MSFT and Drupal

When I was looking for the top inbound links to on Alexa, I was surprised to find Microsoft be there listed as 3th big site. But indeed, on the powertoys page you can download a clientbased blogging tool (this is microsoft you know, "invent" AJAX and then dump it because it doesnt need fat clients), with a link to one of the best CMS-es out there; drupal!

CMS-es head to head

On the German bloghouse site you can find an article about Joobla and other CMS-es such as Drupal. Hagen Graf made a presentation for a Joomla? day that can be downloaded in pdf format. It compares Joomla? against other CMS-es; Mambo, Drupal Plone, Xoops, Typo3, Php-nuke (yek) and E107. It starts of with some rather irrelevant data, the number of Google hits (in 10^6 ) when searching for the CMS name in combination with the word "CMS":

Mambo 7,9
Drupal 7,2
Joomla! 7,2
And after a short introduction of all the projects, it gets down to the criteria and the subjective score on these criteria for the different CMS-es based on different profiles. And -surprise- Drupal is the best CMS on nearly all criteria. While this is not an in depth empiric research, it is good to see this data being presented on a Joomla? day!

I like the test of Greenpeace better, it has cleared defined criteria and more objective scores, see this older posting.

So what do you think about this presentation of Hagen? Drop a comment on his site.

Youtube your Drupal Site

Having visited both the OSCON 06 Europe and the DrupalCon last week, I have lots new ideas and fresh content to blog. I'll try to post some of the ideas and most interesting sessions the comming week.

From the DrupalCon, the session about how to "youtube your Drupal install", was rather good. From the site: is a drupal site which allows users to upload .mov and .avi video files to the site, convert them to flash video files, and allow users view the videos using a flash video player. This site uses Amazon's s3 service to host the media content.

The approach behind this site was to keep Drupal as stock as possible, utilizing cck, ciews, and upload modules as the primary elements. A secondary script interfaces with drupal to process and move media to the Amazon service.

So what this basically says is:

  • Let users upload video files in different formats
  • Transcode these video's to flash
  • Put the flash videos to an external webservice for cheaper bandwith and storage
  • Create a thumbnail of the video and store this in a browsable gallery
  • Integrate the video into your Drupal site
  • and optional, let the admin or the user manage the content in the normal Drupal way (e.g. add taxonomy or free tagging, rating of content or users etc)

My (current) employer did something like this for a site we host; We use IFRAMES for running the flashplayer (which is so 90ies) and an opensource flashplayer detection, so I hope we didnt charge money for this part of "the player" and it took us 3 weeks to implement it (which was compared to competitors still rather fast) but the project while working isnt finished at all, there is a lot to be done underneath the visable layer!

While using Drupal for this, should have been extreem simple. In fact, there is a "howto" online which a savy Linux administrator / Drupal implementer should be able to implement within 2 days. And it would have been better, since all content is stored at Amazon's S3 service. While I was rather sceptical about using this service as a corporation, I am a Believer now! The terms and conditions are good; one owns the content and can even use encryption so Amazon sysops cantsee it. It does have a high uptime, it is sort of global load-shared (not balanced!), can be bittorrent enabled and EXTREME cheap. Storage costs are $0.15 per GB-Month of storage and bandwith use $0.20 per GB of data transferred. There is no minimum fee, and no start-up cost and all the services need to access the data are open, well documented and have standard implementations to "mount" the S3 service. So yes, I am a big believer when it comes to using services like this, not just for webservices but also for on the fly SAN capacity for office automation, you just cant beat the price!

So the Howto Youtube your Drupal site (like we need another youtube :-) ) descibes

  • how users can upload files using an AJAX form (users can see the progress unlike regular HTTP POSTS),
  • how one should do the automatic transcoding using ffmpeg,
  • how you can move the files to the S3 service with webservices authentication preventing hotlinking the videos,
  • embed the video in a flash player (for example use this or this player,
  • and then embed the content in your Drupal site like any other node. So you can use voring or taxonomy/folksonomy for tagging and searching the video archive as well as generated thumnails
  • .

    All in all this is great stuff and shows the "platform" bit in "Drupal, the best opensource content management platform". He3nce, you can use the platforms capabilities for access control and content management and expand it using videos in just a couple of days, nearly out of the box. You just need to use a set of modules like CCK and for example views. Great stuff and a very good presentation! See this example site on where this Youtubbing your Drupal site will get you!

    There is more information online as well.

    Now a couple of (former) colleagues just quited their job to start selling what they call "the flash player" and I wish them the best of luck. With Drupal being able to do all they want and way more, they will find that this market -while booming- is so commoditized with opensource products like Drupal being able to deliver nearly out of the box, that they will have a hard time selling "the player". But still, best of luck! (you need it! :-) )

Paul Molenaar zoekt

paul molenaar -chief ilsemedia- zoekt talent. En niet via een headhunting burea, niet via monsterboard, niet via een "" site maar gewoon via /op zijn eigen kracht: Open Brief aan Technische en Commerciële Talenten

We moéten ook blijven groeien: de markt groeit snel (naar verwachting met meer dan 30% per jaar de komende drie tot vier jaren), maar met alleen de marktgroei zijn we niet tevreden. We willen over drie jaar drie keer zo groot zijn als we nu zijn, en ik denk dat dat kan. Met jouw hulp. Dus zoeken we nieuwe collega’s die samen met de huidige collega’s (zo’n 125), gaan mee helpen die groei te bereiken.

Ik geloof niet helemaal dat ik voor Ilse ga werken, maar als je "iets 2.0" leuks voor een fris bedrijf wilt doen, zoek een vacature op!

Goed gebruik van corporate blog kracht!

Dapper, Web 2.0 is defined!

I only recently fined out about Dapper, "The Data Mapper". And I have to say, THIS is where Web 1.0 is upgraded to Web 2.0! Really, you can scrape any site and turn the data into something usefull, like a RSS feed or if it has images, an animation, or coordinates, a Google Maps service.. Or.. Or... It IS the data mapper and it is cool. The sucky homepage of my employer doesnt have a RSS feed for example but using this service, it was only a couple of mouseclicks to generate one.

It's like Legos

Dont get it? See the Dapper Demo. Boy, this is cool.

Downside?: During the beta, Dapper is free and open to all. In the future, non-commercial and small uses will remain free. Pricing structure for bigger applications and for commercial uses will be announced in the future.

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