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Thursday, June 25, 2015

CCK vs. Drupal and Wordpress: Community vs. Commonality

One of the more common  questions posed by those looking for a website builder or CMS platform is "How is the community?" is it big? friendly? knowledgeble?.  I am countering the hunt for community with something that is more powerful and widespread, commonality.



Community:

a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists. The condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common. 


Commonality:

A quality that applies to materiel or systems: (a) possessing like and interchangeable parts or  characteristics enabling each to be utilized, or operated and maintained in common; (b) having interchangeable repair parts and/or components; (c) applying to consumable items interchangeably equivalent without adjustment.

Wordpress

Wordpress developers and users have to trust  that the Wordpress core is maintained and functioning by automacttic. There is no real community effort only their  loyalty as consumers of the product can be considered. They use and believe so therefore they are a community

Drupal

Learning Drupal  means  having to become part of a larger community.  Users mostly depend on drupal.org for connectivity and support.  This is because the CMS is built using ideas and patterns outside of  the normal which is evident in its architecture.

CCK

CCK strives for commonality in its architecture  so that  most any PHP programmer can  build modify and extend the core.  The idea is that a developer does not have to spend a year learning how CCK works.  The  architecture and system design is  kept very close to what a typical PHP programmer will see in the PHP manual  as examples.  Commonilty in CCK  means that anyone that  possesses  knowledge of  PHP is automatically a member of a large expansive community.  Users are not limited to a small community of people that are familiar with or use certain software.  All of the parts of CCK are purposely designed to be interchangeable.

Parts:
  • MVC
  • Simple OOP Class stucture
  • PHP
  • SQL
  • HTML5 

As you can see the parts list for CCK is short conspicuously missing is are frameworks and libraries. More on why this is so in another blog and now on to ....

Why this is important


Community especially in open source means contributing or being dependant on those that contribute. Community is what you get if you go to Drupal.org for help and knowledge.

Commonality means sharing or exchanging information as an interchangeable part. Commonality is what you get if you go to stackexchange.com and ask a question about any of the topics in the parts list.

There is a distinct difference in the two styles of connectivity and interaction. You'll find proof of this at Stackexchange where there is always a concerted effort by community members to remain communities. Despite the sites creators attempt to make the site one that is based on commonality at stackoverflow.com. you'll find drupal.stackexchange.com and wordpress.stackexchange.com. This regardless of the fact that both Drupal and Wordpress have immense communities elsewhere .

This pooling effect of communities is partially due to the nature of free open source software and copy left licensing. It would seem that when "free" and/or "copy left" are removed the only glue left is commonality and the smaller groups dissipate. But there is a third factor and that is the software itself. The software has to have an architecture that can be supported by the larger commonality. A good example of this happening is the relationship between javascript and jquery. It is this type of symbiotic relationship that I am creating with CCK and PHP.

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