Lazyweb: help me pick a CMS

I’m trying to find a content-management system, mostly for running a limited-access discussion forum. I’ve already looked at Drupal, which is pretty nice, but I have not yet figured out how to make it fully support Japanese, which is a make-or-break feature.

I can get limited success writing Japanese in Drupal, but (in the best-case scenario so far) the characters wind up being escaped to numeric Unicode entities, which are not editable after being posted, and apparently are not searchable.

I also looked at the Slash engine, but A) the installation instructions assume you are root, assume you are more technically adept than I am, and are very sketchy all around, and B) has the same problems with Japanese.

I suspect the Japanese-handling problems in both Drupal and Slash could be fixed with some minor coding changes, but I don’t know where to start. Messing with the template charsets doesn’t do it.

Other desirable features:
Threaded message structure
Moderation/karma points a la Slashdot
Flexible permissions setup
Straightforward templating for admin

None of the other CMSs or web-BBSs I’ve looked at so far have forum threading,

[Later] Seems that I can almost get Japanese working right in Drupal (why do I think of towering drag-queens every time I say that?) after all: there was a configuration issue that was causing the Japanese to be escaped. I turned that off, and now everything is close to hunky-dory, except for one thing: searching on Japanese terms always returns no results.

[Still later] Turns out a Japanese drupal user has developed a patch. This helps some of the problems I was having (and was already groping towards solving). Still doesn’t enable Japanese searching, though.

10 thoughts on “Lazyweb: help me pick a CMS”

  1. Not in this context. I’m really looking for a multi-user discussion forum, and from what I understand, Blosxom is pretty much a straight blogging tool. Extensible, and with an active community, but not really designed for automated membership signups, threaded messaging, etc.

  2. Looked at Invision. Simple, but lacks some of the features I’d like to see, like threading (unless I’m missing something). For that matter, my web host ( ) has push-button installation of phpbb, which is roughly equivalent. Drupal really is an interesting system, if only I could get the search working.

    Don’t know much about bricolage, and it’s not clear from the site whether it has any forum at all, but the setup seems a bit daunting, and I’m not sure if my host offers PostgreSQL at all.

  3. Could you maybe use something, then use a Google API developed for Japanese (I would assume there is one since Google has a Japanese version of their site)?

  4. Charles–

    In theory, the answer is Maybe. Here’s the thing: most CMSs store their data in a MySQL database. Google is smart, but it can’t currently traverse databases–it only deals with standalone documents.

    I’ve seen one Japanese forum app that stores each message as a standalone file, so that would be amenable to Googling (or to on-site search engines like Namazu).

    The other potential downside to relying on Google is that you are rationed 1000 requests a day. I could ask people to type in their own Google keys every time they did a search, but you can see how that would grow tedious.

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