Initial sample Drupal sites to look at:

We are currently experimenting with them, so they are not an example of a final site.

Remember we have a Plone DICE site at:

Pros and Cons list

First off the general pros and cons of switching:

Sticking with Plone - Pros:

  • Less immediate work
  • Already does a lot of what we want out of the box
  • Sites already using it
  • Site creation reasonably intuitive

Sticking with Plone - Cons:

  • Becoming less popular within the University
  • Little local community support

Switching to Drupal - Pros:

  • Growing support within the Uni - IS, Physics
  • Uses better understood technology - PHP MySQL/Postgres
  • Local users are requesting it.
  • Already in use by inviduals/groups within Informatics -

Switching to Drupal - Cons:

  • Initial learning curve - though doesn't seem as bad as Plone
  • Possibility of porting existing Plone sites.
  • Would now be supporting 2 WCMSes
  • Publishers already know Plone. Some concepts/terminology in Drupal are different.
  • Some modules require a newer PHP than 5.1 (SL5), Drupal 7 requires MySQL 5.0.15 or PostgreSQL 8.3 (for database) and PHP Version 5.2 or higher.

Technical Pros and Cons:

Plone Pros -

  • Revision control
  • Staging edits/workflow
  • flexible, configurable
  • robust page linkage functionality
  • easy to use (in the simple cases)

Plone Cons -

  • Monolithic and opaque data store - data.fs
  • Complicated
  • Upgrades time-consuming
  • Possibly HTTPS caching problems (possibly fixed)

Drupal Pros -

  • Lots of additional modules
  • Does seem straightforward to modify templates/themes.
  • flexible, configurable

Drupal Cons -

  • Requires extra packages to provide equivalent Plone functionality (Drupal 7 may improve things)
  • Comprehensive investigation of functionality requires more time - eg Cosign auth not tested
  • image handling doesn't seem as good as Plone's, perhaps extra modules will help.
  • only simple permissions/delegation mechanisms
  • upgrades not straightforward, all contributed Third Party modules need to support new version before core is upgraded
  • major releases only "when ready", no scheduled timetable.

Additional Drupal Considerations

Workflow - default functionality is minimal - need to look at something better

Authorisation - Can we have the ITO manage /teaching and sysman /systems for example? ("better support for multi-site installations" in Drupal 7)

WYSIWIG editor - tinymce installed - needs further investigation withrespect to images/linking

News items and display - basics can be made to work, need to look for better news content type (or create own with CCK)

Friendly URLs/structure.

images - location, uploading and linking to (although there is "improved image handling, including better support for add-on image libraries" in Drupal 7)

event - calendar - implementable, but could be better, Events module only "dev" for Drupal 6 (CCK may help here?)

migrating existing content into either


Feature Must/Desire Drupal 6 Plone 3 Existing www.inf
Virtual Hosting Must Yes Yes Yes
Versioning Must Yes, not default Yes Yes
Packaged - RPM Desire Yes - not supported Yes No
Workflow Desire Limited Yes No
Authentication - external users Must Yes Yes Yes
Authorisation - Various access levels Must Apparently Yes Yes
Simple to Use Must Yes - once setup Yes Depends
WYSIWYG editor Desire Yes Yes Seamonkey
Can enter HTML markup Must Yes Yes Yes
scripting/PHP Desire Yes - PHP Yes - python Yes - CGI
Friendly URLs Must Yes Yes Yes
Web Stats Desire Yes Yes - Apache log Yes - Apache logs
Generation of valid (X)HTML Must   Yes Mostly
Staged edits ie checkout/commit Must? Yes Yes Yes
Automatic navigation construction Must Yes Yes Partial
Offsite replication Must Addon Addon/DIY DIY
Audit trail of changes Desire? Yes - ish Yes - ish Yes
Timed publishing Desire   Yes No
Database driven structure Must Yes Yes Yes

Apparently CMSMatrix says yes, but we've yet to confirm it for ourselves
Yes We've confirmed this on our test services
No CMSMatrix says no, or we've not been able to confirm it for ourselves

-- NeilBrown - 07 Sep 2010

Topic revision: r15 - 21 Sep 2010 - 13:26:57 - CraigStrachan
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