Ever since osCon08 we've been getting this question a lot. We even got it from the Drupal volunteers who essentially asked ‘with Drupal in the world, why would you even build another CMS?' I think the answer is pretty obvious from just watching the screencast or playing with the demo on concrete5.org, but here's some thoughts I've had with people via email recently:
We are thinking of using Drupal as a basis for a new portal/application server website and became aware of Concrete5.
I would be interested in a brief chat with someone regarding your views of the pros and cons of the two applications, and about some custom work and support for our projects if we decide to base it on Concrete5.
I think c5 is better than Drupal for any number of reasons:
1) It was a successful commercial product for years, so we were paid to throw bad ideas out. Most projects that are open source from the get go have to worry as much about politics as programming. We had the leisure of being paid to make mistakes and fix them for 5 years before giving the core framework away.
2) It actually does what you'd expect out of the box. Look we don't have thousands of developers working with it yet (I think?) but what's in c5 actually works well, it all looks and behaves as one, and it's going to let you solve 90% of the problems you're likely to run into building the average website. You don't have to be an expert in which module breaks which other modules in order to get a site built.
3) It's just as flexible and stable (arguably a good deal more so – but I'm not a Drupal expert and am obviously biased). I can say from my experiences and everything we've been hearing from the community it's a good deal easier and more enjoyable for the end site owner to use. That means a lot when you're waiting for a check – we know.
I'm sure there are a good many more reasons why so many people and shops are taking their Drupal powered sites and rebuilding them in c5, we'd love to hear them here. Is it just the UI, or is the development environment appealing as well? Is it the page types/themes architecture or just that permissions are bundled and you don't have to deal with thousands of competing modules? Is it our massively complete and impressive developer documentation?
We know a lot of people already prefer c5, reach out and tell us what we've done right and what we still need to work on. .. oh, and what you hate about Drupal, so we don't end up making the same mistakes as this grows.
SchoolPulse.com launched on time. We're cleaning up a lot of details around it, but we've also got a lot of c5 work to do. We need your help:
1) We're building a marketplace/community so if you're building blocks, making themes, or building sites with c5, tell us about yourself or your shop. There's a lot of exciting details around how this site will work, but we don't want to spill the beans. Suffice to say, you'll be able to sell stuff you've already made that works with c5, and you'll be able to find new work for hire as well. We'd like to launch this store with some real content, socontact us through the c5 site.
2) We're looking for solid hourly PHP contractors from around the world. We work online using a combination of IRC, IM, and a task management system – if you write great code we don't really care where you do it from. If that sounds like your cup of tea, we'll want to see a resume and an example of something you've written to work with c5. You can reach us in #concrete5 on efNet, or through the forms on concrete5.org
3) Hosting providers? We're rolling out another server to deal with the requests we're getting through concrete5.org, but in the picture – we'd love to have a partnership with an existing company for hosting. If you're part of a well established hosting company that's interesting in partnering, we'd love to hear from youtoo!
So exciting times folks! Just a couple of dashboard improvements left to do before we upload another build and drop the "beta" from the version number.
We've gone a little dark new builds of c5 since osCon because we've been fully dedicated to this rebuild of SchoolPulse.com. We're making it all out of c5 and it's gonna be sexy, easy to use, and provide a lot of great blocks back to the project. It's consumed every waking hour from everyone I know for the last two weeks and weekends. It's launching next week.
In the meantime, here's an email thread I had recently with a new c5 fan where I lay down some of the ideas and plans we've been putting together as we watch our baby take off here:
> General feedback was submitted to ConcreteCMS.com. Here is the information.
> Name: Dennis
> congrats on your CMS! we are impressed and actually thinking about using it for our clients.
> we are a design agency based sydney australia and have a variety of clients, from local hairdressers to government departments. we are looking to use an open source cms to use for our small to medium sites. your system so far seems to be the most user friendly one.
> I have worked with other systems before, like joomla and wordpress, etc. now all of them have a massive following and ten thousand different modules, while your system seems to have a limited amount of modules (which is actually quite nice). but what if we need a certain module? could you develop it for us and can we re-use it on projects?
> let's say a blog – writing an article, getting comments (display upon approval), etc – is something like this already developed? if not how much would it be – just an estimate as the specs are a bit vague obviously?
> and last but not least, would you feature us on your page as design partner if we return the favor?
> that's it for now from my side.
> looking forward to hearing from you.
It's nice to hear from more folk as excited about c5 as we are. Thanks!
In short – yes.
1) I think c5 would be perfect for your shop. We too have been frustrated by the lack of coherent control, or scalable architecture in many of the CMS solutions available. We plan to always keep the core of c5 simple and approachable. It's our belief that most website development challenges can be solved with a dozen or two well architected blocks, and that's what we'll be shooting for as we continue to get to the "perfect core" in 2008.
2) We do have a guestbook and blog structure in a previous version of concrete that we'll be migrating as part of that "core tools" library, I'm sure. Also slated for that: more easily customized navigation controls, multi-lingual interface, a cleaned up advanced permission model (which right now has to be turned on and isn't quite as elegant as the rest of c5.)… all sorts of more useful goodies..
3) We will be launching a marketplace for blocks and themes shortly as well. If you as a third party developer are interested in making and reselling either, you'll be able to do it there easily. We'll also have a job board and something similar to etsy.com's alchemy where you can request or pledge for developments to c5 that other developers could build for. We're thinking there will be a 10% commission for the c5 core team, and there may be paid placement opportunities on that site as it matures as well.
4) There will also be a hosting site. It won't be the cheapest place in town, but it will have a very stable centralized version of c5 running with some nice backup/redundancy options.
5) I would love to feature your email and this reply on our blog at concreteTheStudio.com if that's amenable to you. Show me some sites built out of c5 and we'll talk about the Support page of concrete5.org, if you're interested in that as well.
if you're ever in pdx, beers on me.
ps: i love your site. nicely done.
Well no one on our end posted to you, because you're quite clear that Beta projects shouldn't be posted in your rules… and yes.. we read rules.. sometimes.
However, someone from your end must of been at osCon because we appeared on your site a few days ago. Here's a snapshot of our google analytics for the last month:
Gotta say, we were gonna wait till we had a release we were calling final before posting to you,OpenSourceCMS.com. The fact that we just magically showed up is great! We'll just take that as a pat on the back that what we consider Beta is pretty damn stable, and we'd like to say thanks.
(ps: hey reader, wanna help? vote for us on their site. when they first added us they linked to our demo in such a way that it wouldn't work so we got some low votes that are messing up our average.)
Just a quickie video I put together over the weekend of our experience at OsCon this year. Thanks o'Reilly!
So we're all home relaxing after two grueling days at OSCON. Maybe "grueling" is the wrong word; we had a great time and met a lot of really interesting people, and we got to talk our jaws off about Concrete5. (The phrase "PHP-based content management system" becomes kind of a tongue-twister after a while.) I didn't get much of a chance to check out the other exhibitors' booths, because we had a constant stream of people checking out our stuff and I felt compelled to verbally inundate them all with how great Concrete5 is. I did, however, get a chance to utterly destroy Franz at a two-foot-high game of chess, met and Facebook-friended Facebook, and gave a whole lot of people screwdrivers. If any of you OSCON attendees find your way over here, thanks for giving Concrete5 such a warm reception. We're worn out, but we had a blast.
Looks like some of the emerging c5 community is starting to talk about what we're doing on their own blogs.. here's a couple of the posts we've found, by all means comment if we missed ya:
I'm reading Ray Kurzweil who says the the Singularity is Near. While nay-sayers claim his science is questionable, I say he sounds pretty bright to me. The basic gist is because of exponential growth in technology (ie Moore's law) we're on the cusp of revolutionary changes in what it means to be human. We will transcend our bodies through technologies ranging from advanced medical DNA engineering to nano technology and the internet itself. We will become immortal within 20 years. (…says Ray)
I'm perusing an issue of Wired where they talk about Petaflops and the end of science as the process of discovery changes from "hypothesis -> proof" to "real model -> observation." By connecting billions of people with billions of computers and cell phones, you create a global network that is quite similar to the human brain but on a much more massive, and speedy scale. Computer processors got faster than human synapses in the late 90's. Your brain still has billions more neurons than your computer has switches in its processor, but if you start connecting everyone's computer through the internet you can imagine the computers beating us before long. The internet = huge brain.
The more self expression and meaning that can be digitized on various cross linked web sites, the more complex the system becomes. At some point you get complex enough to call it "conscious." Have a hard time believing that the only thing that makes us conscious is complexity? Is a flat worm conscious? Nope. How about a monkey? Well that's got personality. Both have neurons its simply a question of quantity and cross connections.
Well, on the internet cross connections are most easily expressed in HTML. For better or worse, hypertext as expressed through a combination of HTML, XML, and CSS is the best way we have for documenting the meaning and cross connections of the content that makes humanity interesting. Making web pages = good. Think of it as a kid with a tiny brain figuring out how things go together. Learning is work. Twittering, blogging, sprucing up your mySpace page – that's all worthy contributions to the group consciousness. One day we'll all be immortal thanks to your selfless labor and kewl cat pictures.
The only downer is blogs, twittering and social networking sites kinda suck. Building a website the way you want to and being able to edit the copy without learning complex tools is key. You can't expect a kid to learn, playing one game over and over again. In my eyes, blogs are nice because they're easy to use – but the price you pay is your creativity is very limited. What we need is a more flexible way for people to easily edit web sites that don't have to be blogs. ie, concrete5.
Ergo, use concrete5 – it's going to replace your brain one day.
No, not for us. We already have a new logo. No, the logo I'm talking about is for Wal-Mart:
It's interesting they ditched the hyphen – makes sense though, since I could never remember if Walmart was spelled with one or not. The iconic Walmart star is present, but they've moved it from the middle. Upon seeing this logo with the star at the end, the first thing I thought of was an asterisk, meant to denote some bit of trivia or impart a cautionary reminder about the company in question.
(* – May prove hazardous to liberals, leftists, protectionists and yuppies.)
(* – Prolonged exposure may lead to nerve damage.)
(* – Watch for falling prices…or reap the whirlwind.)
(* – Surgeon General Recommends a Lifestyle Free of Excessive Bargains.)
And so on… Any you want to add?