[Evangelism] The State of Drupal

Scott Paley scott at abstractedge.com
Mon Nov 23 14:51:40 UTC 2009

Steve - this is fantastic. Thanks!

Next Wednesday (12/2)  I'll be sitting on a panel at Gilbane Boston entitled
"Open Source CMS Powwow", as the "Plone representative". Others on the panel
will include Mitch Pirtle, the founder of Joomla, Jay Batson, a co-founder
of Acquia, and Ian Howells, the CMO of Alfresco. In other words, it's a
pretty strong panel (always fun to be the "weakest link!") Obviously I know
a lot more about Plone than the other 3 platforms, so this kind of
information is extremely helpful. It's interesting to see how Drupal
stuggles with many of the same challenges as Plone and is not some "magic


If anybody out there wants to "arm" me with additional information about
what you perceive to be the strengths of Plone relative to the other
platforms, please send an email my way. I'm not as interested in the
specific ways in which Plone is better than Joomla as I am about where Plone
really shines. I have my own ideas on this, but would love feedback.

The stated agenda of the talk is, "Just a few short years ago many
organizations wouldn't think of implementing an open source content
management system. Today, thousands of major global companies have
implemented solutions like Drupal, Joomla!, Plone and Alfresco, to name a
few. In this session, Joe Bachana, Founder and CEO of DPCI, has invited
major luminaries from these four open source CMS projects to help attendees
better differentiate each system from the others. Particular attention will
be paid to calling out the strengths of each system. The session will also
pay close attention to any feedback or lingering criticism in the market
that open source CMS platforms still face."

The moderator followed up privately to let the panelists know that, "With
regard to the tone of the session, I'd like it to be constructive -- I don't
have a particular interest in declaiming which project is better than the
other. However, there are clear differentiators on platforms (LAMP, Python,
Java/J2EE) as well as functional focus for each that can and should be
called out, and we should endeavor to do so. Further, I would like to leave
ample time to discuss the criticisms of the open-source platform and
communities, since there is still a great deal of it out there."

Thanks all,

Scott Paley
Abstract Edge

On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 12:59 PM, Steve McMahon <steve at dcn.org> wrote:

> While at the Non-Profit SW Dev Summit, I had the opportunity to attend a
> couple of Drupal panels (new to Drupal, and what's new with Drupal). Drupal
> had their A team at the summit (a couple of core devs and several
> evangelists) to do the talks. I wanted to pass on a few things on what I
> observed. Share as appropriate.
> 1) Drupal is also having the framework vs product debate. From what I
> heard, the "framework" side is definitely winning. Many Drupal integrators
> are actually demanding that some new, friendlier UI in the Drupal 7 preview
> be rolled back because they feel it undermines their flexibility as
> integrators. Drupal 7 continues to be a micro-core product that is not
> really suitable for use out of the box. The Drupal folks emphasize that no
> inexperienced person should think they can integrate Drupal by themselves
> (for more than a blog), as they need to gain a lot of experience as to which
> modules really work together.
> 2) There is no migration path for add-on modules between 6 and 7. The core
> devs emphasize that it will be a rare 6 module that does not need a complete
> rewrite to become a 7 module. The integrators in the audience moaned loudly
> on receiving this news, and complained that this was awful for them. The
> core devs replied that the new APIs would make add on modules more secure
> and reliable.
> 3) Drupal is still very complex for end users. I don't think they really
> differentiate between users and site managers. Positioning a node in the
> content hierarchy still requires intimate knowledge of how Drupal works (or
> add on modules that organize portions of the tree). The ideal Drupal install
> is probably either small enough that a single site admin is not a
> bottleneck, or large enough that several site admins can be well trained.
> 4) Permissions and roles are still pretty much global, and workflow is
> rudimentary. No ACLs. The organic groups module remedies some of that, but
> there was skepticism about whether or not it could be ported to 7.
> 5) The CCK (content creation kit) is now pretty much integrated into 7, and
> is really pretty cool in its ability to allow site admins to add fields to
> content types TTW. On the other hand, they don't have a round trip story,
> and I heard a couple of conversations, that translated to Plone-speak,
> amounted to "we need something like generic setup to handle repeatable
> deployments."
> 6) Real-life Drupal is actually very resource intensive. The audience was
> told that they could do something like a blog on a cheapo host, but that a
> real deployment with multiple content authors would require a dedicated
> server or large virtual slice.
> 7) They are still, out-of-the-box, a great blogging platform, and if you're
> using Drupal as a "news to the home page site" with a few static pages, it's
> easy and fast to configure.
> 8) The party line on Acquia is that what's good for Acquia and Dries is
> good for Drupal. I saw not a hint of discomfort with that.
> 9) A somewhat contradictory pair of party lines: "it's easy to find PHP
> programmers, and they're inexpensive, therefore PHP is the place to be" and
> "Don't even think of using a PHP programmer with less than 3 years Drupal
> experience to do any customization."
> 10) Taxonomy was "never meant to provide site structure" and is now
> deprecated as a way to build nav trees. The "right" way to do it is with the
> new relations fields, which allow you to pick nodes as parents/children.
> _______________________________________________
> Evangelism mailing list
> Evangelism at lists.plone.org
> http://lists.plone.org/mailman/listinfo/evangelism


Office: 212.352.9311
Direct: 212.352.1470
Fax: 212.352.9498

Website: http://www.abstractedge.com
Blog: http://www.brandinteractivism.com
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.plone.org/pipermail/plone-evangelism/attachments/20091123/cbb09cc8/attachment.html>

More information about the Evangelism mailing list