Blog: CMS/Frameworks

Drupal vs WordPress

I gave a presentation at Drupal North East this month that put Drupal and WordPress – two of the most popular content management systems – head-to-head. The talk examined the similarities and differences between the two behemoths, and the scenarios to consider using them.

Magento – making sense of theme inheritance with a simple script

Trying to make sense of theme inheritance in Magento, I have started to put a simple script together to help navigate the themes installed on a shop. When I say simple, I mean very simple. Jump straight in and have a browse: This script is installed in the root directory of our 1.4 test installation. What it gives you is a layered approach. First you select the interface, then the theme within that interface (try default->modern for example). The

Ionic – CSS multi column framework

Introducing Ionic, a CSS framework put together to specifically handle layouts with more than 2 columns in CSS. The framework, originally written by Jason under the name ‘fluid1’, has been used on our client’s website,, since 2005. The aim of the project was to make it accessible to all the common browsers, whilst keeping the HTML markup as semantic as possible. Currently the script only supports a maximum of 3 columns, but there is no reason why the algorithm

Cookie Pass-through (ASP)

As a part of my integration tasks, I had the following sequence of systems to deal with: This is the chain of applications that handle a single-signin for a user. At one end we have the Member Management system, written in ASP Classic, that acts as the main authentication system. For various reasons we had to use that system as the main login system. Once a user logs in, a HTTP request is sent to the Xaraya CMS, along with user

Choosing a Framework (part 2)

The Final Four Down to last four; CakePHP, CodeIgnitor, Kohana and Zend. The test is to get each framework to print ‘Hello World’ on its own ‘/hello/’ page. For each test I will record the time taken to: Work out how to complete the task, which will indicate how simple it is to use, and how good the documentation is. How long the script takes to execute, to measure the performance. This will be averaged over 5 attempts CodeIgniter Test

In Search of a Newsletter System

This search has gone on for years. I am looking for a newsletter system that is easy to install (to most likely LAMP-based), allows sign-up to multiple newsletters, and is reliable and flexible. The most important thing is that once configired, I need to be able to hand over the keys to a client so that they can manage it from that point on. That is the hardest part, because no matter what I try, there are always highly technical

Choosing a Framework (part 1)

So you’ve decided on a framework over a CMS for your web application? Me too! Here’s fundamentally why: Expandability. A job board is a complex application, and I want to be able to expand it with various modules as my time and resources increase. Flexibility. I want to know where things are going at a low level so I can better understand the system, and control the overall direction of the project. Change/Experience. I’m interested to see how a web

Is this CMS/Framework right for me?

I’ve figured I need to take a step back and re-analyse exactly what it is I’m looking for. There are now a lot of CMSs and frameworks in the market, all boasting about exactly the same. The most irritating claim of all is: “Framework/CMS XXYY is designed to make life as easy as possible to develop your robust, user-friendly websites” … REALLY? NEVER! The time has come where some investigation is needed to separate the men from the boys. What

Beginning MODx

Documentating my research of MODx CMF. I will blog some more in my own words when I know more about the system. I’ve highlighed the essential reading in bold. Help Sites Documentation: Wiki: Forums: The Project A very general overview of the goals of the project:,11800.0.html Pros and Cons: General Review: A 3 month review: MODx does a great job as a full featured CMS, but it’s true potential lies in it’s ability

Starting Afresh

I like shiney things. Things that make me go “ooo” and “ahhh”. For example I like Macs, and more suprisingly Windows Vista. It will come as no suprise then that I am a mad fan of using AJAX in my web sites and applications. Lets just recap on why Ajax is so ‘mega friggin awesome’! No more waiting for page loading. Web pages take about 2.5 seconds to download and another 1-2 to render depending on your computer hardware and