PHP-Nuke vs. Drupal

I’m now running two PHP-Nuke based sites and one Drupal site. Both have their good and bad points, so here are my thoughts.

With PHP-Nuke, Francisco Burzi runs the whole show and he usually seems to ignore suggestions. PHP-Nuke is a big, complex package with lots of source files. Modifying Nuke is tricky, but it’s fairly easy to configure and install without any programming.

Drupal is very small and modular. Many developers are involved and the community is very active and open to outside contributions. It’s not as full-featured or stable as Nuke, and it’s a lot more difficult to configure, but it’s a lot more flexible. To really get the most out of it, some programming work is necessary. There are a lot of existing modules to add functionality, and it’s possible to write your own modules.

I probably wouldn’t be able to do a site like in Nuke, since it doesn’t let you add new object types (such as tunes) and integrate them as thoroughly with the rest of the site’s content. When you add a module to Nuke, it’s pretty much separate from the rest of the site’s functionality. Nuke modules can’t extend other parts of the system or modify the functionality of other modules. Drupal’s object-oriented architecture makes all of that possible.

6 thoughts on “PHP-Nuke vs. Drupal”

  1. Pretty much everyone who develops on Drupal is interested in making it a better piece of software. If you have time it would be great to hear more about your experiences using it. Tell us what is good, what isn't so great, what sucks, and how you would make it better.

    What did you have to program to change to your liking? What was hard about setting it up? I'd love to hear more information about such things, and so would plenty others.

  2. The thing I found most difficult about setting it up was getting all of the user permissions correct to allow users to create content, since everything defaults to off. The defaults should probably be to allow registered users to create most content and anonymous users to access most content.

    With PHP-Nuke, when you install it you immediately have a usable system. With Drupal, you have to set permissions and enable modules before it's usable.

    I've been using Drupal CVS and a lot of the modules I've been using haven't been updated to work with it. In particular, I wasn't happy with the filestore module, which used the database, so I ended up writing my own which used the file API.

    I'm still having difficulty getting the Events module to work. It only shows a preview button and won't allow any events to be created. The funny part is the *exact* same code works perfectly for testing on my PowerBook before I upload it to the server.

  3. BTW, this thread points out a big difference between Drupal & Nuke. Two Drupal team members posted comments, while FB ignores all outside suggestions & patches (such as the static RSS feed).

  4. Yup,
    I used to be a php-nuker, but now I am looking for a "lite" extensible cms, my only real requirements are integrated gallery-thumbnailer, a blog-like feature, and the ability to have pdf documents readable in-situ. Wanted, but not necessary options are xhtml standards compliance, rss feeds, mailing list and calendar. I am looking towards AngelineCMS. Any other bloat-free suggestions that work "out of the box"? Drupal is nice, but seems to require more skills than I have.

  5. It's a real shame that the general impression of Drupal is that it requires coding skills and a lot more…
    I don't code. I use Drupal.
    That you need to understand the user permission system and set it up seems to me to be a small price.
    I believe that setting up a site – and not having an opinion about user permission – is less than adequate.

    But I will advocate preloaded setups for Drupal in the future. Just choose your preferred type of site, and Drupal setup configures one for you. That is what is on my wishlist.

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