Recreating a default Joomla 1.5 site using Drupal 6 (Part 2 of 2)

UPDATE (9th Sept 2009):

I've noticed some odd things happening on this server. So sorry the demo site had to be taken offline to due security reasons and i haven't the time to keep it updated.

However, you can download this package and play with it on your localhost. If you plan, on installing it as a live site, please make sure you update Drupal and modules used in this package to the latest versions.


In the first part of this article, i tried to create a default Joomla site using Drupal and through this, i had discovered some flaws which made the site somewhat inflexible trying to do it the Joomla way.

So in this article, i explore ways that we can harness Drupal to build a more flexible site utilising the site structure and content that i already have from creating the Joomla site using Drupal.

First of all, i think the Taxonomies are fine and one advantage of the Drupal taxonomies is allowing content to exist in multiple categories.

Next, defining what should be a content-type. Joomla only has article content-type and does not allow us to define any more. This is very inflexible way of handling things. You can find out what Content Types are. In this instance, we should separate FAQ from articles and create a content-type for it since FAQ isn't really articles content-type that should belong to 'Latest News' category. This would make it easier to manage the FAQ content and filter this into it's own section. If certain FAQ needs to be shown in Latest News (which is the article content-type) we can add FAQ content-type to the Latest News category. 'Key Concept' section could also be created as a new content-type to better manage the this section.

Why would we want to create different content-type? since CCK allows us to add extra fields to content-type, we could be more specific and build a custom form to add and display different fields in each content-type that we feel is more appropriate to those sections.

Now going into user management. This is where Drupal really does have a huge advantage over Joomla. Joomla does not have a fine grain access control system so we are limited in only having 5 different types (roles) where there is no way of setting permissions for any of the roles as they are already predefined. In Drupal, we can go into 'permission settings' page and allow certain roles to view/add/edit/delete content. This isn't just limited to site content but even modules can be set to allow certain roles to gain access to them.

Conclusion, i may be bias since i now use Drupal but i've used Joomla previously so i do have some insight into it's limitations. If Joomla continues to be as it is, it's really going to fall behind but in all good open source projects, it's all about innovating and keeping up with demands or change. I have recently noticed Joomla is moving towards as trying to add the features that Drupal already which is a positive step forward.

Joomla lacks a lot of what makes Drupal shine under the hood (ie, multiple categories, user permissions, a better override templating system, revision control and etc). The good thing is that Joomla developers have been aware of this for a long time and has began to incorporate those goodness into the next version of Joomla 1.6. See roadmap. Another positive thing is CCK, this is no longer exclusive to Drupal anymore as there already exist a few CCK inspired components for Joomla - Jsebold CCK / ZOO / K2. On top of that, i believe Joomla core is looking at ways to incorporate their own one into the core. Great news though i fear this may lead to a lot of frustration and confusion for end-users since all these components offers more or less the same features and functionality whether it's commercial or not and how it's work alongside the core version, i don't know?

So what about Drupal's downside. A lot of care has gone under the hood and less on eye candy that they have failed to impress designers as well as being a little more difficult for end-users to use. However with the talk and immense work being carried out on Drupal 7 (the next up coming release), it may just be what it needs to capture that audience since immense work has gone under way in usability and making it easier to create themes without losing the flexibility of the templating system.

Having nice theme has always been an advantage of Joomla. But if Drupal can attract and get more designers actively involved, this may shift the change in favour of Drupal?

Either way, exciting times, lies ahead for both excellent CMS.

Part 1 of this article:

Recreating a default Joomla 1.5 site using Drupal 6 (Part 1 of 2)

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