Mambo Server Notes

I finished the initial draft of a site that is built on Mambo Server. Mambo seems to be a very capable platform that does quite a lot. There are some things I liked about it and some that I didn’t.

Here are some of my notes:

  • I initially created Sections and Categories for the site. I quickly realized that what I actually needed was just a bunch of ‘typed_content’ pages linked from the main menu. The interface for creating that stuff and moving things around in the menu is painfully slow.
  • When you type in content, there isn’t any tag creation (createing P or BR tags) that I could find. I plugged in the autop code from WordPress as a fix. This kind of hacking makes upgrades more difficult.
  • The template system made it very easy for me to pull everything out and start from scratch with my own shell and CSS.
  • I eventually gave up trying to make the menu a nice set of semantic lists and just let it create tables. That code was to involved to hack and then have to upgrade.
  • The search engine friendly URLs are unfortunately not very meaningful. They basically put the ID of the content into a slashed URL (/content/view/440/) instead of a string of arguments (index.php?view=440). Meaningful URLs is what I’d like to have.

I can think of a lot of situations where a platform like this would be a good fit, but I’ve decided not to use Mambo for my own site. The bottom line was I just didn’t feel comfortable with it and it wasn’t easy to get the nice semantic markup that I’d like to have for the next version of my site.