Hi! I have an idea for a project that would be based around a
community like website. I am currently trying to evaluate different
tools for me to build my site with. Though I’m fairly new to
developing server side things, I do have some programming experience
and a lot of gerenal computer/web know-how, so I know roughly what I’m
heading for. I want something that is proven to work for semi-big
community sites, that is reasonably easy/quick for me to learn and
use, that I can thoroughly brand and theme the way I want, easy to
maintain and update for whatever future changes and additions I may
want to do to the site, and so on. The website has to be finished
early spring 2008, and I have fairly much time to devote to it.
I’ve been looking at Drupal, which seems nice because it looks like it
has a gentle learning curve which may make it more realistic for me to
actually finish the project alone. It’s also good because most of what
I need appears to be available out of the box or through different
modules. What I don’t like about Drupal though is that it feels like I
don’t easily have any control over the actual mechanics of my site,
because of the layers of interface between me and the code.
Now I’m also looking at Ruby on Rails. It seems to offer a higher
level of control, meaning you’re not forced to rely on the work of
others. Otoh, this might mean a lot of extra work for me?
Let’s look at what I need for the website (I recently posted this list
(but slightly different) on the Drupal forum as well):
- A regular CMS for managing the website, including news articles
(essentially a blog) and articles of more static nature (such as FAQ’s
- A good, clean, fast and easy-to-use forum that doesn’t feel bloated
(a good example of what I want would be Vanilla)
- The ability for users to start their own “teams”. Each team
automatically gets its own private/hidden forum section as well as a
public group blog. A user must not be part of more than one team at
the same time. Anyone can apply to be part of any team, but the
initiator of each team decides who is allowed and who is not. There
must be a maximum limit of say 15 members in each team.
- A public gallery with support for at least images, text and movies
(streaming, preferably a flash application). Every uploaded submission
must be manually approved by a moderator before it appears on the
website. Support for rating, comments, sorting, albums etc would be
welcome but not absolutely necessary.
- A natural connection between news articles and the forum, similar to
how you can discuss blog articles, but in the forum instead. So, when
a news article is published, it automatically creates a new discussion
in the forum. Another variant would be to have a certain forum section
in which only some people are allowed to post, and where a new post
automatically shows up as an article on the news site.
- Super easy sign up but still good spam protection
- Google maps integration, with icons showing how the members of each
team are spread out over the country
Would it be unreasonable for me to use Rails for this?
What other tools would you recommend that I take a look at?