Seven Criteria for Evaluating Open-Source Content Management Systems
Open-source CMSes frequently start out as an experiment by a single programmer. Promising CMSes may attract other programmers, while less interesting projects are abandoned. CMSes that continue to grow may evolve into mature applications. One indicator of a healthy open-source project is constant development activity. Check how often new versions have been released. Regular or frequent releases are a good sign.
Do not base your decision solely on the version number of the open-source CMS, however. Some projects tend to inflate version numbers while others are modest. For example, a CMS sporting a 5.3 version number may not be necessarily more stable than one whose latest release is 1.2. Look for the project's Changelog or Release Notes documents. These usually include a list of new features, fixed bigs, improvements and known issues for each release. Scanning through this list may give you an idea of the pace of development activity and the project's stability.
Don't be discouraged by open-source projects that display a list of software bugs on their Web site. Good open-source projects acknowledge bugs and work openly to fix them. Projects that work quickly to address reported bugs are likely to be a good choice. Some may use bug-tracking software that allows developers and users to track the status of each bug. Try to get a sense of how long bugs stay open before they are addressed by looking at recently closed bugs. Also, assess if known issues or currently open bugs may make the CMS unsuitable for your needs. For a closer look at the development activity behind an open-source CMS project, take a look at the development forums or e-mail list archives, if they are available. This level of transparency is a strength of the open-source development process and enables you to make more informed decisions.
Repositories of open-source software try to make it easier to evaluate an open-source project by displaying indicators of its development activity and popularity. Figure 1 shows statistics compiled by the Freshmeat.net repository for Moodle, an open-source CMS. It includes scores and rankings by popularity, vitality and user ratings. Figure 2 shows similar statistics compiled by the development Web site Sourceforge.net, for the Plone CMS. Sourceforge.net also provides an activity percentile along with projects statistics that include downloads, page views, bugs, patches and project rank.
The size and involvement of the user community is a good indicator of interest in the CMS. Look for active user discussion forums and/or mailing lists. Some projects proudly display a list of Web sites that are using its CMS. Visiting some of these Web sites can give you can idea of how the CMS is being used and how it can adapted.
The functionality of some open-source CMSes can be extended with the help of plugins. Others offer the ability to change presentations and appearances easily by using different themes. A large number of plugins and themes created by the user community demonstrates how easy it is to the customize the CMS. Also, scan user discussion forums and mailing lists to get a sense of how the developers respond to users' concerns and suggestions. Some projects also may offer user-contributed tips and tutorials. All are indications of an involved user community that may be able to help you. As open-source offerings have matured, commercial support for open-source CMS also is becoming available. Search for consultants that may be able to provide commercial technical support if you need it.
Successful open-source CMSes always are evolving, and it is a challenge to keep documentation up-to-date and useful. The Open Source user community often lends a helping hand in creating and updating documentation. Well-developed and current documentation would indicate an organized open-source CMS with an active community. Documentation may come in many forms; review changelogs, release notes, installation instructions and user manuals. Does the documentation address your concerns and questions?
Check if the open-source CMS has a developers' guide, coding standards and information on how others can contribute to the project. Established coding standards can help maintain consistent code even when a large number of programmers contribute to its development. Even if you do not have any programming experience, it may help to glance at the source code for the open-source CMS. Look for comments within the code written in English. Well-commented code can be easier to maintain and customize. If you are familiar with the programming language, you may be able to gain valuable insights into how the CMS works and the quality of its code.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide