[pmwiki-users] Meetup? Drupal?

Crisses crisses at kinhost.org
Thu Sep 28 09:04:13 CDT 2006

On Sep 28, 2006, at 9:08 AM, Stirling Westrup wrote:

> Yesterday I was at a local club meeting and some folks were talking
> about setting up a CMS to manage a website for the club. It would have
> the usual features of news and articles, but they were also hoping to
> use it to replace meetup.com which they are currently using to inform
> folks of venue and time changes (of which there have been many).
> I'm not exactly sure how that would be done in PmWiki, but I suggested
> that we use it anyway because
>   a) I like it, and
>   b) I figured it couldn't be too hard.
> I'm thinking that a good solution would use something like FASTData so
> that folks could register for the newsletter and/or meeting updates
> (with double opt-in) and use PmCal or similar to display event  
> dates on
> the site. Like meetup we'd also want user profiles and RSVP  
> feedback for
> meeting attendance. There was also talk about using the site to  
> manage a
> discussion list. Does anyone have any suggestions about best ways of
> doing all this?
> Secondly, someone else suggested that we use Drupal instead, not  
> because
> of any particular familiarity with it (as far as I could tell) but
> because its well known and has a large user base. I've never used  
> it but
> I've heard its hard to install and set-up and would like to hear the
> opinions of anyone here who's used it. I'm not really interested in
> trashing it, but I would like to have some (reasonably) objective pros
> and cons to put forward before a decision is made.
> I've agreed to put together a simple demonstration site to show how it
> might work under PmWiki and I'm interested in any advice folks have.

My primary business is application installation, customization and  

I've looked at a bunch of CMS systems.  Weighed their pros & cons.

I rejected Drupal because I wanted a business directory once and  
couldn't find a good module for it.  That really frustrated me.

I rejected Joomla! (and hence Mambo) because, while their best  
business directory ($99) was ok they have a set number of user groups  
out of the box.  Extending to customizable user groups requires  
breaking the package and comes with NO guarantees that other modules  
(purchased or not) would continue to work after.  That went right  
into the trash.  If ANYONE wants a license for a Joomla business  
directory package I'd be glad to pass on the license at a  
considerable discount and recoup my loss, since I never used it....

I then went to Xoops.  I like Xoops.  It's not as pretty out-of-the- 
box (Joomla is pretty!), but it's extensible, has multiple groups out- 
of-the-box, tons of plug-ins, and I feel like it's a true free-OSS  
package with the same type of giving community I experience with  
PmWiki.  Their package is built with a basic core and EVERY feature  
is a plug-in.  You opt to install the features you want.  All the  
plug-ins are independent.  You don't have to break the core package  
to add an extension (Joomla & oscommerce are guilty as charged!).

I come back after that to PmWiki.  I love PmWiki and greatly look  
forward to the day I can give out PmWiki instead of even Xoops to  
paying clients, as a CMS, shopping cart, and otherwise.

I think that FASTData is young, and in spite of how Caveman gushes  
about how easy it is you're looking at more work than you think to  
create the features you want at this particular moment.  I've been  
working on http://www.similepedia.com for weeks now -- far outside of  
my deadline -- because PmWiki is changing so rapidly right now and  
I'm waiting on upcoming features to finish the package for my client.

However, you may want to fall back on the stable version of PmWiki  
and features that PmWiki does already have.  One forum package is  
broken in the latest releases, but if you fall back to the latest  
2.1.x stable, you have forums there.  Other plug-ins you mentioned  
are stable.  If you feel confident about doing user logins with  
PmWiki, go for it, but if not I suggest hooking a tiny external  
newsletter package manager in with something that manages using the  
same data to log in with PmWiki.  Or have user logins separate from  
their newsletter subscriptions.  A package I evaluated that looks  
good for newsletter management is Koops mailing list -- looks clean,  
small, just does exactly what it needs to to manage a mailing list  
and opt-outs, and nothing more.  Simple to plug-in to a PmWiki  
template.  That's all you need.  Heck, I'll probably hook it in to my  
MySQL sign-on app (which works on the stable PmWiki) eventually so  
that the mailing list & opt out ties directly in with user account  

So, that's my professional recommendation(s) for you.  Check out  
Xoops if you're not using PmWiki.  If you go with PmWiki, build your  
PmWiki install around stable packages, and upgrade to something  
fancier and with more features when the dust settles and Caveman has  
time to put up some terrific code samples and document things better  
for those of us still scratching our heads.


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