__/ [Toby Inkster] on Tuesday 07 February 2006 23:24 \__
> Dear all,
> The software behind my website is starting to look a bit tired, so yet
> again it's going to be ripped up from its roots and re-written.
I was on your site a few days ago. It looks nice and polished, but not quite
so modern in terms of state-of-the-art Web technologies, which are not
sufficiently exploited. I totally understand your viewpoint. I feel as
though I get stuck at that same unfortunate position every now and then, yet
a makeover which preserves consistency is hard to attain.
Apropos your personal site, the front page was PR0 when I last visited (the
contact page was PR5). Maybe a PR datacentre/toolbar hiccup?
> The first version of my website hit the 'Net kicking and screaming in
> 1997. Static pages of course.
> It was developed this way until it got too big to manage, when I replaced
> it with a Win32 GUI VisualBasic program backed by an Access database,
> which spat out static HTML pages for uploading to various free hosting
> servers, and managed to keep working links between them.
> When I switched over to Linux I ported the tool to Perl and PostgreSQL,
> and this became the third version of my site.
> The fourth, in about 2000/2001, was the first real dynamic version,
> written in Perl, backed by PostgreSQL. This is when I started working with
> The current version was started in about 2002/2003, and is PHP-based,
> still backed by PostgreSQL.
PostgreSQL could rule out some of the blogging packages, which handle MySQL
quite exclusively. I have not read the remainder of your message, but I'll
assume that MySQL is not out of the question.
> But now I think my PHP-coding talents and knowledge of SQL has improved,
> and there are some exciting new developments in the world of Web that I'd
> like to play with some more: fun things with the DOM, the rise of blogs
> and feeds, AJAX, various Web 2.0 concepts, digital photography and so
Lots done in this area already. Do not attempt to re-invent the wheel. The
GPL, on the other hand, could endow you with an excellent jumping board.
Speaking of Web 2.0 hype, Jeff Veen's recent project (well, Adaptive Path's
project), namely measuremap.com, has just been acquired by Google. Google
Analytics (Urchin) for Web sites and MeasureMap for their blogs, I guess.
They sure get around, those Google folks.
> Anyway, here are some of my initial ideas for version 6 of my site, with
> the aim of releasing the finished blog/CMS backend as yet another Open
> Source blog. Does anyone have any other ideas that they think should be
> * integration of static, blog and photo content
PHP-Nuke, WordPress or DragonFly CMS (an integration) would be good places to
start. They can handle the above rather well.
> * del.icio.us-style tag categorisation of static
> content, blog articles, photo galleries and perhaps
> comments; sub-tags?
WordPress plug-ins are available for this.
> * comments on a article-by-article basis, moderation,
> mail feedback
WordPress, Drupal (with nested comments out of the box), among more.
WordPress needs a plug-in called subscribe2 in order for both admins and
commenters to get mail notifications.
> * trackback
As above; Also Movable Type, but I am not sure about all of these commercial
blogs that are hosted by third parties.
> * appropriate use of ajax and web 2.0 techniques
WordPress 2.0 does plenty of that in the administration panel. Confer
> * clean, simple css-based design; semantic html
Not many of these, but I know you ought to avoid the 'quick and dirty'
packages that are not professional. Web standards are honoured quite
religiously in WordPress.
> * fully searchable
No indexing in most cases. I am not aware of suitable plug-ins, but full text
search with MySQL is quick. Results are rarely helpful nonetheless.
> * rss and atom feeds for blog, for article updates,
> and combined; perhaps on a per-tag basis
Most packages can handle that nowadays. WordPress is the Burger King of
feeds. Category-based feeds, search-driven feeds, et cetera, et cetera.
> * allow syntax-highlighted Perl, PHP, CSS and HTML
> source code examples as part of articles
I don't know of any package or plug-ins that do this 'on the fly' or even
> * perhaps allow older versions of articles to be
I don't know of any svn or cvs-like mechanism in blogs. We are discussing
this in the WordPress mailing lists though. Auto-save and storage of
> * decent url scheme:
> and so on
All goes in .htaccess, which WordPress offers a nice GUI for. Various knobs
and interface widgets output some code for you to paste in the .htaccess (if
permissions disallow access from WordPress), much to your personal
> * multi-contributor
...With ranks and different privileges as of WordPress 2.0. The rules were
> * PHP-based with a configurable database backend,
> which should work in PostgreSQL and MySQL.
No tick, but a possible future extension in the case of WordPress. Nuke,
phpBB and some other packages are more flexible, I suspect. I know phpWiki
is. phpBB was diversified the last time I checked.
> * Easier to simply "drop onto a server and it works"
> * Easy to theme
Plug-and-play, click to change in WordPress 1.5 or later. I cannot comment on
other packages, but PHP-Nuke and phpBB can also be customised, but perhaps,
just perhaps, not as trivially.
> * Accessbility, accessibility, accessibility.
> * Usability, usability, usability.
Admin-side usability: Nuke derivatives are terrible, WordPress <2.0 is
excellent. Try some live demos in the Open Source CMS Web site.
> * Make it easy to "port" URLs from old site to new
Now you got greedy, unless you are speaking about domain name change, as
opposed to CMS export and import.
> * Syndication: ability to pull in articles from RSS feeds
> and tag them, treat them as part of the site's content.
> Thanks for reading.
I hope you find my mental droppings somewhat useful.
Roy S. Schestowitz | GPL'd Othello: http://othellomaster.com
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