Is Merengue the new Drupal?

I have used Drupal for many years. It might even be my fault that http://www.linuxjournal.com started using it. The reason I don't remember is because it was so long ago. I Created http://www.NicaLiving.com using Drupal 4.7 and it still uses Drupal 5. This site uses Drupal 6 and I have been doing development on another site in Drupal 7. I am not trying to suggest I am a Drupal expert, just that I have used it for years for many things.

I started looking at Django (http://www.djangoproject.com) a few years ago and even did one internal application using it. Without a doubt, Django is the coolest thing I have used to build some web content and that goes from the general design to the fact that it is in Python. But, it is a web framework and Drupal is a CMS. Yes, you can write a CMS in a web framework but that can be a long path. Yes, shorter in Django than anything else I have seen but still a big task.

I have looked at some attempts to create a CMS based on Django but each one fell short. Short not just in that all the pieces I would want were not there but short on the installation, configuration and amplification end. If I can say nothing else, I can say that I sure didn't see how they were on the right path to offer something that would be easy to configure, enhance and use.

Enter Merengue (http://www.merengueproject.org) as the next possible Django-based CMS. While not yet ready for prime time, it up front suggests it wants to grow up to Drupal functionality. My initial playing makes me thing they are serious. Not because there are a few thousand modules that almost do what you want but because there are a few that makes sense and more that can be easily created.

I must credit Django and, of course, Python which is mostly hidden inside for making this possible. While Drupal grew up with no framework to insulate it from, at the time, a pretty disgusting programming language (that is evolving), Merengue is growing up on top of an amazing framework aided by an extremely nice and clean programming language. In addition, we have grown up. For example, we understand that UTF-8 rather than ASCII is how we need to represent characters and that things such as working in multiple languages should be built in, not tacked on.

Does this mean that I will stop everything and start rewriting all my web sites in Merengue? Nope or at least not yet. But it does mean that I expect to be adding Merengue to my toolkit soon.