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I am looking for an open source CMS. For example I looked at JBoss Nukes but it didn't seem to be exactly what I need.
Does anyone have recommendations or experiences with CMSs?

The Real PC
Friday, September 5, 2003

OpenCMS ( looks pretty good to me, but I have never used it.  Uses MySQL, don't know whether this can be changed =)

Friday, September 5, 2003

Sorry, useless comment - it's also a java web application so you can dunk in straight into Tomcat.

Friday, September 5, 2003

If by CMS you mean an application that manages content rather than a Slashdot clone, then Bricolage [1] is an industrial-strength solution. It doesn't try to be an application server, it just manages content and allows you to perform personalization using whatever tool you prefer.


Chris Winters
Friday, September 5, 2003

I just learned from a friend that Red Hat has a CMS -- I had no idea.  I haven't had time to research it but I kinda figured "Red Hat... open source".  Anyone have more info?

A google search for "red hat cms" points me here:

Scott Evans
Friday, September 5, 2003

I have a small system I have created at

It has the advantage of being open sourced and pretty light weight. A little light on documentation though.

Clay Dowling
Friday, September 5, 2003

I would guess that what RedHat has is the leftovers of ArsDigita (ACS - arsDigita community system). If you're going that route there's also OpenACS.

Joel Spolsky
Friday, September 5, 2003

My boss decided we're going to use the web interface to Subversion. I'm going to see if I can improve it, because right now it is not very usable, in my opinion.

The Real PC
Saturday, September 6, 2003

I posted the question recently re: selecting a no-brainer CMS for a nonprofit.

I found and installed PostNuke ( ). It is php/mysql based.

Installation was dead easy - and I do not know PHP or mysql all that well.

As far as my needs of having a simple and easy to administer site, this fills the bill. It's straightforward to remove functionality that isn't needed.  Postnuke gives you the kitchen sink but it's very configurable without messing too much with the source.  Supposedly it has an XML-RPC interface to allow the outside world to syndicate your content.

This is *not* yet tested in production, but my initial impression is very favorable.

Bored Bystander
Saturday, September 6, 2003

Can the users edit pages with their preferred editor? Can you import and export an existing web site?
As far as I could tell, JBoss Nukes (which is a recent Java port of PostNuke) forces users to edit in its web forms, and would not import an existing web site.

The Real PC
Saturday, September 6, 2003

I'm running into that issue right now. A quick answer is - yes, it is possible to import existing content. But no, the assistant admins can't use their HTML editor of choice and FTP and upload it - you have to work through the Postnuke admin interface. The main reason for this is that Postnuke keeps virtually everything - all forum and news data, all config information - in mySql tables.

In my case, I need to import the existing content of the original web site. I want this legacy content to simply be pages that are displayed within the main window area as a result of clicking certain links (An "Old Stuff" menu).

Postnuke does not seem to have this ability out of the box. There are, however, many Postnuke add-ons called "modules". There is a module named ContentExpress (available at Sourceforge) that is intended specifically to allow the "anointed" level of user to post pages that aren't part of stories or threaded forums. There is also a less powerful module called "Content".

Overall, this problem of importing existing content "feels" too complex, but I have not seem much of anything in the Postnuke community written on the subject.

Bored Bystander
Saturday, September 6, 2003

Joel is correct.

The redhat cms began life as a Java port of the arsdigita cms.

Have not used the redhat version but openACS is pretty good.

Sunday, September 7, 2003

to be honest though, it is quite difficult to recommend something without a few more details on what exactly you want to use it for.

For a lot f sites, something like moveable type is enough. Simple and templateable, but nothing in the way of personalisation. I use this on my own website

the different nukes have their strengths, and have enough bolt ons to make them realistic options to consider. A lot of people just install them as standard, but I have seen some really nice and different *nuke sites.

You can also move further up the field with stuff like openACS and redhat CMS which support Oracle and have been used in industrial strength websites. Harder to use and customize, but what you lose in ease of use, you gain in features and customizeability (whoa... new buzzword!!)

Just a few questions...

Do you have language of choice?
Do you have access to server and not just webhost?
How many pages is the site expected to be?
How many users and content creators do you envision?
Do you need workflow and version control?
Do you need personalisation for your visitors?
How many different types of content (eg. news vs discussion vs essays vs xyz) ??
How regularly is the content updated?
How much development time have you got?

Without knowing the answers to the questions above, the options are endless.

Sunday, September 7, 2003

The organization has existing web sites and we don't want to change them very much. I'm not sure how many users there will be eventually, but I guess under 10.
None of the pages are interactive, as far as I know.
We need version control and conflict management. How often the sites are updated depends on which sites. Actually, I am not very familiar with what happens with these sites, having just recently been given this project.
I have access to the web servers. My boss generally prefers Java or mod_perl, but I also know PHP quite well.
Another programmer developed a mod_perl CMS which uses Subversion. Since he already spent a lot of time on it, we are most likely going to use it. It seems pretty good, except for a couple of things I don't like and hopefully will be able to change easily. For example, every time a user wants to edit one file, it checks out a whole directory (because Subversion will not check out just one file) to a temporary directory and then removes it. The user has to wait for all this to happen.
Instead, I want to keep a working copy of all the web sites that will be synchronized with the live site. Users will edit pages from the working copy.
In the existing CMS, users would not even be able to preview their pages after editing. I think, or hope, that after my changes it will be usable.
I could also add an option to edit pages in a web form (like Postnuke), for users who know HTML and just want to make a quick change. That would be faster than downloading the page and opening it in an editor. However, when they are moving stuff around on a page and making design changes they won't want to do it in a web form. So I'd like to provide both options.

The Real PC
Sunday, September 7, 2003

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