I am very confused: there are so many open source CMSs, and they vary so much in quality, features, appearance, complexity, and across multiple other dimensions. Finding one which does everything well is extremely tricky. I've been reviewing many of these beasts over the last couple of weeks, and have installed about 10 and tried to build the same simple site with each (using my "20 point CMS test", which I may publicise eventually). My eventual aim is to produce a report recommending a selection of half a dozen, for a variety of different needs.
So what can I recommend so far? Well, my current "generic" leader is Drupal. This is well-thought of in the community; the code seems relatively clean and fairly easy to extend; it has a lot of nice modules for doing all the common CMS tasks; the default templates produce decent XHTML/CSS. What's missing? WYSIWYG editing in Mozilla/Firefox seems quite an important omission. The blog module is also a bit primitive by comparison with WordPress (which I really like), so I think I'll stick with WordPress for blogging at the moment.
My next self-imposed challenge, then: see how hard it is to write a Drupal module which replaces Drupal text areas with the TinyMCE in-browser, WYSIWYG HTML editor. I've seen this done in Xaraya, but not for Drupal yet. This could actually be a useful module for other people, and give me a concrete project which will encourage me to learn how to code Drupal modules.
I've recently been building a website for a charity in Manchester (see Self Help Services), which I launched last week. I found out about the project through the IT4Communities website, which I recommend for anyone with IT skills who would like to do some charity work. I also got involved to improve my portfolio, when I was thinking about a career change and considering consultancy.
One thing I'm quite pleased about is that I designed it to the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. As a consequence, when I tried the site through my new HP iPAQ PDA, it displayed very nicely, unlike 90% of sites on the web. I've always maintained that building accessible sites would future-proof them: human-accessible = machine-accessible as a consequence. Nice to see it working in practice.
Made my donation (worked out at Â£17) to this campaign: Spread Firefox - Igniting the web.
My name will appear, along with around 9000 other people's, in a New York Times ad. in support of Firefox. If you haven't already switched, why not?
Finally, I've made a concrete contribution to an open source project: I submitted a bug report to the SugarCRM people a couple of weeks ago, and it's now been fixed. SugarCRM is, as you might have guessed, a CRM system. It's interesting because, while it is open source, it has a huge amount of backing from venture capitalists. It's something I intend to review before too long, as I've been given the task of writing a CRM "primer" as part of my work schedule. I'll be looking at it alongside XRMS and other projects.
Anyway, it's nice to finally make a contribution to open source, even though it's small.
(The bug report is at SourceForge.net: Modify:1031310 - SQL error when associating contact with task.)
I've also been working on some Python scripts for parsing a Mozilla bookmarks file and posting the results to the del.icio.us REST API. Take a look at the scripts if you're interested.
Then found someone else had been hacking around with Python and del.icio.us: http://www.hackdiary.com/archives/000060.html. Should have searched for that before I started, I suppose. I just got carried away. Still, I haven't found any Mozilla to del.icio.us parsers other than mine.
del.icio.us is a bookmarking service (see http://del.icio.us/doc/about). Basically, you can put your bookmarks into a central web-based repository, and use them from any browser (e.g. by opening your bookmarks in an HTML page). There's a link to my bookmarks in the menu on the right.
Plus points for me are:
There's a lot of OSS. How do I make choices about what's good and what's bad? Here's some things which put me off some OSS products.