Camen Design Forum

GetSimple

append delete Nicolai

GetSimple get-simple.info/… .
What do we think about it?

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append delete #1. Kroc

GPL. Won’t touch it with a barge pole.

append delete #2. theraje

I'm with Kroc on that. GPL being equated with libre is a farce.

append delete #3. Kroc

I’m not opposed to people licencing code however they want, it’s the community I want nothing to do with.

The last thing I want is grief from self-righteous freedom-fighters who demand that I open source everything on my hard drive just because I used a bit of code, or worse--demand that I fix all their problems upstream too, otherwise I’m 'leeching' from open source.

Open is when anybody can come and punch you in the face with your own product, rather than there being clauses preventing anybody from not playing nice with your toys.

Anyway, code is already protected by copyright, it doesn’t need a licence other than set hoops to jump through. I licence my code under cc-by (as with these forums) because it opens my copyright to you without restrictions. Requiring people to give credit is not a restriction that’s been added, it’s a basic part of copyright that’s been around for three hundred years and does no harm to anybody, anywhere.

append delete #4. theraje

Kroc, I agree with you 100%. The ONLY reason I don't like the GPL is that it is a rather restrictive license, but is somehow viewed as some sort of Golden Standard of software liberty. I don't care if someone licenses their code under the GPL or LGPL, it's just the way some people present those licenses, in other words.

append delete #5. Nicolai

Thanks for the replies.
But what do you think about the concept? :)

append delete #6. Kroc

Getting rid of MySQL is always a good thing. This is how I would have done things if I were designing something generic, but then I believe in designing things for purpose.

"The Internet is full of generic code that solves generic problems, generically."

append delete #7. Kroc

Getting rid of MySQL is always a good thing. This is how I would have done things if I were designing something generic, but then I believe in designing things for purpose.

"The Internet is full of generic code that solves generic problems, generically."

append delete #8. Martijn

Being part of the GetSimple team get-simple.info/… I don’t think my opinion of the software matters much. I do wish to comment on the GPL thing.

I too am not a big fan of GPL, and I might take up the discussion again and see if I can get GetSimple relicensed. However, as long as we wish Google’s free SVN we will be stuck to a license they have pre-chosen.

For one, CC-BY mentioned by Kroc, is not an option.

* Apache License 2.0
* Artistic License/GPL
* Eclipse Public License 1.0
* GNU General Public License v2
* GNU General Public License v3
* GNU Lesser General Public License
* MIT License
* Mozilla Public License 1.1
* New BSD License
* Other Open Source

“Other Open Source” does not seem to have any further specification and could very well end up being weird.

I don’t think Chris has read through all those licenses before picking, he just took one that sounded mainstream.

We’re not very protective of our code. Neither do we expect you to feed back everything to us. (We might ask kindly for it on the forums though.)

Neither are we the “self-righteous freedom-fighters” that think you’re a leecher. We build a CMS that should be easy to use by clients, we are catering “leechers” specifically ;-)

append delete #9. Kroc

@Martijn: It's not the people who write the code who are the problem--I should have added "self-appointed" to my juxtaposition! :) It's the zealots who are the ones griefing programmers in forums and e-mail. I've been reading tech news on the Internet long enough to know to stay clear of the GPL fanbois.

append delete #10. Nicolai

How can this CMS be done better? What functions do think should be added or removed?

append delete #11. Kroc

I would have to use it seriously to comment on features and such, but going to your website I found it took far too long to get to the demo and get an idea of the system.

It's odd that the download arrow is a link, but all the icons to the right (which follow the exact same style) aren't clickable. These could perhaps function as tabs, giving you extra feature lists for each category.

Also, need screenshots. I should be able to get to some screenshots within two clicks for any CMS website. Not even your about page has screenshots! Seriously, jazz this up a bit. You talk about UI, and don't even show any of it off.

append delete #12. Martijn

Thanks Kroc, passing this on to the guy responsible for the get-simple.info front-end!

append delete #13. Nicholas

Kroc, if you don't mind me saying, you do tend towards trolling. GPL does not virally spread to other projects on your hard dive, nor has it ever required anyone to submit code upstream.

Regarding licences, my inclination is that CC is a cumbersome beast (have you even read it? It's long) and hence not so nice to use. For content, it covers a lot of important bases, but is massively overkill for code. If copyleft is not a concern (and, let's face it, forking might help the world but can hurt large projects who have a right to a certain self-interest), I would strongly suggest MIT or BSD. You can actually read them, understand them, and even type from memory.

So, my site code was based around certain design features (eg seamless MathML required XSLT compatibility) and has content CC-by, code BSD. GPL is great for the right applications like traditional desktop apps.

append delete #14. Kroc

~~~
GPL does not virally spread to other projects on your hard dive, nor has it ever required anyone to submit code upstream.
~~~

Didn’t say it did, but it doesn’t stop the zealots from harassing you to open code you don’t have to (more stories than I can recount over the last five years). GPL is fine. It’s GPL people that are batshite crazy insane.

RMS demanded that OpenOffice not list non-free addons on their website. It’s that sort of crap I don’t want to be near. You deal with anything GPL and woe betide you if you want to make money out of it, or mix it with closed software.

append delete #15. Nicholas

Having barged into the licencing thornbush, I should comment on the system.

I think your website is great, the install is instant (under thirty seconds from homepage to finished configuring). No problems there.

Technically, I have to say you *do not understand* XML. You say you "utilize the speed and convenience of XML". What exactly is that? The content is stored in escaped format, so it is not possible to run XML tools over it (like XSLT). The encoding of the content does not leverage any of the convenience of XML, because my entire stack of tools for manipulating, querying, and working with XML data can't get at the data. It is opaque. Regarding speed, I doubt you get any speed advantage over a custom format for storing the pages. (I see you are using SimpleXML, which builds fat DOM objects.) Certainly there is no extra portability gained from your use of XML, because you have made your own custom container format, which to a certain extent locks the content into your CMS.

I don't mean to lay into you, but I work with XML a lot and would have made some different design decisions at the start to open up some of the potential for bringing the vast range of XML tools out there to bear. For reference, I wrote a three-part high-level tutorial to my thought processes when I last refreshed my site offering some thoughts on using XML in CMSs. nicholaswilson.me.uk/…

Secondly, and I think Camen would agree with me here, you have made the choice of re-inventing the wheel by implementing everything in-browser rather than using external tools. Almost all systems do this, so I guess you are joining the crowd with Wordpress, Drupal, and so on, but I personally dislike systems where all the management is done in the browser. Article versioning? Use git/hg. Site admin? Use scripts. Backups? Done along with all your other documents. Article authoring? Use your favourite editor; the system can take the directory of documents you save and serves it up as the site. This approach will hardly endear you to newbies, but it would be nice to think that re-implementing file management and so in the browser was a conscious choice.

At the end of the day, I would be interested to know what the point of SimpleCMS is. The information architecture is basically the same or a bit worse than for instance Drupal, and doesn't seem to offer anything novel. The implementation is basically the same as all the other run-of-the-mill CMSs out there, as far I can tell from a quick browse. There are no comparisons on the website with competitors. What made you want to write it? Do you have any cunning features, like uses of taxonomies, SVG editing integration, flexible post tagging, and so on? What is new or interesting about the system?

There are some very innovative groups out there, like Symphony CMS, experimenting with new ideas on the fringes, so what I would find most exciting would be if you could identify one or two genuinely novel or ideas or improvements to current CMS designs. Given that your architecture is extremely similar to Drupal, you could position yourself as a minority alternative to the big players on the basis of your special features and try to promote those ideas. Move the world forward by promoting your experiments and see if you can advance the way people think about designing and managing websites.

On the other hand, I might be just being too technically-minded about this. Your unique selling point from the site seems to be ease of use, so if you really think you are offering something better than say Wordpress in terms of usability for people new to websites, by all means keep plugging it. I am not a UI expert, so you may be onto something I have not noticed there. If you are marketing towards new users of CMSs though, please do make sure that as you design your custom formats for the pages and data you maintain alongside that tools so your innocent new users are not locked in. As it stands, migrating out of your CMS would require someone to write scripts, so if you are targeting the users who cannot do that, providing them with an exit route would be polite.

append delete #16. Kroc

Didn't know you were so versed in XML Nicholas, I wonder what you think of this forum, given that I am storing the data as actual RSS. I would greatly appreciate any opinion on my technique or help with improving the code (I'm using SimpleXML); is there a better way to do it?

@Nicolai As Nicholas highlighted, it depends on who you are targeting. If it's less technical people then focus on UI, but if it's skilled users then simplify. I, like Nicholas, try to use as many local tools to manage the site (TextMate, bash) to save on writing code to duplicate the wheel.

append delete #17. Kroc

Case in point: osnews.com/… ZOMG you must open source all your firmware just because my unrelated freedom code is running on the CPU!

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