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One reason I really like Drupal is that with the fusion base theme, you
really don't need to know ANY PHP to get most layouts / designs.  While
knowing PHP would let you do more.  I design themes.  You can just point
firebug at spots and change the theme.  In the admin UI you can setup
fixed/float width and setup the column layout and size.

On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 2:59 PM, James Benstead <> wrote:

Forwarded at the request of Benjamin Horst:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: James Benstead <>
Date: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 7:27 PM
Subject: Re: Libreoffice and Drupal Security
To: David Nelson <>
Cc:, Benjamin Benjamin Horst <>, Alex
Giorgi-Coll <>

Hi David et al,

On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 6:27 PM, David Nelson <

Hi Greg, :-)

Thanks a lot for your answers. There, in fact you did indeed tell me
what I was curious to know. I read through your report, too. I've been
monitoring the discussions on the list... Keith Williams, notably, is
arguing hard for Drupal. Me, I'm simply an observer of this
discussion, so anything I say will be simply uninvited butting-in. I
could recommend you to jump into this thread:

There are SilverStripe proponents citing notably the admin interface
and the initial configuration of Drupal as cons for its adoption.
Security is not what's at issue for them. They seem to feel that
Drupal's admin interface is not easy to use, notably for admins with
no Drupal experience.

While this is true of the default Drupal admin interface, it is possible to
build any admin interface you like for Drupal. There are a number of "admin
themes" that can be set to kick in when an administrator wants to make
changes to their site: see as an example.

Secondly, a huge amount of UI/UX work has been put into D7 so that the
interface is usable out of the box. This work was headed up by Mark Boulton
(, largely in response to a 2008 University
Baltimore study which examined the out-of-the-box usability of Drupal 6:

Please let me know if you would like me to contact Mark Boulton - he is
highly unlikely to want to join the discussion but I am happy to put
questions to him directly.

Thirdly, the usability of any specific D6 site is really down to the
of the individual or team that builds that site. I would not claim to be a
designer (our Creative Director, Alex Giorgi-Coll, is copied into this
email) but I have a strong interest in UI/UX from my days teaching web
skills to people with disabilities. codeloom prioritises the UI/UX of the
sites we produce.

They haven't seen a convincing demo site with sufficient content on it
to properly showcase Drupal. Also, they are worried about their lack
of experience with it, and that if things go wrong they'll have no-one
to turn to. If they could get some ongoing and reliable support from
some Drupal people, and if they could get a look at the backend of a
live, operational site of some consequence, I'd say that could help
swing things.

We're aiming to produce just such a site on - I'll let
you know when this is live. In the meantime, have you seen Drupal Gardens
at  That may go some way to properly
showcasing Drupal.

As far as support goes, this will take time and therefore potentially
One place to  enquire is - we're due to be working
with them on an education project, so let me know if you'd like me to
mention the potential LibreOffice Drupal site to them.

They need a wiki and forums, and there are voices that want those as
add-on modules integrated with Drupal. Some people seem to think that
it's better to have a dedicated product for each (CMS, forums and
Wiki). If you can convince them Drupal has an integrated answer that
is more advantageous than separate products, you can win the day.

This is an interesting one - Drupal has wiki-like capabilities but my
current position would be to use Mediawiki for a specific wiki. I'd be
really interested to hear of any Drupal-specific solutions, though.

Some people also seem to have doubts about the ease of theming with
Drupal templates... Plus how to handle special data types...

With regards to Drupal theming, it is a technical challenge, especially to
graphic designers with little PHP/jQuery knowledge. The D6 theming system
can be learnt and taught relatively easily though; there are great tutorial
DVDs available from, for example.

As for handling special data types, can you be a litte more specific? I'm
relatively non-technical ;)


I hope this helps you plan your attack... You might care to liaise
with Keith Williams about this?

Of course, if I can be of any help, please do let me know. My own
experience has been with small, personal sites done with Zikula
(ex-PostNuke), which I can happily hack and theme. And, more recently
with WordPress. But I'm a complete outsider and recent observer of the
TDF/LibO project. However, I'm looking for an opportunity to get

Suggestion: Drupal people are the only CMS guys to have actively taken
an interest in the TDF sites project, but beware of discussion about
WorPress/Pods/BuddyPress gaining momentum...?

Hope this helps, and thanks for the info. Personally, I reckon Drupal
deserves to win the day...

Good luck, and all the best, :-)

David Nelson

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