Xubuntu Website Software (was: Re: UDS Karmic Goals)

Cody A.W. Somerville cody-somerville at ubuntu.com
Wed May 27 21:41:50 UTC 2009

On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 11:02 PM, Pasi Lallinaho <open at knome.fi> wrote:

> Hello again xubuntu-devels (CC: newZ :),
> My comments are inline. I hope it isn't *too* complicated to read
> the thread already.
> 2009/5/27 Matthew Nuzum <matthew.nuzum at canonical.com>
>> Wordpress is a great blogging platform. There are few tools as easy to
>> use for publishing blog or news related information. If your content
>> largely falls into this format it's an excellent choice. You can use
>> wordpress to create standard web pages (i.e. not blog pages) but once
>> you start getting too much away from a blog-like site you quickly
>> outgrow WP.
> I see your point here, but being watched the Xubuntu website in the last,
> what, 9 months, I definitely feel that it's not going to overgrow WP with
> this amount of activity.

You have a valid point here but I think our website can do more. For
example, its always been my intention to investigate the possibility of
reusing the drupal module that I suspect powers the download section on the
Ubuntu website. Furthermore, I'm also interested in using the launchpad
integration modules created for Drupal.

Matthew: Do you know if it would be possible for us to use the download
stuff from Ubuntu's website? Open sourcing it would not necessarily be a

>> Drupal is not as much a CMS as it is a web development framework with
>> a simplistic CMS application built in. If you want to describe and
>> publish all kinds of information or build simple dynamic content
>> applications Drupal is an excellent option. Another thing it excels at
>> is themeing. It has a very simple to use themeing system and doesn't
>> in the least sacrifice flexibility. It is unfortunately much more
>> challenging to configure and use.
> I have to say that my personal opinion somewhat differs here. I've also
> developed on Drupal (and WP), and I must say that the theming system of WP
> is way more logical in my hands than Drupals. I see that Drupal (theming)
> doesn't sacrifice flexibility at all, but the question to be asked is that
> do we really need that much *complexity*?

The toughest part is creating the actual styling and html which is why I
have tons of respect for folks like you and Matthew. As for converting that
into a "theme" for Drupal or WP, that can easily be done with folks who have
the necessary experience working with the targetted software.

>> As you know, I've banked on Drupal for ubuntu.com. I've spent several
>> years now creating a base environment and core set of modules so that
>> I can do what I want to with minimal fuss. This lets me deploy
>> blog-like sites, including the ability to aggregate content from
>> multiple sources, or advanced multi-user content rich websites with
>> complex manager-sign-off workflows. Drupal has plenty of warts but if
>> you want flexibility it is hard to beat. To illustrate this further,
>> I'll soon be migrating the Ubuntu Jobs page from a custom django app I
>> built to Drupal using the views and cck modules. I'll be able to do
>> this without writing any code at all (except for theme code). I didn't
>> think I'd ever be bragging about building web apps by simply pointing
>> and clicking but here I am. :-)
> Yes, the point where you are now is built over several years. Even if I
> think that's wonderful for you, I don't think that is something *we* should
> try to achieve by all means. Xubuntu barely needs the basic elements of
> Drupal (and not even all of that) so we definitely don't need complex
> modules/plugins.

I think what Matthew was trying to point out here is Drupal has some very
powerful modules that can be pieced together to provide flexible
solutions/functionality without needing to touch any code.

> On Wed, May 27, 2009 at 2:43 AM, Pasi Lallinaho <open at knome.fi> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> > On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 2:08 PM, Pasi Lallinaho <open at knome.fi>
>> >> > <mailto:open at knome.fi>> wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> >     Cody A.W. Somerville wrote:
>> >> >     >
>> >> >     >
>> >> >     > On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 3:58 PM, Pasi Lallinaho <open at knome.fi
>> >
>> >> >     <mailto:open at knome.fi> wrote:
>> >> >     >
>> >
>> >>
>> >> If we decide to set up a team blog which has no aggregated posts from
>> >> the authors own blogs, we are growing our workload quite a lot. We have
>> >> been very lazy in updating our website, the wiki etc. etc., but most of
>> >> us have written our personal blogs quite conscientious. Gathering a
>> >> Xubuntu Planet would in this light make some sense. The content would
>> be
>> >> quite easily updated, even if the post quality and appropriateness
>> would
>> >> not be as great as it would be with blog with no aggregated posts.
>> >
>> > I don't buy this. A team blog would be a communication vehicle to share
>> news
>> > and stories about Xubuntu in a professional yet informal matter. Content
>> > would be planned and intentional, be peer reviewed before publication,
>> and
>> > have a clear objective/purpose. Aggregating personal personal blog
>> content
>> > would be counter-intuitive to achieving that.
> What ever the goal was, we are in the situation that *we need a blog*.
> That's what WP is good at.

I don't disagree.

>> >
>> >> >
>> >> > With regards to our current site are the RSS Feeds for Xubuntu.org
>> >> > broken?  Is Drupal limited in how well it can configure RSS feeds, or
>> >> > are we just not using it right?  Pasi, it sounds like you are
>> >> > suggesting that we move Xubuntu.org to Worpress MU, correct?
>> >> If you are in any other page than home page, the RSS link in the left
>> is
>> >> not working. It seems like a bug in the HTML creating code, not sure if
>> >> it is my fault.
>> >>
>> >> Yes, I suggest and stand for WPMU.
>> >
>> > This is a bug in the website, yes. I imagine that it does not matter
>> what
>> > software we use, we will run into these. I also imagine that this bug is
>> > entirely resolvable.
> I imagine it is just some minutes of hacking with Drupal and the bug is
> fixed by me.
> The problem is that it is really hard to test the commits made to the
> website branch as we don't even have a testing server and pushing to
> production needs your absence. And even if you were available, the code
> might still be flawed (this has happened many times - I admit that I'm a
> terrible coder!) and we need to work on the BZR ring again - together. That
> eats your time quite a lot and I don't think it's worth it in many cases.
> However, this is a completely different problem and we might have to think
> for solutions to it.

Unfortunately, deploying updates to the website's codebase will always
require my participation for the time being.

As for testing your changes, I'm happy to assist you in setting up a local
development server.

>  >
>> >>
>> >> >
>> >> > All things being equal, I would like to stay with Drupal to stay
>> >> > consistent with the other Ubuntu flavors, if possible.  If an upgrade
>> >> > to Drupal, or adding in additional modules, would give us more
>> >> > features (or fix existing features), I think we should look at that
>> >> > before considering moving everything over to Wordpress.
>> >> I don't know how much consistency really matters in this situation.
>> >> There is no place where the sites should be working together or
>> >> exchanging content. And Xubuntu is a community-driven project after
>> all.
>> >
>> > Jim didn't mention exchanging content. What he did mention though are
>> > excellent points and very much do matter. The fact that Xubuntu is a
>> > community-driver project makes them even more so.
> Unfortunately I don't see the very excellent points (could you repeat
> them?). I'm not saying that updates to Drupal or adding modules to Drupal
> wouldn't give us more features and fixing the existing. Every software has
> to be updated to be in shape. And as we are talking about Drupal and WP,
> they both have modules/extensions, which can give more features.

We're talking about modules, bug fixes, knowledge sharing, etc. with other
members in the Ubuntu community. For example, the launchpad modules.

> Also as we are in the situation where only you can do the updates, fixing
> important bugs will take more time than with a personal site of an active
> developer, for example, or a community site, where the admin really *has*
> the time to work on things all the time. This would of course be the case
> with WP also, but my picture is that Drupal has had more security related
> bugs than WP (also because it has so much bigger codebase) and I've partly
> lost my faith in Drupal not having those bad found-yet-another-security-bug
> weeks. This is my personal opinion, though.

IS is gracious enough to ensure that security patches get applied.

>> >
>> > I appreciate that you're more familiar with wordpress than drupal but I
>> > don't think thats strong enough motivation to migrate our website to
>> that
>> > software.
> I think it is, as I'm the one doing the core maintenance. We might also
> need to ask the opinion of Vincent as he's the web team leader, but if I
> understood correctly, he's more responsible for the content.
> The motivation to migrate to WP is locked inside me. It wants to be free!
> ;)

The fact that you want to migrate to WP and that you're doing the work for
the website has tremendous weight. Please don't feel otherwise.


Cody A.W. Somerville
Software Systems Release Engineer
Foundations Team
Custom Engineering Solutions Group
Canonical OEM Services
Phone: +1-781-850-2087
Cell: +1-506-471-8402
Email: cody.somerville at canonical.com
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/xubuntu-devel/attachments/20090527/10fc9ea9/attachment.html>

More information about the xubuntu-devel mailing list