SilverStripe from a ruby on rails developer perspective

Posted by Amie Parker on 11 April 2014

SilverStripe from a ruby on rails developer perspectiveI have been learning to code for a few years now, just in bits and pieces, through university classes, events, and self-study (mostly online). I feel comfortable writing HTML and CSS, and have been working on learning how to make complete web applications, using Ruby on Rails and dabbling in SQL and C#. I’ve also played around with other languages online including PHP so I was quite excited about the opportunity to learn some SilverStripe, to see what it is like and what it’s great for, and to start building some cool things!

The first thing I really started to notice about SilverStripe is how similar it is to rails, which made me happy because I love rails, and it’s what I have the most experience with. SilverStripe is a framework just like rails, except that instead of being based on Ruby, it is a framework for PHP. Both use the MVC structure and I found that the SilverStripe structure sort of made sense to me after doing some work with rails. It was great to start working in a project and already have a feel for where different parts of the code go, and what different folders might be designed for.

Like gems in ruby, SilverStripe offers addons which are developer created modules and themes that you can add to your site. Like gems, they’re a great way to add bits of code that you can use over and over again in different projects, rather than starting from scratch. A good example of a popular addon would be userforms, which allows easy form creation – a feature I could see myself using quite often!

I would encourage any rails developers to check out SilverStripe. It’s a great framework, and it’s open source so completely adaptable and open to feedback from the community. SilverStripe is really useful when you need to create a site to be edited by multiple people. It comes with a built in CMS and different security settings for different user groups. It’s easy to use, simple to customise and fast for developers to learn. If you’re used to working with rails you’ll find it easy to customise, and hopefully some features of the framework will seem familiar. I definitely recommend you give it a go.

If you’re looking for somewhere to start, I would recommend attending one of the SilverStripe training sessions for developers, checking out and even making changes to SilverStripe’s code, reading and contributing to the forums, or going to one of the community meetup events. It looks like a great, supportive community that is welcoming to new people, and I’m excited to learn more and get involved.

Amie ParkerAmie is a final year commerce student at Victoria University of Wellington and currently works for Dev Academy. She is interested in all kinds of web development, and is always interested in learning about new practices and technologies. Amie is interested in education and training around technology and web development, and creating a community that encourages newcomers and continual learning.



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  • I have never heard of silver stripe before. I will have to check it out, because ruby on rails makes building application so quick and easy. Does it scale easily?

    Posted by Adam @Agua Web, 2 months ago

  • I think the thing about silverstripe is at the surface it looks great. Looks like you can do just about anything but once you start using it for anything more than simple CRUD and CMS it falls short.

    Changing core functions is almost impossible - Like over writing CSS to load from a CDN.

    Or overwriting the file upload system with your own handler are very difficult.

    It also has some very difficult theme / skin choices - the buttons and form helpers are all incredibly difficult to put custom code into and it comes to the point where you get very frustrated.

    If you just want a simple CMS with CRUD then silverstripe is perfect as long as you dont have a very high traffic site with highly dynamic content (load balancing over SSL is currently not viable)

    Posted by Matt, 4 months ago

  • Yes, but the problem of SilverStripe has is that the existing modules are very poor in functionality, ecommerce modules lack a lot of features, and do not work very well, has no integrated search system flexible and easy for the developer, does not allow advanced content customization in your editor, the shortcodes system is too basic, the questions asked in the forums are not answered, no manuals for advanced situations .....

    The existing modules, forum, blog, etc do not evolve side by side with the rest of SilverStripe, neither include new functionalities.

    It's a shame that having an advanced technology, all that accompanies him is so poor, for that reason over the years has not advanced in popularity as other CMS.

    Of course, this is constructive criticism.

    I hope that in the future all these shortcomings can be overcome.

    Posted by Jose A, 5 months ago

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