So, after dinking around for awhile with various rails-based blog engines and CMS’s, I ended up getting frustrated. I’m not even sure I can describe the reason why. I’m not a programmer, so I couldn’t pick at any specifics regarding either ruby or rails. What I did feel, is that trying to roll my own CMS in rails wasn’t as intuitive as I thought.
Now, having said that I’m not a programmer doesn’t preclude at least some facilty for writing code on my part. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve done some. I feel like I should be able to get at least a basic CMS up and running, but for the most part I’ve been pretty frustrated. Then this designer guy, Jeff Croft, keeps talking about Django like it’s the best thing since sliced images. So I decide to give it a second look.
I’d tried installing Django before, but couldn’t get it up and running. Adrian (who’s Django’s DHH) even commented on that post, asking what the problem was (I couldn’t remember, it’d been long enough since I’d tried when I wrote that post). In the interim, either my subconcious worked out the installation problem I was having, or the Django folks made it clearer how to install on windows because I followed the instructions, and *poof* a working Django installation.
So I start working on the Poll tutorial on the Django site. I’m following along, making a nifty one-question poll when *whack* I get smacked in the face with this really elegant admin site for creating and managing polls that just came out of left field. I was all like “holyfreakingfritos that’s amazing!”
And then I realized part of what was so dang frustrating about my previous CMS development efforts: I didn’t want to have to code the administive interface. I just wanted to say “this is how a blog post works, this is how I want to show my flicks, this is how I want to integrate Flickr, etc.” The Django admin creates a really nicely designed back end to do all your CRUD, and it Just Works™. I think I might just be learning Python in the future.
I wasn’t a big fan of Typo once I got it up and running. I can’t even describe why. It’s just a general feeling of unease. So I decided to go hunting some more for a rails-based blogging engine and hit upon Mephisto. The install was drop dead easy (though, had I not figured out my Typo install, I’d be stuck in the same spot). The admin interface is nice, and the templating system seems to be right up my alley. I’d never heard of Liquid before, but it seems easy enough. Pretty rails-like. I’ve started creating a new theme for Mephisto, and will let you know how it goes. So far, so good.
I’m giving Typo another chance. I really don’t feel like building my own custom CMS from scratch, but I do think I could hack some functionality into an already build blog system, and I’m most familiar with rails, so Typo is really the only choice there is, AFIK. Until the Rubish guys get their act together, that is. That’s the custom CMS the RadRails guys use keep all their ducks in a row. With their version 4.0 release, the typo guys claim to have made the install a whole lot easier.
Thing is, I can’t seem to get the stupid thing up and running. My setup: WinXP, Apache 2.0.59 w/ FastCGI, and or course, Rails (other rails apps are working just fine). Every time I hit the public directory of the Typo install, I get this rather generic error, with no help from the logs: “Application Error – Typo could not be reached.”
I tried hitting up the guys in the #typo channel on IRC, but the place seemed dead. There were about 20 people in the channel, and not a single one made so much of a peep after I’d posted my question there. I sat in that channel for like 40 minutes, and the only action happening in #typo was people logging in and out. No one posted a single message.
In the meantime, I decided to check out the installation support forum over here and got really excited to see that there were actually posts there. Closer inspection revealed that the overwhelming majority were questions posted by newcomers like myself. Those posts averaged around 250 views and 0 (as in zero) replies. The Typo folk don’t seem to be too concerned that people are having trouble. Even with the new fancy installer I’m unable to breathe life into my version of Typo.
So it looks like I’m left trying to dredging up insight into “Application Error – Typo could not be reached,” by doing google searches. Nothing to report so far. If anyone has any startling revelation, post a link in the comments. Please.
This post is just a little P.D.A. (public display of affection) for a couple tools I’ve recently discovered and have fallen in love with. I guess that makes me a bigamist. Anyways, props to the RadRails and Aptana teams. Even in pre one-point-zeo states, you both make my life lots easier.