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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 9:00 pm 
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There is an old board for Joomla vs Drupal [MOD note: see viewtopic.php?f=48&t=4364 - MOD pe7er] but I have found it pretty useless since it is so old and is not useful for someone trying to evaluate the two today because the versions have changed so much.

So let's get a fresh start on this. I am a novice at both (just started using each about 7 weeks ago from scratch) and like both and get frustrated with both for different reasons.

Would love to see some great discussion, I'm sure I will learn a lot!


I started a blog about it but will post what I have so far here for convenience.


Joomla vs Drupal: Part 1 (Intro, Installation and Admin Interface)

The first thing you will find if you search the net for comparisons of CMS is that they are dated. Any review you read comparing two content management systems is only marginally useful if it is more than 6 months old.

When new version of these puppies roll out it’s like rolling out a revamped model of a car and if you are not careful you will be reading a review comparing a 2006 Honda Accord and a 2005 Toyota Camry when you are in the market for a 2008. So take any old comparison with a grain of salt, they are useful only to a point.

So I’ll break down, from our ‘noob’ experience, a rating (1-5) of the two and the “winner” across the issue that you are probably most interested in. Whether you are more hands on or using a vendor to assist you these rating should help you get a feel for how hard you (or you vendor) will really have to work.

Ease of installation - Winner: Tie

The installation of both Joomla and Drupal will depend on where you hosting your website. If you are hands on find a host with preloaded scripts (”Simple Scripts” or “Fantastico” for example). If these are pre-loaded on your host installation is a breeze.

If you are using a vendor, it will be a breeze for them to. If a vendor remarks at any difficulty with this run the other way.

Organization of Administrator Interface - Winner: Drupal

Drupal: 4 Joomla: 3

Both systems have an administrative back-end where you can access all your content, modules and settings. Each as things that are better than the other and worse than the other.

Joomla definitely has cuter icons which gives the illusion of being more user-friendly. While Drupal doesn’t have the icons it is much easier to find where you want to go. “Content Mgt,” Site Building,” “Site configuration,” and “User Management,” are the basics and pretty self explanatory.

Joomla has separate area for Menu, Sections, Categories, Modules, Components, Plug-ins, Templates and there is a significant learning curve on locating what you really want to get to. Setting up a menu in Joomla is a frustrating experience even when you have done it 20 times.

Drupal also come with Ajax menus that make it VERY easy to reorder content whether it is in menus or actual site layout. Joomla will [drive] you to tears with its click boxes and ordering irritations.


Joomla vs Drupal: Part 2 (Themes/Templates)


So how do Joomla (1.5) and Drupal (6.2) compare on issues related to getting the look and feel you want AND the content where you want it?

One thing to seek in mind is that Joomla calls these site layouts and designs as “Templates” and Drupal as “Themes.”

Availability of Templates/Themes - Winner: Joomla

Drupal: 2.5 Joomla: 5

There are many quality, free templates available for both of these platforms. However, there are more templates available for Joomla (1.5) than for Drupal (6.x) at this time. So if you want to find something free or cheap as opposed to finding someone to make you a custom template or making it yourself (which you probably won’t do if you are reading this) Joomla wins hands down.

Ease of Installing Templates/Themes - Winner: Tie

Drupal: 5 Joomla: 5

Installing a new template/theme is as easy as downloading it, possibly unzipping/uncompressing it, and uploading it to the templates/theme directory on your server. Simple, simple, simple. Then you just go in the back-end and select it.

Ease of Configuring and Customizing Templates/Themes - Winner: Joomla

Drupal: 2 Joomla: 3

Both platforms get relatively low marks but for different reasons and too there are many factor when it comes to configuring templates/themes. It is important to not confuse customizing the actual theme/template with positioning your content areas in a template.

In short, by design the Drupal platform makes it easier to place you content in any given template but the templates themselves can be difficult to customize beyond changing the logo. Joomla by design is an exercise it patience and prayer when trying to position content but most templates are fairly simple to modify the look and feel of for those who can tweak html and css.

The biggest factor is the theme/template itself and the configuration setting that the developer/designer has built in. These preset configuration setting can range from having many different color themes to several column layout setting to having almost no custom configuration settings. This goes for both Drupal and Joomla.

You should read before you download and install a template/theme to see what the options are but you won’t really know and have a good feel for how the preset setting work until you try it.

Many of the readily available Drupal themes there are robust options for changing color combinations but not so many for layout changes. Yet because of Drupals VERY nice “blocks” feature putting content areas where you want them on the page is almost fun.

Joomla? Getting the right modules (in Drupal “blocks”) in the right place on template can be nothing short of a nightmare, especially if you get things set up in one template and then decided to try another template. This is in part because Joomla templates can vary so widely in the number and labeling of modules (content areas) on a page. It is also in part because it is just a pain in the ass. If I could merge these two platforms this would be the first thing I would do.

There is a drawback in Drupal in customizing actual html or css because you have to use an external program to even see it. Joomla has view and edit html and css options right in the back-end.

Joomla templates are also easier to customize at the html and css level. This is probably because Drupal has much more fluid and dynamic page layouts and themes (templates).

So both have their pros and con but Joomla wins for the intermediate user.

Ease of Placing Content Areas in Templates/Themes: Drupal

Drupal: 5 Joomla: 2

Taking into account the aforementioned, Drupal with its Ajax-sliding units on the admin side blows away Joomla and Joomla just, well, blows.

With Drupal you just move the Blocks (content areas) to where you want them on the back-end, pretty much limited by the theme/template layout. It is awesome.

With Joomla the biggest problem you are going to have is if you ever get set on a template and then decide to change to another one. You will also probably have problem because modules (content areas) have types that can be not so clear.

Prettiest Template/Themes: Joomla (barely)

Drupal: 3 Joomla: 4

This goes back to the issue of availability. I don’t really think there are limitation to either platform with regards to aesthetics, either with the right amount of elbow grease can look fantastic. That said, if you need to use elbow grease Joomla will take less.

But Joomla win as there is much great select of very nice templates available for 1.5 than for Drupal 6.2.


Last edited by Beach_Sales on Tue May 20, 2008 2:53 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 12:27 pm 
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Very interesting!


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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 2:44 pm 
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Thanks for sharing this, drupal is awesome but joomla! is simply the best :D

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 4:04 pm 
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Nice, concise, and unbiased comparison. And, imho, there is no "best" when it comes to Drupal and Joomla!. Both are winners... :)

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 4:54 pm 
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HarryB wrote:
Nice, concise, and unbiased comparison. And, imho, there is no "best" when it comes to Drupal and Joomla!. Both are winners... :)

That is so true. I love both of them for different reasons.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 2:55 am 
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Okay. Part 3.

Joomla vs Drupal: Part 3 (Modules/Extensions/Third-Party Stuff)

Both Joomla 1.5 and Drupal 6.2 have nice stable cores as content management systems, congratulation to both the communities that have made this the case, but what can really make you CMS based websites explode (in a good way) with functionality are add-on modules (in Drupalese) and extensions (in Joomlan) that can do anything from add a gallery feature to create all you need for a whole social networking-based website and everything in between and beyond.

An argument could be made that it is these modules and the communities that make them are what really make these two platforms worth using for the non-programmer type. Without these modules these CMS would be nothing more than blogging software at the most and fancy website making tools at the least.

For both Platforms there are communities of developers who make the add-ons, some are free (many are) some are modestly priced.

So which platform, Joomla 1.5 or Drupal 6.x, is going to get you where you want to go.

Availability of Modules/Extensions - Winner: Joomla

Drupal: 2 Joomla: 4.5

As of this writing Joomla wins hands down. Why? Three main reasons:

1) Joomla apparently has a larger and more active third-party development community

2) More more more to choose from,

3) More to choose from because of the “Legacy Mode” Plug-in that allows Joomla 1.5 to run some Joomla 1.x extensions.

Joomla extensions are very well organized on Joomla.org and very well labeled for their compatibility with Joomla 1.5, Joomla 1.x, or both.

For Joomla 1.5 extension can be either “1.5 Native” which means it runs and is build for Joomla 1.5 or it can be “1.5 Legacy.” What this means is that the extensions was orginally created for Joomla 1.x but will (or SHOULD) run on Joomla 1.5 with the Legacy Plug-in enabled.

Huh, gobbledygook. In plain English there is a setting in Joomla 1.5 that can turn on Legacy Mode which I guess is just the activation of code to make 1.5 properly run extension made for Joomla 1.x THAT have been modified by the developer enough to be compatible (i.e. don’t think that you can just turn on legacy mode and all extension made for Joomla 1.x will work on you site, save youself the headache and don’t try that).

Legacy mode is a tricky and precarious thing but from what I read on the boards it causes the most problems for people and extensions when people are upgrading from 1.x to 1.5 and have several extensions added on to their Joomla site that need to be supported on 1.5.

You shouldn’t have many problems if you have to run legacy mode on a new installation of 1.5. I have installed the community builder module which is legacy mode compatible with out significant problems.

Drupal has some great modules but at this time you will find yourself reading through the list on drupal.org going “Sweet module…aw damn it’s not for 6.x”

Installation of Modules/Extensions - Winner: Joomla (barely)

Drupal: 3.7 Joomla: 4

So this speaks more to the quality of the extensions available and the many variables that may cause of a module to have installation issues. I'll speak more on those variable in the next section but for now I'll concentrate on the actual installation.

The actual installation of Joomla Extension is easier only because you can directly install them through the back-end admin interface and you don't even have to unzip/uncompress them after you download them (this is very nice).

Drupal modules (as far as I have experienced) have to be unzip/uncompressed and then installed into the directory structure of your site. It is easy enough to do over an ftp connection (the folder is called "modules") it is just extra steps that the novices may not be comfortable with.

Basically it is pretty easy to install modules on both platforms. It really is not that bad.

Getting Modules/Extension to Work Right- Winner: Drupal

Drupal: 4 Joomla: 3

Once installed getting them module/extension to work is another game all together.
I highly recommend with Joomla extensions reading the reveiws of the extensions on Joomla.org. This will give a good idea of what kind of problems people are having and how widespread the the issue is and how easy it is to fix. These reviews will also give you an idea of how responsive the third-party developer is to making changes in the extension code to make it more usable if people are having problems. This goes for free and extension that may cost you $$.

And again don't forget to look at the "Joomla 1.5 Native" and Joomla 1.5 Legacy" compatibility before you download and try to install. Don't be afraid to read reviews for Joomla 1.x extension, something might catch your eye and maybe a 1.5 version is in development.

Now comes the reason for the low score on Joomla extensions, they can be fickle things. You may get module installed, turn it on ("enable" it) and it might hum great. Then you find a great new template and mysteriously you extension (or parts thereof) doesn't work on that template. Then you are in a situation where you're having to hunt down the solution and try and figure out is it the template or is it the module. Most of the time I resign myself the fact that is a just like a bad relationship, both are great, they just don't work together, so I have to chose...template or module.

With Drupal I have yet to have a problem with getting a module to work as advertised but again, do your research on the front-end don't just install modules because they sound cool and say they do what you want.

Drupal modules are more scarce but those that are compatible with 6.x are pretty stable and of higher quality ON AVERAGE. Please don't misinterpret that, there are many many high quality Joomla extension but there are also many more crappy and buggy ones. Do your research!

I have also found that if you have problem 95% of the time someone else has had the same problem and it is on a forum, either on the joomla and druapl websites or on the forum of the developer.

The take home message are these:

1) Do your research before you install. If you see a lot of people have had a lot of problems and are trying to do what you are trying to do, you might want to steer clear of that module/extension or at least prepare yourself for the fact that it might not work or require some tweaking.

2) Be aware that your favorite extension in Joomla and your new favorite template may not play as well together as Hannity and Combs (and that is saying a lot). And for the none political minded, they may not play as well together as Duke and UNC (or the Yankees and Boston or the Israelis and Palestinians, you get the idea).

Summary

Joomla 1.5 is going to give a greater variety and availability of extesions and add-ons AND the pipeline looks better too with an active commuinty and lots of Joomla 1.x extension that hopefully will make the jumps to 1.5. However, woe be unto the Joomla user that installs modules willy-nilly without reading the reviews first.

Drupal 6.2 is has fewer modules available and the pipeline seems a bit slower to get 5.x modules ready for 6.x. However, what does make it to 6.2 is probably going to give you fewer headaches and be very stable.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:39 am 
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Nice analysis! :)

Quote:
"Joomla will [drive] you to tears with its click boxes and ordering irritations."I
think you have missed the nice reorder thing about Joomla. Its very easy to do that reorder of menus by just typing in the menu order list and change. Maybe I misunderstood that.

Except better hierarchies structuring, taxonomies and nodes I am missing a good search engine from scratch like the integration like Drupal now is doing with the Solr search engine framework. http://drupal.org/project/solr

This one that is used here for the phpBB could also be used - dont know which is the best.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:28 pm 
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Quote:
"Joomla will [drive] you to tears with its click boxes and ordering irritations."I think you have missed the nice reorder thing about Joomla. Its very easy to do that reorder of menus by just typing in the menu order list and change. Maybe I misunderstood that.


I have found that the Ajax menu sliding in Drupal is vastly more user-friendly than the the reordering functionality in Joomla. If Joomla could lock this type of functionality down on it's back end it would a HUGE improvement.

The reordering issue also become prominent when trying to reorder articles or fields (i.e. using AdsManager). If you don't number your ordering with gaps (like 10,20, 30 vs 1,2,3), if you have to go back and ad some fields it is a pain. The sliding Ajax stuff would be a tremendous plus.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:39 pm 
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I'm going to try Drupal tonight.

In my dayjob I'm used to working in a java based cms. We use the velocity template engine and it's very easy to get the layout you want. You can program a new page with new behavior very easily. All pages in the cms are inheriting the class partentity which acts as a blue print for the page. Each page has it's separate view which allows to really control layout and flow of the data being outputted.

I've been trying to do my first real template in Joomla and to be honest I find it very difficult. Maybe it is because I haven't gotten around to adapt the proper workflow yet. I'm missing some freedom in creating a template to be honest and you really have to know every bit of html output from every component before you can get a decent site. I want to be able to define my css/xhtml on a static template and want to convert that easily to Joomla. So far no luck.

I'm very impressed with the ease of management of the site and the great backend. (Something our cms lacks I have to say.)

The reason I'm going to give Drupal a try is because of the Smarty template option. I will let you guys know how it went tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:59 am 
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Well keep us posting then...always good to learn from other cms good features.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 12:05 pm 
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Gave up at 3.00am :D It seems the stories are true. Drupal is much harder then Joomla to grasp. Now my first findings:

Joomla is much nicer in design! Drupal, like our custom cms, has been developed by programmers. And as everyone knows, most programmers can't design (including me). So hoorray for the Joomla interface!

On the other hand, I find that Drupal has cron jobs etc so yes, Drupal is more technically advanced.

What's the best CMS? I'd say Joomla because it's easier but a guy at work says that how harder something is to grasp the better. So I don't know. My conclusion? Make Joomla and Drupal one project! Mix the good things from both cms's and you'll end up with something fresh, good and new!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:37 pm 
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Drupal's Themes (Templates) are definitely a severe weakness compared to what is out there in Joomlaland. It can really be slim pickin's.

I do though find the admin interface on Drupal to but much easier to navigate. My development partner and I gave each platform a fair shake and developed several sites using each and ultimately from a content management perspective, build time perspective, and module integration perspective we have grown to prefer Drupal. And we have found that customizing themes (templates) is not so bad, it is just, again, that the number of themes out there is very very limited.

That said, don't give up on Drupal. All things have learning curves and Drupal's is worse than Joomla but once you get deeper into it there is a flexibility in Drupal that can make something that in Joomla takes 4 steps take only 1 in Drupal.

We still use Joomla for certain types of sites but for simple sites we've ironically found Drupal to have a much shorter development and roll out time.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:42 pm 
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rockarena wrote:
My conclusion? Make Joomla and Drupal one project! Mix the good things from both cms's and you'll end up with something fresh, good and new!


Think there is already a convergence in functionality and "pros" adoption. It is definitely healthy for people to be familiar with both so that ideas can be shared. I get the feeling sometimes that people get in a Joomla or Drupal "camp" and think one is so much better than the other that don't want to even here about the other.

"Bridgers" (people who use and are familar with both) are very important to the development of both platforms.

Jack Welch was a big proponent of finding the best practices anywhere and everywhere and integrating them into GE's business. So should Joomla and Drupal developers.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:21 pm 
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Beach_Sales wrote:
rockarena wrote:
My conclusion? Make Joomla and Drupal one project! Mix the good things from both cms's and you'll end up with something fresh, good and new!


Think there is already a convergence in functionality and "pros" adoption. It is definitely healthy for people to be familiar with both so that ideas can be shared. I get the feeling sometimes that people get in a Joomla or Drupal "camp" and think one is so much better than the other that don't want to even here about the other.

"Bridgers" (people who use and are familar with both) are very important to the development of both platforms.

Jack Welch was a big proponent of finding the best practices anywhere and everywhere and integrating them into GE's business. So should Joomla and Drupal developers.

That's what I meant! Totally agree! This is al open source community so I find it very important that both 'camps' stick their heads together and learn from each other. I for one welcome the idea of a meeting between Joomla and Drupal developpers. Maybe even here in Belgium where I live :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:25 pm 
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rockarena wrote:
I for one welcome the idea of a meeting between Joomla and Drupal developpers. Maybe even here in Belgium where I live :D


Some of the Core Team have spent time together with some of the Drupal Developers in the past on a few occasions I think. We also regularly share space with Drupal at Expos etc. At CeBit they had a booth across the way from us.

That being said, both projects are different, yet still excellent open source projects. Of course we follow each other, but we are both also vastly different. All the more for the end user, more options.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:21 pm 
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The comparative reviews posted here are not very helpful in my opinion, because they extensively focus on subjective user experiences which can vary widely. My experience is exactly the opposite in some cases.

You have to do professional large group usability studies to really determine what is true for most or "typical" users' experience--and even then it will vary depending on how experienced people in the test group are with similar technologies. If you have used a wiki, Drupal makes more sense. If you have used any kind of publishing or workflow system, Joomla will make more sense.

BTW, Drupal just did some professional usability studies and is planning major changes accordingly. I agree very much with all the changes.

But what I'd like to propose here, is that people who are building sites for other people think about software selection from the standpoint of that unique individual/group/entity:

Initial Questions for Clients:

Who is your audience, what is your relationship with them, and what are you trying to accomplish in that relationship?
What do you want this site to do? [Work up into required feature set.]
How large will your site be in pages and other content in the initial build?
What is the frequency of anticipated changes, updates, and other work you will be doing to the site?
What room for growth in features/functionality and layout/design do you need?
What are your initial needs for multi-user, access-level restriction and workflow features?
What is your level of expertise and capacity to acquire it in content administration, functionality control/expansion, design, and maintenance? (Maintenance may include upgrades, security, analytics, SEO, etc.)
How important are custom features/functionality and/or layout/design as part of the initial build?
How much do you want to invest in developing functionality and design from (GPL) code? (More developer time, no direct costs)
How much do you want to invest in developing functionality and design from commercial third-party extensions and templates? (Less developer time, typically small direct costs)
How important is the speed of deployment versus the depth of its quality?
How do you want this site to look and function 2 years from now? 5 years?
How do you intend to support/maintain the software in the long term?


Subsequent Questions to Apply to Selection Candidates in Consultation with Clients:
[Clients should have tested selection candidate demo installations.]

Is the administrative user interface an environment the client likes working in?
How steep is the learning curve relative to administration, functionality, design, and maintenance and the client's ability to climb it?
How easily and quickly can the software be deployed and developed to the client's specifications, and how much important is this to the client?
What should the client know about the current releases and anticipated roadmaps of the software?
What dependencies for support, upgrades, and maintenance are being created, and who will manage these dependencies? How?
What is the projected total cost of ownership for 5 years?
annoying workarounds for this.)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:11 am 
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"And again don't forget to look at the "Joomla 1.5 Native" and Joomla 1.5 Legacy" compatibility before you download and try to install. Don't be afraid to read reviews for Joomla 1.x extension, something might catch your eye and maybe a 1.5 version is in development."

You really did a nice analysis and this topic is good to know about. Agree to what many said here and one thing is that maybe core team of Jooma would set up a date when the legacy plugin is dropped maybe saying that Joomla 1.5.xx version will not include legacy plugin anymore giving 3 pds a last chance to update their addons to n a t i v e Joomla 1.5 framework.

comments?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:36 am 
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An interesting analysis would be "average time for response in forums" and "number of unanswered questions".


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:45 am 
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For Newbies... I think I go with Joomla because of quick learning curve and very active community. Joomla and Drupal one project ? I'd would say No because no competition = less development.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:03 pm 
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They are too different to ever be united if that is what you mean funan. Not possible, not wanted, and not ever considered most likely. People with a "there can only be one attitude" are usually kids or groupies who don't get open source. Unfortunately some developers can get really obsessed to. It's good not to develop too close of a relationship with software....

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:34 am 
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dpk wrote:
It's good not to develop too close of a relationship with software....


I was worried about that. So, is there a cure? ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:50 am 
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Sometimes nerds acquire human significant others... :D

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:29 pm 
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Thanks for the post, good info.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:18 pm 
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Good balanced comparison, its interesting that these are the two CMS's reviewed as they are the only two I have used. Drupal was my first dabble in the CMS world, version 4.6 I think :D. I did upgrade to 5.x but have barely used 6.x. From what I have seen and read though, it appears is to be a tremendous version. When I used Drupal I did find a it top framework although some administrative tasks were a bit difficult to get to grips with inititally. The underlying code was relatively easy to understand and modify though.

I discovered Joomla late last year and started out with version 1.0.12 but now use 1.5.x exclulsively. From the onset I found it absurdly easy to administer. On the other hand, I find the code a bit more difficult to follow. I have stuck with Joomla simply because at the moment because it pretty much does what I want to do. There has really been no compelling reason to look elsewhere :) .

At the end of the day though, a newbie (or seasoned designer) will do well to choose either framework. I hope they both can continue to grow in strength :) .

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:11 pm 
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I strongly disagree with three parts of the original review in this thread. In the following areas, I think Joomla, beats Drupal by a long way:

Administrator interface
Ease of Placing Content Areas in Templates
Prettiest Template/Themes

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:13 pm 
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CURRENT RELEASE RECEPTION:

Joomla 1.0 is a solid, well-supported product, and most of its extensions can be used in Joomla 1.5 set to run in legacy mode. Migrating from 1.0 to 1.5 is not a picnic for customized sites, but it's not as bad as the move from Drupal 5 to 6 either. By the time Joomla 1.5 had its first stable release--in part due to the long wait--there was sufficient 3rd party developer support (templates and extensions) to make 1.5 the logical choice for people building new Joomla sites. By contrast, Drupal 6 completely broke backward compatibility with 3rd party templates and extensions/modules, which are slowly catching up. Drupal 5 is competing with Drupal 6 for this reason, much as Windows XP is competing with Vista, as critical modules for advanced Drupal sites are not ready for Drupal 6.

COMPARISON SUMMARY:

JOOMLA! is a powerful CMS most suited to rapid deployment of mid to large-sized conventional websites anyone can learn to operate in short order thanks to an attractive, well-organized and highly intuitive administrative back-end user interface that follows standard interface design. Out-of-the-box installations of Joomla and most of its templates have a professional look and layout that goes beyond the simple, vertical, bloggy designs of Drupal and Wordpress. Numerous high quality templates exist, both free of charge and inexpensive commercial options. Template design/customization is rather simple with many models to draw from, and Joomla 1.5 allows new methods for per-page styling and the possibility of finally doing tableless, semantically valid standards compliant design. Rich text WYSIWYG editors--includying tinyMCE in the core installation--add to the usability of Joomla by users with no technical proficiency beyond the ability to use common desktop applications. Joomla templates and extensions also offer a lot of eye-candy if you want it. Its strongest extensions are commercial in nature and have weaker or no counterparts at all in Drupal or Wordpress: e.g., integrated ad management, event listings, eCommerce storefront/shopping cart, and directories. (Classified ad extensions exist but lag in development for Joomla, and there is no native-compatible option for Joomla 1.5.) If Joomla's fixed user roles and permissions, content types and category system are too limited for your purposes (e.g., community/social networking sites) you must resort to various extensions which do not all play well with each other and add greatly to your site's dependencies, maintenance needs, and potential breaking points.

DRUPAL not really a CMS, it is "community plumbing"--a highly amorphous and dizzyingly scalable, customizable blog engine with social networking and wiki-like features--e.g., revision tracking and version controls, the ability to alias URLs as you create content, and the lack of a clear-cut administrative backend. (Drupal's core support for SEF/url aliasing beats Joomla's by far.) Whereas Joomla directs and guides users to build fairly advanced, professional-looking sites by means of conceptual and technical limitations imposed on the user, Drupal gives users a rather vanilla blog out of the box that has the ability to be customized at fundamental levels that are not possible in Joomla. Drupal's infinitely variable roles-based permissions system integrates with every module (extension) and enables the creation of complex workflow systems, community/social networking sites, etc. Drupal's core support for infinitely customizable content categories is delivered in a somewhat non-intuitive manner that adds to the learning curve, but it is a far more powerful core feature than Joomla offers, enabling several popular (albeit difficult) extensions to create custom content types and views. This flexibility and scalability allows Drupal to be developed into a full-fledged CMS, a social network, or both. Complex site development with Drupal is a challenging process requiring considerable experience or theability to cope with a steep learning curve. Badly disorganized documentation and extensions at drupal.org and a convoluted, disorganized administrative user interface add to the hardship and annoyances. Building original or highly customized themes (templates) in Drupal is a monstrous undertaking with a steep learning curve, and the existing templates available for Drupal are far, far fewer than those available for Joomla. The number of true quality templates for Drupal is extremely small, and there are few commercial options.


KEY DIFFERENCES/DO YOU WANT AN APPLE OR AN ORANGE?
Joomla as advertised is a CMS, so it offers CMS functions and little more in its core. For deployments where more is needed, Joomla is amply supplemented by a large body of third-party extensions. Joomla extensions are "tacked onto" Joomla, typically on a cosmetic level that does not integrate with Joomla's core content management logic. Features like comments and forums are added on as third party extensions in Joomla--and there is a wide array of choices--but there is no standard option or standardized format for common content types like comments and forum posts. Comments and forums are two of the most popular extension types, but they are often hard to install, maintain and upgrade when standalone forums are bridged to Joomla. Joomla's extensions will readily work, have a strong visual presentation out of the box, and be easy to manage within the administrative interface.

By contrast, Drupal includes an integrated forum and comment system in its core module set so this is the standard but only option. There is also a large body of third-party extensions which do integrate with Drupal's core content management logic when there's a logical reason for them to do so, but they are typically weak on presentation and leave that entirely to the site developer. The functionality of Drupal's forum and comments is highly limited, even with further extensions added to supplement it, which explains the existence of a Drupal fork that integrates the commercial vBulletin forum with Drupal. Unlike Joomla, Drupal treats comments and forum posts as content types alongside stories (articles), pages (static content), and any other user-defined custom content types. In Joomla you must have sections and categories, you can only have sections and categories, and all articles must belong to only one section/category or none. Articles are the only possible content type as far as Joomla is concerned; sections and categories only apply to articles. The way content is displayed is highly limited without using template overrides in Joomla 1.5, which cannot be controlled from the back end. In Drupal you can define any number of terms (categories) within a vocabulary (sections), and any kind of content (which can be anything according to your own definitions) can be assigned to any number of terms. Content can be displayed on the fly according to any combination of terms and/or vocabularies.

Drupal's open content architecture can be confusing when you are first exposed to it if you are accustomed to the way Joomla and other platforms segregate content/comments/forums and assume a reductive definition of content. Drupal's expansive assumption that content is anything people add into it is more logical and powerful but requires a lot more planning and work to intelligently use.

DETAILED BREAKDOWN:

[1] Core Release Installation and Upgrading

Joomla and Drupal have similarly simple, functional installers. Drupal may have an advantage in its installation process if you have use for its installation profiles feature. Drupal's installation profiles allow you to select what core modules gets installed and configured based on the kind of site you are building. Joomla has a great installer but still comes packed with a bunch of core extensions you may not want, but you get them on every installation.

Joomla core release upgrades are not noted automatically within the administrative interface. You must download them, unpack them, and manually upload their files. Drupal upgrades are noted within the administrative interface. You must download them, unpack them, manually upload their files, and then run the upgrade process in the administrative interface. It's possible to roll back any previously installed version.

[2] Third-Party Extension Installation and Upgrading

Joomla extensions are loaded into the backed universal installer (http or ftp) as .zip files and immediately report on the results of the installation process. Extensions can also be installed from a URL or local server directory as well, or you can use FTP to install them manually. It's extremely rare for something to go badly awry when installing extensions.

In Drupal you have to upload extensions by FTP, following any special instructions for them. After turning on a module, it can "break" the site and lock you out of the administrative interface because it is not distinct from the front end. In Joomla I have never seen a bad extension do this. Managing Drupal extensions is also more taxing than it is in Joomla because of they way they add layers to the admin UI and get buried in it.

Available Drupal module upgrades are noted within the administrative interface. You must download them, unpack them, manually upload their files, and then run the upgrade process in the administrative interface. It's possible to roll back any previously installed version. Only a few Joomla extensions give live upgrade alerts and/or live updates.

[3] Building and Managing a Highly Extended, Custom Site

It's incredibly easy to load up Joomla with extensions which are generally high quality, at least on the surface--they work out of the box and do what they claim to do. They just won't integrate with the core content component and ACL, or if they do, they will be subject to their limitations. You also have many commercial but inexpensive options for Joomla extensions, and many if not most are *not* kept in a code forge. With Drupal, especially after the release of version 6 which was not backward-compatible, there are not too many stable module releases and you are presented with all your options in the centralized SVN repository at Drupal.org where critical bugfixes may be buried within a discussion thread. (If you recall the old pre-Joomla Mambo Exchange, it's like that, just not as ugly.)

In this context you are forced to be aware of the development status of modules to a higher degree than is common in Joomla, which can be a good thing though frustrating to navigate and deal with. It's also evident that running early development versions is pretty common in Drupal whereas Joomla developers tend to make a clear distinction between stable releases and release candidates, beta and alpha releases, etc. This situation should abate when module developers catch up to Drupal 6 and as long as future core releases maintain backward compatibility.

Many Drupal modules interact with each other in complex ways. This gives Drupal users quite a lot of power and freedom to build highly customized sites with integrated functions. At the same time, it is not really possible to do anything of interest with Drupal without engaging with this level of complexity, so there is a steep learning curve. This deters a lot of users but also has the benefit of preventing the biggest fools from creating easily exploited sites. To do anything great in Drupal, you've got to be or become pretty adept at a lot of things you can fudge your way past in Joomla.

[4] Your Home Away from Home: The Administrator Interface
Joomla's administrative backend is easy to navigate, customize and template through a series of dropdown menus. A few unnecessary screens remain and some deficiencies and bugs for reordering content or modules and assigning modules to pages have persisted from Joomla 1.0 to 1.5. This is a huge benefit to site owners, especially if they or their associates want to minimize the time and difficulty of updating their site and learning to operate it.

Drupal lacks a distinct back end which can be disorienting and presents some additional theming/templating challenges since menu and block positions (blocks are like mnodules in Joomla) apply to admin screens by default and not just the front end. This can be altered, but that takes considerable time and effort.

Drupal has a text-based interface (no icons at all) that becomes more disorienting the more modules/extensions you add to it. To "help" you out, long text descriptions are added to items in menu lists. With about 20 extra modules installed, this results in admin screens that can cover up to 3000px of vertical space on a 1680x1050px screen. This is why it's common to see URLs given for locations in the Drupal admin UI in support forums--finding the screen with the setting you need to change is a common user experience. There is no master dropdown admin menu, but a module can be added to offer this feature--it's the #1 most popular add-on.

Drupal 6 has finally introduced *some* AJAX menus, but reordering blocks in the page mayout, menu items, and content is still much more disorienting and time-consuming compared to Joomla. Drupal is slowly and steadily improving on this front, however.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:40 pm 
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In reply to the old Drupal vs. Joomla thread's original post I would adjust its points this way:

Use Joomla 1.5 when:
* you don't know much about PHP, mySQL or Apache and need an easy learning curve to learn as you build your first site in about 30-50hrs with a custom template and 5-10 extensions
* you or the site operator/s want to run and service the site themselves
* you want really well-organized support sites and services
* you or the site operator/s need an easy to learn and use administrative interface
* you want to deal with FTP as little as possible, are interested in Linux only to the extent that it looks like MacOS or Windows, and you never want to see a tarball, patchfile or command line interface.
* you want a professional-looking site with a lot of template options that are relatively easy to modify
* you like eye-candy or at least the option to add some very easily
* you want to display different kinds of content in lots of different positions on a page and change layouts without doing any coding or tedious configuration
* you primarily need basic CMS functions
* you need a highly customized feature set and don't mind the headaches that come from having to manage a bunch of extensions that have no central repository or update notification system
* you want extension developers with stable releases and accurately labelled pre-release stuff
* you don't mind having to do a lot of research to find out if various extensions are inter-compatible
* you don't mind being restricted to sections and categories and only one of each for your articles
* you don't mind that content means "articles" only
* you need only basic SEO features out of the box
* you want to sell and manage ads, run an events calendar, index/directory, classified ad system or are prepared to spend a lot of time building minimally passable solutions. (Short of coding your own extension, it's only possible to do an events calendar in Drupal 5 for the time being.)
* you don't need to operate more than one site through the same CMS
* you don't need users to have one login that will work on more than one site
* you don't need user groups and customizable roles-based permissions
* you're not building a membership site or don't mind paying for extensions that allow you to do this (the free option is tougher to work with.)
* you need an advanced rich text editor with image handling features and more
* you want to add an attractive and robust integrated forum that's mildly buggy or bridge in a popular standalone forum.
* you want no comments or a lot for slick choices for comment systems as extensions
* you don't mind a bare bones and unattractive forum and comment systems being part of the core, requiring you to disable them, replace them with bridged standalone forum software, or add a lot of extensions to make them capable
* you want to rapidly find quality extensions relevant to the features you want your site to have
* you need advanced localization and/or internationalization features
* you are prepared to continually monitor updates for the Joomla core and any extensions you install by watching all the relevant websites/rss feeds/newsletters
* you want really well-organized support sites and services

Use Drupal 6 when:
* you are reasonably familiar with PHP, mySQL and Apache or else you are willing to learn by doing a lot of reading and wading through poorly organized documents and forums.
* you have 60-100hrs to invest in getting your first site operational with a custom template and 5-10 extensions.
* you or the site operator/s are a non-profit or NGO that has considerable familiarity with Drupal and ties (or the intent to establish ties) with established Drupal service providers in that market
* you or the site operator/s don't mind learning and using a difficult and disorienting administrative interface
* you don't mind tarballs, patchfiles and other habits and practices of people who think everyone uses or should use a UNIX-like operating system
* you don't care if your site looks generic, bloglike, and lacks quality coding in its html/css or else you can afford the time/help to build or learn how to build a highly customized template in Drupal
* you don't want to display different kinds of content in lots of different positions on a page and change layouts easily--you're willing to plan ahead on all this, do a lot of coding and tedious configuration, and then avoid changing anything in the future.
* you appreciate (or are prepared to learn to appreciate) the openness and complexity of the Taxonomy module
* you appreciate (or are prepared to learn to appreciate) content means everything
* you want every extension to be intercompatible with every other and whenever relevant tie into the core content and user permissions system
* you don't need a lot of extensions or don't mind using a lot of pre-stable releases until (probably) January-June 2009. If this is a problem you may prefer to use Drupal 5, but the upgrade to 6 (and eventually 7) will be laborious
* you don't mind spending a lot of time digging through Drupal.org to find extensions you might want to use
* you don't mind adding a lot of extensions to get basic CMS functions that are part of the Joomla core
* you need basic localization and/or internationalization features
* you don't need to sell and manage ads, run an events calendar or classified ad system or are prepared to spend a lot of time building minimally passable solutions. (Short of coding your own extension, it's only possible to do an events calendar in Drupal 5 for the time being.)
* you don't need an advanced rich text editor with image handling features and more
* you or your sites users who can create content know html and/or a markdown system
* you are crazy/very trusting and want the option to let users put PHP in content they create
* you don't mind a bare bones and unattractive but solid forum and comment system being part of the core, requiring you to disable them, replace them with bridged standalone forum software, or add a lot of extensions to make them capable of doing 50% of the things most forums and comment systems do
* you don't mind forum posts and comments being another kind of content rather than segregated and highly differentiated.
* you don't mind having a comment system that's a spam magnet out of the box requiring further extensions to authenticate posts
* you want or need multi-site management through a single CMS
* you need user groups and customizable roles-based permissions
* you need to run a membership, community, or social networking site that goes far beyond CMS functions
* you want your site to tell you when there are updates to the Drupal core and any extensions you've installed
* you are willing to dig through poorly organized support sites to find what you need

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:09 pm 
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Well, I'm a newbie, & tried Both Joomla (now 1.5.7) & Drupal 6.4

**I started working easily in Joomla than in Drupal,
**User access permission is greater Drupal than Joomla
**Users get profile and their usernames link to their profile
**I am in need of Blog & Forum; here I found Drupal is superior.
**But the Back-end of Drupal seems to me confusing whereas in Joomla it is rightly ordered and fine.
**With Joomla, managing contents are very easy

I prefer Joomla, but I need a Blog(for all users), Forum, Profile, all writers' name linked to their profile + photo sharing...

Any suggestion?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:39 pm 
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Look through the JED:
http://extensions.joomla.org/

Use JA Submit or Submissionary to let users post to a designated category, and display that category in the blog format.

There are many forum options.

Community Builder for the user profiles, plus CB plugins for personal photo galleries and author links. Or use one of the other community components--there are several.

There has to be a general plugin by now that links bylines to profiles...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:06 am 
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So I'm back after 4 months of building sites in Drupal/Joomla.

And while the original post is a little dated now, both because of my inexperience with both at the time AND the fact that Drupal 6.x and its modules and compatible theme sets have matured and expanded, I'd say it is STILL 85%+ accurate.

dpk makes a lot of good points and again both CMSs obviously have their place but after 4 months we have decided to abandon Joomla and go whole hog with Drupal only for CMS needs. The reasons?

#1) This is probably the biggest: It is a lot of work to keep up to date and involved in 2 different open source communities and platforms. Maintaining sites in both platforms means keeping more than passive interest and ear to both communities. It really didn't make much sense when one of them would do.

#2) Drupal is easier! You will read everywhere about Drupal and its learning curve and nodes and interface. There are definitely sticky points but once you tackles these semantic hurdles a whole new world opens up. And the hurdles are NOT technological hurdles for the most part. Joomla gave us headaches with the kind of sites we were trying to do (real estate and some social network elements). The sections, categories, module workflow was painful.

#3) SEO - The SEO out of the box and with a few simple module additions in Drupal is vastly superior to Joomla. So we had build this site Beach Sales Real Estate "2.0" in http://www.beachsales.com/realestate Joomla 1.5 with community builder and ads manager. It worked and integrated reasonably well but the structure and integration of the extensions was not SEO friendly and it was not meeting our needs. And trying to clean up the URLs with Joomla extensions was a disaster.

We rebuilt the same concept site Beach Sales Real Estate "3.0" http://www.beachsalesrealestate.com (still in beta) in Drupal 6. and the addition of about 8 modules(extensions) to create profiles, friending, tag clouds and customs fields and such.

With regard to this quote by dpk

Quote:
[4] Your Home Away from Home: The Administrator Interface
Joomla's administrative backend is easy to navigate, customize and template through a series of dropdown menus. A few unnecessary screens remain and some deficiencies and bugs for reordering content or modules and assigning modules to pages have persisted from Joomla 1.0 to 1.5. This is a huge benefit to site owners, especially if they or their associates want to minimize the time and difficulty of updating their site and learning to operate it.

Drupal lacks a distinct back end which can be disorienting and presents some additional theming/templating challenges since menu and block positions (blocks are like mnodules in Joomla) apply to admin screens by default and not just the front end. This can be altered, but that takes considerable time and effort.

Drupal has a text-based interface (no icons at all) that becomes more disorienting the more modules/extensions you add to it. To "help" you out, long text descriptions are added to items in menu lists. With about 20 extra modules installed, this results in admin screens that can cover up to 3000px of vertical space on a 1680x1050px screen. This is why it's common to see URLs given for locations in the Drupal admin UI in support forums--finding the screen with the setting you need to change is a common user experience. There is no master dropdown admin menu, but a module can be added to offer this feature--it's the #1 most popular add-on.

Drupal 6 has finally introduced *some* AJAX menus, but reordering blocks in the page mayout, menu items, and content is still much more disorienting and time-consuming compared to Joomla. Drupal is slowly and steadily improving on this front, however.


I have to really disagree. No the Drupal admin interfaces doesn't have cute icons (though as he mentions there is module that can make them and soften the admin interface that takes all of 2 minutes to install) but it is VERY logically organized and categorized. It has 5 areas: 1) Content Management, 2) Site Building, 3) User Management, 4) Site Configuration, and 5) Reports. Even from those titles you have a good idea of where to go to do what. The trick comes in learning the lingo, blocks, nodes, taxonomny. You learn what those mean and you're half way there.

Yes, it takes time to get familiar with it but that goes for anything.

With regard to

Quote:
In Drupal you have to upload extensions by FTP, following any special instructions for them. After turning on a module, it can "break" the site and lock you out of the administrative interface because it is not distinct from the front end. In Joomla I have never seen a bad extension do this. Managing Drupal extensions is also more taxing than it is in Joomla because of they way they add layers to the admin UI and get buried in it.

Available Drupal module upgrades are noted within the administrative interface. You must download them, unpack them, manually upload their files, and then run the upgrade process in the administrative interface. It's possible to roll back any previously installed version. Only a few Joomla extensions give live upgrade alerts and/or live updates.


The points from my original analysis stand true. Research your modules/extensions before you installing willy-nilly, in Joomla or Drupal. And back up your site and/or use test sites for modules and module combinations you've not tried before.

Personally I don't find that the modules get buried in the UI, they are under Site Building>Modules and most, if they have editable parameters can be found directly under Site Configuration. So I don't really see this point.

Installing Drupal modules does take a few more steps but it is worth it when you admin area alerts you when ANY modules has an updated version available. The value of this feature cannot be stressed enough! It saves you the trouble of manually checking (i.e. digging though forums) to make sure your modules are up to date. Huge time saver.

That's my most updated take. You all have put ALOT of good points on this forum, don't take anything personally : ) Lively debate is good!


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