Hi! My name is Cédric Bozzi, I make websites and iOS apps, and this is my blog about technology (mostly a Twitter archive, really).

6 March 2004

A little study of open source CMSs, out of curiosity, just in case I’d go on specializing myself in political campaign websites. Depressing (the study, as much as the thought of working).

I already stated how much I hate SPIP — actually, I didn’t go into much detail about it, so I’ll just say I hate it, very much. But the others aren’t so much better. Typo3 certainly is very professional, but the template management seems absurd to me; besides, the documentation is written in such a bad English that it makes my head hurt, and that’s definitely not helping. Cofax, which looks promising and is used by several online newspapers, is… only available on Windows. No, seriously. Let me skip all the little things, because we’re talking professional sites here. Zope is the opposite of SPIP: the templates system appears to be very well designed, but the thing seems to be completely unusable for a joe writer. If I had to build a site right now, I’d try Plone: base on Zope, but with a real user interface. Except that the thought of committing to a Python system, meaning I wouldn’t be able to extend it at all, is a bit stressful. So what’s left? What’s left is that, out of all the CMSs I’ve seen, the one I’d feel most at east with remains Movable Type. It’s only supposed to make blogs, but it’s extensible, it makes static pages, it can make pretty, clean URLs, and it’s well designed. Only that it’s not open source, and I’m told that political candidates like to use open source software.

So I can choose between Plone (suicidal, because I’m likely to get stuck with what it can’t do), SPIP (suicidal because I’ll want to jump out the window when I’m up to writing the templates), or hand-coding (suicidal because of the amount of work it represents).

Wouldn’t anyone here be willing to design, right here, right now, a good CMS based on SPIP? There wouldn’t be that much to be changed.

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