I found Symphony by searching out blog/CMS engine alternatives to Wordpress. I'm a geek, and I like to have more control and it seems like Symphony will allow me to set up exactly what I want. I'm going to use it to rebuild my personal website, and if all goes well I may move my photography site to it as well.

It seems like the community here is great, and I will definitely try to remain involved and use this as a resource as I learn the framework. :)

I'm a geek, and I like to have more control and it seems like Symphony will allow me to set up exactly what I want.

A lot of us can relate! Welcome :-)

At first I'm try to find Symfony, then I find Symphony on Googles. Then I say what is this crazy? And I find it and I say its the wrong one, then I find the right one but it's too much complicated, so big too much for effort for everything. So I come back. And I learn and learn and learn XSLT.

So after much time, I saw wowaweeewaa! It's good innit? it does a lot. I'm no more wordpress, drupal or joomlas. It's make my head hurt like a beetroot, so red.

It's great, I'm a love in that one for Symphony, so cool, easy to configure, to use, to create, to deploy, to enjoy, to develp, to test, to so many things - quickly, efficintly, customizably.

wordpress, drupal or joomlas. It's make my head hurt like a beetroot, so red.

Genius! Poetry :) There is no love hate with Symphony for me, just love, lots of love.

It was a long journey, but I'm here.

I found about Wordpress a while back, I don't remember. I needed a framework to have a responsive grid system and some quick ui buttons-things Wordpress Themes did that I wanted to learn and recreate myself after getting familiar with a framework. Instead of relying on buying themes.

Discovered Twitter's Bootstrap and Zurb's Foundation. Started looking which one's the best, which came down to SASS vs. LESS. Decided to go with Foundation but Bootstrap had a lot of resources (kept going back and forth), discovered bootstrap's jquery ui elements and went for Foundation.. Which is ok for rapid prototyping/pre-alpha/alpha.

Since we're on the iterative / incremental design model we were starting to look for a cms, came across modx through I found out that css toolkits are too bloated, came across this forum: when I noticed the conversation getting knowledgeable and a guy mentioned ProcessWire.

Researched processwire and got to this thread: which mentioned processwire. I'm new to everything, but my eye is set out to learn both Processwire and then Symphony. Then learn how to recreate my own version of Modx Cloud, and I'll be happy. Thank you, Germans are cool people. I'll be sure to spread the love among Puerto Ricans when I know more about XML, XSLT, PHP. The less markdown the better..

TL;DR: So basically I got here because I was power hungry and needed more control. Keep it up!

Welcome Jayvan! That's some road trip you took to get here :-) The community here is your biggest resource, so make sure you take advantage of it when the time comes.

Germans are cool people.

Australians are cooler - and that's coming from an American!

Germans are cool people.

Only until you actually live in Germany :-)

I was reviewing all existing CMS because I couldn't find an understandable and flexible one to use as really open web application framework.

I was trying to find my way using Drupal and MODx but none of them was good : too heavy, changing to much, not open to other tiers applications except very famous one.

With Symphony CMS, I really found the best compromise. A very lightweight and powerfull architecture, clear and sharp code and a system opened to the world thanks to XML.

There are still few features missing to make it a complete web application development platform :

  • Real user membership (with groups, permissions to pages and fields, default access to pages and not datasources)
  • Online download and installation of extensions
  • Online code editor
  • Automatic web services interfaces to pages and event to allow connection of external application to the system
  • File manager
  • Data management system (database, pages, events, templates backup and restore system)
  • Versionning on data entries

But system is open enough to create his own extensions to fill the gap. SymphonyCMS will be perfect when these features will become part of the core.

@bgillet when you say file manager, what exactly do you mean? I'm just curious because I'm collecting ideas for Filemanager 2 (in case you missed it: filemanager). Same for versioning and ACL.

@bgillet, I think most of features you say will not be part of the core, but will be presented as extentions. As far I understand, thats the point (one of those) of the SymphonyCMS, be simple and flexible.

If you look well, you'll find amazing extensions for almost whatever you need. Some devs are like mutant ninjas from space, with lasers.

@iwyg : yes, I missed existing filemanager extension. Anyway, I give you my suggestions like it never existed.

I expect being able using file manager from both front-end and back-end.

From back-end, I would even imagine it like being a part of the core to manage a centralized resource folder.

Wherever I am using it, I am expecting a kind of dialog box like windows one with shortcuts to computer and workspace.

Then, I am also expecting default filters for very common file types (ex: images, musics, video, documents, archives, source code, all). For images and, why not, documents I would appreciate a preview before selecting and eventually informations about file size, author, etc.

It would be great having also contextual menu when right clicking on a file to perform operations like renaming, deleting, standard cut, copy, paste and, why not, sharing via mail or other way (dropbox, etc.) or by creating a private download link.

And, finally, I would appreciate being able to select multiple files to upload or download at once.

I hope this gives you ideas.

I can't remember how exactly I found Symphony but do vaguely recall some allusions made to it by Jon Hicks way back when. I had been looking for an excuse to build something with Symphony an got the opportunity to do some work for a financial institution so used Symphony - even put together a few basic extensions for that project.

Back then it was much better than all of the alternatives and still is in my opinion. I have always appreciated that the System essentially only gives you the basics you need out of the box but gives you the flexibility to extend it and customize as you see fit; I think adding too many features out of the box may dilute this essential flexibility.

I'm a DotNet developer by trade but still always use symphony for any projects where I need something to build sites with quickly; I love the power that working with XML and XSL gives you. I'm currently using Symphony to implement an issue tracking product internally at my current place of employment after being motivated somewhat by a screenshot on the Soario website.

@MattShaw, I'm glad to hear you've had such a great experience with Symphony. From what I hear, DotNet developers tend to be familiar with XSLT. Do you find that there are some skills that are portable between DotNet and Symphony?

I'd be very interested in hearing more about your issue tracker. Have you considered creating an ensemble and sharing what you've been working on?

@MattShaw: I started working on a bugtracker back then too: Feel free to pick it apart and re-use it for your purposes. :-)

@bauhouse I think in development skill sets tend to be portable, I think approach and attitude are more important than language. My original XSLT experience actually came from working with symphony but has been invaluable in my current role where we use it for building file formats such as PDF (XSL-FO) and XLS for reporting in one of our products. It's definitely a skill I think that other developers would benefit from learning even those not working with DotNet or Symphony; It would make a great templating language for use with a static site generator (as I believe is being used for factory development ?)

The current issue tracker that I am working on is quite simple for the time being. We have a bit of an issue where we have numerous discussions and bits of knowledge that tend to get locked away in emails and other channels like Sharepoint that could benefit from wider visibility but that we wish to keep away from bugzilla because once an issue goes into that system it is often erroneously treated as a fault. This is an association we strive to avoid, especially when managing a clients expectations (an bug is definitely an issue but an issue may not always be a bug). To keep management simple there are (currently) only two statuses, open and closed and two levels of priority, normal and elevated.

The current implementation essentially follows the default ensembles blog arrangement with posts (created through the frontend) serving as the the issues and comments to those form the responses to them. The Members extension handles all the authentication and some tweaks to typography.xsl allied to google prettify allows for nice github style code blocks. There is a custom front end that pulls in a custom developed UI framework that allowed a slick (IMHO) look and feel pretty quickly and easily.

@Phoque - I'll definitely check that out, thanks for the heads up :)

I found Symphony as an honorable mention: 10 Weblog Engines Reviewed | Smashing Magazine.

I'm looking for something that will help me publish a website to include blogging, coding tutorials, and whatever else floats my boat. I have felt pretty much all of the Tao of Symphony throughout my career, even if I haven't know it to be of Symphony. I like that it seems to be a good balance between a web framework and a CMS system and I love XSLT. Thus, I'm cautiously optimistic that Symphony is for me.

Note: I haven't actually installed it yet, so grains of salt are necessary!

Cheers, Stu

Welcome Stu! XSLT is typically the only stumbling block for newcomers so it sounds like it's going to be love at first…

Welcome to the party and I hope your boat floats around quite a bit.

I heard about Symphony by google-ing "CMS drupal Alternatives" and after being somewhat overwhelmed by trying to learn Drupal.

Impressions so far are: - install was a little tricky but not too difficult. Could have a little more in terms of an install specific FAQ - have done the beginners tutorials - have installed some extensions - "Edit Plus" (easy peasy and great), DateandTime (easy install, struggling to figure how it works), Members (easy install, having trouble configuring, potential huge). - still trying to figure out whether it is possible to build slightly more complex data-structures i.e. as a minimum a 1->M relationship. - documentation generally is sparse - performance on my home server looks great - data-structure complex (and I was 10 years in the business) - Lot of open questions like: "is there a post MYSQL strategy?", "is data-structure extremely scalable i.e in terms of performance ie..)

My background is 10 years technical and 10 years more sales, marketing but still a dab hand at DBA, PHP (although not too great at OO PHP), CSS, HTML.

Overall impression is that I am kinda liking it. XSLT is new to me so some learning curve there. Would like this to succeed and hope that it looks at the best parts of drupal (amazing out-of-the-box experience) without the "bad" parts (way too complex, and performance is very slow).

Depending on how the rest of my evaluation goes (i.e. for what I would like to build), it looks like something I would love to contribute to the development of (less code, perhaps more roadmap, documentation, etc... should it be valuable)

Hi Symphony,

while I am using this forum already for a while, I haven't posted yet here. I have started with hand coded pages in 1996, soon later in a voluntary project I worked with programmers who supplied me with php code and I included my html and css into it. In 2008 I learned a bit to use Typo3 and I learned to fear it. Webdesign and development has been and is always a side work for me, not my core profession. I only put effort into cms studies from time to time. When I worked with a webdesigner I admire, I asked him about his cms, which is Symphony. Symphony is fun and I am enjoying doing small projects with it now beneath my main work as architect (architecture like in houses).

Thanks for this great cms! Moritz

Hello fellow Symphonists.

I'm back to freelance after a long period of full-time job, and looking forward to use Symphony as main Platform/CMS for upcoming projects. I've already done one project on Symphony couple of years ago and it was a pleasure to work both with the system and the community.


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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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