All posts by ibalasi

Drupal vs. Joomla

drupal-vs-joomla

Overview

This is a comparison of two popular open source content management systems:  Drupal and Joomla.  There has always a debate in the open source community about which CMS is better.  This research and review analyzes and give recommendations on which CMS will best fit your company’s needs and goals.

Drupal

Product Information
Product Name: Drupal

Company Name: Drupal.org

Supported Platform and System Requirements

Web Server:

Apache (Recommended): Drupal requires Apache 1.3 or Apache 2.x hosted on Unix/Linux,OSX, or Windows.  Apache is recommended since the majority of development and deployment is on an Apache environment, that said,  the Drupal community has tested and has more experience on  this server.  You can also take advantage of some Apache extensions, like mod_rewrite, which allows clean URLs that help sites in search engine rankings.

Microsoft IIS: Drupal will work using IIS5, IIS6, or IIS7 as long as PHP is configured correctly.  With IIS you can use Microsoft URL rewrite module or a third party solution.  Fastcgi must be used when using Drupal in IIS7.

Database Server:

MySQL: Drupal 5.x and earlier supports MySQL 3.23.17 or higher. MySQL 4.1 or higher is strongly recommended.

Drupal 6 supports MySQL 4.1 or higher.

Drupal 7 will only support MySQL 5.0.15 or higher, and requires the PDO database extension for PHP.

PostgreSQL: Drupal 6 supports PostgreSQL 7.1 or higher

Drupal 7 will only support PostgreSQL 8.3 or higher

PHP 5.2.6 for Windows has a bug in its pgsql extension. You will need to replace it with the php_pgsql.dll from version 5.2.5.

SQLite 3.x – Only supported on Drupal 7

Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle – supported by an additional module

PHP: PHP version 4.4.0 or higher for Drupal 5 and Drupal 6, PHP 5.2.5 or higher for Drupal 7

Price: Free

How to Order: Download at drupal.org (http://drupal.org/node/3060/release)

Overview:

Drupal is an open source content management system that lets you build everything from simple information websites to enterprise applications.  It is free, powerful, flexible, robust, and has a big community that helps improve the software constantly.  It has a large collection of modules that are add-ons for Drupal, allowing it to extend, build, and customize the functionality.

Drupal is written in PHP which is a programming language popular in creating web sites.  It works well with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and requires a database such as MySQL Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and PostreSQL.

Key Features:

  • High quality platform, code, and API (easy to integrate with other solutions)
  • Can be used on multiple sites with one installation
  • Friendly URLs which helps in SEO
  • Very secure when installed
  • Good documentation
  • Very flexible and can run community and membership sites
  • High profile sites use Drupal (e.g., BBC, Nasa, Sony, FastCompany, NY Observer)

Technical Support: Drupal Community Forum, support mailing list, other drupal sites. There are several commercial companies providing Drupal support (e.g., Acquia).  They usually charge $50-150/hour.

Joomla

Product Information
Product Name:  Joomla
Company Name: Joomla.org

Supported Platforms and System Requirements (Joomla 1.5):

Web Server:

Apache : Joomla  requires Apache 1.3 or above hosted

Microsoft IIS: Joomla will work with IIS 6,7, and 7.5

Database:

MySQL: MySQL is the principle choice but other types of database may work with the necessary configuration

PHP: PHP version 4.3.1 or higher

Price: Free

How to Order: Download at http://www.joomla.org/download.html

Overview:

Joomla is an open source content management system (CMS) for publishing content on the web.  It is written in PHP and uses object-oriented programming techniques and stores data in a MySQL database.  This CMS also comprises a model-view-controller (MVC) web application framework.

There are a lot of possibilities for Joomla given the fact that it has 6,000 free and commercial plug-ins available in the Joomla directory and other sources.  It also has a big selection of  design themes.

Key Features:

  • Easy learning curve, install, and setup
  • Intuitive admin user interface
  • Built in WYSIWIG editor
  • Developer community is large
  • Modules are easy to install
  • Editing the content is very simple and easy
  • Big selection of very well designed templates

Technical Support: Joomla community forum and other Joomla sites. There are several commercial companies that provide technical support.  They usually charge $50-150/hour.

Advantages and Drawbacks

Codebase:

Drupal – small codebase

Joomla – 8x bigger than Drupal

Content Management System:

Drupal – has a free add-on for workflow management and allows unlimited category levels, tagging, and categorization. Drupal has the ability to create multiple types of content with different features.

Joomla – very nice user interface admin.  Joomla has three levels of categorization versus unlimited levels in Drupal.  Flexibility in Joomla can be achieved using CCK module.

Template/Themes: One of Joomla’s biggest advantages is its big selection of free and commercial designs.  Drupal’s choices are limited by comparison and some of the choices are not as nicely designed as the Joomla themes.

Drupal and Joomla – Commercial templates price ranges from $50-$5,000. Custom built design can cost from $5,000-$50,000 depending on the scope of the project.

High Traffic: Joomla and Drupal can handle high traffic sites.  There are instances where Joomla destabilizes, but this has to do with the hosting and management of the site. It is always good to invest in a reputable hosting company and a site manager with considerable experience in handling Drupal and/or Joomla—supported sites.

Plugins (ability to extend CMS): Joomla has an edge on this. Drupal has enough plugins to do most of the job you will need in a CMS but it does not have as many plugins as Joomla.

Joomla has a vast range of free and commercial plugins: approximately 5,000.  This allows Joomla to extend its capability.  For example, some plugins can turn a Joomla site into a news portal, social media site, or travel site, among other things.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Drupal – URLs work well without need of plugins. Also, the code is lightweight and optimized.

Joomla – It is not like Drupal where you can configure it out-of-the-box.  With Joomla you need various plugins to do well with SEO.

Multisites Management:

Drupal – included in the CMS

Joomla – there are plugins for multisite management but very unstable and expensive.

Learning Curve: The learning curve for Drupal is steeper than Joomla.  Drupal is known for its power and flexibility, not for ease of use.  Joomla is known for its ease of use and shallow learning curve.  It is one of the easiest CMS to configure.

Documentation: Drupal and Joomla both have good documentation.

Stability: Drupal has an advantage here.  Joomla is stable as long as you don’t load it with too many plugins when exposed to high loads.  There are so many plugins available in Joomla, which often results in a tendency to overload it with plugins.  Several of these plugins are not the highest quality and can cause instability.

Media Capability: Joomla has better media capability.  It is known in the open source community to have a big selection of plugins for streaming media.  Drupal has media capabilities but it is not as powerful as Joomla.

Event Calendars: Drupal’s selection is not as big as Joomla’s collection of event calendar plugins.   Joomla has high quality plugins that are available commercially and for free.

Summary

Drupal and Jooomla clearly have their strengths and weaknesses.

Joomla is excellent for basic to complex websites. It has a large community and a large user base. Joomla has proven to be a very good open source CMS.   The modules collection of Joomla is large, which allows Joomla to extend its capabilities to go from a regular site to community or ecommerce site.

Drupal is an excellent choice for companies looking to build not just websites but a community of sites.   A lot of high profile sites are using Drupal, which makes it a strong CMS with proven stability and reliability.

Both Drupal and Joomla are free but this does not mean that implementing it will have no cost.  Technical support, design, and hosting are the costs that will be involved in implementing the CMS.  Both of them have the same price range.

Another JQuery Form Validation Project

I am planning to use the jquery plugin form validation in one of my projects. The link below seems to be a good example. I haven’t tried it out yet but from what I see on my first glance this one is easy to implement.

http://www.position-absolute.com/articles/jquery-form-validator-because-form-validation-is-a-mess/

Basic SVN Commands

#-----------------
# start svn server
#-----------------
sudo -u www /sw/bin/svnserve -d -r /Users/al/svnrepo

#-------------------
# checkout a project
#-------------------
svn checkout svn://localhost/project1

#-------------------
# basic svn commands
#-------------------
svn up             # svn update
svn add [file]     # svn add
svn ci -m "msg"    # svn commit
svn log

#--------------------------
# file/directory management
#--------------------------
svn copy foo bar
svn mkdir foo
svn mv foo bar
svn rm foo

#------
# other
#------
svn status
svn diff
svn revert
svn info
svn list URL
svn list svn://localhost/

MIS-645: Globalization Paper

“It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.” – Kofi Annan, 7th Secretary General of the United Nations

Summary:

The rapid change in technology has brought different benefits and challenges to IT leaders. The article “Globalization: New Management Challenges Facing IT Leaders” talks about these different challenges and gives the readers different insights on how CIOs approaches these challenges.

These days CIOs have broader geographic responsibilities. In the case of Wayne Shurts, Cadbury’s CIO, his responsibilities span from Pakistan to Palau and globe-trotting from his home in New Jersey to the London headquarters and to operations in six continents. Emerging markets and setting up IT infrastructures in different parts of the world poses different challenges, different propositions, and creative solutions. The key is understanding the company’s business model and providing a solution that will benefit the company’s global market both economically and culturally.

The mindset for global CIOs is, “Know what you’re up against.” What is applicable in one country is not necessarily adaptable to another. A good example of this is Cadbury IT that uses sophisticated tools to analyze money spending on corporate programs which they use for promotions. This doesn’t mean that the tools they used in United States can be used in India or South America as the market there is entirely different. Mom-and-Pop shop rules in India and South America versus big retail stores in USA, Canada, and Australia.

Culture is another important element that global CIOs need to keep in mind. Different countries have different sets of cultures that can affect turnaround time. In some cultures, urgency does not drive day-to-day business, which means that employees in that culture may require more supervision to get things done. Employee retention is also dependent in the culture of a country which sets another big challenge in keeping trained and highly skilled professionals.

Rethinking the norms can be both challenging and beautiful. Challenges in emerging markets are what a global CIO are expected to thrive on. The challenges and solutions that CIOs handle are hardly ever learned from a working environment that exists in an established and developed market. But the opportunity of learning and finding solutions to these emerging markets is what makes the situation beautiful. CIOs are forced to test their assumptions about their existing practices and in the process might even develop an idea that works better globally.

Contribution:

“The whole pace of business is moving faster. Globalization is forcing companies to do things in new ways.” – Bill Gates

The article contributes by giving insight on what the challenges of globalization are. It paints a picture of what effective globalization looks like from the perspective of the person responsible for its effectiveness. It also illustrates the common challenges of globalization: culture, local staffing, IT infrastructure, technology, smaller budgets, and target markets. But the biggest contribution of the article is enlightenment: that Globalization, challenges and all, is a reality and that it is changing the way we should run our businesses, and ultimately, how we perceive the world. As part of the maturation process of globalization we are faced with different challenges, and as strategies and implementations may succeed or fail, CIOs and IT professionals must try and to be a part of it instead fearing it or just watching it happen without them.

Integration:

Markets have different needs and demands. This is why the article emphasizes that you should know what you are up against and understanding what is applicable in that emerging market.

The Strassman video about outsourcing clearly indicates that it is not always profitable and does not always equate to lower costs. There are effects that should be considered in decision making that will make outsourcing work effectively.

This is exactly what Cadbury did. The company understands that the market in the US, Australia, and Canada are laser focused in terms of trade promotion management. The tools used in these established markets do not necessarily apply to the markets in India and South America. Cadbury’s businesses in those regions are driven by mostly mom-and-pop shops, which do not necessarily require the use of sophisticated tools. Instead of investing money on the infrastructure, training, licensing, and implementation of unnecessarily sophisticated tools, the focus can be shifted to tools that simply determine correct delivery routes, make sales calls, and take orders.

Culture is another element that must always be placed in the equation. The article illustrates this point with an example from John Topete’s experience in Dubai. The expression “Insha Allah” is a concept that is foreign for American CIOs. The 50/50 answer that something would actually happen is not part of the business norms in America but is part of the business norms in Dubai. This is part of the tabula rasa where you really don’t know what to expect until you get there.

The video of Thomas Friedman “The other side of outsourcing” touches the culture aspects of outsourcing but from the point of view of India. We have learned from the video that people from India also need to adjust and learn the American culture for them to be more effective in communicating in call centers. This just simply shows that in globalization both parties need to learn and adjust to new ways for this process to be effective.

Critique/Analysis:

Technology has simply changed the way we live. There are so many challenges have risen and are yet to arise as our world embraces globalization.

Anyone who has an internet connection can simply get a job in the US and offer the same skill-set of a US -based person at a fraction of the cost. This is exactly what Thomas Friedman explains in his video “The world is flat”. There are 10 flatteners that levels the playing field. Among the 10 there are 3 flatteners that are applicable to the topics that we have discussed in class. These are: outsourcing, insourcing, and supply chain.

Outsourcing simply allowed companies split services and manufacturing into components which can be subcontracted. This has become easier with the boom of the world wide web and the implementation of fiber optics. Another proof that technology changed the way we live.

Friedman’s example of supply chain is WalMart, a company using technology that perfected item sales, distribution, and shipping.

UPS is the company Friedman uses for insourcing where the company’s employees perform services beyond shipping for another company. As an example Friedman cited that UPS repairs Toshiba computers on behalf of Toshiba. Work is done at the UPS hub.

These three flatteners I have mentioned are just some elements global CIOs need to understand. By studying how other companies have successfully implemented such new practices into an emerging market, CIOs can learn from other companies’ mistakes to minimize their own. Such practices can be applied to some industries and may not be applicable to others.

Globalization has not only made CIOs adapt to new practices but also open doors to new technology and innovation. The technology I am talking about is Social Media and Web 2.0. More and more ideas are being brought to life because of online collaboration. Web 2.0 properties are being created because it is a lot easier for someone who has a great idea to hire someone to turn his idea into a fully functional website. This simply shows that not only big companies can take advantage of globalization but people like us can benefit from it and turn ideas into profit.

Lessons Learned:

As technology changes our lives a new set of challenges arise. While we learn to adapt to these changes CIOs also need to learn new processes and rethink how their company is doing business.

Globalization has challenges but it also brings new opportunities. Though some consider globalization to be disadvantageous to United States manufacturing, many simply agree that old economy is just simply being replaced by a new economy that forces businesses to adapt in globally creative ways.

A majority would agree that many jobs are disappearing because of globalization. But by analyzing and understanding the situation one would see that it opens new jobs as well. I believe that with the emergence of new jobs Americans need to keep updating their workforce, making us more employable and adaptable.

CIOs must understand the challenges of emerging markets. From cultural differences, local staffing, technological challenges, smaller budgets and target markets these factors are part of the challenges the new breed of CIOs will face as we transform into a global economy.

CSS Sliding Door

Implemented sliding door on one of my CSS work. Creating screenshots and writing it up is time consuming. In case anyone is interested here is a link regarding the concept: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/slidingdoors/

Here is a sample code that is doing the sliding door trick:

[sourcecode language=”css”]
#header{
overflow:hidden;
padding-bottom:30px;
}

#header ul {
float:right;
list-style:none;
margin-top:30px;
}

#header ul li {
float:left;
margin-left:10px;
padding: 10px 0 10px 12px;
}

#header ul li a {
color: #fff;
text-decoration:none;
font-size:20px;
padding: 10px 14px 10px 2px;
}

#header ul li.active {background:url(images/nav-left.jpg) no-repeat left;
}

#header ul li.active a {background: url(images/nav-right.jpg) no-repeat right;
}
[/sourcecode]