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Re: [school-discuss] Website admin for students

On Wednesday 17 March 2004 02:42 pm, Randy Edwards wrote:
> > Garry - have you tried PHP Nuke?
>     I have extensive experience with the various *Nuke CMSs.  My
> recommendation would be to use PostNuke <http://www.postnuke.com> instead
> of PHP-Nuke.  PostNuke (PN) is a rewrite of PHP-Nuke and the code is far
> cleaner and more organized.  This results in some speed improvements and
> additional security and logical layout.  And like PHP-Nuke, PN also has a
> large and active user and developer community.
> > I've seen many posting about Zope.  Do you know how the two compare?
> > What has been your experience using Zope?  In other words, would you
> > recommend it for a relative newbie?
>     The Nuke CMSs' aren't equivalent to Zope.  Zope is a complete web app
> server system.  An equivalent to *Nuke would be Plone
> <http://www.plone.org>, a Zope CMS "product".
>     One slick Zope feature is that it allows nice granular access to
> various portions of the web server.  Sure, you can do this with Apache's
> .htaccess files and authorization, but it's far easier with Zope.  Things
> like letting a secretary have access to just the portions of the web site
> so she can upload school board meeting minutes or allowing the science club
> teacher to have access just to his club's pages is a snap under Zope.
>     Plone brings a lot of promise and CMS capabilities to a Zope system,
> but IMHO it isn't as admin-friendly as a *Nuke system.  Things like
> changing the look and feel extensively is more involved with Plone, and
> Plone, like all of Zope, can involve some Python knowledge.
>     PostNuke (and the other *Nuke variants) is aimed at more of a typical
> admin or novice.  Plus, the *Nuke CMSs have dozens of modules for
> everything from slick event calendars to alumni modules to even
> wrap-arounds for the Moodle <http://www.moodle.org> online class system. 
> The biggest downside is that the *Nuke systems don't have the easy/fine
> granularity of access that Zope/Plone has, but on the other hand, that
> might not be a critical problem.
>     My advice would be to seriously investigate PostNuke.  While that's my
> advice today, I think the Zope/Plone combination has a huge amount of
> long-term potential.  There are a couple of efforts to build educational
> portals with Plone, and in a year or so my recommendation hopefully would
> be different.

If you are considering other CMS options, you might want to also consider 
TYPO3 (http://typo3.org). It has a strong developer community, a fully 
modular feature set (load and unload "extensions" for everything from Web 
stats to e-cards to a php-BB forum clone within seconds), a finely-granulated 
permissions structure (user and group permissions, which can be restricted 
down to individual content elements, such as being able to only edit a single 
record in the entire site, but not able to even format the text styles), 
multiple templates per site, multiple domains/subdomains pointing to 
individual sections of the site, a RichText Editor in the backend, automatic 
and manual image processing and resizing, file uploading and editing 
capabilities, MS Office 2003 and OpenOffice document import-to-content 
converters, and can be used to create XHTML/508 compliant sites. There are 
even tutorials (video and textual) on the typo3.org site to show how a 
programmer can create  their own extensions and modify existing ones to add 
their own unique functionality.

It is being used and developed for many universities within the US, as well as 
numerous universities throughout Europe.

In my experience in training content editors, I've been able to train 
computer-savvy users in less than 5 minutes, and 
relatively-computer-illitterate users in less than 1/2 hour.

The downside is learning how to develop and set up your first site, as there 
are a lot of things that you can do. However, speaking as a non-programmer, I 
was able to set up my first basic functioning site within a week due to the 
extensive documentation, including video tutorials, located on the typo3.org 
site. It's expected for a programmer to need about a month to learn how to do 
some of the more complex things for setting up an installation and a site, 
but that isn't much compared to any of the other systems with the same amount 
of available features. The upside is that there are a lot of things you can 

There is also a list of consultants on the site that you can contact for 
assistance in setting up  a TYPO3 installation on your server, your TYPO3 
site, and even hosting plans for offsite development.