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apples and pears
apples and pears

There is currently a discussion on slashdot titled "Open Source Usability — Joomla! Vs. WordPress". In the article the author asks if either of these are better that the other for usability.

Unfortunately it has degenerated into the typical argument on slashdot, "my software is better than your software" with a smattering of people who once tried the software in the dim and distant past pronouncing judgement as if they are the ultimate authority.

Comparing joomla to drupal is like comparing red apples to green apples. Some people love one and hate the other. Other people love them both. At the end of the day they are similar but not the same. Comparing either joomla or drupal to wordpress is like comparing apples to pears. They are both fruit but that's where the similarity ends.

The article reviewer on slashdot asks "Many open source projects are developed by engineers for engineers — should they focus more on usability?"

I've been happily training hundreds of volunteers to run and manage joomla web sites over the last two years. One of the best of which is done entirely by an 80 year old pensioner with no prior computer experience.

Sure usability could be improved and I've blogged before about some of the areas. When cant something be improved. I don't believe anyone in joomla is arrogant enough to believe that it is perfect. That's why it is constantly developed and improved upon.

That is definitely true to an extent and joomla has suffered its own fair share of this. There has definitely been a tendency over the years for new features to be added without looking at the usability aspect of them. Sometimes it is hard for a developer to think like a user. They know people want the new feature but they don't necessarily have the real world experience to know how to present the feature.

But times change and with each new release of joomla we definitely see a re-evaluation in the way certain features are presented to make them more usable. Anyone who saw the first release of mambo when content parameters were introduced by Rey Gigataros would not recognise the way they are displayed now.

It is perfectly natural for new features developed by coders to be initialy presented in a less than optimal way, in terms of usability, and it is through feedback and real world experience that these can be improved upon.

If you think something can be improved upon provide feedback, that's how open source software is improved upon.

Disclaimer: This blog is developed in joomla, sure it could have been done in wordpress but I know joomla and wanted to showcase how joomla can be used for a blog traditionaly done in wordpress.

J o o m l a !

Brian Teeman

Brian Teeman

Who is Brian?

As a co-founder of Joomla! and OpenSourceMatters Inc I've never been known to be lacking an opinion or being too afraid to express it.

Despite what some people might think I'm a shy and modest man who doesn't like to blow his own trumpet or boast about achievements.

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