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General questions about getting started with SilverStripe that don't fit in any of the categories above.

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

Feedback - why I did not continue SliverStripe

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19 Posts   4753 Views

Alistair George

Community Member, 8 Posts

29 October 2009 at 2:17pm

Hi, I asked a simple question on the forum over a day ago (can Silverstripe do this?). Got no answer. However, tried Silverstripe out, impressed, but lacking addons/Extras.

Main problems I see for potential user are
1..No management console for new themes or addons, no management console for anything period.
2..Despite simplicity, what should be so obvious, but not was how a menu item was added, moved etc.
3..To add a menu using Basic Help a new user was pointed to adding some code into the source, eg 'Open up themes/tutorial/templates/, and insert the following code inside <div id=”Main”>: '

Open up???? open up with what - I assume you mean Notepad++ or similar, but that sort of ambiguous instruction level is not good.

EG for themes:
Downloading A Prebuilt Theme 'Unpack the contents of the zip file into the /themes directory in your SilverStripe installation. 2. Change to the theme by putting the following line in your ./mysite/_config.php'
Sure the above process is simple, but it should not be necessary IMHO.
Best wishes,


Community Member, 541 Posts

30 October 2009 at 4:46am

I can understand your points, and when compared to systems like drupal and wordpress, having to hard code your theme can be a little odd.

However, doing this would most likely require this information to be stored in a database. Which, when you are deploying a site from SVN, across development, staging and production servers, storing settings like this in a database becomes completely unmanageable.

I would agree that Silverstripe is a little more difficult to get into that something like Drupal or *shudder* Joomla, but I see it more as a Content Management Framework, meaning that you have to get your hands dirty with some coding, but the end results are worth the effort you put in.

Good documentation is an issue for all open source projects (and, to be fair, a lot of closed source ones as well). Unfortunately, if you want high quality software that you can use, re-use/brand and develop on, all for nothing, you usually have to sacrifice something.

If you are having trouble getting a response on the forum, there are usually people hanging around IRC

Hope that is of some help.


Alistair George

Community Member, 8 Posts

30 October 2009 at 5:23am

Hi. Yea, I figured that I'd have to get my hands dirty, but that was not the objective. One primary reason for trying this system was so that the finished site could be handed over to others with little or no formal training. Contrary to what other information suggested, Silverstripe is not of that ilk.

Re the IRC chat option, I had also gone there and despite several folks being online nobody wanted to talk about Silverlight; in fact got no reply at all; this contrasts significantly to any other forum I have been involved in; in particular Joomla where the support is tremendous, but to be fair a more comparable forum would be glFusion, where I got a reply about some startup info within a few minutes from a senior member.

Silverstripe if its to gain its weight in the huge cms free offers out there needs to do something serious about forum support IMHO, because anyone who is serious, usually makes a call to the forum first to test the water.

Re your comment 'shudder, Joomla' I'm surprised since thats the system I have been using - would you like to comment more please?


Community Member, 283 Posts

30 October 2009 at 7:38am

Pick the right tool for the job that you know how to use. It's really that simple. Maybe its SS, maybe its Joomla, maybe its a bag of corn.

If you aren't too busy dropping complaints on the respective forums for all the other tools you tried but didn't work out, there are many ways you can help the SS community address your specific concerns:

We'd love some more familiar faces around here. I'm getting sick of seeing Mo's avatar all the time :) It makes me cold.

Alistair George

Community Member, 8 Posts

30 October 2009 at 8:08am

My OP was not meant to be construed as complaints. I am a Kiwi/NZ where Silverstripe originates from, and would like it to better the overseas CMS competitors across the board. I hoped my message was considered of useful dialog. Lack of extensions will be resolved as the product gains more general acceptance, however if there are barriers to the acceptance of the product, then the availability of more community generated addons/extensions will be delayed as well.

Certainly, I have tried a lot of CMS products, but thats in the nature of my work; finding the best tool for the job under various situations.

BTW being a programmer for some 20 years, not much is in the too hard basket; Im just getting a little slower!
Kind regards,


Community Member, 541 Posts

30 October 2009 at 11:01am

First off, based on dalesaurus' ever so flattering comment, I have changed my avatar... I HOPE YOU ARE HAPPY! :)

Next up, my main issues with Joomla:

1. The admin area is a mess. Whoever thought of the IA for it was clearly having a very bad day. It amazes me anyone can use it, because it is so unfriendly to a beginer.

2. Coding modules for it just seems messy (yes, that's a very technical term). It seems quite hard to make code easily maintainable and manageable within a team.

3. Slow development cycle. Silverstripe lets me turn around a professional product in very little time. Quicker than any other PHP based system I have used.

4. Lack of a proper MVC architecture... My info may be out of date on this, but I don't believe I am.

I will admit that Joomla's admin offers more administration options, like the ability to choose theme's and enable/disable plugins. Silverstripe's lack of these options can be a pain, but I never find them a show stopper.

For me, the joy of Silverstripe is that its admin interface may be quite simple to start with but can be quite easily built upon and expanded.

Like dalesaurus said, we use the tools that are best suited to our needs. For me, Silverstripe is the only reason that I still use PHP, I would have jumped ship to Django by now, if it didn't exist :).

Finally, in answer to your question about menu's, there is no direct way to do this, not in a similar way to Joomla. I do something similar on some sites, by using a redirector page to create a menu container in the site tree. Then in my page template, I use:

<% if Page(menu-container) %>
    <% control ChildrenOf(menu-container) %><li><a href="$Link">$Title</li><% end_control %>
<% end_if %>

Probably not the best solution, but it works for me, until I can find a better one, or build a module to deal with it.


Dave L

Community Member, 60 Posts

30 October 2009 at 11:16am

Hi Alistair,

Sorry to hear you're not as rapt with SS as the rest of us. I found running through the tutorials immense help when starting out and quickly got me up and running with more complicated requirements.

I think there is some expectation that coding is required. It's not at all difficult and the power and flexibility it affords more than makes up for a lack of GUI management tools IMHO. The developers have specifically prioritized things like better search engine support, scalability improvements, etc. over GUI management at this stage. I would say the target market for this SS is more for developers than off-the-shelf'ers.

What addon's do you think we're missing?

Anyway, I agree there could be more forum support until the community is large enough to support itself. I'll do what I can and look out more for 0 reply threads.


Community Member, 541 Posts

30 October 2009 at 11:27am

'Anyway, I agree there could be more forum support until the community is large enough to support itself. I'll do what I can and look out more for 0 reply threads.'

Ditto. I try not to complain, after all I am a lazy freeloader using other peoples software :). But greater forum support would be a godsend.

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