up late with XOOPs.

After completely moving towards tabless designs, it is hard to look at the cluttered code of tables in code. I have probably put in 15 hours of playing with XOOPs now, a few of these hours stripping code down to be more CSS driven. I am all about clean code these days, but boy do I have my work cut outr for me. I am having problems giving up complete control with layout with a lot of what I am working on, but I have to stay focused on the prize: added functionality without a lot of effort. Last night I upgraded my install to XOOPs 2.2 from 2.13. The upgrade was painless, but some of the modules I want to use are not compatible with the new version. I will wait. Ideally I would some day produce my own CMS, and this idea is why I have been looking at several CMS packages. I would like to take the best from what I have worked with and put it all together. I am at least a year away from doing this, but it is something I am looking towards. I chose XOOPs for several reasons, but one of the main reasons was because it uses Smarty, and I am curious how it handles these templates on a large scale. I am learning a lot about seperating my content from my php code and layout. It is a bit confusing sometimes because of old habits, but it is coming together nicely. I am hoping to have something to show everyone after another 10 or so hours this weekend. I could have easily used one of the layout that comes with XOOPs, but if you know me, you know I could easily spend several hours trying to figure out how to get everything perfectly lined up to the exact pixel, so a custom layout was certainly needed…and a complete CSS driven layout of course. Overall, my work with XOOPs has been pretty positive. Version 2.2 really cleaned up the admin interface which I greatly appreciate. My only complaint so far is that I have to wait a few days/weeks for my choice modules to be updated. OK, I do have one more…the screen refreshes when you authenticate. I would like to go to the page, not refresh to include new content…but I am trying to read up about that…perhaps I can do something about that. Everything is customizable, right? 😉


Well, here I am again, looking at different CMSes for a few projects I have up my sleeve and I decided to compare XOOPS and Mambo. Why those two? I have a few friends that used both and liked them for one reason or another. I decided to download XOOPS after doing a comparison at CMS Matrix and played with it last night until midnight. I have to say, now that I have a better understanding of CMSes in general after playing with Plone and hacking WordPress, I am pretty impressed. More in a bit.

jappler.com: database driven (finally)!

wordpress For years I have been searching for a web site solution that would fit my needs:

  • easy to change and edit content (via any web browser)
  • integrated blog
  • integrated search
  • easy to maintain
  • database driven
  • templates
  • able to adapt to mobile technologies

I have played with many CMSes over the years, and I finally realized the power of Plone, but your average hosting company does not offer plone hosting. None of the other CMSes really appealed to me because I had to do so many customizations, and I really don’t have any membership needs, so I decided to look elsewhere for a solution. In my mind I had two options: home made CMS or to do something with my beloved WordPress install. I decided to follow Alex King and to use WordPress to drive my entire web site. I have used a number of plugins, mod_rewrite rules, and some customizations to make it all possible, but so far I am very happy with how everything turned out. I have made several changes so far to multiple pages via my web browser, I looked at my blog via my phone on the train this morning, and am still able to write my blog like I have been for the last year (almost). I had to make a few changes to some plugins to make everything work together, but I learned a lot. I also am very thankful for the documentation available which allowed me to add a lot more flexibility and features in my templates. Perhaps if there is interest, I will break down everything I did so others can do the same.
[tags]jappler.com, WordPress, CMS, Alex King[/tags]

where have I been? zmi.

I have been really busy the past few days, too busy to blog? Probably not…but I have been really focused on a few projects to learn new technology. My biggest project at has been getting plone customized. I knew it was time to get serious with some solid CMS solution, and plone was the best fit. Learning how everything works has been interesting and I am finally pretty comfortable with the ZMI (Zope Management Interface) and am starting to feel better about DTML (Document Template Markup Language). If you are interested in playing with Plone, there are free hosting services that will allow you to build and customize plone sites.

Content Management, Rethought

After reading a few messages from my php mailing list, I again stopped to think about a content management system. Plone is amazing, but unless you have access to your own server, or have a host that supports Zope/Plone, you need something else to work with. I was intrigued by XOOPS until I went to my CMS info site. Not too much good stuff to say. I was excited that it was object oriented and that it used Smarty, but looks like I will keep looking, or perhaps make my own one of these days. Stay tuned.

content management systems.

So perhaps you have considered implementing a content management system for yourself of your company. I have gone back and forth several times. Do I want to use one because of all the feautures and role based options? Do I want to not use one so I can fully customize everything? Do I have time to learn how to do everything and then use work arounds to make what I want to work work?

Over the last year or two, I have looked at Post Nuke, Drupal, and Plone. I was the most impressed with Plone because of how mature it was and the fact that it uses Zope, and Zope is very powerful. I have installed, uninstalled, benn impressed, been frustrated with all of them, but it is time to look at them again. How do you make a decision about which solution to use or at least look at?

Sure I might not end up using one, but they are so tempting with all the features they offer. More to come later.