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g2:choosing_next

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Warning

This is a work-in-progress page for NancyDru and fgm to update http://drupal.org/node/266511 and will be updated there once finished. In the meantime, please refere to http://drupal.org/node/266511 instead.

Tick marks

Feature comparison

Glossary and G2 Glossary are both targeted to sites needing a glossary section. However, the modules are quite different, targeted to different types of glossary needs, and once you choose one, it will take a significant amount of work to switch to the other one after the fact, so the current maintainers of the two modules have set up this page to help you choose which module you should probably be using, or if you should really write your own.

Feature Glossary G2

Drupal-related

Entries implementation Storage Terms Nodes
Revision support No   Yes Drupal core
Drupal 7.x Dev branch No   No port announced
Drupal 6.x Yes Release Yes Dev
Drupal 5.x Yes Release Yes Dev
Drupal 4.7.x Yes Dev Yes Release
Drupal 4.6.x Yes Dev No  
Earlier versions Yes CVS No  
Documentation README.txt README.txt
Handbook Wiki
AJAX UI No   Yes Entry selectors

Services provided

Glossaries per site Multiple Single
RSS feeds On entries Yes Drupal core No  
On content tags No   Yes Drupal core
Classify entries using taxonomy No Entries are terms already Yes Drupal core
Commenting on entries No   Yes Drupal core
Editor-only information No   Yes  
Feature blocks Alphabar No   Yes  
Daily Yes   Yes  
Latest No   Yes  
Random Yes   Yes  
Search glossary Yes   No  
Top No   Yes  
XML-RPC services provided Alphabar No   Yes  
Daily No   Yes  
Latest No   Yes  
Random No   Yes  
Top No   Yes  
Security
Drupal core Yes   Yes  
XML-RPC IP-based access control No   Yes  
Throttling No   Yes  
Alphabar maintenance Automatic Manual
Input filtering Automatic <dfn> elements
Performance
Memory needs vs number of entries O(n) O(1)
Speed on small glossaries Faster Slower
Speed on larger glossaries Slower with size Remains constant
Themeability Search form
Yes   No Drupal core
Node overview Yes   No  
Individual entries No   Yes  
Each feature block No   Yes  
Each part of an entry No   Yes  
Translation template supplied Yes   Yes Except D5 branch

Obviously, in all cases, a "No" actually means: "roll your own", as in all Open Source software.

Features discussion

Criteria Glossary G2 Glossary
Terms and nodes

Glossary uses Taxonomy to define its terms, allowing definitions to be used as tags for existing nodes.

Since Glossary is taxonomy-based, that opens the range of taxonomy-based modules to work together.

For example, Taxonomy Image may be used to show images for the terms and Taxonomy Delegate may be used to delegate vocabulary maintenance to sub-administrators or editors.

G2 uses Node to store its terms.

This allows access control, attachment uploads, commenting, content tagging, revision control, and integration will the vast number of node-related modules.

Extensibility is directly available from core for G2 content through the extensive core hook system for nodes. Control is available at the individual field level, and includes editor-only information, which is required in publishing situations.

Size issues

Glossary is faster than G2 for small glossaries.

While most sites have a smaller glossary than the one G2 was designed for, there are also sites with larger glossaries.

G2 is optimized for large glossaries, not small ones. As such, its requirements do not increase with the number of entries.

At the time of its creation (4.7), supporting a 5000 terms dictionary with glossary.module on a shared hosting plan, was causing severe load issues.

Single vs multiple The ability to handle multiple vocabularies as glossaries gives Glossary additional flexibility G2 is designed around a single glossary by site: multiple glossaries were not necessary to the initial sponsor. More generally, sites maintaining a large glossary are typically centered around it, and won't maintain more than one per site.
Community Glossary has largely been designed by its users. Many, if not most, of its features have been added and refined by the input of the community. G2 has been developed for the specific need of one user and shared afterwards. Its original feature set was designed around that need, and has only been expanded and modified by community input afterwards.
Maintenance and support Glossary is actively maintained. There have been performance efforts to make sure it runs as fast as possible. Community support is available, and several Drupal professionals, include some core developers, can support it. G2 is actively maintained. There have been performance efforts to make sure it runs fast even with large glossaries. Community support is available, and commercial-level support is available from its maintainer.
Alphabar maintenance Automatic maintenance reduces the need for administrator intervention. Any large glossary will use all available initials from the onset, so administrator intervention is not needed past the initial module configuration, and the processing cost of maintaining it afterwards is useless system load.
Internationalization and localization

Considerable work has been done to make sure that i18n (internationalization) can be effectively used with Glossary.

A translation template is provided.

G2 relies on core for i18n and is expected to work normally on sites with i18n ; its demo site is actually not english. Specific mechanisms have been applied to support non-occidental scripts.

A translation template is provided except for Drupal 5.

The base URL for the glossary pages is admin-defined, thus allowing for translation and module masking.

Term presentation and links The Glossary filter locates terms within administrator-selectable content and adds additional HTML to them to show or (optionally) link the term's definition to the end-user as they view the content. The terms may be marked with a superscript or icon that links to the term or the term may be converted to an "acronym," "abbr," "cite," or "dfn" element with browser help tips. If the Hovertips and Clicktips module is installed, it may be used to provide hovertips. There are also three mechanisms for marking a section of the content to not be filtered. Matching of terms may be selected as whole words or substrings, and may be either case-sensitive or not. The G2 filter only applies its matching patterns to <dfn> elements in the input.
Links When a user clicks on a linked term, they will go to the entire glossary or the individual term, depending on which option the administrator chose. G2 links terms wrapped in a DFN to valid XHTML <a class="g2-dfn-link" href=...> links including a title attribute, pointing to the G2 page for the term, which may be either a disambiguation page or the single destination page, depending on whether homonyms exist or not and whether administrators enable the direct link on single matches.

Common features

Both modules work as a Drupal input filter applying to content depending on its input format. These filters are cacheable for performance reasons.

Since the modules filter content, the first time a piece of content is shown, there will be a small delay while the filtering is done. The filtered content is then cached, so the next time, the filtering is unnecessary and the delay does not occur.

G2 advocacy

Features discussion

Rationale for G2 specificities
  • Explicit linking to terms with dfn elements:
    • limits system workload
    • allows invisible marking of entries made of other entries. Think: XML-RPC, points to XML and to RPC with glossary.module and various wiki filters, but can point to "XML-RPC" with G2. Wrapping XML-RPC in quotes is necessary to allow linking to this entry in glossary, but the quotes remain visible, degrading the UI.
    • allows redactor-level choice of:
      • whether to link to an entry: Glossary typically links if the term matches, which is not always meaningful ("and" can be present in a glossary and you don't want "and" to be linked from in all nodes on the site).
      • where to link to an entry: glossary allows only a predefined set of positions (first, last or all matches).

Glossary advocacy

Glossary Design

  • Customizable
    • Administrator options.
      • Glossary display.
      • Alphabet / Alphabar.
      • Input Formats.
        • Indicator style.
        • Link type.
        • Choice of HTML elements.
        • Term matching flexibility.
    • Liberal CSS usage.
    • Add-on modules.
  • Taxonomy options.
    • Related terms link to each other.
    • Synonyms will filter the same.

When a user clicks on a linked term, they will go to the entire glossary or the individual term, depending on which option the administrator chose. When displaying the entire glossary, there is an alphabar on top, which fills in automatically. The administrator may define his/her own alphabet for those who use some language other than English. The terms are then organized by the first letter of the term's name. Each section may be separated by a CSS-themable separator. At the bottom of the display, if the user has the appropriate permissions, are shortcut links to the vocabulary and module settings pages.

Within the glossary display, each term may be followed by a link that will initiate a search for the term, if the search module is enabled. For those who have the proper permission, there will also be a link to edit the term itself.

The type of glossary indicator that is used is specified for each input format, so, for example, "Filtered HTML" may use a superscript type of indicator, while "Full HTML" may use a hovertip. Additionally, each input format also selects which vocabularies are to be used. So one may, again for example, specify that "Filtered HTML" filter for Bible verses, while "Full HTML" filters for technical terms.

g2/choosing_next.1218800324.txt.gz · Last modified: 2008/08/15 13:38 by fgm