Hello Ignaty,

I have not found many great XSL resources but recently came acros some (old) presentations/tutorials by Normal Walsh. They might be helpful:

Well, they're not real, you need some privacy in internet, even if it a "small" moustache.

Thank you nickdunn and davidhunt. I ordered XSLT Cookbook, I have good experience in JSON, jQuery, etc... So I hope it will not be hard for me to go on track with XSLT.

I heard about Symphony on Explicit Web's podcast. Hannah Wolfe made it sound shackle-free CMS and like the most flexible thing ever invented for web content.

@arti5m, Hannah Wolfe is right. And I think everyone who is putting a lot of effort into making Symphony better is expending that effort for exactly that reason.

That's a great podcast! We should probably have it prominently displayed on this site somewhere.

@bauhouse, She also mentioned that this community is the most responsive and supportive she's seen.

You should definitely give them a shoutout at least. I can't be the only one they've converted.

I can't remember the first time I found Symphony. I was making a bookmark directory of CMSs and just researching everything I found. I was revisiting that list and looking at Wikipedia, where Symphony is missing?

At the time of my original listing I was reading David Power's PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Solutions Made Easy and started rolling my own CMS to use with Flash sites. A very slow process, but a great way to learn about PHP, MySQL and content management. I'm coming from a graphic design background originally so learning to code has been a long process.

I ended up using my little custom CMS for a few sites and it works pretty well, but I feel like it takes too long to get it setup. On the other hand, I like how custom it feels. It's only got what it needs and does exactly what it should or can :-). The main project I did with it was a barter, so there wasn't pressure related to time-money. I ended up outputting XML from my CMS to use in my Flash sites, so that's nice. I feel somewhat at home with the XML nature of Symphony.

I started to learn OO PHP from Power's other PHP book, but there's so much stuff to learn and work to do. I hope to pick that book back up someday, get the OO PHP down. I think I'd like to do that before I try and get my head around Ruby and Rails or Python and Django. I've heard those are the new shiny toys and everybody's into them. (Compared to (old) PHP and it's slow development?)

Still in need of CMS I can use that's not mine (all slow-rolled) and with the end of the year slowness here, I thought why not work through some local setups of different CMSs. I started with MODX, did a quick setup, perused the admin and moved on to the next one on the list, Symphony! I'm stopping on Symphony. No need to check out EE, Drupal or Joomla. I've built a couple WP and Blogger sites, oh man... they're ok, but not what I think of when I think about what a CMS for web development. Those 2 are great CMSs for Bloggers. Tumblr is fun but very specific. Symphony is it, cue the orchestra for the audio branding sound!

AND I just want say here, on top of the awesomeness underneath Symphony, the overall visual design of the Symphony system, the site, the community, docs, articles ... all that is the Symphony CMS brand is so nice, so well done. Cheers to you guys! I immediately felt like this is it. No noise, no overselling it, no fat! You guys have done a really,really great job!! So nice!!

I'm moving quickly towards Standards (or Progressively enhanced Flash anyway). But Symphony will output whatever I need, right!? So, if I do decide to build something with Flash and want to use XML for my data, I'm all set! Getting my head around XSLT and XPath are the new quests. Funny enough after I got the XML output from my little CMS I was asking on a PHP forum how I can use XML for HTML and someone told me XSLT. I order big giant book by Doug Tidwell, but didn't get much past the 2nd chapter.

Maybe that was more of a love letter than how I found Symphony, hmm. Either way, I know I'm here to stay. I think Symphony is a perfect fit for me. Thanks guys!

Kind regards.

Nice story Kaplan :) The main thing I still love about Symphony is the consistency - not just in the codebase (though I'm sure Rowan would disagree :P) but also in the consistent product design conventions, visual design of the backend, and the look and feel of the site and supporting documentation, as you said.

Good luck with XSLT - it's a hard road, and I'm still learning new things after 5 years (yeesh) of using it nearly every day. 100% worth it though.

No noise, no overselling it, no fat!

Gosh, that's a good one :)

I was revisiting that list and looking at Wikipedia, where Symphony is missing?

We used to have a Wikipedia page, but it was removed despite our objections because of "No third-party reliable sources". Most odd and very frustrating for all involved. You can see the discussions here and here.

I came by Symphony CMS via this site, though the author went on using MODx …

I found Symphony by searching for a CMS framework that uses XSLT. I've played around with some other CMS frameworks, and what to see how Symphony can be vs. the other CMS frameworks I have used.

Welcome Terry, you're in for a hell of a ride

You know what? Found some CMS reviews recommend Symphony but I have ignore visit the site more than 10 times (read below to know why).

I'm confuse Symfony framework with Symphony, both are almost the same brand until I had remember that was a framework, I guess CMS is not using Symfony. So it was true, they are different categories. Wonder how many of them are confuse as well.

I have tried out Symphony and wish to add an article, somehow the Hello World tutorial has been outdated since, I still not able to add a new article successfully, could anyone help out?

@proyb2 - Welcome. Glad you are here.

I would go through these tutorials here on the Symphony site. They were written a couple of years ago, but still apply.

Try some these couple of articles by Jonas Downey (@jonas)...

I started developing web sites using Dreamweaver, which has its own way of managing re-usable code pieces (and allows for simplified editing by content authors via the Contribute package). But once I stopped relying on the WYSIWYG aspects of program and started looking at the HTML it created, I realized that the output is a train-wreck.

For a while after that, I wrote my websites directly in plain HTML. I knew I needed a way to manage reusable snippets (header, navigation, footer, copy-mark, etc.), but wasn't savvy enough to DIY my own build scripts at the time.

Eventually, the interwebs revealed to me the concept of templating, and separation of content and structure. I went through a Struts phase, but the community around it seems to have dried up. I've avoided the impulse to learn Ruby on Rails so far (though I'm excited that Ruby is homage to pe[a]rl).

Also tried Smarty, but found it also bereft of active community. Wandered aimless around the webs until something rekindled the pale fire. The power of Symphony is thrilling, but some of the implementation details keep slowing me down.

@Anhedonia: you might want to look at the Database Synchronizer or CDI extensions as an alternative to Schema Migration.

@bzerangue, thanks for the links! Will read up.

To addon, I came from PHP and Apache Flex background for 3+ years, spent most of my projects building small site from scratch and throw in any usable scripts powered by JQuery, well, what happen when the requirements become too complex to manage and OOP and MVC paradigm was sort of curve learning.

Looking over a few popular CMS, I didn't like the way how we are only limited to their workflow.

Umbraco was on the other hand was a mature product and has a strong community based for .Net developers. I'm still consider whether Symphony CMS will fit for Small-to-Medium Business where they can manage their backend and frontend website on a single CMS, could we do that?

I regretted I didn't read XSLT books for 13+ years.

I'm just a few months old website builder. Though I have a steady full time job as a computer system administrator, which does not have any relation to the web, I've periodically had the thoughts that site-building may be fun.
So, around the fall of the year 2011, I've purchased a one year hosting and a domain name, hoping in a couple of weeks to put out something workable to the public. I've underestimated the complexity of the matter. I've changed my mind many times, tried different approaches, almost decided to make Wordpress my pick.
Then I've heard from one of my friends a magic word XSLT, and how cool it is.
A little bit of googling and the Symphony CMS was the first thing I banged against.
So, my acquiantance with Symphony is purely accidental. Nevertheless, and inspite of a mess and chaos in my head, caused by so much information I had to digest in such a short time, I've managed to bring out to the light my first web-site
Now, when the site is alive, and I have more time to look back, comparing other alternatives, I can say that I was pretty lucky that I've did it with Symphony.

Was looking for a CMS that allowed me to make JSON calls. Still evaluating this.

I've been searching for years for 'the perfect CMS'. A task that too many tell me is frivolous - but for too long I've wanted to 'hang my hat' on a CMS.

You've got big players like WordPress - which is great for blogs, and very adaptable for small sites - but the UI is very restrictive and attempting to break out of these areas tends to involve a lot of bloat and nonsense. I've tried to like Drupal a couple of times, and just can't. Joomla isn't so bad, but for anything short of a large dynamic site it's total overkill. I've used and liked ForkCMS - but it's geared quite specifically for static proposition sites (and the like) - great backend UI, nice product. I ran into PyroCMS via using Codeigniter (which it's built on) - I had high hopes as it was built into a framework I knew and liked - but it's a bit clunky and shares too many similarities with ForkCMS whilst not bettering it in any areas for me to really get into it. I also found the community to be a bit small and, from my perspective at least, cold and uninterested in the opinions or needs of its users. I've evaluated a whole bunch more - but they all share common problems: Too much rigidity, whether it be the UI or the way it structures content - and sometimes there's simply not enough extendability.

Then I came across Symphony. It's light, clean and adaptable - as suitable for a single page site as it is a full blown, large dynamic behemoth. The community is smart and proactive; they also seek out input from their users and appear to be truly striving to make it a better product without compromising any of the things that make it great.

I'm currently going through the process of overhauling my agencies site into Symphony (along with a few updates and improved areas) and there hasn't been a challenge I've run into that hasn't been solved. I haven't had to make a compromise, and the content management feels bespoke - rather than forced in. I've streamlined, simplified and even improved the site - much of which simply wasn't possible with the CMS it's replacing.

Every other CMS feels like it's tailored for a specific use. Which is fine - in some cases dare I say an advantage. But I'm not after a round peg for a round hole, I'm after a framework that allows me to create whatever shaped peg I like. Now I have it.

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Symphony • Open Source XSLT CMS

Server Requirements

  • PHP 5.3-5.6 or 7.0-7.3
  • PHP's LibXML module, with the XSLT extension enabled (--with-xsl)
  • MySQL 5.5 or above
  • An Apache or Litespeed webserver
  • Apache's mod_rewrite module or equivalent

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