good job security for the original coder, but for the organization it can be a bear to write up contracts and pay for new coding for various features that are add-ons with packaged CMS.

Maybe if OSS community offered kits that allowed easier add-ons to semi-customized CMS, we could approach the best of both. For example, settle on a generic data model so that add-ons can hook directly onto the data model. Custom programming can still be done using that data model.

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46968583)

But there are so many features that customers eventually want that you end up reinventing lots of wheels hand-adding them along the way, eventually ending up with a Big Ball of Mud.

If you plan the structure properly first, this doesn't happen. You also imply that a CMS must do all sorts of things, it really doesn't. They're web pages. This is not a "toast your bread, clean your dishes, do your laundry" system.

It may be good job security for the original coder, but for the organization it can be a bear to write up contracts and pay for new coding for various features that are add-ons with packaged CMS.

It's perfectly possible to code features for a CMS as a team effort very quickly.

Maybe if OSS community offered kits that allowed easier add-ons to semi-customized CMS, we could approach the best of both. For example, settle on a generic data model so that add-ons can hook directly onto the data model. Custom programming can still be done using that data model.

These are called plugins. Most CMSes have them. Even custom-designed CMSes can have plugins without spending much time.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 months ago | (#46975299)

If you plan the structure properly first, this doesn't happen.

It's difficult to predict the future. I work for Type A managers who flitter all over the place on a whim.

They're web pages.

They also ask for mobile-friendly, Atom feeds, ADA-compliant, image resizers, CRUD-like features, etc. because they can and they want it. Oh, and it has to be super-duper simple for users because they don't want to spend money on training.

Re:Those poor bastards (3, Funny)

JabrTheHut (640719) | about 2 months ago | (#46970137)

Coding a custom CMS is a start. Programming web-based systems isn't that hard. I do it for a living, but I use Wordpress or Joomla when the customer wants it.

I'm a consultant, and you're not thinking this through. You shouldn't start writing a new CMS from scratch whenever you start a new project. When I start a new project, say for a moderately complex web site, I go back to the beginning and design a new CPU. The new system that the CPU will fit into has to be designed, built and tested, and then a new OS written and debugged. Next a new communications protocol has to be designed, written and tested. Finally, a new set of applications written for the new OS, and then, finally, a web site.

This approach is the only reasonable way to turn a three month contract into a 15-year failed project. You've grasped the basic consulting creed of re-inventing the wheel at every opportunity, but you're not going far enough.

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46973399)

You're not a programmer. You're not thinking this through. ;)

CMSes don't take 15 years to create. They take about 3 months for a fairly complex one.

Re:Those poor bastards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965411)

typo3

Re:Those poor bastards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965417)

Umbraco?

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965503)

If they're genuinely only going to use it as a CMS then Drupal might serve. But what I see with Drupal is that someone wrote a CMS and then tried to build a general web framework on top of it. It would make more sense to take a general web framework, such as Symfony, and then build a CMS on top. That way you have a platform which is suitable for websites which go beyond being a CMS. As an added bonus, Symfony is built around a type system rather than associative arrays nested like Russian dolls.

Re: Those poor bastards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965623)

Drupal 8 is built on Symfony.

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965693)

Drupal is written by amateurs. Whoever thought it was a good idea to have code run from the database is a pure idiot.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

xanadu113 (657977) | about 2 months ago | (#46966531)

PHP input filter is disabled by default from Drupal 7 on... really it's only good for prototyping.

Re:Those poor bastards (2)

pooh666 (624584) | about 2 months ago | (#46968655)

You have to change nearly everything about how Drupal works to make it work well on a large site, or a large number of sites. So where is the "standard"? What it does with MySQL DB by default, as one example, is an absolute travesty. Then you run into, oh I can't build my massive site using nodes, it will blow up, so lets use templates, but now we have to mange templates, lets build something for that, oh now caching, how well does it deal with a big server farm, oh need patches and work on that too. Oh it isn't OOP so I have to do alot of extra work and process to keep the maintaince programmers from blowing everything up on multiple sites because they just know a little PHP and want to work in that all of the time vs the system you built. It is like so many other things, people spend tens of thousands of man hours on making it work, then say, Drupal is great! Just fucking amazes me. Of course Drupal isn't unique in that.

Re:Those poor bastards (2)

auzy (680819) | about 3 months ago | (#46965299)

What's wrong with Drupal? It's modular, very flexible, free, secure, and has been demonstrated to be good enough by other major organisations (ie, the Whitehouse, and Australia is essentially America's lapdog these days).

It's not easy to set up, but, that doesn't make it a poor choice, and what other alternative can you suggest which is proven to be secure, is flexible, modular and has a huge community base?

I hate our government for so many things, but, it's very easy to implement a powerful search engine in Drupal, and there are so many modules available that its a good choice for projects designed to last well into the future.

Also, one of my mates found a serious backdoor in a CMS system used often in Europe (and it was open source). So, since the Whitehorse has likely done some auditing of the Drupal code, it makes sense for the AU government to build on top of their work/testing.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965435)

Proven to be secure? Number of user up == number of vulnerabilities found up. Just because it's "proven" secure now, if you add a massive incentive to find more vulnerabilities (standardized governmental roll out sounds like a tasty hacker target to me) and increase the user base significantly then lets see how long it remains so proven. How proven is the security of the modules that are available that you tout as a boon for the CMS? They're mostly third party aren't they? Just like all the other OS web CMS's. Not a cat in hells chance that all those modules are as secure as the core CMS, so how is having those modules available a good thing when they'll have to write their own if they want them secure?

I love how you think that the US government may have shared their experience with Australia about a web CMS too. Governments barely manage to communicate between internal departments, let alone internationally.

Lets not forget that the preferred operating system for governments is still Windows. If you're thinking security is a major factor in governmental software decision making then this fact ought to indicate either just how little they care, how little they know, or how much they've been lobbied.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 months ago | (#46972637)

That's the thing - it's been in use by a number of *big* government sites (whitehouse.gov, data.gov), and enterprise and academic sites for quite a while so there's been a lot of work on the security for quite some time. From what I've seen Drupal has been much less prone to security problems than, for example, WordPress, not to mention roll-your-own.

A big security advantage of using a well-vetted CMS is that the framework has abstracted much of the vulnerability. If you use the built-in input functions, they are built to prevent most of the classic problems such as XSS, SQL injection, etc. So your newbie programmers are not as likely to leave the front door of your website open by coding a naive input function.

This applies to the various modules as well. They *should* be using those same input functions. There are now at least two Drupal module certification groups, Top Shelf Modules and another I forget. I think CommerceGuys also does this for modules they support. Part of the certification includes code review. This is a level of inspection that few companies can afford to do to their own roll-your-own code (and also an advantage of open source BTW).

Drupal does have a steep learning curve, and especially now with big transitions in the way things are done, it's easy to get lost in the module sea. But it, and the other CMS, provide an amazing amount of functionality without having to write a single line of code. And for a government with dozens or hundreds of departments, having a single CMS standard means a lot of synergy, it allows the central government to establish and *maintain* a common policy for all departments, and it means that IT people can move from one department to another with almost no learning curve.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#46967167)

What's wrong with Drupal? It's modular, very flexible, free, secure, and has been demonstrated to be good enough by other major organisations (ie, the Whitehouse, and Australia is essentially America's lapdog these days).

The problem is that it's based on PHP, which is more than just showing its age.

There are better, more stable, and more consistent languages to build your web framework around today. Why anybody would start a new project today and build it in PHP is totally beyond me. In fact I have made quite a bit of money taking sites that were built in PHP and rebuilding them in something more modern.

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46968171)

Ah, another newbie to PHP who blames the tool instead of the person using the tool.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#46968507)

Ah, another newbie to PHP who blames the tool instead of the person using the tool.

Sorry to have to disabuse you of your fantasy, but I've worked with PHP for more than 8 years. And I am glad to be free of it, thank you very much.

Re: Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969029)

What are you using instead?

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965329)

As a sysadmin who's likely to maintain a lot of hosting environments that host these sites, I can't say its a terrible choice. I reckon they could do worse.

I've certainly seen drupal done right more frequently than, say, wordpress.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965457)

As someone that has seen several of the drupal sites developed by the Aus government I can assure you they AREN'T been done right. They are a mess of vulnerabilities and poor configuration and most of them seem to be run by pods of developers themselves rather than the IT departments which probably explains the atrocious security practises on a lot of them.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

WillKemp (1338605) | about 3 months ago | (#46965381)

Working with drupal is a nightmare.

Yeah? I was a web admin for a part of the Northern Territory government a few years ago and we used some really ugly thing, built in house with ColdFusion. Anything would be better than that. Drupal's a bit of a pain in the arse, but i'm sure it's an improvement on a lot of government CMSs.

Re:Those poor bastards (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#46966535)

Anything would be better than ColdFusion, eh?

Let me introduce you to ExpressionEngine [ellislab.com] . Learn about its parsing order [loweblog.com] then go in the corner to cry. It's pure madness that a real coder cannot accept.

HP TRIM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965529)

A lot of them currently use HP TRIM, hell I'd prefer Drupal 0.1 alpha over TRIM.

Re: HP TRIM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46966139)

They are trying to move from TRIM to Sharepoint

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965621)

All CMSs I've had the pleasure to work with are a nightmare. It's usually a lot harder to get the CMS to do what you want than to just slap together the pages and headers yourself.

As for Drupal specifically, it's written in PHP. I have found through extensive experience that sooner or later you need to dive into the code of the CMS itself, and if you want to change or extend functionality, you also tend to need to code in whatever language the CMS was coded in. So for your own sanity, pick one that's written in something else.

Django, Magnolia, Umbraco, Hippo, ... There's plenty choice, so you don't need to inflict PHP upon yourself.

(If you're unfamiliar with PHP you're probably wondering why I'd consider this the most important requirement. Go read these:
PHP: a fractal of bad design [eev.ee]
PHP turtles [quaxio.com]
There are plenty more sites documenting PHP's failings. I've done a lot of professional development in PHP and I can testify that it's the absolute worst programming language that's still in common use.)

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965833)

How come?
"Terrible to work with"? Because you are not able to read the easily available documentation or can't be bothered to?

I've been working with Drupal for about as long as it has existed. My company have based its core business on Drupal. But truth be told, we do not deliver "simple CMS" pages. We seldom touch projects with budgets around or lower than 20' USD and most projects are in the 100' USD++ range and even some reaching the million mark during the project lifespan. For such projects Drupal is a great "toolbox" / framework. I have yet to see any comparable system.

Re:Those poor bastards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965957)

Wow so you use Drupal for a bunch of toy projects. Were we supposed to be impressed?

Re:Those poor bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965953)

>php
I thought they didn't want insecure sites

Penises (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965181)

That's all that's needed to be said, right?

Simple requirements (1)

fostware (551290) | about 3 months ago | (#46965327)

Only requirements were:-
1) Free, since this government thinks they should get everything free while screwing over anyone in need...
2) Server must run off a 15Mb/1Mb internet connection since that's what the rest of us are doomed to...

Re:Simple requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965377)

Nah, in a few week's we'll hear how MS gave them a sweet deal with Azure and Sharepoint.

Re:Simple requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965955)

MS can't negotiate with Australian government agencies. Vendors are locked into panel and government wide pricing deals that are very inflexible and centrally managed by the government, basically some morons in Aus government thought if they pulled all pricing centrally that it would be better for everyone, the reality is it prevent all agencies from negotiating for the best deals and screws everyone.

Re:Simple requirements (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 months ago | (#46966027)

sounds like it is a great deal - if its keeping you from buying a Azure/Sharepoint solution from Wanker Consulting company for way too much money plus lockin to their developed system, they you guys are getting a great deal. Wish my country would do the same.

Re:Simple requirements (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 2 months ago | (#46976333)

Doesn't work. Accenture is on the preferred supplier panel.

Re: Simple requirements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46966159)

No you wint
That happened months ago

Re:Simple requirements (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#46967063)

1) Free, since this government thinks they should get everything free while screwing over anyone in need...
2) Server must run off a 15Mb/1Mb internet connection since that's what the rest of us are doomed to...

Fine, but these apply to just about any web framework you can name.

In my strong opinion, PHP is on the way out, and Drupal is an attempt to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. There are more web-friendly languages and frameworks out there now.

Government choosing to go with PHP is like government sticking with COBOL. It's understandable for maintaining old infrastructure but I question the wisdom of it for new projects.

Um, based on what, exactly? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46967333)

In my strong opinion, PHP is on the way out [...] Government choosing to go with PHP is like government sticking with COBOL

Making things up is fun and all, but PHP is the most popular language on the internet [builtwith.com] , and shows no signs of decreased usage whatsoever [builtwith.com] .

So in the light of actual data, your "strong opinion" that it's like COBOL and "on the way out", is fucking moronic.

There's plenty of valid reasons to criticize PHP, but this isn't one of them.

Re:Um, based on what, exactly? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#46967603)

Making things up is fun and all

I generally let people know up front when I'm doing that.

but PHP is the most popular language on the internet, and shows no signs of decreased usage whatsoever.

So? COBOL was the most popular computer language for Government and big corporate projects, for a very long time after newer and better things had come along. That was my point. Your numbers mean one thing, and one thing only: that PHP worked and was popular for a long time, before better things came along. They prove nothing else. They simply reflect "established base", in precisely the way COBOL programming jobs hung around for decades because of the established base.

This led many people to believe that COBOL was actually the better and preferred language to learn and use, even after much better languages, better suited to the task, were available.

So in the light of actual data, your "strong opinion" that it's like COBOL and "on the way out", is fucking moronic.

So in light of your gross misinterpretation of what the actual data actually means, who is actually being moronic?

There's plenty of valid reasons to criticize PHP, but this isn't one of them.

On the contrary. You have shown us nothing that contradicts my point.

Re:Um, based on what, exactly? (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 months ago | (#46972769)

IANA COBOList, but in fact as I understand it most big banks are still running COBOL for their central ops. It works, it's fast, it's tuned to their needs and their mainframe architecture. While it seems verbose, it's actually much closer to the bare metal (or at least the virtual OS) than almost any language but FORTRAN and C. On the old DEC-10 iron, COBOL was the only high level language that had access to an assembler-language SORT system. It ran rings around every other language, for its applications.

Citibank spent $500 million on Y2K, converting all their old COBOL to ... COBOL. ;) Most of those old programs are essentially unchanged other than that, for up to 40 years, sometimes longer.

Also, I just read that scientific and numeric programming - the supercomputer stuff, is still mostly written in FORTRAN.

I suppose my point is that, regardless of application, once a language is established for a particular application it is likely to continue being used in that application for decades. If it ain't broke don't fix it. It's been true for classical applications like the banks for decades, now it will be true for web services. Switching a large website from Drupal to some other CMS would involve lots of money, person hours, and most importantly impact on the business logic itself, which nowadays is the basis of the company's actual operations. So plan on seeing Drupal 7 still in use in some places 30 years from now - or at least until 2038 when the Unix timestamp rolls over!

Now I'm curious - what's the oldest program that is still in 'common' use? For a long time the US Social Security Administration was still running Autocoder programs from the 1950s, on 1401 simulators, emulated on OS/360, running in a virtual machine on the 3090 VM system, or something like that. Are they still? The reason back in th day was that they felt it was impossible to write new software that was guaranteed to be completely backwards compatible, down to the last cent on every account under every condition. And folks whose checks were 1c short were guaranteed to write letters to their Congressperson.

Re:Um, based on what, exactly? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#46973727)

Citibank spent $500 million on Y2K, converting all their old COBOL to ... COBOL.

Right. But that's still along the line with what I was saying: it's not a new project, it's an established base.

I worked for a company in 2000 that was still writing code for its business software system running on 70s-80s WANG "minicomputers" (the size of a large desk plus a cabinet or two). That's not quite as old but it is still ancient by computing standards.

Why were they still using that stuff 20+ years later? Because they had spent millions of dollars on that infrastructure back in the day and it still worked fine.

What is Drupal for, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965421)

I've been developing public and corporate web sites large and small since 1996 and I've not been able to work out why any major organisation would employ a developer who isn't

1) instantly repulsed by PHP, a play language whose increasing popularity says a lot about the change in quality of developers and little about the change in quality of the language;

2) capable of using the same old patterns for knocking out a decent, scalable framework for any web site requiring basic services (session management, authentication, article submission+publishing) in a weekend;

3) capable of writing better quality documentation to go along with it than any 3rd party open source project, which invariably omits the hundreds of gotchas one comes across.

At some point in the last decade it became fashionable to decide that not doing any work yourself, but restricting yourself to what others do for you, was a sign of competence. The third party stuff is tried, tested and secure, they said. You can rely on the third parties, they said. Nobody ever got fired from delegating to someone else. Well, this may be true if you're in no hurry to be productive, and if you enjoy homogenous ecosystems which are the target for every zero-day effort. But no enterprise should compromise on quality when it has the necessary resources to decide otherwise.

You use Linux on the servers because there's no way you could do better than the maturity, security and stability of Linux. You use Microsoft Office on the desktops because a couple hundred dollars is worth the best featured and the most familiar product. But any competent team can write a decent web framework.

Ya... there's no benefits to a standard platform / (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46967447)

Yeah I used my own hand-written framework too. Like a decade ago.

Every hand-rolled CMS/framework my company (and previous companies) has taken over has been a complete fucking nightmare. Every single one.

Your dismissal of the benefits of a standardized platform that you can actually hire experienced developers for is astounding.

php developer for 15 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46965423)

Never used drupal nor wordpress

Poor decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965459)

I stopped using CMS's a couple of years ago for anything important. A good python framework like Web2Py or Django, or even Rails (anything but PHP ffs), is easier to maintain than Drupal, Wordpress or any other CMS. And any back end development (even just templating) with a framework is miles ahead. It's amazing so many Drupal and CMS loyalists don't yet know what a proper framework is, or the power it can offer them! Web2Py is by far the easiest of the bunch. I challenge any CMS developer give it a go, and then go back to Drupal.

Re:Poor decision (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965587)

Drupal and PHP are for beginners. They are good tools for that.

This decision is like the government saying that they are going to standardize on EasyBake Ovens for all government owned kitchens. Hey my niece made some delicious* cupcakes in an EasyBake Oven! There is no theoretical reason why EasyBake Ovens can't produce good food!

* the cupcakes were not delicious

Re:Poor decision (1)

Clsid (564627) | about 2 months ago | (#46965701)

I work with PHP and I would not say it is for beginners. That you can do something quick in PHP is one thing, but doing a proper MVC app in PHP requires pretty much the same skillset as a Java or .NET guy. In either case, all of those feel like children toys after you use either Node.js, C++/Boost or D with Vibe.

But having said that, I would not feel religious about any of the tech out there. In the end rarely you get to decide what is being used, since a lot of projects have to end up using whatever tool they started being coded with.

Re:Poor decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46966507)

That you called Java a "toy" vs Javascript means you're coming dangerously close to "feeling religious". Javascript is the Visual BASIC of the noughty generation.

Re:Poor decision (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#46967245)

I work with PHP and I would not say it is for beginners.

I agree. Something for beginners should at least make sense.

PHP's inconsistency is a nightmare. In my opinion, it does not qualify as a consistent language, it is merely a giant toolbox full of independently-developed utility functions.

That might be a slight exaggeration, but not much of one.

Re:Poor decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46968181)

Blah. All I saw from your response is just noise.

Re:Poor decision (2)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 2 months ago | (#46965767)

It's simple. Many cheap hosting providers only permit LAMP stacks and won't have anything to do with a long running Python process associated with their web server. That creates an ecosystem where better solutions can't compete against the PHP masses.

Drupal is a dog on cheap LAMP stack ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46966719)

Cheap hosting providers won't be serving anything important.

Cheap shared hosting (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#46966793)

But why would the government of Australia use cheap shared hosting? The web server process on any VPS should be able to speak FastCGI or SCGI to your Python application server. Or is the problem that the vast majority of potential candidates for web developer positions have PHP experience because they learned web development while maintaining a portfolio of web applications on cheap shared hosting?

This is great. Long live Drupal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965903)

The Drupal project is one of the largest open source projects in the world. It's architected to be a flexible, secure, and very customizable platform which consists of thousands of different modules. It's more than a CMS... it's a platform for building your own custom CMS.

Re:This is great. Long live Drupal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965975)

It is also a huge bucket of SHIT. They tried to make it a tool to do everything and in the end all they got was a god aweful mess, Also Secure is NOT one of its shining points, nearly every drupal site I have had to review was riddled with vulnerabilities, cross site scripting and aweful coding practises which seem to be fostered by the terrible development environment that is Drupal.

Re:This is great. Long live Drupal. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46965997)

Secure?? you have got to be fucking joking. https://drupal.org/security [drupal.org] that is not the record of a product with good security practises. The vulnerabilities in the core alone are bad enough, but add in all the vulnerabilities from common modules and you have a pigs breakfast.

Re:This is great. Long live Drupal. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46966045)

one of the largest

So? The Soviet Union was one of the largest empires in the world. India has one of the largest populations in the world. What is the benefit of being the "largest" anything?

It's architected to be a flexible

Define "flexible", comparing and contrasting with the flexibility I gain with fifteen years of development experience a blank emacs window.

secure

NT 3.1 had a fairly decent security architecture. It wasn't secure, though.

very customizable

Define "very".

which consists of thousands of different modules

Fabulous! what every project wants - nay, needs - is to import THOUSANDS of different modules.

it's a platform for building your own custom CMS

Hm, wait a second, this is vague enough...
- flexible;
- very customizable;
- thousands of different modules;
- platform for building custom software;

...."What is mod_perl?"

Re:This is great. Long live Drupal. (2)

xanadu113 (657977) | about 2 months ago | (#46966591)

which consists of thousands of different modules

Fabulous! what every project wants - nay, needs - is to import THOUSANDS of different modules.

Yeah, and that's exactly how many modules are used in a typical Drupal site... why are people who truly know nothign about Drupal posting bad things about it..?

Re:This is great. Long live Drupal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46968199)

why are people who truly know nothign about Drupal posting bad things about it..?

Because A.) it's the popular kid in class, B.) it's the kid in class that gets all the chicks, and C.) they just don't get it and never will.

People fear what they can't understand--so in many cases, they worry about their job security.

Re:This is great. Long live Drupal. (1)

pooh666 (624584) | about 2 months ago | (#46968693)

Yep, there is the "standard" Heh.. It is so flexable.... :p

Re:This is great. Long live Drupal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46968757)

You know, this could be a really good thing. Hire local firms to make modules for each department.

Tie everything to the user account or property record

Water/sewer department
Power/lights department
Phone / Internet / Cable department
Building department
Schools
Library
Public Works
Police/fire
Tax department

In one place, using one account, the user can log in, pay their bills, check kids homework, renew a library book. Its a powerful idea. Build the local economy, make life easier for the citizens, I think its a grat idea.

You do it first.

Re:This is great. Long live Drupal. (1)

spike2131 (468840) | about 2 months ago | (#46971805)

Drupal sites I run don't use thousands of modules. But they do use dozens, and I'm nervous as shit because there is really no way for me to evaluate the security of all that module code that's originated in god-knows-where.

Re:This is great. Long live Drupal. (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 months ago | (#46972787)

There is a burgeoning (maybe that's too strong) module certification effort now happening. Top Shelf Modules is one group; I think CommerceGuys does it for things in their catalog, there's another that I always forget. So, progress occurs.

Realize that there are still lots of vulnerabilities in core C libraries - not to mention that C is inherently unsafe and must be handled with care. Many of the vulnerabilities in Drupal, PHP and other tools are really just exposing the failings of C. But not to start a flame war... :)

Re:This is great. Long live Drupal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46974867)

Beyond the mess of semi-maintained modules (not to mention the reluctance of many "maintainers" to admit design flaws as bugs), Drupal has one serious shortcoming for serious website development - the database. Without bringing up the performance issues you get when you've got 20 modules, each having to join in it's own set of tables to a basic Node query, it's still the weak spot for using Drupal for serious work.

Nearly everything, from content to configuration, is stored in the database. Migrating changes from development, through staging/testing instances and finally onto production servers is an error-prone nightmare. It doesn't matter if you're trying to do it by hand or using home-grown scripts to suck changes out of the DB and push them onto a new server, there's just too many places for something to get missed or for some reference to an auto-generated node ID to not mesh up between systems.

Drupal vs TRIM Sharepoint Confluence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46966279)

From this - "GovCMS is intended to support more effective web channel delivery functions " it looks like they are talking about web sites - intranet and internet.
In Australian government the major CMS products in use are Sharepoint Documentum Drupal and Confluence

admin hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46967359)

So in order of people who hate their jobs and life...

1) Exchange mail managers
2) Backup server managers
3) Drupal admins

That sound about right ?

And the next headline will be... (1)

tovmeod (2012660) | about 2 months ago | (#46968155)

"Australia Gov: It was a bad move to standardize on drupal." Let's see how long it takes.

Re:And the next headline will be... (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 months ago | (#46972837)

Unlikely on two counts: 1) Governments rarely do that. Viz. Obamacare - they were hiding the problems for two years until it just became too obvious. Most government IT failures are just swept under the rug; 2) A large number of government and other organizations have been using it for years, and the number is increasing so whatever its failings, Drupal continues to meet their needs better than any alternative.

While WordPress runs about 16% of the top 10 million sites on the net while Drupal runs only about 2.6%, the number of user logins actually favors Drupal by far. Sites that actually handle a lot of logged in users are much more likely to be running Drupal. IOW WordPress is popular for personal blogs, but for real enterprise-y sites it is by far the most common 'independent' CMS, by which I mean not running commercial tools like IBM or Oracle. I don't have numbers for those but I'm sure they're big.

Meanwhile, Brazil is using Plone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46969449)

Far from being a standard, but consistently selected for technical capabilities, and for attending accessibility requirements among other criteria, Brazil federal and several other government branches have selected Plone, as one can see in nationwide portals such as "http://brasil.gov.br"

a better option would have been web2py (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46970717)

+pypy, nginx and/or wsgi, postgresql, zurb foundation (or bootstrap 3 if they really know/prefer it), jquery, D3, maybe something like angular.js down the road (go for easy as apposed to powerful).

Maybe some haskell or racket for backend stuff. All you need is a few good programmers for this. Stick to functional style. Worship the state.

The future will be more functional I think, however. In order to maximize utility the computer and it's master both need to understand the difference between state and function. And data types. And better development tools. Perhaps something more like nodebox / lighttable / sublime. But web2py built-in IDE and API interface are pretty bad ass though. Try it out.

This selection of tools is all about maximization of utility.

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