The Ironism

The Ironism


The lair of Lars J. Nilsson. Contains random musings on beer, writing and this thing we call life.

September 2006
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CMS Hell; Part V; Magnolia

fungrimfungrim

This is a series of post starting here, in which I look at different CMS installations and despair.Magnolia came in late in my research but I immediately started thinking that I perhaps had found something good. As several other systems it comes with one “community” version and one “enterprise” version, but I don’t mind as long as the feature set isn’t too crippled on the community install.The Good

The Semi-Good

The Semi-Bad

The Bad

ConclusionVery good package. And probably a winner. I really like the cleanliness. And the the easy page administration (saves a lot of support time). I like the templating. On the downside, I’ll be looking for 3rd party modules if I need them and may be forced to write my own, but I would need to do so in any case for any system to a certain extent, so that is only a minor scratch on the whole. Multilingual content? Well, considering the competition Magnolia comes out smelling of roses, I’d much rather take an honest “no, but it easy to do”, than a “yes, but it is rather complicated”.

The proprietor of this blog. Lunchtime poet, former opera singer, computer programmer. But not always in that order. Ask me again tomorrow.

    Comments 6
    • Boris
      Posted on

      Boris Boris

      Author

      I am glad you like Magnolia. Maybe some hints to open questions:the community is alive and kicking, so I guess you really have not found it ;-)Check out the mailing list, thats where we gather (except last weekend we gathered on the first ever Magnolia Geek.Meet which was a great success)Details:http://www.magnolia.info/en/magnolia/developer.html(some 9000 mails in the archive)Info on how to use other databases is found in the wiki. It is very easy for instance to switch to BerkleyDB (recommended) you need to download the (BDB-) jar and change a setting in the repository.xml, thats itI did not quite get your “cluttering of URLS” comment. You can either do something like author.magnolia.info and http://www.magnolia.info or http://www.magnolia.info/author and /Its possible (but rather undocumented) to use a single instance (no staging) setup, although that means all changes go live immediately – probably not what you want. You would need to change your templates to check for a different condition to render the edit band new-bars, thats basically it.About modules: yes that is true, we do not have much to show there at the moment. However, it is so easy to write a couple of lines in a JSP template and use this as a custom paragraph that this solves many requirements.Currently two additional modules exist in svn (our source code store) – one for external user registration and one forum – both need work on the GUI and work for 2.1.5 not 3.0 but they are there and do work (they are in production)Another reason for the lack of modules is that the module mechanism has been a rather late addition to Magnolia and will only now (keep fingers crossed) be properly documented – after the 3.0 final release in the coming days.HTHBest RegardsBoris


    • fungrim
      Posted on

      fungrim fungrim

      Author

      Well, as I only had two days to find something among all the alternatives, I mainly looked at documentation and “community sites” and not so much on the mail lists. I’ll better myself… :-)Regarding cluttering URLs. What I meant was this: The default install will have the author and public sites side by side, and it does seem like a natural thing to do. However, given my requirement of multilanguage content I’d end up with “/site/sv/index.html” and “/site/en/index.html” just for the first page. The “/site” bit seems a bit superflous then. However, as you point out, and I also pointed out, it can be worked around. but not without some tinkering.And… Thanks for the reply!


    • Dave
      Posted on

      Dave Dave

      Author

      I currently do not recommend Magnolia after reviewing it for a week. After three attempts to run through the custom template design tutorial I have been able to crash the program so bad we had to re-install it three times.The software does not seem to validate its own database settings so that if you alter template object properties incorrectly you break the program to an extent that requires re-installation, as the admin shell will not load.Also community support for the product is invisible. And I mean a simple forum to participate does not exist, even on the corporate website.


    • Boris
      Posted on

      Boris Boris

      Author

      Well, this is a really old thread by now, but for what its worth – we are now at Magnolia 4.3, and probably all the semi-good/semi-bad/bad arguments have long been invalidated.The current generation of Magnolia CMS provides you with more features than you can shale a stick at so I suggest you hop over to our site http://www.magnolia-cms.com and check it our for yourself.PS: we just introduced “Magnolia Store” – providing direct access to available modules from within our administrative environment.


    • Joe
      Posted on

      Joe Joe

      Author

      I’m sorry Boris but this just isn’t the case. I agree with dave above. This CMS is incredibly buggy and the support and instructions for installation are brief and ambiguous at best. There is absolutely no support or instructions for shared hosting installations (they automatically assume you are hosting your own servers)And besides a wiki that keeps rerouting people back to the corporate web pages there is no support community at all. There are no support forums and every single one of my developer friends and 3 godaddy Technical support specialists have never even heard of Magnolia CMS.So tell me Boris if I’m a business man who is looking for a good CMS solution, am I going to go with say Joomla which I can install right off my godaddy Control panel for free, get as much support as I would ever need on numerous FREE support forums and download over 1000s modules and extensions, the majority of which are also free… or am I going to go with a CMS that nobody has heard of, makes my buy an “enterprise” version in order to get any kind of support and forces me to pay for any extensions or modules I would want?hmmmm call it a hunch but I think any sensible business person is going to go with the former.hope that helps everyone else reading these.


    • Boris Kraft
      Posted on

      Boris Kraft Boris Kraft

      Author

      JoeI am sorry to hear that your experience has been below your expectations. You are right that we assume you have your own server; our target clientele are fortune 500 who are not really interested in go daddy contol panels.However, I and thousands of otters have installed Magnolia many times within minutes. To state it is totally buggy is neither correct nor helpful. If you find a real bug, report it on our issue tracker.We don’t compete with Joomla and if Joomla is all you need then by all means use it. Everybody has a different use case; not every system fits every use case.By the way, the community is using a mailing list not a forum, where everybody will get help for free. There is a forum interface available at various web services, for instance nabble or gmane.We recently published a tutorial how to install Magnolia and customize it – you can find it at web reference.com. For people that prefer the simplicity of a go daddy control panel, there is an amazon cloud deployment available from headewire, a community member. Headwire also provides you with a single click installer and a module that allows you to choose between more than 100 templates.regarding your claim that all modules cost money this is simply not the case. We have a simple and proven business model called dual (or layered) licensing that provides a free community edition and a commercial enterprise edition. There are functional differences but the main driver for the enterprise edition is the client/vendor relationship and garanteed support. Many modules are provided by the community and by Magnolia that are free, including an amazing digital asset management by Openmind or Blossom, a marvelous Spring integration. Granted, this goes beyond Joomla but that is were Magnolia shines.I think a sensible business person uses what makes sense for their use case. I am afraid that your quoted friends don’t work on sites for the navy, Sony playstation or Texas state university which runs more than 200 sites with more than 700 authors on Magnolia. Ask them if Magnolia is buggy and if they wouldn’t prefer Joomla. They will probably think you must be out of your mind (no offense).Enjoy joomla while it suffices your needs. Meanwhile thanks for your comments, I understand that we need to further lower the barrier of entry and we plan to do so.RegardsBoris