I started investigating Content Management Systems the other day. I was getting bored with my web site. I was tired of hand coding web pages and wanted to spruce up my blogs too and wasn’t looking forward to modifying the blog CSS to match my web site’s CSS. I’ve done this once already. I like the idea behind CSS. It is nice to be able to change the look of the web pages globally while leaving the html untouched. But I have CSS for my regular web site and CSS for blojsom. Furthermore the blojsom installation is versions behind and Apple has modified it for OS X Server. I could ditch Apple’s version and run the latest blojsom but only after a bunch of work installing and testing and then I would still have to match the look to my particular web site. So I thought if i am going to do all that then why not look for alternatives?

CMS seemed to be the answer. Why not run my whole site, blogs and all as a content managed system? It could grow as needed and if I selected the right system, I could get away with one set of consistent Cascading Style Sheets for the whole web site. So I googled open source CMS systems and after looking at several good ones I decided to try one called drupal.* As luck would have it, there had been a drupal get together right here in Portland the week before. When will the gods smile upon me?

Content management requires a database. Drupal works with MySQL (and Postgres and anything else that runs with PHP) so I decided to follow the drupal install instructions on their website for Mac OS X. One of the first things you have to do is get MySQL. The drupal instructions talk about downloading a binary installer. Now I get to thinking (always dangerous when following instructions). I’ve used MySQL in the past, and I have Fink installed on my server so why should I follow the drupal web site’s instructions. I’ll just ask Fink commander to install MySQL from source and… sometime in the middle of this process I realize that the drupal instructions are for some poor sod working with Mac OS X. But Mac OS X Server already has MySQL installed. In fact, I never used it from the server before having always messed around with a locally installed MySQL on my machine. Oh well, I’ll just let it finish installing and run it anyway.

Well it has been hours and hours. I have managed to run MySQL installed by Fink, and I’ve also gotten the Apple included install to run. They tend to want to use each other’s commands and socket, but I think I figured out how to fix that. Now the current problem is that apparently PHP doesn’t like mysql_connect() (at least that’s more or less what the error message is telling me). Whether this is due to the multiple installs of MySQL or something Fink had done when I installed Apache2 for subversion a while back, or just because I failed to make a sacrifice to the gods of open source installs I just don’t know. The problem with following instructions in unix is that you never know where they’ll lead. So I am left looking for a trail to find my way back.

So if I can ever learn to follow instructions again, then you may one day be reading this blog entry on a drupal-based blog.

  • Plone, which is based upon Zope, which is written in Python looked really interesting too but rather complex to set up and use.
Tags: 
rant, technology

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