Sunday, October 23, 2005

Searching for CMS producing static files

I am still search for a Content Management System (CMS) that produces static (HTML) files. The reasons I want static files are:

  1. Security. I was bitten many times by CMS / CGI-based / other tools that produce dynamic HTML files. Sometimes the problem is due to the scripting language being used (PHP, perl), and other times it is due to the backend database (eg. MySQL).
  2. Performance. My server's resources are usually limitted. For example, one of our servers is still using (GNU/Debian) Linux on a Pentium III. It was upgraded from Pentium II, though. Yes, I know that this is 2005. Although my current web server is Pentium 4. Generating dynamic pages on the fly may tax my server.
  3. I don't really need dynamic pages. The contents of my pages are mostly articles, presentation files, PDF files, and the like. (Examples of my sites are: my main web site, web at campus, BHTV, ID-CERT, my Indonesia, and many more. Don't laugh at the designs - or lack of.) I just have to build a nice themed index to these files. I don't even need a search engine. Let Google or Yahoo works for me.

My original plan is to create my pages on my desktop (or mobile) computer and then publish the updated pages to my web server. I also want to change the look-and-feel of the pages with a simple scheme. (Perhaps with CSS?) Currently, I have to hand change all the pages. The result is an inconsistent web pages.

My requirements:

  1. Produce static files
  2. Work on any platform (Linux, Mac OS X, MS Windows)
  3. Free (as in "gratis")!
  4. Open Source / GPL (if possible)
  5. No databased backend required (if possible) [I like flat files]
  6. Has a variety of templates/themes (if possible)
  7. Has a simple learning curve (if possible)


I thought I found the solution when I found blosxom. After trying it out, I is still not what I wanted. Blosxom is great for blog-type web pages, but not so great with the type of web sites that I am maintaining right now. I am still using blosxom for one of my blogs though; budi.paume.itb.ac.id/blog. One thing I like about blosxom is that it does not require a database backend and it is written in perl (my favourite language). Without the database requirement, I can work on any platform I am at (UNIX/Linux, Mac OS X, MS Windows). If I can find a blosxom-like tool that is not specific to blog, I would party!

Right now I am looking at Bricolage, TYPO3, and HTML::Template. (I have tried many many many CMS, and will continue trying. I am kind of partial to Drupal, but the learning curve is steep and it does not produce static files.)

So, I am still looking... If you have a suggestion, let me know.

13 comments:

Ozzie said...

I've said this on your other blog, but hey... Mambo CMS! :D

marisi said...

After googling around, how about this >> http://sourceforge.net/projects/sphpblog (flat files!) & it provides a template for static pages too : http://www.simplephpblog.com/development/files/goodies/page_template.zip

ronny said...

I can't believe no one mentioned MovableType (MT) yet. It's not GPL exactly, but it's free for personal use, IIRC.

ronny said...

I forgot to mention that MT is "open" source, written in perl, and you can use SQLite as the database backend. Not exactly flat file, but the database is a single portable file, and doesn't need any full admined dbms.

budi said...

What you guys have mentioned (sphpblog, MT) are all geared towards blog. That's not what I am looking for. My web pages are mostly (link) list of files.

I've seen Mambo CMS. It's still too complicated. I need something that is light.

ronny said...

True, MT may be geared towards blogging, but honestly I don't see any reasons why MT can't be used to manage contents in general.

MT is very flexible, it can be as easy or as complicated as required.

There are plenty of plugins to choose from that may fulfill some or all of your needs. From photo galleries, PHP, to Wiki plugins.
http://www.sixapart.com/pronet/plugins/

I think once you use MT and get a hang of it, you'll see how it can be used for general CMS. I think it's worth a try.

Kemas said...

If you found Mambo CMS is too complicated, why don't you try its light brother, Limbo CMS? Please visit this website, http://limbo-cms.com for more information.

iang said...

Apache Forrest? Not really like other common cms, but it can help to manage documents. It produces static web pages and doesn't use db.

a0z0ra said...

Mo coba wiki pak?

Ariya Hidayat said...

TiddlyWiki ?

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem as you. May be
you will try FrontPage as CMS. It has all the functions needed and it produces pure html.

budi said...

To anonymous, believe or not I had a smiliar idea (using FrontPage as CMS), but FrontPage only availble on Windows platform. Most of my serves are Linux-based

Anonymous said...

Holy sht, its 2009 here and i have the same problem as you in 2004!