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Open Source Content Management Discussion?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the because-content-won't-manage-itself dept.

PHP 109

Media Girl asks: "As someone considering the vast array of GNU/open source CMS systems out there (and right here), what have been the experiences, insights and opinions of developers on the various programs out there, such as Slash, Scoop, Drupal, PHPslash and the various Nukes? CMS Matrix has a nice comparison grid of features, but there seems to be a lot left between the lines, and the Perl powerhouses are left out of the matrix. How do the typical components (blogs, articles, comments, karma) compare? What about modality, security and speed under heavy loads? What about the quality of ongoing development and activity of the app's community? What's leading edge and not bleeding edge? And what about the Perl/PHP debate? Can we take a snapshot of this realm of open source web development applications and hash it around a bit?"

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Community V. Content (4, Insightful)

idiotfromia (657688) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850393)

There's way too many content management systems out there that focus too much on the content aspect. I found it hard to locate quality open source CMS that wasn't trying to be Slashdot-like. Many people just want some for easily organizing lots of pages in a quick and easy manner. They don't all want to have forums, user profiles, galleries, news, or blogs built into the system.

Keep it simple, stupid.

Not a surprise, but why not a wiki? (3, Insightful)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850991)

Blogs were the first and are the most deployed apps to use CMS. HTML-savvy people wanted to provide the rest of the world an easy way to contribute content. I'm aware of very few apps meant to make a web developer's life easier by allowing online editing as if it were an online Dreamweaver or what not.

If you want KISS & need to add a lot of content, what is lacking in wikis?

Re:Not a surprise, but why not a wiki? (2, Insightful)

photon317 (208409) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854073)

I've been in the same boat as the guy you're replying to, and my answer to this question would have been that what I really wanted was something structured and designed more like the typical CMS implementation (database-backed, web-based admin without any html coding experience needed on the users' part, "document" upload of word/pdf/etc with searches and categories and all that, etc...), but I just don't want "community" features like blogging, news, rss, etc...

The usual answer that I've taken is to use one of the full-blown CMS-like packages out there and strip out all the functionality I don't want, which can be a pain to maintain as new releases come out.

One downside to Wikis (2, Interesting)

attaboy (689931) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854140)

I've used Scoop, Drupal, and built a couple of custom lite-CMS solutions. My only experience with Wikis is installing MediaWiki. To me the biggest downside was support for inserting straight HTML.

While you can insert HTML into a Wiki entry, it isn't recommended. They want you to use the Wiki tagging language. This makes sense because the Wiki tagging is used to convey useful meta-information and separate content from presentation, but at the same time, losing the ability to use all of the functionality of HTML when entering content seems like a big trade-off.

Some of the MediaWiki developers explained that while it is easy to convert Wiki tags to HTML, it's much more difficult to convert HTML to Wiki.

I don't know that any current CMS can adequately accomplish the goals of separating content and meta-information about that content from its presentation. Storing a bunch of HTML in a database field is going to reduce the possibilities for multiple-use (e.g. non-HTML E-mail delivery, RSS and other feeds, etc.) At the same time, inserting content, including legacy content, that has already been formatted using HTML is going to be desirable by at least some users.

Drupal's ability to include not just HTML, but even PHP code within posted contents was a really powerful tool, but exacerbates this problem even more.

To me, a CMS powerful enough but easy enough to use by my company would be able to:
1- Provide a WYWYSIG editor for those who just want to add new content.
2- Allow users to cut and paste highly formatted content from (gasp!) MS-Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
3- Allow insertion of HTML-formatted content. Given that one goal of serious CMS is to avoid storing HTML as is, this would then have to be parsed and split between content and presentation, and be able to deal with a variety of HTML standards, as well as non-standard HTML.

To me it seems like XML may provide the best hope for being able to accomplish all these goals, or they may be mutually exclusive.

If there's something out there that already does these things, pray tell...

Re:One downside to Wikis (2, Interesting)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 9 years ago | (#10855237)

To me the biggest downside was support for inserting straight HTML....losing the ability to use all of the functionality of HTML when entering content seems like a big trade-off.
These seem to be a bit incosistent, no?! Inserting straight HTML can be a security risk and/or wouldn't be used by non-savvy users. There are wikis that do and don't let you use HTML, so I don't know what the big deal is...
1- Provide a WYWYSIG editor for those who just want to add new content.
The best you can do without something like an applet or clever javascript or shock or XUL is to have a preview. I would personally prefer a simple HTML form interface that works on all browsers well than it to almost work in some browsers.
2- Allow users to cut and paste highly formatted content from (gasp!) MS-Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
Not gonna happen without an even more ugly hack: Windows and windows-based browsers doesn't even try to accept pasted markup/images/etc. Should be possible to upload a word document & have openoffice/antiword/acrobat/etc. convert it into a more web-friendly format.
3- Allow insertion of HTML-formatted content.
Some wikis do allow this. It is trivial for them to do so. But it is a security risk & I think the HTML-parsers or strippers have been built for a reason.

Re:Not a surprise, but why not a wiki? (2, Informative)

Paul Bain (9907) | more than 9 years ago | (#10857601)

Blogs were the first[,] and are the most deployed[,] apps to use CMS.

A blog is definitely not a CMS. A true CMS has certain [] features [] , such as content "versioning" and support for workflow.

I'm aware of very few apps meant to make a web developer's life easier by allowing online editing as if it were an online Dreamweaver or what not.

To the contrary, many CMS's are evolving in precisely this direction. Increasingly, they are improving their user interfaces (UI) so that the CMS UI becomes, in effect, a WYSIWYG word processor. As an example, I cite the excellent UI in OpenCMS [] , which somewhat resembles MS Word. Adding content to OpenCMS can be just like editing in MS Word except that the OpenCMS UI still does not have quite as many features or the same ease-of-use -- yet. See also Bitflux and Xopus, which are WYSIWYG editors meant to be used with any CMS, not a particular CMS.

If you want KISS & need to add a lot of content, what is lacking in wikis?

Wikis can be be easy to install, administer, and use. But they lack [] a great deal. []

Re:Not a surprise, but why not a wiki? (1)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 9 years ago | (#10857992)

A blog is definitely not a CMS. A true CMS has certain features, such as content "versioning" and support for workflow.
Ah the irony. The second link you list cites a blog as a type of CMS. Furthermore, I was using the term "blog" in a rather broader sense than personal blogs (though software that powers these, such as wordpress, are most definitely CMS apps): to refer instead to sites like slashdot.
To the contrary, many CMS's are evolving in precisely this direction.
I didn't say none. And I also see a difference between a product that is evolving into something and one that is already something. Furthermore, my comment wasn't really decrying the ease-ofuse issue, but the power to edit everything in detail. You might be able to add new pages with formatted text, but the page layout is still fairly restricted. In only a few can you use the CMS itself to change MARKUP and LAYOUT and STYLE. This makes sense--the C is for content. But some people seemed to be wanting an online WYSIWIG page creator.
Wikis can be be easy to install, administer, and use. But they lack a great deal.
Well the first post is as indefensible as if I had decried the ease-of-use of some CMS's. There are nice UIs for wikis too. The second post just decries over-collaborative generation of documentation. IMHO, it doesn't really apply to the case where someone wanted a very simple way to add content to a webpage. There are wikis that aren't world-writable.

Etomite is the answer (1)

wjwlsn (94460) | more than 9 years ago | (#10855660)

The nicest, easiest, simplest, and most customizable content management system I've found is Etomite... see []

It is PHP/MySQL based, has very flexible templating features, and allows easy customization using snippets (small bits of PHP) and or chunks (small bits of straight html). It also sports a nice WYSIWIG editor.

It doesn't have a lot in the way of community features, like messageboards and such, but it is perfect for organizing content. You can have any number of users generating or modifying content, and it provides nice access controls to keep people from touching stuff they shouldn't. It also has the best management interface I've seen yet.

I highly recommend it. Oh yes, it's GPL.

Re:Community V. Content (1)

Meatlog (243808) | more than 9 years ago | (#10856486)

Some open source CMSs that focus on content over community:
Magnolia [] - just released version 2, Java-based, fantastic content element dialog creation.
Etomite [] - I am using this currently for a medium-sized business site. Nice addition of HTMLarea, still missing a few features but has the brightest future of the PHP CMSs.
Bricolage [] - the only open-source CMS I have seen that will publish, that is, the CMS server is completely seperate from the web server, which is how it should be. Has great content element modeling so pages can be broken down to individual elements.

Re:Community V. Content (2, Insightful)

Black Perl (12686) | more than 9 years ago | (#10856768)

Exactly. Too many things are being called CMS these days. In reality, some of these so-called CMS systems are closer to portals and blogs than true CMS systems.

You talk about the KISS principle... the problem is that there are two extremes:
and the easiest to write and implement are the slash and *nuke-like blogging systems. When a blog is all you want, these may also be the easiest to install and configure.

However, you can easily outgrow these as you may want to have complete control over the page content. That is, more choices than just "2 columns or 3?" or "which theme do you want?". If there are "themes", then it's a hint that it's not very flexible under the hood, as a full templating system doesn't require themes.

It's hard to separate the true, flexible CMS products from the rest. They all seem to say they can do everything, have workflow, etc. What it comes down to is determining your requirements. What do _you_ need out of a CMS? Pick a product that does it and does not try to do more.

I'm a CMS consultant, and I come in to companies to help them manage content. More often than not these days, they've already tried a CMS and the project failed. It seems to be one of two reasons: they've tried an cheap/OSS CMS and found out it wasn't flexible enough for their needs, or got a CMS from a big vendor and it was TOO flexible, i.e. the flexibility comes in the form of professional services because the product is too bloated and complex to easily configure.

What does work? Well, what works for one company may not work for you. Again, it boils down to requirements. And the requirements don't work if they are just feature checklists. You need to start with scenarios ("use cases") explaining how you update your pages. And answer questions like, do we want a product that's an out-of-the-box application, or do we have and in-house development staff for configuration? Do we have the skills we need? (i.e. an XML-centric version will probably require some XSLT skills).

However I can say that one product that stands out, and I have seen used successfully, is Bricolage ( [] ) which is on the flexible side of the above spectrum. It doesn't start out assuming how your site is to be laid out--that's up to you. It has a nice, flexible templating system where you define your pages, not the CMS. What it does do is help you capture, organize, and reuse your content. This is where most CMS products fall short, and is really the underlying need most people have.

But I wouldn't recommend Bricolage to everybody. Sometimes Zope+CMF would be a better fit. Sometimes people say they want a CMS, but really need a portal server or even a business process management tool (complex workflow routing with signoffs) instead. An example of that are some of the products that Gluecode [] offers.

Re:Community V. Content (1)

SamHill (9044) | more than 9 years ago | (#10870060)

However I can say that one product that stands out, and I have seen used successfully, is Bricolage ( which is on the flexible side of the above spectrum.

Bricolage is built on top of HTML::Mason [] , which is also the basis for some huge sites (e.g., Amazon).

Mason isn't a CMS itself, but you can do pretty much anything you can imagine with it. There are some other CMSs built on Mason that might be worth a look, however, including Mason-CM [] and Bricks [] .

Mason can also be used with CVS/Subversion/Arch/your-favorite-VCS-here to build a home-grown, terminal-based CMS of sorts.

Re:Community V. Content (1)

Paul Bain (9907) | more than 9 years ago | (#10856978)

There [are] way too many content management systems out there that focus too much on the content [sic; "community"] aspect. I found it hard to locate [a high] quality, open source CMS that wasn't trying to be Slashdot-like. Many people just want some[thing] for easily organizing lots of pages in a quick and easy manner.

I am going to assume that you meant to write "community" rather than "content" in the quoted text. If so, then I agree with your comment, and have elaborated on this issue before. [] There is a difference between CMS software and "community-ware" (CW), which is software that is designed to facilitate the building of an Internet community. The software that you lament is what I would call hybrid software, software that is one-half CMS and one-half CW. Such hybrids are often failures. They are neither good CMS's nor good CW. Examples of hybrids would be all of the 'nukes, including PostNuke, Xaraya, and Xoops. Drupal may also fall into the hybrid category.

Why do so many people misuse the label "CMS" to describe such hybrids? I do not know, but I suspect that it is because they have never used a true CMS, such as OpenCMS [] , Plone, or SPIP [] .

Re:Community V. Content (1)

Meatlog (243808) | more than 9 years ago | (#10857568)

Paul, do you have any real world experience with openCMS? I have looked at it but never gone all the way in installing and testing it. It seems like it is the only other open source CMS that can publish out pages via FTP. Or maybe I reading the features wrong. I have been scared off a bit by my lack of Java skills. Any thoughts, if you have used it?

Re:Community V. Content (1)

Paul Bain (9907) | more than 9 years ago | (#10859437)

Paul, do you have any real world experience with openCMS?

Yes, quite a lot. I have been using it since Jan., 2003, nearly two years.

It seems [as if it were] the only other open source CMS that can publish out pages via FTP. Or maybe I [am] reading the features wrong.

I am not sure that OpenCMS (version 5.01, the current production release) can publish pages via FTP, but at least one open source CMS has this feature built-in: Bricolage [] , which is designed for use by newspapers and magazines. Bricolage is an excellent CMS, but it has a huge disadvantage: it is difficult to install and administer, even if you are installing it as a Debian package.

In OpenCMS, publishing is not called "publishing," but, rather, "static export." In the CMS field, this process of converting content (that lives in the RDBMS) into static HTML is often called "baking," which stands in contrast to "frying," serving content directly from the RDBMS without first converting it into static HTML.

I have been scared off a bit by my lack of Java skills.

Yes, knowing how to program in Java (JSP, at the very least) and how to administer a servlet container (e.g., Tomcat or Jetty) are both important skills if you want to experiment with OpenCMS. You do not need to be a Java expert, but, at the very least, you need to know (or be able to learn) JSP. And the more Java that you know, the more that you can do with OpenCMS.

Re:Community V. Content (1)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 9 years ago | (#10861928)

The solution to that is to build a CMS with one function: news. Then offer a modular setup to the functions in your list.

Not really a help... (3, Interesting)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850406)

but you win for the best summary ever, good job... seriously, it's well written.
my site is small enough, with few enough participants that i can get by writing my own; it just provides a web frontend for editing the text files directly. this directory [] has the source code... if anyone is interested

Re:Not really a help... (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 9 years ago | (#10855745)

I had a look at a lot of systems when I was setting up a Debian Administration [] site.

All I wanted was the ability for some users to post articles, which had to go through a moderator or two - and the ability for comments to be posted.

Slash was too heavy-weight and most of the other systems didn't fit.

I ended up hacking yawns [] to do the job for me.

I may revisit the choice later, but there's a big gap between slash and the less featureful systems which could be usefully filled.

Re:Not really a help... (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10858621)

from the freshmeat comments it sounds like a neat project. my only suggestion is to whitelist the allowed html tags when you do the filter. maybe i read it wrong, but it seemed to me that you wanted to diallow a few tags but leave the rest.

Re:Not really a help... (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 9 years ago | (#10858659)

Ahh to be clear I didn't write it, but I hacked my local copy.

As for sanitization, yes. I added a filter to strip out all HTML tags not explicitly allowed, using HTML::Scrubber [] ./p

Typo3 rules them all (4, Interesting)

smeat (18128) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850424)

In my not so humble opinion, if you want a full featured and supported open source CMS get typo3.

They have freaking instructional videos for $DEITIES sake.

Marketing page: []

Community pages. []


Re:Typo3 rules them all (1)

smeat (18128) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850854)

Grrr replying to myself...

Sorry about the second link, looks like the www subdomain is not set up for

Correct link: []


Re:Typo3 rules them all (3, Funny)

magefile (776388) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850916)

If you need a video to learn to use a CMS, then either you shouldn't be using a CMS or you should pick a different one.

Re:Typo3 rules them all (1)

afd8856 (700296) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851739)

Plone has a lot of videos and presentations from conferences, tutorials, etc.

You need video tutorials, e-learning is greatly improved by visual instructions. Also, for example, Plone's videos are not about using the CMS. They are mostly about extending the CMS.

(I could not see the typo3 videos, as the website doesn't work for me)

Ease of use (2, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850437)

To the discussion I'd also love to see some comparison of the ease of installation, quality of documentation, and how easy it is to design or customize a site. Not all of us are uber-geeks, and a little hand holding is nice.

Re:Ease of use (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851013)

I think (forthcoming accusations of suckuppitude expected) that Slashcode is a great forum management system.

[I'm at Excellent Karma but I still get modded down - that's what's good about it]

This is only worthwhile if one has a large enough user base, implementing user rankings does not work until a certain "tipping point" (to use an overused term) is reached.

Some bitch about Slashcode, but the thinking behind it is not so bad.

plone (1)

sepiachrome (603681) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850486) []

Re:plone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10871274)

I check it out, but it needs me to compile stuff?

Why cant i just have the option to install like post-nuke or phpnuke or something? A simple archive?

Depends on the exact purpose (1)

gateman9 (733995) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850643)

At work, we use TikiWiki [] , but we have a lot of users and lots of files moving in and out, articles and such. I also use TikiWiki to talk between my family.

The only trick is that it can take a while to install (I watched our poor Gentoo web-server grind away for a long time compiling and installing MySQL, Apache with the mods, and the updated mail client). However, there is a lot of documentation on customization and use.

Although, if you're not looking for the blogs and the multi-user thing, try something else.

I would dig up the discussion about CMS's from a few months ago, but I can't seem to find it handily here.

Re:Depends on the exact purpose (2, Insightful)

Kick the Donkey (681009) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852984)

We're dealing with the same kind of discussion at work. To us, there are three major categories of CMS's:
  1. Document Management
    Checking documents in/out, versioning, etc
  2. Portal Management
    Slash, Nukes, etc.
  3. Web based Content Management Wikis, Blogs, etc.
I posted some of these thoughts here: []

What we wanted, was some ability for a portal (some blog like funcitoinality), but we wanted the best of both worlds from Wikis and Nukes. I wanted to flexable page orgaization of a Wiki (can put in as many pages I want) but have some of the forced layout of a CMS. Some systems I've tried:
  • TikiWiki
  • Drupal
  • CMS Made Simple []
  • []
  • Jaws []
  • Wordpress
  • MediaWiki
Some of those systems are very inmature, but are growing everyday. Sometimes, all you want is a system to edit web-pages throught a webbased interface. Not everyone needs a portal.

Open Source CMSs (2, Insightful)

allden (748789) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850644)

I tried the PHP Nuke and Post Nuke CMSs for my website. Post nuke didn't run properly because the box didnt have mod_php - user community response - blame the web hosting service. PHP nuke had some irritating problems.
These days I am running xoops - no problems at all. It has the best installation among the 3.
Couldn't try others as they either wanted to install in directories like /usr (which my webhst doesn't allow) or they needed postgresql (which again my webhost doesn't provide).
I wanted to try some perl based CMSs which which provided me ease and range of functionality of XOOPs - couldn't find any.

Zope and Plone (3, Insightful)

Earlybird (56426) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850675)

Zope [] and its CMS framework, Plone [] . Take Plone for a spin. It's a breeze to install. The entire system is web-managed down to the core, with a flexible role-based security architecture.

Zope is written in Python, so you avoid the PHP stack and its evils. Unlike PHP, Zope is designed around object-oriented concepts such as encapsulation.

For example, to interface with a database you typically create (again, through the web) a connection object, then an SQL method describing the data (a pure SQL script with a few special HTML-like tags for specifying parameter slots) and finally a page template which calls the method.

The upshot? You just decoupled the data from the presentation in a very elegant way, and you decoupled the data operators from the data source. Abstraction is the key.

Plone, in turn, abstracts much of Zope away to provide an elegant, extensible GUI for managing user-oriented content. It has a workflow system, a component system, WYSIWYG article editor support etc.

(The workflow system allows complex flows such as "both John and Jane must review and accept the article before it can be published, and after they've reviewed it, spelling wizard Bob must look over it before it for typos; but users Jack and Jill are trusted users who don't require John or Jane's approval to post articles.)

Unlike most other CMSes, Plone/Zope have no external dependencies -- no MySQL needed, for example.

Re:Zope and Plone (2, Interesting)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851283)

Zope/Plone are indeed awesome. The downside, and it's a big one, is that far fewer people know Python than PHP and Perl. Make sure you consider the possibility that five years down the road someone else - someone who doesn't know Python - may be running the site. While you can do customization without having to know Python at all, sometimes adding feature will require actual coding.

This is really only a concern if the website's for your employer or a customer or something. If it's just for you, then I'd definitely say to go with Zope/Plone. If you really want some feature you can't find elsewhere you can always (learn Python and) write it yourself.

Re:Zope and Plone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10858552)

In 5 years, Python should be *WAY* more popular.

Re:Zope and Plone (0)

j3110 (193209) | more than 9 years ago | (#10863178)

That is if you can call using python "programming". I think of it more as a casual conversation with my computer. :)

Re:Zope and Plone (2, Interesting)

quamaretto (666270) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852852)

I note (from reading the Zope 3 book) that Zope itself is way more general than a content management system. Here is the quote:

Zope is an application and backend server framework that allows developers to quickly implement protocols, build applications (usually Web-based) and function as glue among other net-enabled services.

Of course, I've only just started poking through the documentation and so forth, but so far, Zope as a technology reminds me, only more abstract and general.

In response to c2rtwhatever: Python is probably the easiest language I have looked at so far; a programmer who has already used other high level scripting or programming languages will find it easy to learn, even if they hate the forced indentation. This is not to say everyone should have to learn Python, but it's doable. :)

Re:Zope and Plone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854012)

The level of abstraction and complexity of the whole system make Zope and Plone mighty hard to learn, even if Python itself is pretty easy. Have you ever used archetypes? It took me about six hours to figure out how to make an extremely simple form which accepts (and displays) structured text. The approach is elegant and ridiculously powerful, but the documentation is so incomplete it's really tough to figure everything out. Most of the widgets and fields are "documented" only in the sense of "there's a webpage listing all attributes, but not what any of them mean or do or why you might want to use them."

Re:Zope and Plone (1)

quamaretto (666270) | more than 9 years ago | (#10855872)

Yes, I have noticed that the docs are pretty cryptic. Agreed. (Wonder why that was modded down?)

Re:Zope and Plone (1)

tanguyr (468371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10857086)

Yes, I have noticed that the docs are pretty cryptic. Agreed.

Get The Definitive Guide to Plone [] from Apress (Jun 2004).

Re:Zope and Plone (2, Interesting)

Bwanazulia (126541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10853149)

As someone who has been building sites based on Zope for the last 3-4 years, my personal experience is that it is extrememly powerful.

Zope Pros:
- Built in everything: Webserver, ftp, webdav, gzip, caching.
- Great products: Plone, CMF, discussions, content types.
- Everything is an object. This sounds strange, but actually lends itself to the web very very well.
- Huge, active community. Tons of examples. Tons of sites.

Zope Cons:
- Documentation, while getting better, is not at the level of other solutions.
- Python while the right choice (and better) is not as well known or supported
- Splintering of efforts in the community now. Zope X3, Zope 3, Zope 2.8, CMF 1.5, Plone. They will all come together in the next year or so, but if you are a newbie, it would be a hard choice of where to jump in (probably Zope 2.7.3, Plone 2, CMF 1.5 (included in Plone).


My experience: pMachine, Wordpress, MovableType (3, Informative)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850769)

Mainly dealt with the blogging engines here, since most of the sites are content-driven without the need for many additional modules.

MovableType [] - fast to setup, easy to deploy, live community with hacks and what not around it, but since the move to the paid distro in 3.0 the activity died off a little bit. Never upgraded to the paid version, couldn't justify the license money with WordPress having so many similar features. It's a Perl+MySQL or Perl+flat file set up, so theoretically nothing more than cgi-bin is required.

Which brings us to WordPress [] - extensible, lively community, very easy to install and setup. The engine itself is a bit immature at this point for some advanced stuff, but if you know PHP, you'll find your way around it. Has a link manager and mass edit for comments (very useful for spam treatment), extensible as far as design, not too modular though.

pMachine [] - easy to set up, easy to use, but not too flexible. Coded in PHP and uses MySQL, many tweaks available, but limited functionality for the free version. The authors have since moved on to a different project, Expression Engine, and the community is a bit abandoned.

The above links are going to my sites which run the said engines, not the engines themselves, a simple google search would take you to download pages for the engines.

CMS mailing list (3, Insightful)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850813)

There used to be before it went down in early 2004. People used that mailing list to talk about what you are asking and more. You can find archives online (search on Google). This site [] is supposed to be the new incarnation of the cms list so you might want to subscribe and ask there. I'd have a list of your requirements in hand before you ask questions on the list. Since the term "content management system" is so generic asking what's the best CMS isn't going to get you far until you figure out what kind of content you need to manage it and how. That will dictate which CMS products you'll consider and from there you can look at the technical aspects to see what works best.

Just my two cents on the subject.

PHPNuke (1)

schnits0r (633893) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850821)

My best advice is PHPNuke. It's PHP, so its easy to deal with. It's centralized (unlike PostNuke that changed from version to version and is without standard). It has Modules, so you can easily add any new features like Calendars and Photo galleries. It's themes, and that is also easy to edit. The Block system is simple, and there is no fighting with it to get everything "just right" like there is in PHP Website.

Re:PHPNuke (1)

afd8856 (700296) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851327)

And it's appearance is bolt in. Except for the themes, that differ very little in their page layout, every nuke looks the same and feels just as stupid.

Try Plone (, a real standards based CMS.

Re:PHPNuke (4, Insightful)

a.koepke (688359) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851512)

PHPNuke has gotta be one of the most poorly written PHP apps available. Run the code with the error level set at E_ALL and watch the amount of notices you get for undefined variables and improperly used array references.

Re:PHPNuke (3, Interesting)

Synistar (8654) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852904)

Yes, PHPNuke and PostNuke both have had a bad reputation for security exploits. A better alternative is Xoops [] which is also a Nuke derivative but better managed and coded (not to say that it is perfect).

Of the non-Nuke portals I would say that Drupal [] seems to be one of the most well coded engines. Xaraya is also probably worth a look to but I have not used that one.

Re:PHPNuke (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851985)

It's got more security problems every other week or so. And the author sure didn't handle the security bug reports well when I last checked.

Friends don't let friends use PHPNuke.

The people handling my church site wanted a PHP based solution, when I vetoed PHPNuke and its cousins for security issues, they suggested EzPublish. Their source code didn't look that icky (signs of some clue being present) - on my brief look at it. Yes I looked at PHPNuke's source code, and it was crap. I had actually looked at it before that too when my prev boss was hyped about it, and it was crap then too.

From bugtraq reports it sure looks like it's still crap.

Consistent lack of significant improvement after so many years = developer(s) does not have the ability/desire to handle the issues AND/OR the issues are architectural.

Don't install phpNuke (4, Informative)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852091)

It's a freaking security nightmare.
Once you get on the defacement lists, expect to get hit with every new 'sploit as soon as they're out. Francisco Burzi may be a nice guy, but he doesn't know shit about coding secure PHP. If you're going to run it, you'll at least need one of the secure releases or better yet...

Use drupal [] . Very solid, safe, secure and easily configurable. The toughest bit is figuring out taxonomy or categories that the various entries (blogs, forum topics, stories, etc.) adhere to. These things are all 'nodes', btw. But once you have your categories down, you're done.

You can even search for a script [] to do the conversion from phpNuke to drupal, and no drupal doesn't require any special directories. Give it a whirl.

And if folks are whoring sites, then I'll whore mine.
Brew-Masters []
I have the throttle hooked up, so hopefully it won't get slashdotted, but then it doesn't look like this thread is getting a lot of comments.

Quick Summary (3, Informative) (528791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850831)


Here's a quick summary.

First of all you can check out a live version of almost all of the CMS at opensourcecms [] . This is a very good place to start.

First of all what do you want?
The main types are:
* Portals - Think slashdot + forum + gallery etc. * Wiki - Think wikipedia []
* Blogs - Need I say more.
* Groupware - Think Sourceforge.
For wikis the main one I like are:
* PmWiki for an easy to install persoanl wiki.
* Media Wiki for a large company wiki.

I don't do blogs so ... no idea.
I've tried a couple but none of them have really worked yet in my projects.

Portals ... We'll again what do you want? If you want a community portal Drupal and PostNuke are popular. If it's a small content based portal then I'd have to same mambo is the best. But if you're going for a larger installation then I'd recommend Type3 or Phone. All of the above execpt Phone can be checked out at opensourcecms [] . As for php vs perl. We'll php is so much easier to install because most of the perl ones require CPAN packages which users don't have the right to install on most hosting servers. On the other hand some servers on support perl so it's really up to you. If your not planning on changing it the lanuage is very important.

Re:Quick Summary (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854145)

The main types are:
  • Portals - Think slashdot + forum + gallery etc.
  • Wiki - Think wikipedia
  • Blogs - Need I say more.
  • Groupware - Think Sourceforge.

Tikiwiki [] tries to be all of this, and much more. And if the current feature list is not enough, just wait a few days/weeks for the 1.9 version (the site runs a recent cvs so most can be tried there).

Re:Quick Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10856862)

First of all you can check out a live version of almost all of the CMS at opensourcecms. This is a very good place to start.

Open Source CMS is a very bad place to start. First, they only offer PHP tools. Second, it's not all open source. Heck, they're not even all CMS tools.

We'll php is so much easier to install because most of the perl ones require CPAN packages which users don't have the right to install on most hosting servers.

This is wrong; you obviously don't know Perl. You can put CPAN modules in your own directory.

Re:Quick Summary (1) (528791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10862155)

You can put CPAN maduales in your own dirrectory and it's "easy as" if you have remote access. Them problem is that because CPAN is so easy to use on your own server lots of projects use it (after all why wouldn't they) which is good BUT here's a problem I've had in the past.

I go to install a CGI (90% of which are perfectly fine) script and it requires a package. Fine lets use CPAN ... opps no shell accesses. Hmm I'll download it from perl then uload it. Wait part of it needs to be compiled file I'll compile it ... what do I need to compile it against? What is my hosting company running.

By the time you've got this far it's over for most people.

You can have the same problems with PHP if they don't have GD or XML or what ever else compiled in but in the past it's been less of a problem.

As for saying it's a great place to start. I stand by what I said. If you want a place where you can check out allot (not all but allot) of open source cms (and some that aren't) in a single location where you have access to the admin side as well as the user side then that's the site to go to.

The biggest problem I have with your post is that your complain about my recomendation and then fail to make one of your own.

Re:Quick Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10870010)

Well, I would say that if your company is not big enough to even have their own server, it's not big enough to have a content problem requiring a full CMS.

Slashcode considered harmful (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850879)

Slashcode produces horribly mangled non-standards-compliant HTML (and it claims to be HTML 3.2). Consider something else besides it. :)

Re:Slashcode considered harmful (3, Interesting)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852482)

I wonder why it returns 403 when loaded into the w3 validator [] ? :)

Re:Slashcode considered harmful (1)

Synistar (8654) | more than 9 years ago | (#10853035)

Because they seem to be blocking the W3C validator. Try The WDG validator [] instead.

Re:Slashcode considered harmful (1)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 9 years ago | (#10853663)

They probably don't want to be embarrased.

Slashdot main page []

this discussion page []

121 errors in the former, 111 in the latter. Nice.

Re:Slashcode considered harmful (1)

tf23 (27474) | more than 9 years ago | (#10860551)

Do a search on the topic. They've had so many people using the validator to hit the site that they've blocked it.

If you want to run it through the validator, grab the HTML src and put it into the validator yourself.

web 'standards' are an academic excercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10854750)

my my my, what have we here?
despite the supposed 111 errors on the page, Firefox, icab, and ie all seem to be able to render the page. what's up with that?

Re:Slashcode considered harmful (1)

tf23 (27474) | more than 9 years ago | (#10860524)

It's the templates. The code is good. If you want complete HTML3.2 then whip up a theme with different templates.

Interesting (2, Interesting)

opweirdisntit (780341) | more than 9 years ago | (#10850959)

As a heavy PHP Dev i'd like to note that although people might love all the CMS out there if you really want to get down dirty and know what your doing its always better to code what you need by yourself. In fact its usually better because you know exactly how it works all the loopholes / advantages and you will be able to optimize your site around it. In fact i made my own CMS called themelib with various features like dynamic plugins and static extensions so basically the cms system has all the core components any site needs and i just write extensions that plug right into it which provide the specific funtions i need for specific sites. :)

Re:Interesting (1)

krymsin01 (700838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851225)

No online administration? That's why you have to be hardcore and manipulate bits on the hard drive with a small magnetized screwdriver.

Re:Interesting (1)

killdashnine (651759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10855527)

I tend to agree with this viewpoint. I did the same research for an upgrade to ZZZ Online [] , but came up short. Typically, depending on the needs of the customer (even if it is yourself), are going to demand extensive changes to the code. Usually, this is enough to make you run screaming when the originators of whatever source you original used upgrades things due to "security concerns"

My suggestion is to download a bunch of different CMS systems and outline the functionality you really need most. If you pick something, make sure it's easy to understand and extensible.

Good Luck


Slashcode is pretty poorly represented. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10850989)

This site looks pretty impressive until you look at the individual cms description pages. For instance, Slashcode [] according to the site, doesn't have content scheduling, rss feeds, blogging, a plug-in architecture or online administration. In fact, slashcode appears to do nothing at all. So I gotta wonder how solid the information for the other cms' are.

Anyone out there have more expertise on the other CMS's want to double check this sites work?

Re:Slashcode is pretty poorly represented. (1)

josh3736 (745265) | more than 9 years ago | (#10862190)

Heh. In a halarious and ironic twist [] , if you put your mouse over "Blog" (it's the first one in built-in applications), the tooltip says to see as an example. Then a few pixels to the right, it says that Slashcode doesn't support blogs. Oops.

I'd take any of the reports on this site with a grain of salt and (as always) do a little of your own research before making any decisions.

Open source CMS (1)

mab (17941) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851033)

squiz [] is very good.

Re:Open source CMS (1)

albalbo (33890) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851720)

It does look like the "open source" licence has a number of hidden gotchas, though, like:

- you assign all copyrights to any modification you make (though I don't think that would stand up in court)
- you must notify of any modification you make
- the copyright licence has termination clauses

I'm pretty sure that it would fail a number of points of the OSD, and probably wouldn't be considered free software either.

Re:Open source CMS (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10860676)

Sounds like a Microsoft-based "open" license.

"All your base are belong to us."

From your own kitchen is the best (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851432)

I made CMS for my site [] and it works just fine. It took me less time then trying infinite number of CMS solutions and on the end you never find what you need.

Re:From your own kitchen is the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10851809)

Yes you are right sometimes is better to code yourself what you need (if you know to code) but many people are not skilled programers like you. Even skilled programers have more important things to do then code CMS

Security -- many are poor at best (2, Interesting)

Spoing (152917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851508)

To give you a basic idea, some are quite painful to install with SSL enabled if you don't have root access. Others just discourage it.

Additionally, quite a few have a default data from the development site; you're getting a carbon copy of a site not an application. Wikis tend to be the biggest offenders. Twiki, for example, is a royal pain to configure from scratch if you want to start with a blank slate. Use the Twiki site data itself, and most of it seems to work...till you start to customize things...and it breaks again. Very annoying.

I'd treat them with a great deal of caution. -- Shameless Plug (Non-GPL) (1)

shadowxtc (561058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851519)

While not open source, and not necessarily targeting those looking for a "CMS", we have created a very complete and easy-to-use CMS. []

It's designed for and geared towards the newbie, but it's got all the features and power geeks demand.

It's not free, it's not open source, and it runs on Windows. But I'm a former Debian evangelist, so you can trust me (or not) when I say it's not evil. Take a look [] , it's pretty cool, and it was created by myself and just a few of my friends so we'll at least feel wicked special to see all the slashdot referrer entries tomorrow :). -- Shameless Plug (Non-GPL) (1)

shadowxtc (561058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851554)

I should probably also mention that - even though our website does not openly advertise this - we have a very extensive and powerful web API/toolkit that we created, which not only powers our sites but is available for our customers to use to build upon our framework.

We're also not totally proprietary - in that we'll be happy to give you the database schema, and any information you need to work with that data on your own terms, give you web services to work with, etc.

And although we're not open source as in giving our only source of income away, if anybody is interested in getting involved and helping out, I don't see why we couldn't share resources :).

Suggestions, hate mail and prophetic statements welcome! -- Shameless Plug (Non-GPL) (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10860723)

Suggestion: If you're trying to sell a product, don't put your graphics-rich website on a slow uplink line, particularly if the product you're trying to sell is web software.

The problem with current CMS systems (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851627)

I've tried and tested practically every single CMS for both PHP and Perl and found none to be completely what I want, which is three simple things;

- A tree structure (so no nukealikes)
- WYSIWYG page editing (preferably with a nice interface to work with images)
- Easy templates (just a few files to edit rather than tens/hundreds of unclearly named ones)
- Easily configurable; no need to spend many hours studying documentation or tracking down host-specific details.

I have never seen a free CMS which does all of those. The best compromise so far seems to be Site@School ( for me, only tree navigation is missing by default but was easy to hack in manually.

Re:The problem with current CMS systems (1)

cuteseal (794590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851790)

Have you tried mambo? (

It breaks away from the nuke portal feel by having movable content blocks.

Re:The problem with current CMS systems (2, Informative)

afd8856 (700296) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851817)

You should have tried Plone than. Of course, it's not PHP or Perl, but if you know these Python is at a difference of just one day of learning. It has everything you ask for:

  • tree structure: the content is stored in a file-system like tree, with folders and files you can navigate. Of course, this system is virtual, as all the files are stored in a database. It also has a navigation system that has a tree-like appearance.
  • easy templates: to modify the appearance you just have to edit one .css file. Of course, how different the result will be depends on your css hacking skills. Also, Plone has a sistem of "skin layers", that make it easy to add a new skin based on the default one. Every relevant template is customizable through this system: you just add the template (for example, how the document type is rendered, or how the news type is rendered) to the "custom" skin layer or to your own skin layer and it will override the defaults.
  • easily configurable: well... it depends on what you wish to do with it. Once you understand what happens it's easy to do everything. But there are a lot of howtos and a couple free plone books available that can teach you what you need to know. Also, the community is very helpful. This is a project entirely created by the community, it's not a comercial project suported by the community. Of course, if you need comercial support, there are quite a few businesses that can help you.

I have to mention something: Plone runs on zope, which is an application server that includes database system, web server, templating system, scripting, real database connectors, etc. To do realy advanced stuff in zope & plone you would need to learn python. But python is a fun and easy to learn language, so I wouldn't put this as a negative point :)

Plone is at this moment at version 2.x, so you'll get an already refined system.

And another thing, Plone was declared the best CMS for 2003 (I forgot at which event, but it was an important one), surpasing even comercial offerings.

Re:The problem with current CMS systems (2, Funny)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852110)

First off, you say three and name four. You must be a project manager. ;-)

Secondly, if you can ignore WYSIWYG (please, what is 'preview' mode for?) then check out drupal [] . Small, tight, easy to configure, treelike structure. You'll spend more time trying to figure out your categories than you will doing other crap to get it rocking.
Themes are light and largely CSS based.

Re:The problem with current CMS systems (1)

afd8856 (700296) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852214)

Plone has Epoz, the WYSIWYG text editor, a cross-browser platform independent text area editor :). I know, a lot of plone advocacy from me today. But when there is a wonderfull tool such as plone, is not hard to fall in love.

Re:The problem with current CMS systems (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854360)

Preview mode is for CMS's that don't have a decent WYSIWYG editor :)

The very reason for WYSIWYG editors is so you don't have to constantly hit the preview button. And for the non-techies (you know, the people who provide the content on most non-techy sites) WYSIWYG is a LOT easier than HTML or similar tags.

Re:The problem with current CMS systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10852450)

"cms systems"? What in the heck do you think the "s" stands for? Are you one of those people that says "nic card" or "tcp protocol" too?

Re:The problem with current CMS systems (1)

jojo80 (99781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10859347)

Have a look at Bitflux CMS [] . It has all the features you listed.

Re:The problem with current CMS systems (1)

BamaRob (132795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10859700)

Check out [] CMS Made Simple. It may be just what you're looking for. It's still quite young, but fairly featureful. BR

Re:The problem with current CMS systems (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10862621)

It does not seem to have a tree structure from what info/demos I could find.

Zope and Plone (1, Redundant)

HammerToe (111872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10851919)

Take a look at Zope and/or Plone. Zope is an application server written in python. It is very, very modular and has its own object oriented database built in (ZODB).

Plone is a product on top of Zope that provides something a bit more CMS-like, offering very flexible workflows, custom object types, etc. It is easily 'skinnable' meaning with very little work you can change Plone to look very different (e.g.

Plone uses a system called Archetypes that allows you to rapidly developed custom content types. There is a produce ArchegenXML that allows you to draw your data model in a UML editor (e.g. ArgoUML, ObjectRealms, etc.) and automatically generate the base code for you.

Some say that Plone is slow, this is relitive, as it is actually doing a lot behind the scenes, and the rapid development more than makes up for this. You can scale Zope/Plone very large -- we are helping a large bank run a Plone-based intranet for 15,000 users. It runs over a cluster of linux and solaris boxes, data is on an EMC storage array and mirrored via fibre to an identical hardware stack on the other side of the city.


Re:Zope and Plone (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#10853753)

The one thing I did not like about Plone was that it was it's own webserver and did not link into apache without doing some stuff with virtual domans. I lso did not like that it had it's own data base. It does seem to be a very good CMS though but not one that suited my needs.


Sai Babu (827212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852080)

Buddy has a system running and it's extremely zippy compared to most of the 'packages' floating around. Key is good (mission appropriate) database design. XUL speeds up the user interface considerably. Alas, not open source, but it may be licensed. Or, you could roll your own.

Try eZ publish CMS (2, Informative)

funnybug (832260) | more than 9 years ago | (#10852242)

I tried so many cms with interesting features. and I spent so many hours trying to find tutorials and docs... I stopped searching since I discovered ez publish. PROS: You can build any kind of site with it (from a home site to a corporate portal with ecommerce b2b/b2c features). It's full object oriented like plone, and is build under php. You can use mysql or postgresql as database backend. It's relatively well documented (everything is in their web site, and there is a book "Learning eZ publish" available to buy from the site). In my opinion, it's the best open source php cms available (it has also commercial licence). CONS: It takes 160 hours to master the product (including the scripting language). Visit the site: []

Re:Try eZ publish CMS (2, Insightful)

bjpirt (251795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10856169)

I couldn't agree enough. eZ Publish is the most flexible CMS out of a large number I have evaluated. Like most PHP programmers at some point in their web career, I was considering writing my own CMS (as I already had kind of partially written one anyway) but as soon as I really began planning how I would build it I realised that eZ was exactly what I was planning to build.

Once you get your head round the templating language, there's very little you can't achieve with it.

Re:Try eZ publish CMS (1)

gregwbrooks (512319) | more than 9 years ago | (#10864812)

Except... I can't get the damned thing to install (FreeBSD 4.9). I like to think I know what I'm doing on my own box and regularly install much more complex packages by hand... but ezpublish fails every time. Ugh! Is there a help list for the beleagured?

e107 (1)

mrgrey (319015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10853154)

e107 is a slick package. Simple to install and fast running. Utilizing a caching system (if you wish it) it loads pages fast. It usess the usual PHP, Apache, and MySql. It has tons of themes and plugins and is totally modular with menus, setup, etc. Themes are easy to edit and create and the admin area is amazing, allowing you to do anything you can think of.

I've been using it since before it got big and have gone through many updates, which are easily executed with php update installation scripts.

It also has a large community behind it that is constantantly fixing and creating. Be sure to check this one out.

See it in action at igogg [] .

What are your projects *needs*? (3, Informative)

mobiGeek (201274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854069)

You need to get a very good list of your "business needs" to start with. Starting to install and configure a particular CMS (and I use the term loosely...) is a waste if you don't know:
  • who your content-providers are and their technology strengths (and tolerance levels!!)
  • who your end-user community is and how "involved" they will be in the site (forums? community-driven content? story submission? ...) [don't get caught in the "needed feature" vs. "cool factor" trap!]
  • who your admins are and their technical strengths/weaknesses (are these the same people who will be configuring the system? are they coders or do they only work from white-books and red-books ?, etc...)
  • how much time is devoted to adminstration of the system?
  • a single look-and-feel template for the whole site or different sections get their own template(s)?
  • do you want to separate development, test and production?
  • how much time is devoted to enhancing the system?
  • what skillsets are available for enhancing the system?
Once we listed out these, we found that a number of the CMSes I see people talking about here fell off our list.

We don't want to have users "logging in" to our company website. We don't need/want forums/blogs/galleries. We need a simple-to-use content-provider interface for people with little-to-no webskills. We want separate servers for development, testing and production. We have a very skilled set of admins, but they don't want to be tweaking the system every day.

Based on our evaluation period, we believe we are going forward with Bricolage [] . It is not an easy system to get into, but its power and flexibility is fantastic and it has a fairly supportive community.

Use PHPBB and PHPBB Fetch All (1)

mandrake*rpgdx (650221) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854384)

This way you can have a website and a forum that's well integrated into your website. I use this as well as PHP MyFAQ for a FAQ and GHISHI for syntax highlighters source documentation. It makes for a very nice programmers portal.

phpBB mod? (1)

mcrypt (574231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854630)

Can anybody reccomend a simple CMS that integrates /into/ phpBB.

That is rather than integrating phpBB into the CMS like some of the popular ones I've seen. I'd like to use my existing phpBB templates, user accoutns, etc.


HyperContent (1)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 9 years ago | (#10854768)

I have to give props to HyperContent which I don't see on any list there. It is rather flexible and snazzy.

HyperContent []

It is being developed by various higher ed institutions and it has some real-world production use (not just a guy and and his website).

Perl Plone alternative (2, Interesting)

Chris Croome (24340) | more than 9 years ago | (#10856633)

I agree with all the comments about Plone [] being great, if Plone existed before we started developing MKDoc [] then we probably wouldn't have bothered... If you like Plone but want a CMS written in Perl [] then check out MKDoc.

MKDoc doesn't yet have such a big community around it yet but it's only just been GPL'ed [] ...

The PHP CMS's are great if you don't have root, if you do then the Zope, Perl and Java ones are worth checking out.

Another one that hasn't been mentioned here is Java Mir [] the Indymedia [] CMS.

commercial ones are better at the moment (3, Insightful)

jilles (20976) | more than 9 years ago | (#10856838)

I work for a company ( that sells its own cms. Let me just summarize that we are more worried about other CMS companies than open source alternatives right now. OSS CMSs are just not that competitive right now. The reason for this is that there's more to a cms than installing the software on a server. That is the really easy part. The difficult part is actually developing the site to the customers specification (look and feel, dynamic functionality etc.), migrating his old content and integrating with backend systems. Then you also need to make it really easy for them to edit the content & layout and on top of that you need to continue to support their installation.

This requires expertise and technical solutions. We provide both. Most of our customers do not actually care about what the software is or how it works. They just give us specifications and expect a working site that they can add content to effortlessly: that's what they pay us for. They neither have the expertise nor the desire to hand tailor some OSS system. License cost compared to development cost is negligable so most cost conscious customers will gladly cough up the license fees if they are convinced that it will cut down the total cost, especially if a nice support contract is bundled.

Often we find that a customer is actually using some tailor made system (sometimes based on OSS components). Usually the reason they are coming to us is the lack of flexibility, soaring maintenance cost of their existing software.

Re:commercial ones are better at the moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10859577)

Sounds reasonable, for the market you describe. But consider: why doesn't your business, which sells package solutions (software plus installation, customization, migration, support/service, etc), develop and support an open source CMS?

If license costs are a small part of the equation, why not use open source to a) beat your competitors prices by a few percent, b) keep some of the license savings for yourself - higher profit margins!, and c) sell the customer on the idea that in case your business disappears, they have the insurance of an open-source solution (maintainable in perpetuity by themselves or a replacement contractor). And for you, d) other people help you write your software, for free.

PageTool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10864528)

Pagetool ( is actually pretty great. It is really simple, it doesn't have a lot of features, but if you just want a website not a blog or a community or a portal, just a place to post and maintain content about your work or the subject at hand, definitely take a look at pagetool.

Blindfold and a pin (1)

teledyn (454174) | more than 9 years ago | (#10865099)

This is a bit of a troll for a Holy War, don't you think? Obviously, and I say that emphatically: obviously every single one of the open source and free software CMS exist for a reason, because unlike proprietary software, people don't sit down and simply imagine that mice will beat a path to their door if they invent the perfect content system ... these things get written because someone needed them, each feature gets added because someone needed them, and for those someones, the software is a priori appropriate and useful. QED.

Now, on to a more interesting question: Do you really want "GNU/opensource" systems? I question that because of the way you ask for a system that will be complete for your purposes instead of asking the more sane and reasonable question, "in which of these communities would I best fit in"

Media Girl, with a handle like that you should know that media is something between people -- Free software isn't about supplying you with the perfect glass of gratuitous beer, it's about people working together, co-operatively, optimally working to distribute the considerable load of re-inventing shared solutions so that each can better concentrate on their specific needs -- if you can't get along with people in this way, then my advice is go buy some nice proprietary kit with a handy 1-800 number you can yell at when your expectations aren't met.

On the other hand, let's say you simply had a bad choice of words and you really do plan to participate in the crafting of the software you need ... then you can safely pick your CMS with a blindfold and a pin because the real question you want to ask is social, and much as some think otherwise, we can't answer social questions on SlashDot, you just have to go to the party, talk to people and find out for yourself where you'd be happier among the GeekLoggers, B2's or among the MT-Pluggers.

For my own use, I wandered from party to party for a long time, spending at least a few months in each while I met people, saw where things were going, got a sense of whether or not these were the sorts of people I could get along with and the sort of project where I wanted to be involved.
  • I started with my own PMTS -- bad move, too much trouble doing everything yourself, way to costly for way too little result. So I set out to find a shared-solution ...
  • MetaDot -- almost a proprietary lock on the development, lets in no input, offers no control over their development, and then they took a direction that didn't match my own leaving me stranded
  • GeekLog -- very clever kids, but kids mostly, and never could figure out who was who or who did what or where it might be archived.
  • B2 -- had to hack it into B2++ and gave up because no one else was interested in the ++ so I was back to the same self-supplier; ditto with something that I think was called Xoop, nice code, but I'd be on my own, which is where I started
  • MT -- elegant although very buggy and doesn't scale very well (I write a lot), I hung on until Mena called us all 'thieves' for actually using her 'free' software; then I got real pissed off and dumped all my use of their stuff. Having finally learned my lesson, I went out in search of real 'free software' where I could actually participate.

There was a long string of others -- I chronicalled several of them in an article/thread on I eventually settled at where the code maybe had warts (fewer all the time) and the code isn't as OO or as standards-based as maybe I'd have preferred (in other parts, like Conditional-GET, it's way too standards-based), but their archives are clean and orderly, the participatory environment is excellent (they use Drupal to build Drupal) and the core troupe are welcoming, eager, intelligent and open to new participation.

Your needs may be different, but that's enough for me.
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