content management system

This article predates another Mambo complication: the fork into Mambo (backed by Miro; maybe somewhat corporate) and the - apparently more open source - version that's now called Joomla!

The Mambo homepage has a nifty slogan: "Power in Simplicity". But is this valid? After more than a year using Mambo, I think there's truth in Power in Simplicity; yet at the same time, there is also Weakness in Complexity.

Some of the power stems from being able to make sitewide changes with little more than the press of a (virtual) button. Suppose you want to turn off Google ads for all pages, and soon afterwards switch them back on (as I've recently done). It's a cinch with Mambo. You can just as easily change the look of the site throughout. Or add a forum, a shop, a photo gallery. Contributors can write and edit web pages.

And yet, as so often with computing, the "simplicity" depends on doing things right. Make what can seem a small error, and you can have problems; at worst, these can result in the whole site ceasing to work, with nothing on each page but a short error message (happily, when you fix the error, the site springs back to life). Then even if do things perfectly, Mambo includes complexity; the worst I'm so far aware of is in the latest version, which is prone to creating unwanted, search engine unfriendly, duplicate URLs.