Aside

Xaraya or Joomla! – what’s best for a university news site?


Xaraya or Joomla? We created our journalism news site using Joomla! CMS. A few weeks ago, I went up to visit BBC Sport Interactive. Having seen the CMS its journalist use, I feel pretty confident that our students are getting a good grounding in ‘real world’ working practices. But I’m just wondering if we should scrap Joomla! and teach Xaraya

  • Unlike Joomla!, Xaraya is used by large media publishers in the UK [so that gets a tick!]
  • It’s free [two ticks]
  • Its open source [we like Moodle, we like Joomla!….we just LOVE open source]
  • And it has a scary name which I can’t spell.[All good CMS have sinister sound names – my favourite is Tridion, which sounds like the latest nuclear weapon system].

So is this something we should be teaching our journalist degree students? How easy is Xaraya to learn and who offers hosting? Will students be able to spell its name, when they already struggle with Joomla!? That’s J-O-O-M-L-A.

So many questions…. 

, , , , ,

3 Responses to Xaraya or Joomla! – what’s best for a university news site?

  1. michael jones April 23, 2008 at 5:12 pm #

    I am not sure which is the best but your post is really good one and if you post some more joomla tutorials it would be so great!

  2. baraboom April 23, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    Nice post… especially as I’ve got some journalism background and currently develop Xaraya-based solutions. Here are some short replies to your posed questions:
    Xaraya or Joomla! – what’s best for a university news site?
    I think xaraya could win this one, depending on the complexity of the requirements. Joomla is a very CMS oriented application whereas Xaraya offers a framework with a lot of CMS functionality that can be extended and customized (tailored) to an organization’s needs.
    So is this something we should be teaching our journalist degree students?
    I think it’d be prudent to cover a variety of open source applications as they pertain to online publishing – lots of applications do not get enough exposure in an educational environment, despite their potential effectivness for small and large businesses.
    How easy is Xaraya to learn and who offers hosting?
    This is a special combination trick question. Short answer is, no, Xaraya’s not the easiest to learn. Support is available, however, for anyone that walks into the IRC #support room, posts on the forum or the mailing lists.
    As for hosting, Xaraya should run on any -decent- host that supports php and mysql. However, don’t expect any special support from a generic host – and don’t expect it to run well on a crowded, over-burdened $1.95 / month hosting account.
    JoJo and I have opened xarigami.com to the community-at-large to provide code, themes and support for those interested in developing with Xaraya. Additionally, we do offer hosting as well for those interested in a positive and productive hosting experience.
    Will students be able to spell its name, when they already struggle with Joomla!?
    Xaraya is easier to spell than pronounce, perhaps – but it certainly looks and sounds cooler, wouldnt you agree?
    Thanks again for your post.
    – dan (aka baraboom)

  3. Steve Hill April 26, 2008 at 12:20 am #

    Dan,
    Thanks for stopping by. There’s plenty of food for thought here.
    And I’m going paste it into a new post because it deserves further comment. Apart from your site, there seems to be relatively little of what I would describe as “user-friendly material” around. I couldn’t find any book at all on Amazon.co.uk, which is a concern.