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Author Topic: expression engine, anyone use it?  (Read 3726 times)
nutballs
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« on: June 26, 2008, 12:23:50 PM »

In my quest to upgrade my client pool and have a more constant revenue stream, I am trying to find a solution for 90% of the things I would push as a solution for my clients. Particularly looking for off the shelf, but customizable solutions for the 'not reinvent the wheel' parts, like blog, cms, forum, cart,etc. obviously i do mucho custom stuff, but the idea is to leverage existing stuff that I really shouldnt waste my time building since it exists 100 times over.

My quest for a CMS has lead me to a package called Expression Engine. It looks like the template system is the least dumb/frustrating/idiotic out of the few I have looked at like drupal and joomla, both of which made my brain hurt in 5 seconds flat.

I am curious if any of you have had any experience with it?
As a single package which does CMS, Blog, Forum and whole bunch of other things, but those three are the main.
It is a pay package, which I have no issue with, but the source is open and customizable.
Pay actually is appealing in some respects because you at least know "someone" is in charge, unlike the bickering that seems to be happening with alot of the OSS packages.

any thoughts?

cart wise I have been leaning towards magento commerce, which rounds out my base apps.
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DangerMouse
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2008, 01:34:23 PM »

Personally I like the look of Magento too, particularly as its based on ZendFramework.

In terms of general CMS's, does it have to be PHP based? Came across an interesting one the other day that was Java based - best I've seen really thats Open Source (most are too inflexible for my liking).

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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2008, 01:49:46 PM »

actually i really dont care about the language, but PHP seems logical. I would prefer to keep all my tools in 1 language, so that integration can be less painful. Also it seems like PHP helps to keep the "i can customize this since its open code" option open. most of the others, especially the .NET shit seems to be compiled.

magento is interesting with how they thought it out. the templates are pretty easy to deal with, except, there is a ridiculous of them... have you looked? i choked on my drink when the folder opened up. then again a cart does tend to require a lot of different page layouts for the assorted stuff, so maybe its because I never dealt with templates in a cart before, only custom cart implementations in my history.
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2008, 02:09:25 PM »

To be honest I was more impressed with Magentos architecture and feature set than the actual implementation - only had a brief glance at the demo.

If your not bothered about language, might be worth looking at http://www.dotcms.org. In terms of PHP CMS's, the most flexible one I've come across is http://www.modxcms.com - the new version thats in Alpha is really good but they've taken absolutely ages to develop it (I've been monitoring it for over 18 months now).

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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2008, 03:25:57 PM »

ok. i just spooged.

The biggest problem, and the reason i keep posting questions about finding a CMS and such is that my wife does high end design. Not podunk shit produced by some $5/hour tard just out of school. Stuff that clients pay thousands and thousands of dollars for just a site design, then i gotta make the damn thing work. Every system i have tried, sucks, and makes me hate the project.

I just watched 4 expression engine tutorials. the first were meh... the last was the lightbulb. it was a very simple example, but frankly it showed me that this thing does exactly what I have been wanting. And although I am a bit annoyed that it is another set of tags I have to learn, and inevitably print out and tape to my wall because I cant remember the damn things, it seems quite simple.

i havent even looked into the admin features though, so of course, now I get to go off and find out what is going to make toss my computer through the window into the street.
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nutballs
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2008, 03:28:04 PM »

oh DM. thanks for MODx suggestion. I checked it out. pretty nice, but the less than professional approach to marketing it is a bit unnerving. I should clarify that this will be applied to not only some of my crappy personal stuff, but also some midsized clients, and possibly 2 enterprise/large corps if i can blow enough people. i still am going to install it though and check it out. thanks.
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2008, 04:00:02 AM »

well, I'd warmfully advise you to take a second look at drupal, it's really powerfull, flexible and have great community support.

In short, I regard it as the least bad among others, with MVC-frameworks being the real way to go
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2008, 07:05:31 AM »

yea I have been trying it. (have you tried EE by any chance?

i have drupal, joomla and expression installed, as well as a few others.
i have to say expression wins, hands down, for template. though it uses its own script tags to do it. they are pretty easy though.
I do like drupal, with all the features. the plugin list is pretty much bottomless. same with joomla it seems. but those templates are fucking awful. well ok maybe not that bad, but still, I think i might rather take a baseball to the nuts than work on those.

The one downside to drupal is that alot of things seem to be a bit overcomplicated, with no way to un-complicate them.
the downside to joomla seems to be a more restrictive system, less flexibility, though it does feel alot easier to use than drupal.
the downside to expression engine is that it is literally like an empty box. its a really good box, but you need to fill it up with things.

that being said, for my usage, i think EE might be looking like the solution.

basically, what I do is work on parts of a project on all the systems I am trying (but i give up if its too annoying to accomplish)
do a site design, do it in all the systems. EE wins hands down.
custom module creation, about the same on all of them. slight code changes to make it happen.
flexibility of forms and admin interface aspects, such as creating input forms for content posting. EE wins since any output template can have a fully custom input form allowing for unlimited sandboxing of the content editor, and unlimited flex of design.

overall, it seems that although drupal is the most feature ridden, and joomla feels the easiest from a user point of view, EE seems to allow for both of those, with just a tad more work. But the flexibility of EE seems to destroy those two.

i am still not done tinkering of course.
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2008, 12:54:26 PM »

Droid replying so's he can find this important thread at some undetermined future point.
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[quote Nutballs]
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