2010 redesign

File Organization

Posted in organization by Brittany on February 12, 2010

Here is a visualization of how we plan to organize our files:

If you want to join the collaboration, sign up at, let us know your username, and we’ll share the document with you.

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Drupal: an overview

Posted in backend, coding, research by callibeth on January 31, 2010

I’ve been struggling to learn the Drupal framework for the past 3 weeks, and, on the whole, I’m impressed. It’s a substantial framework, and quite complicated, but it’s flexible and powerful. Separation of content and structure and presentation is a priority of the Drupal designers.

The White House website runs on Drupal, and so do the websites of The United Nations, Forbes, The Grateful Dead, and The Onion, among others. Links to well-known Drupal websites are listed in this article, which also explains some of the features of Drupal in the section “10 Reasons to Use Drupal”:

I’ve found the vocabulary a little confusing. As a matter of fact, the word “vocabulary” is used in Drupal to mean a set of categories, and the sets of categories make up the taxonomy of the system. I’m not convinced that the taxonomy is so much better than WordPress, given its comparatively complicated nature. Or maybe I just don’t understand it yet.

There are modules which add functionality to the Drupal framework. Various image modules manage the uploading and storing and access of images, including automatic thumbnail generation. The Content Construction Kit allow you to create your own custom content types. Each time you post a new Page or Story (which, along with Image, are the three core content types), you can choose whether to promote it to the home page, whether comments are allowed (and more options within that), you can choose an Image to associate with the page.

I’m still partial to CodeIgniter because of its clarity, while recognizing that Drupal is more fully developed as a CMS. Drupal requires that you wrap your head around a fully implemented system whose underlying code is relatively opaque. There’s a good article here that compares WordPress, Drupal and Expression Engine (which runs on CodeIgniter):

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The backend: How will we power our new website?

Posted in research by Owen on January 24, 2010

Now that we’ve started talking about what functions we need we can move on to discussing how to make this all happen. There are lots of Content Management Systems (CMS) out there, but rarely do you find one that at its core has all the things you need. Usually, you have to consider the extensibility of the CMS. By extensibility we mean, “how can we extend it by adding features to the core functionality?” Sometimes its easier to code it yourself, or use a helper library, also known as a framework.

Below I’ve linked to some popular CMSs and PHP frameworks that we will consider. Given what we’ve decided should be included on the front page, how should we proceed? Please do some research into these, including whether their core/extensions will allow us to do what we’ve planned. Also include some links to examples of sites coded in these CMSs/frameworks.

Here are some popular CMSs

And also some PHP frameworks that help with the construction of CMS

  • Codeigniter (I used this framework to construct Art Review, so much work would be done for us)
  • CakePHP
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