RadiantCMS, Maple Leaf Web Project

Hello all - I’ve cleared this request/email with John W. Long…

I’m interested in possibly using Ruby on Rails for a political
educational
project that I currently manage. Currently the website (Maple Leaf Web

http://www.mapleleafweb.com) is completely static, and it is getting
harder
and harder to manage the content. I’ve gone through a redesign phase
(designing just a few of the pages, so I could get an idea of how the
navigation, and subpages would be laid out)
[http://www.mapleleafweb.ca/redesign/index.html], and I am now looking
to
install a CMS to manage the content. I have extensive experience with
WordPress - but I don’t think even a modified version of WordPress would
accomplish all the requirements we need. I’ve have also inquired with a
couple developers who work with Drupal. However, I’m not convinced that
Drupal is up to the task - it’s a powerful CMS, but more oriented
towards
building online communities that serving feature/backgrounders. I have
also
been stung by a few Drupal developers who say they can deliver, only to
disappoint.

I’ve always been intrigued by Rails, particularly after Alistapart was
redesigned and employed Ruby on Rails as core of the CMS. I also use
FeedDigest a lot, which from what I understand uses Ruby on Rails for
some
of its front-end. I became aware of RadiantCMS after I was searching
for a
decent (mature) CMS that used Ruby. However, there seems to be a large
gap
between existing Ruby on Rails websites and any mature Ruby on Rails
CMS.
RadiantCMS seems to be heads and shoulders above the other opensource
Ruby
on Rails CMS.

I think Alistapart [http://alistapart.com] is fairly close to what we
need
for Maple Leaf Web (and as far as I know, they use Ruby on Rails), and
I’m
interested in an opinions about whether this can be accomplished for a
non-profit organization and or whether Ruby on Rails is the platform
that
can accomplish what we need done. I am also impressed at the
implementation
of RadiantCMS for the Ruby website, http://www.ruby-lang.org - which I
think
closely resembles what we need for Maple Leaf Web; lots of content, with
sidebars pointing the user to additional/related content.

Unfortunately, budget is always a concern when dealing with an
organization
that lives through charity of others. Does developers on this mailing
list
provide discounts for verifable non-profits looking for development? If
not, do any of you know of anyone who would be interested in developing
a
Ruby on Rails CMS in exchange for a “sponsorship” mention/links on the
new
design? In the past we’ve provided a link in the footer of each
sub-page on
the site.

We have a great deal of traffic (44,575 Visits, 265,533 page views as of
October 25, 2006) and we’re willing to provide some positive exposure to
companies/individuals that help.

If you require more details of our requirements, please contact me and
I’ll
forward more information.

Thanks in advance for any help that you can provide,

Thanks,

Greg Farries M.A.
Project Manager
http://mapleleafweb.com
Phone: 403.329.2286
Fax: 403.382.7148
Email: [email protected]

Canada’s Premier Political Education Website

Hello Greg,

Radiant in my opinion is too young to handle a fully dynamic website
with
tons of content. I really like Rails and Radiant, but in all honesty
Radiant
still ways to go to even compete with full-featured CMSs such as Typo3
and
Joomla! which are amazingly complete, robust, open source and free. I
still
find many more willing PHP developers than Ruby/Rails devs…so that’s
something you might want to keep in consideration. Also PHP is much,
much,
much more widely supported by web hosts than Rails is. At the end it’s
your
decish; however, if I was in your shoes, I’d deploy a php-based CMS for
the
time being and later on (once Radiant or any other Rails-based CMS
matures
to such a level) you can make the move.

Peace,
Ruben

I disagree with Ruben - the point of Radiant isn’t to mature to be
like Drupal, Joomla! or Typo3; the point of Radiant is that it’s
mature to exercise restraint. Radiant is for small groups of people to
manage a straight forward site.

I think it depends on what you want. If you want to have the site
feature the articles, Radiant is great for a site like that, (imho)
better than Drupal. If you want to add polls, forums, and other
community features, you should probably go with Drupal.

I’ve been a Drupal user/site configulator for over two years now
(including using it for a magazine website, which I’m in the process
of moving to Radiant). I’ve found that most of the sites that I’ve
worked on would have been / are much better off with Radiant than
Drupal. Why? Because Drupal was overkill. I spent most of the time
turning off features and dealing with ‘the way it is’ than with the
content itself.

So if you’re going to keep the forums and polls separate I don’t see
why you couldn’t use Radiant.

Erik,

I’m sorry I think I misunderstood Greg’s needs and you might’ve
misunderstood (or I didn’t explain myself properly) a little.

Radiant right now, in spite of all of its merits it still is in its
infancy
(performance-, feature- and support-wise). I wouldn’t want Radiant to
YAOCMS.
It has its own place, use and personality, if you will. However, you
must
admit that much work still needs to be done to work out the features
that it
DOES have and some features that would definitely be helpful from the
administrative perspective. No, I don’t want Forums, XML aggregators,
polls,
classifieds, banner rotators, etc. I’d simply would like:

  • A more graphical (not necessarily WYSIWYG) editor so that those people
    who
    write content can enter it themselves w/o needing to know HTML, Textile,
    Markdown or any other mark-up language.
  • A roles based content entry…don’t want a casual collaborator to have
    the
    same level of access than, say, a developer or an admin or a regular
    collaborator.
  • Comments/Feedback system. (which I beleive was mentioned in the
    presentation @ RubyCon).
  • Category management.

I know some of this can be (relatively) easily implemented, but the fact
is
that they’re as yet not there. I know the merits (and dismerits) of
Drupal,
Joomla! and Typo3…I simply suggested them based on my perception that
this
site was fairly large and highly dynamic. At any rate, the point is that
there are already a quadrazillion (an actual number: a four followed by
a
bizillion zeros) very competnt CMS’s that can even walk your dog and I
wouldn’t like Radiant become just one more. However, some added features
would enhance the experience of what it does do and what it does best.
JMO.

Peace,
Ruben

Ruben D. Orduz wrote:

  • Comments/Feedback system. (which I beleive was mentioned in the
    presentation @ RubyCon).
It has that already, albeit a somewhat kludgy implementation. Check out Commentable on the wiki under ThirdPartyBehaviors.

Sean C.
seancribbs.com

Erik M. wrote:

I disagree with Ruben - the point of Radiant isn’t to mature to be
like Drupal, Joomla! or Typo3; the point of Radiant is that it’s
mature to exercise restraint. Radiant is for small groups of people
to manage a straight forward site.

Well, in terms of Maple Leaf Web, we have a very small team of
writers/editors. Including the following

Admin (myself)
Senior Editor (4)
Managing Editor (1)
Content Manager (2)
Writers (4)

The Senior editors, and writers won’t even need access to the CMS, only
myself, the managing editor and the content manager need to be able to
add/edit content. So I think this definitely falls into the small
team/group class.

I think it depends on what you want. If you want to have the site
feature the articles, Radiant is great for a site like that, (imho)
better than Drupal. If you want to add polls, forums, and other
community features, you should probably go with Drupal.

Essentially, all I need the CMS to do is manage the features we produce.
The Weblog, Forum, sections will all be controlled by third party
software.
Weblog will use Wordpress, the forum will be PunBB.

Why? Because Drupal was overkill. I spent most of the time
turning off features and dealing with ‘the way it is’ than with the
content itself.

I agree, and this is why I initally looked at using Wordpress.
Wordpress is
almost what I need, as it doesn’t complicate the process with a bunch of
features almost no one uses.

Greg,

On 28/10/2006, at 6:11 AM, Greg Farries wrote:

I think it depends on what you want. If you want to have the site
feature the articles, Radiant is great for a site like that, (imho)
better than Drupal. If you want to add polls, forums, and other
community features, you should probably go with Drupal.

Essentially, all I need the CMS to do is manage the features we
produce.
The Weblog, Forum, sections will all be controlled by third party
software.
Weblog will use Wordpress, the forum will be PunBB.

From the design mockups, I see that you want to incorporate the
latest info from your BBS and blog? If so, this might be tricky to
accomplish with Radiant.

Why? Because Drupal was overkill. I spent most of the time
turning off features and dealing with ‘the way it is’ than with the
content itself.

I agree, and this is why I initally looked at using Wordpress.
Wordpress is
almost what I need, as it doesn’t complicate the process with a
bunch of
features almost no one uses.

Wordpress gets messy when you try to manage a lot of static pages, as
pages seem to be an extension of blog-posts, not first-class
citizens. And don’t get me started on drupal! :slight_smile:

Bodhi

ps. I like the new design mockups a lot, they are very clear and simple.

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