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  • Please see a brief review comparing MODx and CMS here:

    http://rahul.rahul.net/reviews/modx-vs-cmsms.html

    Rahul
    • It would be nice if you had some sort of benchmarks to make the criteria more objective.
        Jesse R.
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        Illinois Wine

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      • Rahul, I hate to say it, but I think that your review of MODx comes from a core misconception of what MODx is supposed to be. Most things do not come "out-of-the-box" with MODx, because that’s _not_ what MODx intends to be. MODx is not a CMSMS, nor a Drupal - it offers far more flexibility and depth of code. And with increased flexibility, you by necessity decrease the amount of pre-developed, this-way-or-no-way code that is so familiar in CMSMS, Joomla or Drupal.

        Anyway, I have some comments to your review:

        Documentation - I agree the current 096 documentation efforts are lacking - however, I can state with assurance that the documentation in 0.9.7 far surpasses this. I would also venture to say that 097 core code is far more documented than any other CMS currently.

        As for your sitemap example, I was easily able to find multiple available snippets for doing a sitemap in MODx just in one Google search "sitemap":
        Ditto - http://webbake.com/tutorials/modx-cms/google-sitemap-with-ditto
        Sitemap - http://modxcms.com/forums/index.php/topic,5754.0.html
        GoogleSiteMap_XML - http://modxcms.com/forums/index.php?topic=5521

        Among others...

        Previous and Next Links - This is easily done in a snippet. Would take very little time. And I don’t agree with your comment for the necessity of p&n links - I find them to be more confusing, as where exactly *do* next links go when you’re done with a section?

        A good site would not employ P&N links - it would use an intuitive menu structure and document heirarchy that made navigation easy and familiar.

        All of this is easily done in MODx - MODx lets the user determine the site content structure; so I found your criticism invalid in the sense that you seemed to have a user-generated problem here.

        Caching - MODx _does_ do caching - see siteCache.idx.php. It does have problems with sites over 5000 pages (although if you’re creating a site with more than 5000 pages, you might be needing e-commerce instead of a CMS, so it’s probably a concept flaw in applicability) - but, 0.9.7 will fix that entirely. I dismissed most of the rest of your comments on site performance because of this oversight.

        As for your flat-structure site; that’s invalid because someone doing a blog would _surely_ not make a flat-structure site: they would have the articles indexed by date (year/month,etc) and stored in archive folders. Ditto and Jot traverse this easily.

        I have found MODx to perform superbly on large-scale sites, and unlike your article, I *have* tested it and deployed it in those contexts. I would recommend to drop your comments on that, or at least provide some benchmarks.

        Management Interface - I wholly disagree that it would be *easier* and *faster* to do things without javascript. Imagine trying to select the parent for a document without the JS parent selector in MODx - you’d have to have a gigantic dropdown select with all the documents in it (ugh!), or a textbox where you’d type an ID # (double ugh!). Either of those non-JS solutions are horridly slow and inefficient, and that’s just one example.

        Usability of Manager - For one, when you say that you didn’t use the WYSIWYG and then write an article about usability, you lose a ton of credability. That’s like saying, "I’m going to review this 2006 Camaro but take out it’s exhaust system."

        Secondly, the sizability of the text box is fixed in 0.9.7, using Ext2’s growing textarea feature.

        Backups/Restores - I don’t know how you missed the entire Backup section of MODx. Also, most data in MODx is placed in a MySQL database, so backups and restores are incredibly simple as they are only a SQL DB dump and import. Easiest way of backup there is. As someone who backs up a 1200+ document MODx site daily, I can attest to the easability of this practice.

        Web Login - WebLoginPE. That’s all I have to respond to this. Easily found via a forum search.


        Some things in your article are very helpful and informative, so regardless of how this response may sound, thank you for writing the article. We at MODx appreciate any and all critique and inspection given. It helps us grow and improve. This response was solely written to clarify some of the issues you were experiencing.

        We hope you’ll continue to use MODx, and believe you’ll find it to far surpass your initial review. smiley
          shaun mccormick | bigcommerce mgr of software engineering, former modx co-architect | github | splittingred.com
        • Hi Rahul,

          Great analysis overall and very much appreciated. However, I think your analysis is a bit skewed on a few key points. Splittingred raises some good points above, but in reality the only issues I have with the review are noted below. Really the only major problem I have with it is raised in the first point below and I think that creates a factual inaccuracy with your review that negatively paints an inaccurate picture of MODx. The rest are simply problems related to the MODx legacy code we’re taking care of with 097 or the often-lacking documentation and sometimes-crazy search results. On those issues, seem my last paragraph below.

          First and foremost, caching. MODx uses caching, since I noticed your benchmark was for 095 (more than a year old and already having two successor releases with a third on its way soon), I can almost guarantee that the template switcher plugin came into play. This was used to enable switching between demo templates on the front end demo site and it totally disables caching and honestly creates all sorts of problems in many cases. It was removed entirely from subsequent releases. Heck you could probably just re-run your tests after deleting that plugin and you’d have grossly different results.

          Second: 0.9.5 ... see above as it’s simply very out of date. (And I did note your disclaimer ... but I’m not the one that chose your publishing schedule! tongue Should probably re-run some of it with the latest releases, and at the very least delete that template switcher plugin from MODx as also noted above.)

          Thirdly, global previous next links? I can only recall one site I’ve built with that and that’s the MODx site for the documentation section. How is that a benchmark of a CMS when it’s not a pervasive feature for ever site and also when it’s quite easy to accomplish.

          Your points on documentation and site usability are very well taken and totally right on and we’re working on it. Care to get involved in helping rectify these issues? laugh
            Ryan Thrash, MODX Co-Founder
            Follow me on Twitter at @rthrash or catch my occasional unofficial thoughts at thrash.me
          • Great responses so far! I appreciate that you all read the review and put down your reactions to it.

            In the near future, I will make factual corrections in it based on your feedback, and I will also post my rebuttal where it’s just a difference of opinion.

            Rahul


            • There will always be differences of opinions and the stuff being fixed in future releases doesn’t address what’s broken in the distribution today indeed.

              How about the offer to help us sort out the documentation, search and other support site usability concerns?
                Ryan Thrash, MODX Co-Founder
                Follow me on Twitter at @rthrash or catch my occasional unofficial thoughts at thrash.me
              • As a first step, I would like to point out some factual errors in some of the
                comments I have seen so far. Let’s take them topic by topic. Two topics are
                discussed below. More to follow.

                (I used utf-8 curly double-quotes below. They appear OK to me when I
                preview this posting.)

                WEB SITE LOGIN

                My requirements include: “Until the user follows a login link, he should not
                see a login box, a password box, a registration link, or a lost password link.
                This decreases irrelevant clutter.”

                Splittingred writes: “WebLoginPE. That’s all I have to respond to this.
                Easily found via a forum search.”

                I found WebLoginPE at http://www.modxcms.com/WebLoginPE-1593.html.
                The documentation doesn’t say that this snippet provides a login link without
                clutter. The author’s web site at http://scottydelicious.com/ shows a
                login box, a password box, a password recovery link, and an account request
                link, on almost every page. If the author is using his own snippet, and I’m sure
                he must be, then I don’t see how this snippet eliminates login clutter on each
                screen.

                You can disagree with my requirements if you wish, but in that case the
                appropriate response is to say so, instead of presenting WebLoginPE as the
                solution.

                BACKUPS AND RESTORES

                My requirements include: “A good backup and restore procedure tells you exactly
                what to do and asks you to make very few, or no, decisions, other than choosing
                which web site to back up and where to restore it.”

                Splittingred writes: “I don’t know how you missed the entire Backup section of
                MODx. Also, most data in MODx is placed in a MySQL database, so backups and
                restores are incredibly simple as they are only a SQL DB dump and import.”

                Yes, MODx’s manager interface has a Backup menu. Backups are easy -- just dump
                everything. Restores are hard, because you have to figure out how to restore
                data without overwriting something important. This presumably is why MODx has a
                Backup menu item but no Restore menu item -- because it’s expected that restores
                will be done manually, and the user will figure out where things go.

                How do you restore your MODx-based web site on top of a brand-new
                installation of a newer release of MODx? The Upgrading Guide at
                http://wiki.modxcms.com/index.php/Upgrading_Guide illustrates the
                problem. It says:

                7. Copy any snippets you need into the appropriate parts of MODxNew.

                8. Copy any images, css, template files etc into the appropriate parts of MODxNew.

                A reliable restore procedure cannot depend on a vague phrase like “appropriate
                parts”. You can’t tell a script, or a junior employee, to copy files into
                “appropriate parts”.

                A CMS (content management system) manages content -- right? So the CMS knows, or
                should know, where eveything is. The CMS should know where each “appropriate
                part” goes. If the user has to manually figure out where things go, then the CMS
                is not acting as a CMS, at least for restores. The desirable way of
                doing restores would be to install a new instance of MODx, then go to a Restore
                menu, enter the pathname of a backup data set, and have a
                restore happen in the right places. The backup data set should contain all the
                information about the “appropriate parts” already.

                I’m not claiming the problem is technically easy to solve. I’m just claiming
                that neither MODx, nor the other CMSes I tested, has solved it.

                Once again, you can disagree with my requirements if you wish, but in that case
                the appropriate response is to say so, instead of presenting MODx’s Backup menu
                as the solution.

                Rahul
                • Splittingred writes:

                  As for your sitemap example, I was easily able to find multiple available snippets for doing a sitemap in MODx just in one Google search "sitemap":
                  Ditto - http://webbake.com/tutorials/modx-cms/google-sitemap-with-ditto
                  Sitemap - http://modxcms.com/forums/index.php/topic,5754.0.html
                  GoogleSiteMap_XML - http://modxcms.com/forums/index.php?topic=5521

                  Alas, no, factual error here. All three above are for generating a site map for Google, not for humans.

                  Please see what I wrote:
                  Result: mention of a "sitemap" snippet, which generates a site map for search engines. This was not what I wanted, since I wanted to generate a site map for human access.

                  Rahul
                  • NEXT/PREVIOUS LINKS

                    Rthrash writes:
                    Thirdly, global previous next links? I can only recall one site I’ve built with that and that’s the MODx site for the documentation section. How is that a benchmark of a CMS when it’s not a pervasive feature for ever site and also when it’s quite easy to accomplish.

                    There are two factual errors here.

                    Please note my requirements: “By following all the Next links, I can traverse web pages in a useful order, visiting each page exactly once....This lets me traverse the web site as if it were a book. You can read a book from beginning to end if you wish”

                    The MODx documentation does use Next and Previous links, but they do not conform to my requirements. As an example, if you go to http://modxcms.com/editor-guide.html, you will see a Next link pointing to “Designer’s Guide”. If you follow this Next link, you will have missed viewing all of the pages in the “Content Editor’s Guide” section. So these Next links do not let you visit each page exactly once. They let you visit some of the pages, and you will miss many pages. It’s as if you turned a page in a book, and 10 pages were stuck together, so you missed reading them.

                    Hence, we have a factual error.

                    The second factual error is that the PrevJumpNext snippet (to which the link in the quoted text points) does not implement Next/Previous links according to my requirements. If you use the snippet, you will get the same effect as described in the previous paragraphs, i.e., you will miss some pages.

                    By all means please feel free to disagree with my requirements, but the above are errors of fact, not differences of opinion.

                    Rahul
                    • Quote from: ganeshXL

                      I don’t know what the fuss is all about....That’s documented in various places....

                      These, I believe, were the very same last words of all the folks running all the search engines before Google.

                      Rahul