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Moderators: martimiz, Sean, Ed, biapar, Willr, Ingo, swaiba

Silverstripe for next generation Wikipedia: usable?

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2 Posts   1809 Views


Community Member, 1 Post

15 January 2010 at 2:07pm

Edited: 15/01/2010 5:29pm

For what could eventually become a next generation of Wikipedia,

  • * I am considering using SilverStripe, hearing of Silverstripe as an upcoming CMS at last-month's local PHP meeting. And indeed in comparison to Drupal, it seems SilverStripe has a better foundations (Sapphire which I understand from uses PDO providing much cleaner (and perhaps efficient) data access as an ORM).
  • * But I'm still considering Drupal it being apparently the most popular powerful open-source CMS and complex but well-supported.
  • * I'm also considered Wordpress but probably only short-term since Wordpress has weak security (a user can only be in one group (called a "role"), and the groups need to be nested aka "Each of the other Roles has a decreasing number of allowed Capabilities.") but that may be fixed ("left open the future possibility of assigning a user to one or more Roles, or assigning Capabilities directly to a User") says .

So yesterday I gave Silverstripe a spin at and ran across the following problems:

  • * “Page Version History” “Compare mode (click 2 below)” has these problems:
    • * On the Home page content, I insert a line of text, save, then select the current version plus the prior version to compare, and “Main” tab (which displays the differences) is just 1 line high (way too small) and I can’t enlarge it. I have this problem in latest IE, Firefox, & Chrome. On other pages it doesn’t seem to occur (at least in IE), but I almost gave up on Silverstripe since this failed on the comparison I did (and in 3 of 3 browsers).
    • * It seems the prior properties of a page are kept for every property (everything from “Content” to “tags”, “Metadata”, “Behaviour” (misspelled BTW), “Access” --very impressive! As, yes, everything should be versioned. So what properties of a page are NOT versioned?
    • * The prior version of a page seems to be comparable in terms most properties (“Content” both “Main” and “Metadata”, “To-do”) –very impressive! However “Behaviour” and “Access” do not display changes to them (just one of the selected entries to compare) – when will this be fixed?

  • * Every post & comment should use the same text container type, insuring every use of text has all features (as HTML text, versioning, etc). When will this be the case (if ever)? It's unfortunately not done in Drupal. It might be done in Wordpress.
    • * All text content I absolutely want 100% WYSIWYG HTML and zero of anything else (as BBCode, what the Blog & Forum Modules now use(!)). How can that be accomplished?
    • * Just like the main post/article, I want comments which are authenticated, full HTML, editable, & versioned, plus also threading. Drupal can do all of this except versioning of comments, Wordpress allows html in comments & has a threading plugin & has comment-editing plugin (I don't know about the other features) but SilverStripe seems to do none of it(!). When & how can I do each of these in SilverStripe? (Testing just 2 of these, I tried posting on the comment “Test 1 bold[/b_CODE] comment. <b>bold</b>.” but it didn’t interpret the BBCode nor the HTML here, and there’s no indication it’s threading comments.)

  • * Here in this forum (running Silverstripe on Silverstripe.Org) it is looking fairly buggy
    • * there is no WYSIWYG editor while normal pages have it (WTF?) and
    • * it's apparently using something like BBCode nstead of HTML (bad) and
    • * there is no preview button (!) AND
    • * there is nothing saying you can edit it afterwards (though thankfully I see you you can)
    • * the "View Formatting Help" does not say where it's codes are from (they appear to be semi-standard BBCode, not all standard)
    • * when you click to see the codes they expand but obscure the "unexpand" link (totally obscure it in edit) plus obscure the other bottons (in Edit mode you've got to save your text externally, refresh, and repaste to get access to the Edit button so you can post your edits)
    • * the "Unordered List" tag "ulist" (which I've never heard of before) appears to be not the standard BBCode for lists AND it doesn't produce bullets (I'm having to manual insert each "*" you see before each paragraph else all the list items blur together!) and
    • * there is ordered list option!
      --overall it looks pretty shabby, like the coders stopped working in the last 15%.

  • * What’s the best way to display Good AdSense ads?
  • * Within a post/article, Silverstripe silently strips out certain valuable HTML:
    • .
    • * I embedded tag[iframe] and tag[object] with no problem - great! Though tag[object] doesn't display its content while in edit mode, a small drawback.
    • * Removed & silently is tag[style] and its content (for instance, <style type="text/css">.boldIt {font-weight: bold;}</style>). That’s a bummer. Where does one insert custom CSS?
    • * How can one embed Javascript? I tried putting into the HTML content of a page “<script>document.write("hello!");</script>” but it got silently removed. Wordpress can do it & even gives instructions.
    • * Removed & silently is non-standard HTML html tags, for instance tag[special] in <special>text</special> (and even HTML 4’s tag[q]!). This is upsetting. How can that be turned off?

  • * How does it do DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) Taxonomies as Drupal does? Or Categories as MediaWiki does?
  • * What about increasingly Semantic web stuff as OpenCalais for Drupal?
--that's a pretty long list of mostly problems!

Overall I'm getting the impression that Silverlight has better potential but fully competitive yet: a foundation which seemingly better than Druapl (as versoning even the access & behaviors of a page -- awesome) but still doesn't clue in that a post & a comment should be the same HTML text object type, and in terms of practical use for a full featured site (such as the features I mentioned above) it still seems "you can't get there from here" (without a bit of programming, which is hard for a newcomer). But enlighten me.


Forum Moderator, 5523 Posts

16 January 2010 at 5:41pm

Howdeys, Welcome to the Forum!

I'll try and help you out on a few points!. Its quite a list!

Yea not a fan of BBCode myself. It has been disabled by default in the latest version (unreleased yet) of the blog module in favour of HTML by default. There is also a similar ticket for allowing html text in the forum - You can also disable bbcode and go with html in the current version of blog by setting this in your _config.php

// as of blog/trunk this is true by default

You could also quite similar change page comments to be html by changing the field type from Text to HTMLText and the TextField to a HTMLEditorField. Though we would want to show a greatly reduced tinymce version for page comments since the default options include a ton of buttons - but thats a relatively simple task with HtmlEditorConfig.

I think in the near future page comments is going to be stripped out of core and made into its own module. When that work takes place I agree with you - Love to see threading support. Editing is a wee bit harder since not all page comments are posted by members (with passwords) that might prove a bit of a challenge. You can at the moment force user authentication on page comments by setting the following..


Ive made a ticket for forum preview -

Silverstripe silently strips out certain valuable HTML

You can configure what SS strips out by setting the 'valid_elements' again in your _config file. The ... should be replaced with the elements you want. You can read more about valid elements here -

	'valid_elements' => ...

Thanks for the feedback. Always good to have constructive ideas to improve the experience.