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What Really Happened with Mambo? 107

Posted by Hemos
from the to-every-season dept.
Anonymous Coward writes "What Happened with Mambo? There is a good article about the recent events that resulted in a changing of the guard at Mambo. Jem Matzan does his best to objectively debunk what happened. It looks like much research was conducted to produce this article and it is very informative. Check it out!" In the interest of full disclosure as well, our corporate parent also hosts Joomlaforge.
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What Really Happened with Mambo?

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  • by User 956 (568564) on Monday January 02, 2006 @11:33AM (#14378576) Homepage
    Here's a link to the google cached version of the page. Google Cache [66.102.7.104].
  • by Pac (9516) <paulo...candido@@@gmail...com> on Monday January 02, 2006 @11:34AM (#14378578)
    All these tropical music styles seem to follow a cycle of sudden, quick popularity, quick fall back into oblivion as a new, hotter style is "discovered" and then a revival every other decade. Mambo wouldn't be different.
  • correction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by molnarcs (675885) <molnarcs@gmai l . c om> on Monday January 02, 2006 @11:41AM (#14378618) Homepage Journal
    If you're using Mambo currently, do you need to switch to Joomla? The answer is no, as far as my research for this article shows.

    Hmmm... You don't have to do much research to see that the future lies with Joomla. Basically the entire development team - the same team that made mambo great - left and they are working on Joomla now. How safe is to stay with a product that has "we are looking for developers" on their website for months? Especially since joomla! offers a clear migration path... Basically the first release is latest mambo with trademarks stripped out, so the sooner one switches the better...

    If we compare the "roadmap" of the two projects, joomla has a clearer vision of the future, so yeah, I don't think mambo is a safe bet from what I've seen.

    • Re:correction (Score:5, Informative)

      by n00tz (926304) on Monday January 02, 2006 @11:54AM (#14378685) Homepage
      and if that isn't good enough you can go try it and others out over at Open Source CMS [opensourcecms.com]. This was my method for determining what CMS I'd be using for various projects. It is a _GREAT_ resource.
      • Re:correction (Score:2, Informative)

        by optilude (233718)
        This resource looks good on the surface, but if you look at their requirements, they *only* feature PHP4/MySQL systems. For example, Plone (http://plone.org/ [plone.org] is one of the most mature and successful open source content management systems (and yes, I do work with it), and is not mentioned on the site. Who knows what other good systems are not featured there? In my mind, it makes this a pretty useless web site for all but the narrowest of searches.
        • Plone is also PITA to install, and has a very steep learning curve. Point of the site is that it gives you the chance to test almost any listed solution, before installing it on your own server. Now, imagine if they had to list (and provide demo) of every Java, Python, Ruby, .Net .... CMS solution out there.
    • Re:correction (Score:4, Informative)

      by trompete (651953) on Monday January 02, 2006 @12:02PM (#14378735) Homepage Journal
      Even more important: most of the 3rd-party developers went to Joomla, so Joomla will continue to pull ahead in the next year.
    • You don't have to do much research to see that the future lies with Joomla.

      And you don't have to have much of a brain to realize that nobody is going to buy a piece of software called "Joomla!", no matter who's doing the programming.
    • > If you're using Mambo currently, do you need to switch to Joomla? The answer is no, as far as my research for this article shows.

      Hmmm... You don't have to do much research to see that the future lies with Joomla.

      Heck, lookit all the people still using Apache 1.3. I don't think it's a great thing that sloth/"if it ain't broke" means legacy code is legacy forever and anything more than incremental change has a tough time getting adopted, but it's human nature.

    • Look, if they can't get a Slashdot article to say what Mambo *is*, and the people who reply say you really ought to be using Joomla instead, without any explanation about that either, and the website's Slashdotted because nobody else can figure out what it is and the website has too much graphical content to survive that many downloads, they're obviously not good at documentation or naming. Is Mambo a development environment, or a game, or a compiler, or another guy you're supposed to vote for instead of K
  • Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I just tried to come up with a good way to pitch either of these projects to a corporate decision making panel. I couldn't get past the names. I realize names shouldn't have an effect on a product, but appearance shouldn't have an effect on our first impressions of people either. Pitch that to your local HR weenie and see how it bounces.

    The people coming up with these names really have to step back and see how they sound in a boardroom.

    Good luck though!
    • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

      by LDoggg_ (659725)
      Just do a quick implmentation. Seriously its easy.

      Pull down XAMPP [apachefriends.org] and then uznip joomla into the htdocs directory. You could have the full technology stack and website contained in a directory. Fire it up and slap your corporate logo on the default theme.
      It looks professional out of the box, just show it to the powers that be. The goofy name of the software should be irrelevant.

      Also if you want to give a more in depth demo showing how to create content, install MOSCE [za.net] and make it the default editor, its mu
      • I used mambo and then joomla to host a site that I hope some day will compare with the evil Ken Rockwell in the photography world: Everything Photographic [schaab.com] While still very beta the site looks good and is easy to maintain. This in my mind is far better than all the sites I've coded by hand in the past. I'm at the point where I feel like the content should take my time, not the coding. Joomla rocks.
    • by capsteve (4595) *
      the best way to pitch it is to telll your corporate decision making panel that it can be branded and named what ever they like... it seems like an uphill battle, but i bet you half the panel have names that people make fun of(privately, of course). if you or your panel can't get past the names, you need to look elsewhere.
    • Not just these! (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I've mentionned Ruby On Rails once in a meeting... Never again! People are still making jokes about it...
    • I couldn't get past the names.

      Tell them its a "codename", like, say, "Longhorn" (for Vista - also rather stupid, don't you think?) or "Whidbey" (for Visual Studio .NET 2005) or "Orcas" (Successor to VS.NET 2005) etc and so on. I for one fail to see a difference in silliness between Joomla and Longhorn or Vista for that matter.

      The people coming up with these names really have to step back and see how they sound in a boardroom.

      Apparently the difference is not in the name but who is doing the naming. From w

      • Vista means view, longhorn is a kind of cattle, whidbey and orcas are both islands in Washington, orca is also a kind of whale. So these codenames are all real words that an adult can say in public without looking/feeling lke a complete tool. As far as I've been able to find though, joomla is made up. And sounds completely ridiculous.
        • As far as I've been able to find though, joomla is made up.

          "Joomla" is a phonetic spelling for the Swahili word "Jumla", which means "all together" or "as a whole".

          And sounds completely ridiculous.

          That is in the eye (ear?) of the beholder. To me all of the above "codenames" sound equally ridiculous and irrelevant to the projects they are attached to.

    • How do you think these sounded when they were first pitched in a boardroom? "what the hell is a google?" "Wohoo for yahoo?"
  • Anonymous? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2006 @11:49AM (#14378661)

    Hmm. Why is Shawn Carey, who posts news items to the official Mambo website [mamboserver.com] labelled as Anonymous Coward when submitting this story? Hover over the link, that's his email address. A bit suspicious that an interested party is submitting stories as Anonymous Coward, don't you think?

    • Re:Anonymous? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2006 @12:18PM (#14378809)
      Yeah, because it couldn't possibly be someone else. Don't you think it's even more suspicious that someone write their name as Anonymous Coward and then enter an easily identifiable email address - especially as you don't need to fill in any email to submit news to Slashdot?

      Nah, what am I thinking. You've obviosuly uncovered a great conspiracy. =)
    • by Trillan (597339)
      Why would there be something wrong with it? Who else would you have submit a story than people who know something about it? Who would think a story interesting to others who wasn't interested in it themselves?
  • OK, I tried to read that article, but it's not happening. All I need to know: I have a site running Mambo 4.5.2. I try to keep the most recent version installed. (Yes, I am one release behind.) Do I need to be at all concerned over any of these developments?
    • I read the article (from the google cache, since the the site hosting the article is powered by Mambo/Joomla? :) )

      Anyway... after reading the article it sounds like you have no reason for concern, and you'll want to stay with Mambo.
    • Did you apply security patches to 4.5.2? A lot of Joomla 1.0.x and Mambo 4.5.2 sites got defaced. Just be mindful that there are always security patches being posted on the forums for both products.
    • There's a worm currently in propagation that affects unpatched Mambo 4.5.3.x installs. Unknown if the precise worm affects Joomla, however I do note a concurrent "security release" of Joomla as well. The worm compromises via SQL injection, and opens the error_log on all virtual hosts on a given server, in an attempt to obfuscate the true source of the error. Meanwhile, the worm launches a perl process and begins portscanning and attacking other hosts -- it also googles to find new sources for infection. Com
  • Totally bogus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by augustz (18082) on Monday January 02, 2006 @12:12PM (#14378777) Homepage
    Basically, the actual developers who developed Mambo all left.

    And for some pretty good reasons. The bylaws of the non-profit foundation were the craziest I've seen (and I used to review bylaws). Clearly designed to lock in control at the top for Miro.

    I've been around a long time, and some of the mambo and mambo foundation stunts are huge red-flags for a nonprofit.

    I bet when we dig below the surface of the article, we'll find that the submitter (who is shawn@uberdev.com) has a vested interest in this?

    Also, tend to beleive the code talks and talk walks. Curious to know how many core developers stayed with Mambo.

    And to be honest I like the feel of the Joomla community a bit better, from ducking into both sets of forums. Don't run either package however.
    • "I bet when we dig below the surface of the article, we'll find that the submitter (who is shawn@uberdev.com) has a vested interest in this?"

      TFA site runs Mambo.
    • Curious to know how many core developers stayed with Mambo.


      I know it's redundant, but the answer is none.
    • None of the core developers stayed with Mambo.

      Telling in and of itself :)
  • Hmm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by HellYeahAutomaton (815542) on Monday January 02, 2006 @12:15PM (#14378793)
    So does this mean mama doesn't love Mambo?
  • by pieterh (196118) on Monday January 02, 2006 @12:19PM (#14378819) Homepage
    The analysis is interesting, and raises some good points about keeping open source projects stable. While forking projects is certainly good for competition, it is probably less efficient than simply focussing on a single well-run project. So, to avoid this kind of circus, my advice to open source teams working with corporate sponsors would be:

    1. The copyright does not matter as much as you think, so long as the software is released under a foss license. This is, really, the whole point of the license.

    2. Any revenue from services will go to the people who know the software, so ultimately it's better to be working on the code than to be paying for the project, if revenue is your long-term goal.

    3. The economics of a sponsored open source project should be discussed early and be clear. No-one can work uneconomically. Settle the money aspects well beforehand, and avoid disputes. IMO, ideally, the corporate sponsor should get an immediate benefit from the technology, while the development team should get the "product" as their baby.

    4. In today's world, owning copyright is actually becoming a bad thing - it can lead to software patent lawsuits. There are good arguments for FOSS sponsors to pass the copyrights to non-profit foundations, which can be sued but with little benefit and much bad publicity.

    5. If you're going to argue, don't do it publically. It's too easy to overreact, say things that one regrets afterwards.

    That's it. It's nice to see corporate sponsorship of FOSS work, since it can be such a natural and mutually beneficial way of working. But watch out for the money! It turns even the best friendships into bitter disputes unless the rules are well-agreed beforehand.

  • by chivo (20329)
    As an admin at his hosting company, I can't really see why it's /.'d. Maybe I should have a tech have a peak at the server...
  • Ego (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saterdaies (842986) on Monday January 02, 2006 @12:23PM (#14378851)
    The whole situation can be sumarized as:

    Miro started Mambo. They did the original work, they got the ball rolling and so they believed that they were entitled to be in charge.

    Some of the Mambo community developers did a lot of work on Mambo and, arguably, Mambo wouldn't be here today without them. While they didn't start it, they saw their contributions are paramount and they thought they were entitled to be in charge.

    Mostly, it's a battle of ego. Anyone who reads the Joomla! website can see that it's a battle of ego. They tried to claim that it was a renaming, that they were the real Mambo, that they were better than Mambo, etc. Frankly, which one is the "real" Mambo is a philosophical question that I think is stupid, but it's easy to see that this is an ego fight between two camps who both have legitimate claims to leadership of the project.
  • The board has some good provisions that could insure board control. In particular:

    Subject to these Rules, if the Board is of the opinion that a member has refused or neglected
    to comply with these Rules, or has been guilty of conduct unbecoming a member or prejudicial
    to the interests of the Association
    , the Board may by resolution:

    a) fine that member an amount not exceeding $500; or
    b) suspend that member from membership of the Association for a specified period; or
    c) expel that member from the Association.

    Si

  • by realkiwi (23584) on Monday January 02, 2006 @01:02PM (#14379052)
    "The Jem Report
    This site is temporarily unavailable.
    Please notify the System Administrator " Ahem

    The 30th Nov an exploit against Mambo was announced discretely on the Mambo page. The 3rd of December my sole Mambo site was toast. I found out about the Mambo vs Joomla thing when looking for security updates.

    As a result of what I read I dropped Mambo and Joomla and started looking for a Java Portal...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2006 @01:27PM (#14379224)
    The whole thing was a mess. I was one of the few begging the core to rethink the fork and took some abuse.

    However, any real review of forum activity and project active will show Joomla walked away with most of the community. When I read this article the points I see crafted into the narrative were:

    1. The whole thing was just a big misunderstanding (I think mostly true)
    2. Lamont meant no harm but was overly protective and the core were too emotional (minor slant)
    3. Mambo is better than before and there is secret log info to discount the public activity you see on the forums and forge. (This is the core marketing message in this article, because it is the core question on the minds of the masses)
    4. Joomla may just be a fad. (Pay no attention to the activity at Joomla, better to stick with an established player. More marketing message)

    Nicely crafted marketing for Mambo.
    1. sound fair create a feeling of trust
    2. spin hard that Mambo is even better without all those emotional folks who were forced to develop for Joomla with threats no one will talk about
    3. Suggest that Joomla has an unsure future. (just seed some doubt)

    What I know from way too many hours on both sites at the split.

    There were egos on both sides.
    *No one was really interested in compromise

    *There were money concerns on both sides (Gee shouldn't all good software come from the independently wealthy or homeless destitute, because making money from software is evil?)

    *Joomla right now has a more active community. But Mambo is far from dead

    *Choosing one over the other is no more a problem than choosing any other software. Both forks will at some point break some things making some upgrades a royal pain!!

    As someone who works in marketing and message crafting for software, this story was about creating an impression for Mambo and against Joomla. It is done in a very skillful way to create trust, then use that to spin impressions. The best marketing reads as "truth."

  • Joomla seems to advocate porn. Look at their demo page [joomla.org] -- it has a direct, working link to xxx.com. While they may have intended this to be an "example.com" type of link, probably not the best choice -- or maybe it is, depending on your point of view!
  • not what happened.. but.. who cares?

  • The article is NOT pretty good, and I have to wonder who the anonymous coward was that submitted it.

    Mambo management sought to highjack the entire project and the work of the developers and retake it private.

    They were called on it and are now in a situation where they continue to behave badly. (As this article shows)

  • I wonder what makes Mambo so hot?

    I created a CMS from scratch almost a year ago as I needed it for a client's website I was developing (new to the business, you see). Since then it has seen seven implementations for different website and all seem pretty happy with it. It is fairly *ugly* to look at but very quick and capable. There are some upgrades I am going to make to it, but essentially it is a php/Mysql combo.

    It is multi-user with different priviledges for each user environment and has unlimited depth

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