CMS recommendations?

Brandon Stout bms at mscis.org
Thu Sep 20 23:20:55 MDT 2007


Steve wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> Some time ago, as a learning exercise, I created a MUD/MMOG engine.
> I want to tear it apart and put it back together again, taking
> everything I've learned about development and making it better. While
> trying to build a community around it.  Essentially creating a site
> whos purpose is teaching the basics of game design, good network
> design, and cross platform development.
>
> I've decided that I really don't want to build a site from scratch,
> but it's been a few years since I looked at any site in a box, or CMS
> solutions.
>
> I'm hoping that members of the list can help me narrow down the possibilities.
>   

Among other possibly equally good alternatives, Drupal might suit your 
needs:

> I would like to have the following features.
>
>
> #1 Good Content management, I should be able to post articles and code
> without having to do a significant amount of markup, conversely a user
> should be able to easily identify sections of code embedded in
> articles.
>   

Drupal supports bb code withing your article, which will make code, 
surrounded by [code] and [/code] stand out, in addition to all the other 
things you can do with bbcode.

> #2 Granular Access controls, maybe even something like standard Unix
> permissions structure.
>   

You can create your own groups with permissions to certain features.  If 
you add the Organic Groups module, you can do the same with content.

> #3 Ease of use, It should not be hard to upgrade with modules etc as needed.
>   

Among the CMSes I've used, Drupal's proven to be one of the easiest.

> #4 Stable and Secure (This should actually be #1).
>   

With a large community behind it, Drupal will get patched quickly 
whenever a security flaw gets found.  You can use a more secure mode of 
sharing files that does not allow people to directly access the files 
except through Drupal software if you need that additional security.

> #5 Scalable, most sites I have been involved in, tend to create major
> traffic.  I don't want the site to come crashing down under heavy
> load, so it should be able to handle any number of users.  I have had
> more than one PHPNuke based site fall apart under load.
>   

Drupal's large community has contributed many, many modules that extend 
it's capabilities.  One important module included with the core is 
called "Throttle".  With Throttle, you can tell Drupal to automatically 
disable certain modules to improve performance on more important modules 
when traffic peaks out.  This way you control what fails, if anything.

> #6 Still being actively developed.  The Internet is littered with the
> corpses of has-been, coulda been great CMS systems that failed for
> whatever reason.  I don't want one of those :)
>   

Drupal's support is only growning.  They are actively working on its 6th 
release.  I like it more than Joomla - the interface seems more 
intuitive - the way you install modules and work with it in general just 
makes more sense.

> Anyways thanks in advance for any ideas and suggestions.
>
> Sincerely,
> Steve
>
> p.s. If anyone would like to help me in this endeavour please feel
> free to email me off list.  Peer review would be especially welcome.

Just a suggestion:  you might want to define a little better what your 
endeavor is.  What kind of site?  More than one site?  Are you forming a 
business?  Are you already a business?  Etc.

Speaking of "etc", I thought I'd include jbot's current definition of etc:

jbot: hmm... etc is something marginally brain-dead people say when they 
know their statement is incomplete, but they can't figure out how to 
complete it or /etc, the directory that contains all the config files.

Brandon Stout
http://mscis.org



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