Forum OpenACS Development: Response to ETP for ACS vs. Manila

Posted by John Sequeira on
Here's a brief comparison:

Out of the box,  Manila lets you build certain types of sites easily,  but not all types of site.  I was using it on my resume web site,  but I ran into many problems with static rendering (FTP export) and gave up and switched to Front Page (ugh).  ETP has no concept of static rendering - all the pages are dynamic.  That's probably the biggest difference from an out of box perspective: Manila works with cheap hosting resources via FTP,  ETP requires you to install and maintain the full OpenACS stack.  Manila server, OTOH, has the same requirements -  a server.

Manila's templating system doesn't require you to have file-system access to the server,  ETP's does.

Another minor issue:  Manila has no concept of versioning - ETP distinguishes between 'live' revisions and prior revisions.  In manila,  everything just gets served out of the object database.

Both toolkits allow you to quickly get a site into production built by a team of users.  ETP provides much more of a foundation to go beyond that simple application.  Manila starts and stops at it's out of the box experience.  I really enjoy working with Frontier,  and in theory you can customize it,  but in practice the paradigm is tough to grok,  and the dev tools are nonexistent.