Idealware’s CMS comparison report


Idealware has published a report comparing four open-source CMSs. Its title: Comparing Open Source Content Management Systems: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Plone. (Is that a straightforward title, or what? Heh.) I read about it in a few blogs I follow.

Idealware's OSS CMS summary

Idealware's OSS CMS summary

If you’re interested in CMSs, I recommend this report. Here are some quotes to whet your appetite…

On User Roles and Workflow:

Plone is the most powerful system of the group in this area. It allows the highest level of control of user roles, user permissions and detailed configuration of the flow of content through the system. Drupal also has a detailed and granular system for user roles and permissions. Site managers can define custom user roles and be very specific about what roles have what permissions. There are modules that also allow permissions by node (content unit) as well as by taxonomy (content category). But Drupal does not have Plone’s out-of-the-box powerful workflow configuration.

On security:

Plone is the best of the bunch in this area: it has very few reported security vulnerabilities, and is immune to SQL injection attacks.

Its Plone summary:

Plone is a powerful and robust system suitable for organizations with very complex needs. It’s used by major newspapers and huge businesses, and it shows. The system offers a huge degree of flexibility and control, and it supports almost infinitely complicated workflows. And since the content admin tools are well laid-out and friendly, it’s easy for non-technical administrators to update text and images. Plone’s features are as strong, or stronger, than the other three systems in every area we reviewed except for one—Web 2.0/Community support, where Drupal came out on top.

This got me thinking about the new Plone-based CMS that my team was building for Fisher Communications, before Fisher cancelled the project. (Drat, and I had just gotten it out of my system…) I’m thinking about what could have been. It would have been so sweet. All I wanted to do was give Fisher a best-in-class system, which would have been the foundation for new, engaging web sites. Alas.

Download it for some good CMS reading.

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4 comments
  1. One point made in the article that I’ve had to learn the hard way over the last few months: the pool of talented, available Python (or Ruby, or Perl) developers is significantly smaller than PHP’s pool. It ends up making it a real challenge to produce an actual best-of-breed product. My only guess is that the good ones already have jobs, or weren’t looking at the same time we were.

  2. John said:

    I feel your pain.

    I’ve run into some hiring challenges over the years myself. Then again all jobs have their challenges. With Python it’s hiring, whereas with PHP it’s supporting an inevitable unmaintainable rat’s nest of code. With some other technology or language, it would be something else…

    My extended take:

    I agree there are more available programmers for PHP, Java, or .NET languages, than for Python. A number of factors role into this: The propensity of colleges to use Java as a teaching tool; PHP’s hackability; the Microsoft marketing machine. We also shouldn’t dismiss Sun’s marketing prowess for Java, nor the added pull of mobile Java frameworks.

    OTOH… That doesn’t mean there are lots more good programmers for those languages. There might be slightly more, just due to the disparity in the raw numbers, but I don’t see a huge imbalance. Do you?

    Because Python isn’t taught in many colleges, Microsoft’s not marketing it, and it’s not something a script kiddy would pick up, a programmer must choose to learn it. I think (without any data proving this — I’m talking anecdotal evidence here…) the Python community self-selects superior programming specimens to join the club. Translation: A random lightweight developer will be more comfortable and productive with Java than Python. A weak programmer can more easily hide and thrive in the Java ecosystem than in the Python ecosystem.

    I hire slow, rather than poorly. So my Python slots might remain open for longer than, say, a Java developer slot would. But IMHO, the eventual productivity and developmental awareness of the Python hire more than makes up for the hiring delay.

    • I’m not sure that a rat’s nest is inevitable in PHP, if people driving the project have a strong test ethic and the sense to use a good framework such as Zend or Symfony. That is unfortunately not the behavior I generally see, though. There are a lot of shops running with frameworks developed in-house. That generally equates to poorly tested and poorly maintained code that snaps like a dry twig the first time you tug at it in a new way.

      I certainly don’t see a higher ratio of skilled Java / PHP programmers. In fact, yeah: even though the number of skilled developers in those languages may be higher, the ratio seems lower. More of the Python/Ruby/Perl devs I come across are motivated to write great code. Maybe I don’t have a large enough sample size to examine, though.

      • John said:

        I just discovered you work at Smith & Tinker. Heh, small world, I sent them my resume at the beginning of March for a Director of SW Dev. position. Which I guess they’ve filled, since it’s no longer listed on the company jobs page.

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