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Australia Government IT

Australian Government To Standardise On Drupal 102

Posted by timothy
from the rhymes-with-pupal dept.
angry tapir (1463043) writes "The Australian government is eyeing the introduction of a government-wide content-management system, with the preferred choice almost certain to be Drupal. Government documents indicate that part of the appeal is that Drupal modules can be easily shared between government agencies and with the public."
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Australian Government To Standardise On Drupal

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  • by BitterOak (537666) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @03:04AM (#46965167)

    Working with drupal is a nightmare. Drupal 8 is looking much better but all below are just terrible to work with.

    As opposed to what? WordPress? Joomla? Drupal does have a steeper learning curve than some of the other open source CMS's but it has more flexibility, and if you're going to standardize on one, that flexibility is important. I'm curious to know if you have a specific alternative in mind.

  • Django. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mozumder (178398) on Saturday May 10, 2014 @03:20AM (#46965195)

    Easy to learn (as long as you know programming) and ridiculously flexible and simple compared to Drupal, with the ability to scale up to more complex frameworks with apps. Pretty sure the Australian government is targeting this for more complex frameworks, instead of just blogs.

    Django itself is more of an app development environment, although using it for blogging and such would be as simple as adding one of the existing blogging apps to it, or you could roll your own with a few lines of code.

    The Django tutorial is great... so glad I found it after looking at Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, and other less popular ones.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2014 @03:23AM (#46965201)

    Disclaimer: Website developer that has used Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress, not liking any of them.

    I find that Silverstripe [silverstripe.org] to be a pretty neat CMS for developers and clients. Find it much easier to work with than the other major players like you listed.

    The New Zealand Government [silverstripe.com] actually use Silverstripe themselves and they seem to be pretty happy.

    Seriously though, it is actually enjoyable to work with for the variety of projects I have used it for. In time like the others, it might reach a point that it is no longer fantastic to work with and at that point, I will find the next system to adopt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2014 @03:38AM (#46965239)

    Coding a custom CMS is a start. Programming web-based systems isn't that hard. I do it for a living, but I use Wordpress or Joomla when the customer wants it. Generally a custom CMS offers better flexibility - if you have a competent web staff that knows how to code, you can get something slick finished pretty quickly.

    There's a lot of fear mongering when it comes to picking CMSes in the first place. Generally you will see people that aren't qualified to make decisions force technical staff members into a corner to "standardize" things, pissing everyone off equally. These types of decisions, in my opinion, should be left to the individual web teams that serve these separate units of government throughout the country. They have to use it every day - let them decide.

    It doesn't sound like the Australian Government even knows what it needs a CMS for. At the end of the day, KISS is the best practice to follow. They're just webpages after all. You don't need a CMS that has 26,000 modules (point was made in the article) to plop up a website with a slideshow, a bunch of PDF files, an event listing, different pages full of text. You only need to determine what you want your website to do and let the technical staff make the best choice. One CMS to rule them all is quite stupid in this case, because they think they're solving a problem that doesn't really exist. They also think there will be some kind of magical collaboration that will save everyone money.

    http://agov.com.au/features - Half of the features on this page are purely fluff, pointless, or outright misleading:

    1.) Reponsive design - Responsive design is tied to the template and CSS - not the fucking CMS.
    2.) Event management - every CMS out there features some kind of event management plugin, or you can just code one yourself. This isn't a good reason to "standardize" on. Again, let the web team working on the site pick the best option.
    3.) Feature carousel - They're ... image sliders. Really now? This is a reason? Every Australian Government website must have this eh?
    4.) Rich content editing - Good, finally they found one reason to standardize their CMS onto every agency - because this is such a huge problem with CMSes - wait, what? No, it's not.

    You know, there's more to this than the stuff I managed to quickly slap together at 3:30 AM.

    My viewpoint is the following:
    Making blanket assumptions on how things are used and forcing decisions across an entire Government will only lead to unhappy workers, stifling of innovation, and harm to other great CMSes and developers out there.

    That said, if every agency felt that Drupal was their best option... so be it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2014 @02:21PM (#46968055)

    There's plenty of PHP, ASP.NET, Django, Java, etc. developers out there. I would argue that there would be fewer developers for something like Joomla than it's parent programming language - PHP. This is because a Joomla developer needs to understand the idiosyncrasies of the CMS itself. They also need to understand how PHP works. So at the very least, they need to be able to code in PHP, otherwise you've just hired a crappy Joomla developer that probably Googles everything and copy and pastes stuff.

    Coding a custom CMS or "reinventing the wheel" does have benefits. It provides security benefits by having less code, less eyeballs looking at the code, and alternative ways of configuration that may lead to better security (how it works with different server modules and such). It also allows for more rapid bug fixes for problems that arise, rather than waiting for a fix for 3 months after submitting it to a bug tracker.

    You also have to think about how important the website is. Does this website provide a basic press release listing, PDF files, and a couple of pages? It probably doesn't need a massive CMS.

    Let the web team decide what they would like to work with.

  • by brantondaveperson (1023687) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @02:22AM (#46970791) Homepage

    Silverstripe is great, I've used it quite a bit and it does stand head & shoulders above the competition. But, possibly this is because it's written in PHP, it's dog-slow. Odd that the four comments above are all AC...

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