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Advantages of Opposites

Coranto 4.x news publishing system (NewsPro in previous versions) is a Web forms-based content manager, designed for multiple users with different access levels, posting news items based on the standard headline/story format.

Coranto and TWiki are in a way direct opposites. Wikis start as a flat, freeform, wide open environment. Coranto (and similar news publishers) start out very structured, form field-based, with access levels and restrictions, all round hierarchical in nature.

What's cool here - IMHO, with Coranto's implementation specifically - is the way both applications seem to be developing full-on to include the advantages of their opposites, without losing their core functions and appeal.

  • Coranto is geared to providing extreme flexibility, a way to do anything short of rewriting the software yourself, AND to making all that accessible to wide range of users with varying technical ability. But it sticks to the core model of a news category containing multi-field news items.

  • TWiki's biggest original difference from other WikiClones was (arguably, maybe) the introduction of fine-tunable access control. And most of the big enhancements in one way or another provide more structure and control (template system, forms capabilities, open plug-in architecture).

Why compare?

On first use, Coranto fell into that category of in-the-zone applications: you already knew how to use it, controls and features were there as you thought of them, directly or as addons, even the minimal documentation was all you needed. Which is how I instantly felt about TWiki as well. After a couple of months, I'm no less impressed with Coranto. Sooooo, I thought maybe there were things to learn from having some of the TWiki-fied check it out.

Other points of Coranto-TWiki similarity:

  • apparently well-focused core dev team
  • numerous plug-n-go addons
  • purely Perl CGI
  • seems from forums like a similar community: 3-4 core developers, other regular code contribs, and an active user base
  • it's freeware (not open source), BUT wide open to mods with predefined add-on hooks, also accepts raw Perl chunks as variable input (with a stated commitment to staying free - their support community is no doubt concerned...)

Have to demo it to see for yourself whether anything's there. My feeling, though, is that some interesting TWiki dev sparks may come from someone's checking out of Coranto...

-- MikeMannix - 28 Aug 2001

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Topic revision: r4 - 2008-09-16 - TWikiJanitor
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