A Dummies guide to Xaraya – can someone write one?

Would Xaraya make a suitable platform for our university news website? A couple of days ago, I put a call out for comments.

The extent of my knowledge about Xaraya can be written on a very small postage stamp. Thankfully, Dan (aka Baraboom) from the excellent Xaraya development site came back with a few answers…

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 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?

This all started when I met a senior bod from Hearst Digital, home of hugely popular sites , and many more.

I expected the big guys to be using a huge, expensive and bespoke CMS – i.e. the type of thing we’re never going to be able to afford.

The reality is that Hearst was using something open source – Xaraya. Open source is good news and not just because of the price factor, they tend not to date as quickly as the commercial products and there’s no software company to go bust and mess everything up.

The university went with Moodle as its VLE over the commercial Blackboard for similar reasons. I also tend to think that open source is far more ‘with the flow ‘ of how the Net should work.

Problem: in terms of learning resources, there seems to be bugger all published about Xaraya on Amazon. Although there seems to be some cross-over with PostNuke. Still there are some dedicated Xaraya hosts.

In short, I have a lot more to reading to do at Dan’s site!

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