Python equivalent to SharePoint?

Paul Boddie paul at boddie.org.uk
Wed Oct 15 18:08:35 CEST 2008


On 15 Okt, 17:17, Joe Strout <j... at strout.net> wrote:
> We've got a client who has been planning to use SharePoint for  
> managing their organization documents, but has recently dropped that  
> idea and is looking for an alternative.  Is there any Python package  
> with similar functionality?

Here's a starting point:

http://wiki.python.org/moin/ContentManagementSystems

Plone is probably the first thing that comes to mind.

> I confess that I've never used SharePoint myself, and what I know  
> about is mainly from these sources:
>
>    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SharePoint
>    http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?joel.3.66103.7

The Wiki vs. CMS thing is relevant, even though I imagine that
corporate types like to "pooh-pooh" the idea of Wikis, preferring as
they do to use their CMS or intranet solution as yet another "shared
folder" for their Word documents. What I know from experiences trying
to build a willing editing community around the EuroPython site was
that people didn't like to stray anywhere near CPS, but people could
be coerced into editing Wiki content; the PyCon UK site had even more
contributions from random conference attendees. Of course, a corporate
CMS typically involves the imposition of such a system on employees -
that's one way not to bother about user acceptance since everyone
implicitly says "yes" once the roll-out begins - but as one commenter
on Joel's article notes, even the fanciest solutions require a degree
of willing maintenance, and if it all starts to rot then the whole
point of introducing such a system is undermined.

> I found a reference to CPS, but its developers have dropped the Python  
> source to rewrite it in Java.  That's disturbing, and I don't want to  
> recommend an abandoned platform.  Anything else I should consider?

There may be other solutions not included on the page I mention above.
I remember being shown SharePoint a few years back by a fellow
consultant, and apart from the fancy drag-and-drop layout tools I was
strongly reminded of Slashdot, of which the consultant was naturally
unaware. At that time, for the basics of a "community site" such as
certain kinds of intranets, Zope plus Squishdot would have been
acceptable, but any absence of steep licensing costs isn't necessarily
an advantage in the consulting business since such stuff usually gets
passed onto the brand-obsessed customer.

With regard to "proper" document management, I think we'll
increasingly see developments around the revitalised area of version
control systems and their integration with Web-based solutions.
Subversion, for example, is already a Web-based solution in itself -
you'd just need to put a presentation logic layer on top.

Paul



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