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  1. #1
    ********* Articles ArticleBot's Avatar
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    Article Discussion

    This is an article discussion thread for discussing the SitePoint article, "Rebuilding Gradlink Using Ez Publish"

  2. #2
    pigsy
    SitePoint Community Guest
    Nice article.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot patrikG's Avatar
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    Great article. I'm currently testing different CMS (Mambo, Typo3 and eZ Publish) and ez Publish is up for a thorough evaluation in January. Your article made me reflect on and refine the criteria I've chosen to evaluate the CMS - thanks!

  4. #4
    edhel
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    Can you say which two others CMS solutions are you tested? typo3, mambo, drupal?

    edhel, edhell@mail.ru

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    Hi patrikg,

    Thanks for the positive feedback. I also evaluated mambo and typo3, among others, before selecting ez publish. I've got a more detailed report that reviews the 10 solutions we evaluated and sets out the criteria we used to make our decision. I've attached a copy of the report for those of you who are interested in the other solutions we reviewed.

    Cheers,
    martyb
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by martyb; Dec 19, 2004 at 17:38.

  6. #6
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    Hi Martin
    Many thanks for your article!

    Quote Originally Posted by martyb
    I also evaluated mambo and typo3, among others, before selecting ez publish. I've got a more detailed report that reviews the 10 solutions we evaluated and sets out the criteria we used to make our decision. If you want a copy, email me at martin@designit.com.au.
    When I choose TYPO3 for www.webmed.ru one year ago, I find, that it can not not be compared to ez-publish.

    I think, TYPO3 is many-many times flexible and feature-rich then ez-publish.

    1)In TYPO3 you can manage content on "content-elements" (blocks) level.
    You have block types: text, text+image, email form, Flexible Content Element (with any combination of fields, images etc ) forum, etc
    In ez - only pages (with 2 parts)!!!

    2)design flexibility of TYPO3 is much better

    3)TYPO3 is from different software group

    Some text from TYPO3 mailing list (I understand that it is only illustration, not serious arguments):
    ... demonstrated TYPO3 in a lab environment some months ago. This was an evaluation of:
    CMS-packages: MMBase, Microsoft CMS, Smartsite en TYPO3
    Portal-packages: Luminus, Microsoft Sharepoint, Oracle, SUN en uPortal
    Is (1), (2), (3) correct?
    (I do not have experience with ez-publish, may be I make some mistakes)

    Can you write about disadvantages of TYPO3?

    Some additional info:
    Typo3 was recently rewarded by a research study conducted by The University of Warwick as the top Open-Source Content Management System
    (CMS) from eight other open sourced CMS projects out there, with an overall score of 7.6 out of 10 total marks. More information about this study can be obtained online at http://www.michelinakis.gr/Dimitris/cms/.

    Further discussion on the matter can be seen here:
    http://www.veen.com/jeff/archives/000622.html
    Thank you in advance.

    Valery Romanchev
    Moscow, Russia

  7. #7
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    Hi Valery,

    Thanks for your questions, I have answers for you below. However, I'd also like to say that trying to find the "best" open source is not the point. First and foremost it's important to establish your needs and then compare the potential solutions to find out which is the most appropriate given your situation. Depending on the context, I'm sure there are situations where TYPO3 would be better suited than eZ publish and vice versa. In our situation, eZ publish was the better solution.

    Anyway, enough philosophy....

    1)In TYPO3 you can manage content on "content-elements" (blocks) level.
    You have block types: text, text+image, email form, Flexible Content Element (with any combination of fields, images etc ) forum, etc
    In ez - only pages (with 2 parts)!!!
    This is not true, eZ publish is extremely flexible in the way content is structured and displayed. You have the ability to create your own content types and define exactly how they are to be displayed. On one project we defined over 10 specific content types and rules on how they were to be displayed. Have a look at the sample chapter from the ez publish book. It contains a comprehensive case study on the rebuild of the Centre for Design website and shows how we defined a number of content types and configured how they would be displayed.


    2)design flexibility of TYPO3 is much better
    Once again, this is not true. One of the main reasons we selected eZ publish was the flexibility in design. If you can build it in html/css, you can display it with eZ publish. We have had no trouble designing sites for a wide range of clients from fashion houses through to corporates using eZ publish.

    3)TYPO3 is from different software group
    Not sure what you mean by this. eZ systems in norway have written eZ publish.

    Disadvantages of TYPO3
    Once again, I don't want to get into a discussion of which solution is better than the other, it honestly depends on the context. TYPO3 was very impressive, however, given our needs, we felt eZ publish was the better long term solution as it had greater potential for growth. See the review below


    Best of Breed Open CMS
    Review by jdillon, 9th March 2004.

    Getting started with eZ Publish is daunting, but it's one of the only enterprise class open cms systems out....Once you dig in you begin to realize the real power of eZ Publish: it's not a Web CMS like most of the other scripts out there, but more an entire platform for building applications, which includes CMS applications. It's the only serious php alternative for business-class cms.

    http://www.hotscripts.com/review/7894.html

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    We reviewed the following solutions

    Midgard - http://www.midgard-project.org
    OpenSymphony - http://www.opensymphony.com
    SharePoint Portal Server - http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint
    Typo 3 - http://www.typo3.com
    Mambo - http://www.mamboserver.com
    EZ Publish - http://www.ez.no
    Cofax - http://www.cofax.org
    RedHat CMS - http://www.redhat.com/
    OpenCMS - http://www.opencms.com

    Cheers,
    M

  9. #9
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    Hi Martin

    Many thanks for your answer!

    Quote Originally Posted by martyb
    However, I'd also like to say that trying to find the "best" open source is not the point. First and foremost it's important to establish your needs and then compare the potential solutions to find out which is the most appropriate given your situation. Depending on the context, I'm sure there are situations where TYPO3 would be better suited than eZ publish and vice versa. In our situation, eZ publish was the better solution.
    Fully agree with you. All depend on situation.
    Many thanks for you links and Case Study. Good document and nice site.

    Not sure what you mean by this.
    Sorry for my english.
    I mean that TYPO3 is cosidered as CMS solution to large projects and can be compared to commercial CMS with price $10000-$30000.

    I do not want to go in discussion here to.

    Valery Romanchev
    romanchev(at)list.ru
    Moacow, Russia

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    It is very difficult to judge content management systems based upon phrases like "flexible", "account management", or "advanced privilege-aware templating". These phrases are tossed around by everyone from every CMS camp and consequently have lost all meaning as it seems everyone means something different by them.

    A lot of criticism of EZ Publish limitations centers around now-obsolete EZ Publish 2, which really was kind of limited. Also, EZ Publish works differently from most content management systems. This creates perceived limitations which are very much real until one understand how EZ Publish works.

    I suggest that anyone who is genuinely curious about ezPublish look at Building an Ez Publish site. Follow that article with a new installation of EZ Publish and in about 1-4 hours you'll have a strong basis to understand EZ Publish's weaknesses and strengths.

    Until investing that effort, I would expect most people (like myself, for example) to come to incorrect conclusions about what can or cannot be done with EZ Publish.
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  11. #11
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    I think the best and fast way to understand all about CMS is to go to demo and try to make simple user task.

    http://demo.typo3.com (old version 3.5.0 with BackEnd)
    http://testsite.typo3solutions.com/29.0.html (no BackEnd)

    http://ez.no/ez_publish/demo


    As for TYPO3 development and template creation:
    see example of TYPO3 TemplaVoila documentation:
    (it is new aproach, in beta now)
    http://typo3.org/documentation/docum...g_the_Templat/

    Full TYPO3 documentation matrix:
    http://typo3.org/documentation/document-library/Matrix/
    TYPO3 videos:
    http://typo3.org/documentation/videos/wmv-format/
    Last edited by vrom; Dec 19, 2004 at 20:07.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrom
    I think the best and fast way to understand all about CMS is to go to demo and try to make simple user task.
    I partially disagree.

    First, you shouldn't judge a CMS based upon how easily it does the easiest thing you need, you should judge it based upon how well it does the hardest.

    Those demos are a quick and easy way to see a particular CMS in action, true. And if you have very specific requirements, you may be able to elliminate options very quickly.

    However, many of the content management systems that I've looked at (Typo3, EZ Publish) that aren't specifically purposed (for blogging or something) are too elaborate for me to figure out in half an hour. Maybe I'm just slow, who knows.

    So, I feel like downloading and installing a CMS is worthwhile because it isn't proportionally that much of a time investment, allows access to all the files, and gives be some frame of reference on how it is to install. My suggestion would be to use a demo if you are having trouble deciding which to try first, but go ahead and install something you are giving a serious chance.
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  13. #13
    Ludo jambrich
    SitePoint Community Guest
    thanx for a nice article.

    >This shortened the list to three possible solutions.

    Could you pls write the other 2 candidates? Might be interesting.

  14. #14
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    A couple of points.

    First, when you look at a CMS, it is very important to understand where it came. The beginning tells you what the package can do well and where itís going to be tough work. Take ezPublish for instance. It was designed around the basic web publishing model of one page for each piece of content, maybe a little ecommerce, maybe some forums and a few other features. When you start wanting to go outside of that world, its capabilities or more appropriately its limitations are clear. Their own site is a good indication of the type of site that ezPublish works well in. (I havenít looked at it extensively in the last year so some of the specifics might be wrong.)

    So you do events and want to sell them but only have a limited number of seats, does ezPublish handle it? Not really without a fair amount of programming. So you want to sell the same product at different prices for different people, can ezPublish handle it? Well, kind of. Does it support multiple pages per article? Well, it does but you have to chuck up the article yourself and put it into the different pieces. It works but you are chucking things up so it works in a particular layout and it canít be repaginated easily.

    The point is that it (and all the CMSes that I have looked at) works well if you stick within its rather broad boundaries but if you want to do something that is out of the ordinary itís a real pain. This would be fine if you could get a clear understanding of the limitations and theory of operation on a CMS without spending tens of hours. So once you have spent the time learning one you are very reluctant to move onto other candidates.

    Second, the problem that I found most frustrating in a failed attempt to use ezPublish is the difficulty of doing any programming. The documentation on doing workflow, integrating other code or extracting data is thin or non-existent. So that if you want to move outside the boundaries, you need to make a large commitment of time to do so.

    Lastly, I think that too much of effort a CMS implementation can easily be skewed to the pretty pictures part of the project Ė page layout, graphics and navigation. As noted in the article, the information architecture is a major effort that is often overlooked and what results in long term unhappiness.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jj_johny
    Second, the problem that I found most frustrating in a failed attempt to use ezPublish is the difficulty of doing any programming.
    This is a valid point. EZ Publish's documentation is not designed around you understanding the php source.

    In fact, the technique that ezPublish uses for storing data in the database is a bit convoluted, so it isn't like you can simply go around ezPublish's interface to accomplish your goals.

    The idea behind using the ezPublish interface is that you use the ezPublish interface and nothing else... no PHP. You could, but you'd have to learn how first, which is a whole new learning curve.

    That said, my understanding is that ezPublish was developed with solid OOP techniques which do allow extending, Sitepoint's Harry wrote about that a ways back when ezPublish 3 was in alpha or beta. The advantage to this is that you can add functionality onto an object without risk of breaking existing functionality and your development is built on a well-thought-out foundation which saves you the trouble of creating said foundation plus you get already the features which have already been developed.
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  16. #16
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    >This shortened the list to three possible solutions.
    Could you pls write the other 2 candidates? Might be interesting.
    Hi Ludo

    The short listed solutions were as follows

    EZ Publish
    This is a well presented solution and came very close to providing all of the requirements. We were impressed by the easy of use and simplicity of the EZ Publish website and demo site. It also had good reference sites and is currently used by a major record shop in Europe which suggests that it can support many concurrent users.

    Midgard
    This is a robust, well supported application server that has been used by a number of commercial organizations as the basis on which to build web applications including content management solutions. The approach of containing the majority of all content management needs in an application server removes the need for that functionality to be coded separately. It means the interface can focus on useability and simply calls functions provided by the application server.

    Using midgard would require building an interface for the administration of the site although we suspect some of this functionality could be leveraged from Nadmin.

    OpenSymphony
    Although not a complete solution as it is a framework, the documentation, methodology and overall approach to providing a CMS solution was done well. As it provides a framework, it is likely to be easier to extend and grow the solution over time even if it doesnít fulfill all of the requirements. It currently has a number of components of production quality and has another 5 components in beta stage which indicates that it is a solution that will continue to grow.

    Updates and releases to beta components occur several times a month which shows that work is continuing.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Zealot patrikG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jj_johny
    A couple of points.

    First, when you look at a CMS, it is very important to understand where it came. The beginning tells you what the package can do well and where itís going to be tough work. Take ezPublish for instance. It was designed around the basic web publishing model of one page for each piece of content, maybe a little ecommerce, maybe some forums and a few other features. When you start wanting to go outside of that world, its capabilities or more appropriately its limitations are clear. Their own site is a good indication of the type of site that ezPublish works well in. (I havenít looked at it extensively in the last year so some of the specifics might be wrong.)
    At the very basic level, ezPublish 3.5 works by creating objects (or "nodes") which have certain properties. A page of a website is basically a more or less dynamic container ("parent-node") of these nodes. You can easily create new content-types by creating a new "node-template" and define which properties instances of this node are supposed to have. In terms of flexibility, this is a very powerful concept based on object oriented design and I would be hard pressed to think of limitations.

    Quote Originally Posted by jj_johny
    Lastly, I think that too much of effort a CMS implementation can easily be skewed to the pretty pictures part of the project Ė page layout, graphics and navigation. As noted in the article, the information architecture is a major effort that is often overlooked and what results in long term unhappiness.
    If you look under the hood of ezPublish, you'll discover that it's actually not so much a CMS, but a development framework for web-based solutions programmed in PHP. The CMS they offer is only one instance of this framework. Building and creating your own modules is possible (of course you'll need to know something about programming and need to familiarise yourself with the API) and is extremely powerful.

    EDIT: Thanks so much for the CMS evaluation document you posted, Martin. Very helpful indeed.
    Last edited by patrikG; Jan 18, 2005 at 15:29.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Zealot patrikG's Avatar
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    Marty, I've read up on ezPublish performance optimization and have, so far, come up with template compiling, cache block optimization and turckmm cache (or APC). Have you done anything beyond that to improve performance? If so, would you be willing to share that?

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    How does eZPublis fare for accessibility? Do you have to modify the code or does it produce 508 compliant code? Was wondering because I'll have to soon choose a CMS for a website project I am about to begin with.

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    I have been working on ezpublish lately. And have had past experience working with mambo, drupal and wordpress and not typo3.

    I must say that ezpublish does indeed allow alot of flexibility in terms of content object presentation.

    each object can be assigned multiple different views depending on the way you extend it.

    Also it has been designed in such away that the kernel can be easily extended to include more functionality. This is think is truly the power as compared to joomla.

    I havent tried typo2 yet, will be thinking of trying it out over the weekend

    Just giving my ten cents worth

    Gary

  21. #21
    SitePoint Evangelist simshaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyjob View Post
    I have been working on ezpublish lately. And have had past experience working with mambo, drupal and wordpress and not typo3.

    I must say that ezpublish does indeed allow alot of flexibility in terms of content object presentation.

    each object can be assigned multiple different views depending on the way you extend it.

    Also it has been designed in such away that the kernel can be easily extended to include more functionality. This is think is truly the power as compared to joomla.

    I havent tried typo2 yet, will be thinking of trying it out over the weekend

    Just giving my ten cents worth

    Gary
    The last post to this article is nearly 3 years old...

  22. #22
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    I see.


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