From Rendez Central to Rendez Commons

daviding's picture

In the interest of speed -- appropriate for the SPINN project -- the new Rendez Central web site was implemented rapidly on the weekend of November 10, 2011.  The web technology chosen was an open source script called Elgg.  This direction was chosen an an alternative to Buddypress, (based on the popular Wordpress blogging platfrom).  Buddypress is functional, but the architecture with add-on modules becomes very complicated, and Wordpress seems to attract a lot of spammers.

Although Elgg seems to manage spam better (or at least differently) than Buddypress, I rapidly hit the wall on functionality.  The Elgg community is small relative to Wordpress, and is possibly shrinking.

On finding "7 Modules That Will Turn Your Drupal Site into A Social Networking Phenom", the original platform for the Rendez site re-emerged as an option.  Rendez.org started at Drupal 4.7, upgraded through Drupal 5, and has been stabilized as a legacy at Drupal 6.  I was surprised that Drupal 7 functionality has taken a big leap from Drupal 6.  The community is still active and supportive, so this looks like a better path than Elgg.

One test will be for blogging novices, as Drupal isn't as easy to use as Elgg or Wordpress.  From an administration standpoint, Drupal has a lot of options that can be set.

The Rendez web site follows the spirit of SPINN.  Sometimes the best way to advance is through learning-by-doing.  Not all activities will be successful.  We should look ahead to roadblocks, and may choose a different path if the outcomes are not as we expected.

4 Comments

MinLii's picture

First impression

Drupal seems to work really fast. For me it's logical, but I've used it before. Editing options are more extensive than in Elg.  Will try ouut more features during to day. 
- Minna

PiaT's picture

First impression, part 2

My first impression is that Drupal is slower than Elg, I have no idea if that has to do with the time of the day or the browser (IE) I am using. But it is not too slow. :o) How can I update the calendar? - I guess some learning is needed for my part.
Cheers, Pia

daviding's picture

Content types

 

On the upper left side of the screen, you'll see "Add Content".  I expect that members of the team will be adding one of three types of content:

  • Blog
  • Book page
  • Event

Pia, to respond to your question, adding an Event will place that content onto the Calendar.

Writing a Blog entry will associate your face with the writing. 

Writing a Book will enable easier navigation (e.g. at the bottom of http://rendez.org/commons/spinn the link to SPINN Brief › to get to the next page is automatically generated.  We can reorder pages in the hierarchy.  I expect that there might be a LEAP book, next.

I've currently set security low, so that everyone should be able to edit book pages.  I've left the security option up on blogs, so that the risk of messing up someone else's writing is lower.  There should always be an option to "Create new revision" so that a wiki-like history is maintained.

The other types of content (i.e. Article and Basic Page) can be created ... but I don't see the point, as yet.  (These are basic content types in Drupal, superseded by Blog and Book).

As for Drupal running slower ... it is a bigger package than Elgg, and I had to increase the memory space for it to run.  However, over the Internet, there shouldn't be a significant difference.  Since these web applications run on a shared web server, there's probably other random workload spikes that could be happening at any given time.

I'm still working through some configuration issues, and hope to have them resolved within a few days.  We can and should move forward with Rendez Commons, though, as Elgg on Rendez Central is a dead end.

 

PiaT's picture

Adding an event

Thank you David for the guidance. :o) However, when I click add content (I am in the calendar page), I only get two options, blog entry and book page. There is no event available at all...