Bricolage // Re: Fixing the website

Simon Wilcox essuu at
Tue Nov 15 14:26:19 GMT 2005

Disclosure : Part of my $dayjob is building Bricolage sites.

On Tue, 15 Nov 2005, Aaron Crane wrote:

>   - For smaller sites, Bricolage is substantially more effort to deploy
>     and look after than a trivial solution like ttree.  This is
>     particularly true if the people maintaining the content can ssh to
>     the server and edit there, or can drive a version-control working
>     copy and commit appropriately.

We can do a simple static site in about the same time but if you have to
climb the learning mountain first, then I agree it's not worth it.

If you have users who have no idea about html and think that Outlook is
"nifty", giving them a simple (fsvo simple) web interface actually saves
you a world of pain.

>   - For larger sites, Bricolage is substantially more effort to deploy
>     and look after than a custom-written CMS.  I think it takes less
>     than a month for one person to write a full CMS from scratch.  Much
>     less, if the feature list is short, and you have a useful toolbox of
>     reusable web-app code to throw at the problem.  Bricolage
>     deployments of any significant size or complexity take considerably
>     longer than a month.

If you have an on-tap developer I think this could be true. Particularly
if said developer likes reinventing wheels. NIH syndrome is epidemic among
developers after all :-)

I think Bricolage is more appropriately targetted at organisations with
limited or no technical resources available. At that stage having
something with most of the features you need is a good thing. Yes, that
puts it in competition with the Big Players like Vignette and Teamshite
but that's OK.

>     Also, if new features come along every week or two, it'll probably
>     be much easier to add them to your own code than to find some way of
>     shoehorning them into Bricolage's way of doing things.  And don't
>     forget that the people maintaining the content will need to be
>     trained in the arcane ways of operating Bricolage.  Even people who
>     like Bricolage agree that creating and editing pages with it is less
>     than straightforward.

It's getting better and I have clients who use both Bricolage and
$bigplayer who say that Bricolage is *much* easier to use. All of these
big systems have their arcana, at least with Bricolage you can contribute
to improving things.

> > For those that are happy with svn, ssh and make/ttree it's probably
> > overkill but I throw it out as an option.
> Perhaps surprisingly, it turns out that Bricolage is also overkill for
> those with big websites on which their entire business depends.

A lot of the people listed on would
disagree with that statement. As with all large systems, it depends a lot
on how you implement it.

So what negative experience have you had that leads you to your
conclusion ?


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