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PremekBrada / MamboEvaluation

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Updated 12 July 2005, 12:54 by PremekBrada

Evaluation of the Mambo CMS

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  • personal: perfect-fit/overkill
  • community: perfect-fit
  • news: quite-well
  • shop: partly
  • company: quite-well


Evaluated version: 4.5 (April 2004)

Size OK
unzipped size [3MB], plug-in architecture [yes], coverage of items below [most].
Platform OK
object PHP [yes], MySQL? [yes]
Install and setup OK
time to go operational [3min], web-based config [all], multiple sites in one CMS instance [no] (maybe plug-in exists)
Plain text edit OK
wiki-like input [no], textile [plugin] (as mambot from http://www.mamboportal.com/)
WYSIWYG editing OK
wysiwyg [plugin], configurable [yes] -- see grumbles.
Generated HTML ko
valid XHTML [no] (partly depends on template used).
Templating so-so
user control [single-template], website section differentiation [code-tweaks], snippet templates [no].
Domain-specific applications so-so
mechanism for app inclusion [plug-in].
User management OK
users and roles [roles], user groups with privileges [yes] (but just a fixed predefined set of role groups).
Content structuring ko
hierarchical content [multilevel], hierarchical URL [complex-rewrite], hierarchical presentation [blog/tweaks] -- see grumbles.
Localization OK
L10N? and I18N? issues separate in implementation [partially] (needs patch+plug-in for backend localization).
Metadata OK
can set metadata [page], metadata supported [desc].
URL features OK
link contents [id-hierarchy], search-engine friendly URLs? [mod-rewrite].
Archiving OK
supports archiving (rather than deleting) old content [yes], content is versioned [yes] (but looks like one cannot access older versions).
Statistics OK
usage stats gathered [yes], can create polls [yes].
Documentation so-so
templating manual [rough], programming manual [rough].


  • installation -- web wizard, up and running in 3 minutes
  • content structuring -- easy to understand, hierarchical categories, menu definition based on them: it's a snap! where is the catch? read the grumbles...
  • localisation -- front-end is easy, just edit lang file
  • content structuring -- user-defined menu with heterogeneous items


  • localisation -- in default install config, mambo turns non-latin1 characters into SGML entities; the lang file does not influence the admin back-end
  • templates -- how do I ... ? Hard-wired HTML in page parts generation (com_content/content.html for example). Cannot modify article/page template from the templates/ definitions, and the implementation has no <h.> around the title and uses tables for layout... sigh.
  • content structuring: The menu based on categories, and consequently the breadcrumbs as well, is actually useless as its nodes show "list of links to articles" (content/section) or article teasers (content/blogsection) instead of the page content. So one must hack, either (1) create the index pages (corresponding to the menu items) as "typed content" and link to the articles manually, or (1b) use URL menu links which lead to index-page articles, and/or (2) use hidden sections (not included in the menu), or (3) use the Published content plug-in. This means that, to create standard website with pages and section-based menu, one cannot effectively use the section-category hierarchies. One thus can get around the weak points in structuring website, but using tweaks that break navigation/accessibility options (highlight current section, color coding).
  • WYSIWYG editing -- Only RTE worked at the beginning, neither the default htmlarea2, nor the plugged-in htmlarea3, seemed to work; the code is in the page but the editor does not get activated. Well, now the htmlarea3_xtd works as well, not knowing about any change made... weird.
  • backend user interface -- always the same MOS flower icon, would welcome better visual cues for different menu actions; why are the "Publish" etc buttons right-aligned (rather off-hand)?