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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    The Content Management System Wars

    Hi,

    I'm looking at adding a 'article' content management system to my site. Basically I've had numerous people asking if they could write for the site so I need to set it up ASAP.

    Until http://www.aroze.com/prodspec/ comes out (The prod spec looks like it will be superb and should win hands down) - I need to find a good temporary option

    The two I've come across are:-
    Website News Manager
    http://plebian.com/g/software/wsnm#overview

    &
    mArticle
    http://www.esuitetoday.com/marticle.php

    From what I've seen WSNM looks to to have slightly more general options - but I'd be really grateful if anyone could give me their thoughts on what they consider to be the best option. I'd be particulary interested to here from anyone who have used either or both.

    PS had a look at typo3 but it looks way to complex for what I need.

    Cheers for the help

  2. #2
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    I've been messing around with mArticle for several weeks now and its pretty easy to use. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the author is working on it anymore so there's no support for it.
    Jason Dulberg
    Extreme MTB
    http://extreme.nas.net

  3. #3
    <? echo "Kick me"; ?> petesmc's Avatar
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    The author of mArticle made vBulletin!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict zoordaan's Avatar
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    I've used marticle in the past.
    I agree that typo is too complicated.
    I've never looked at website news manager.

    marticle gets my vote becuase it's the only one I used, and the templates weren't difficult to set up.

  5. #5
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    Well I install both and had a play around.

    Out of the two available I think website news manager is definately better. It has a lot more features than mArticle and is regularly updated and even has a fairly well used support forum.

    It still doesn't have all the features I wan't, but I suppose I'll have to wait until Aroze hits the town.

  6. #6
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    Integrating some of Website News Manager into mArticle would make a really nice script... like the user login, printer friendly and email to a friend. I just downloaded WMN to see if I can work some magic - no promises though, I'm no expert.
    Jason Dulberg
    Extreme MTB
    http://extreme.nas.net

  7. #7
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    Very shortly you'll b able to add ssNews and ssArticles to that list - ssNews is very nearly ready (I've just released a beta version to a few friends to get feedback) and ssArticles should folow this weekend. They are both 100% template driven scripts that are designed to be as cusomtisable as possible - you can check out the beta of ssNews here: http://simon.incutio.com/news.php

  8. #8
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    Cool, I look forward to seeing them!

    What is the difference between ssNews and ssArticles?
    Jason Dulberg
    Extreme MTB
    http://extreme.nas.net

  9. #9
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    ssNews is a news system used for posting news stories on the front page of a site - similar to Newspro but database driven and with built in support for news comments and news categories. ssArticles will allow you to post new articles on the site, which will be whole pages of information (a full content management system similar to the one used on SitePoint). The scripts will tie in together in that they will share a single login / user management system, so your one username and password will be used by all of the scripts and you will only need to log in once. In addition, the scripts will feature a very powerful user permissions system so you can set up additional users and control what they can add/edit on the site.

    Early versions of the News and Articles scripts can be seen here:

    http://www.flf-central.co.uk/news.php
    http://www.flf-central.co.uk/articles.php

    I've re-written both scripts from scratch to incorporate a very powerful template system, which can be seen in us eon my ssLinks script: www.sslinks.co.uk

    ssLinks will also be tied in to the new scripts eventually, again sharing their user login system.
    Last edited by Skunk; Jun 1, 2001 at 17:13.

  10. #10
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    Sweet! I guess I should hold off messing around with mArticle so much 'cuz your system sounds like its going to suit my needs to a T.

    I have a few questions about your script but I'll hold off until you release your beta.

    basically just questions about

    - user subscription/management etc.
    - templates for different categories?

    I look forward to seeing your script!
    Jason Dulberg
    Extreme MTB
    http://extreme.nas.net

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Originally posted by jdulberg
    I've been messing around with mArticle for several weeks now and its pretty easy to use. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the author is working on it anymore so there's no support for it.
    *waves*

    Yeah, I've been a bit busy, oh, for the last 5 months. I released version 1.5 somewhere in vbulletin.com's PHP coding forum.

    Not to deter you from using mArticle, but I can't stand it -- I look at my code/data design and wonder what I was thinking. So, expect a rewritten version in the future (hopefully).

  12. #12
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    There's currently no user subscription option in there - admin users can add other users and set their permissions to a pretty high level but other than that random visitors to the site can't set themselves up an account. There's a possibility I'll write a simple threaded forum to tie in with the rest of the site, and if I do that user subscription will definitely be an option. Alternatively the way the script is structured it would be a very simple 'hack' to add user subscription to the script.

    Templates for different categories is something I definitely plan to do - I haven't finalised the details of how that will work but I've got a few good ideas

  13. #13
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    Ed...
    I'm using your 1.5 version from the Vbulletin site. I kindof figured that you've been a bit busy for the past while. Playing around with it has certainly helped me to learn PHP. I'm sure you know about some of the bugs in it. Even with them, its still a really good script. I'm sure your updated version will be amazing.


    Skunk...
    The add user hack is something that I'd have to look into. My goal is to use a CMS that can handle both articles added by myself and designated authors, and reviews submitted by registered public members for my Bike site. So I'd have to make different tables for each review category and keep the stock one for the articles. Keeping the main structure of the site in 1 main db and script set will hopefully keep things more integrated. Of course, determining the best way to accomplish the multiple tables will have to wait until its release. Basically, I was just thinking of using something like "if $section = 4 then use this table".

    I look forward to the release of your script.
    Jason Dulberg
    Extreme MTB
    http://extreme.nas.net

  14. #14
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    How's this for a trade off: ANYONE can add an article so the site by submitting it via a form, but only authorised users can validate the article (after which it appears on the site). This would be very easy to do - in fact I'd be happy to build it into the script from the start - and would also save the users table from being filled up with lots of un-needed user registrations.

    BTW, ssNews is now finished and ready for people to download - see the link in my signature. I was hoping to do ssArticles this weekend as well but it's looking unlikely now, especially with all dht new features I want to put in it. I'd say ssArticles will be at least another week.

  15. #15
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    Hi, - Didn't know mArticle was in version 1.5 (its not on the main site!!)

    I've found the thread in the vBull forums : - http://161.58.84.213/forum/showthrea...light=marticle

    but it keeps throwing up an parse error!! When you try and open it.

    If anyone is using or has seen V 1.5 - what added features has it got compared to V 1 ??

    Is it on a par with Website News Manger ? better/worse - I think the template system in Website News Manager is far quicker to alter than mArticle V1.

    Skunk - Is your article script going to be better than either of the mArticle/WSNM - Is it worth me waiting for that?? What are the features going to be?

    Basically I'm going to get aroze when it comes out - but need a temp solution.

    Hope this Aroze is made so that it can be integrated in with vBulliten I think this would make an awsome package.

    Anyone else thinking of getting aroze?? - Just out of interest : http://www.aroze.com/prodspec/

  16. #16
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    Skunk
    Building in the ability for anyone to submit but require validation would definitely save me some messing around!

    Would it be better to force users to apply for an account before they post? That way, perhaps in a future release, newsletters or memberlist or profile functions (like on Vbulletin) can be implemented for a "community" type system. Just some ideas.

    It seems that most article submission sites won't allow anonymous posting as a way to keep track of who's posting and in what section. So I'd suppose that would require a few "user levels"
    - anonymous for browsing
    - level 1 for posting
    - level 2 for moderator
    - level 3 for admin

    Am I over my head here?

    I look forward to seeing your article script in action!!

    ChilliBoy
    I have the 1.5 zip file if you need it... just send me a note and I'll shoot it over to 'ya. I'm not quite sure what the differences are between 1.5 and 1.3. There's an upgrade script from 1 to 1.5 included in the zip. I installed WNM and I like mArticle better.

    Wonder how much that aroze system is gonna cost?
    Jason Dulberg
    Extreme MTB
    http://extreme.nas.net

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Originally posted by ChilliBoy
    If anyone is using or has seen V 1.5 - what added features has it got compared to V 1 ??
    *thinks*

    *doesn't remember everything*

    The couple things that come to mind are infinite depth article categories, a style system (not that it's any good), more options (enable/disable replies; what requires approval), article can span multiple pages using the [endpage] tag, and probably a bunch of other stuff that I can't think of.

  18. #18
    <? echo "Kick me"; ?> petesmc's Avatar
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    Ed, Click on the link to that thread in the forums, and you get a nasty parse error.

    Just tell you about that little bug..

    EDIT: Seams to be just old threads, maybe before the upgrade?

  19. #19
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    I'm not about to say ssArticles is gonna be better than mArticle with the mArticle author posting on this thread :P ssArticles should be pretty good though - it's different from mArticle in how it handles things. You can see a very early version here: www.flf-central.co.uk/articles.php

    jdulberg I'm still undecided on user registration - I think I'll leave it so it's an easy option for people who want to hack it into the script. The user permissions system for ssArticles (and ssNews) is VERY in depth - it provides even more versatility than the three level system you suggested. Validation will definitely be featured, so if you want you can allow any visitor to the site to submit articles for validation.

    Now all I've gotta do is code the thing - I'm planning pretty much a complete re-write from the version on flf-central.

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by petesmc
    Ed, Click on the link to that thread in the forums, and you get a nasty parse error.

    Just tell you about that little bug..

    EDIT: Seams to be just old threads, maybe before the upgrade?
    There's a nice backwards incompatibility/bug that snuck into PHP 4.0.5 (which, IIRC, has a new version of the PCRE functions). I have a fix checked in and running on vBulletin.org. Just have to wait for John to upload the new file to the other sites on the server

  21. #21
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    Skunk... Its totally cool with me whatever you decide as it is your creation.

    One thing that I was wondering how the URL's are going to work. I'm asking 'cuz as I mentioned before, I'd like to use the script for both articles and reviews on my site which have different table structures. So for an article url, I'd need something like:

    xyz.com/article.php?cat=1&article=1

    and for reviews: xyz.com/article.php?cat=2&article=2

    This way I can throw an IF statement in the code so it'll use the appropriate table depending on what CAT is.

    Of course, I suppose its hard to figure out all this stuff before you have actually created the script.

    Anyways... thanks for your work, I'm sure it'll be awesome!
    Jason Dulberg
    Extreme MTB
    http://extreme.nas.net

  22. #22
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    Ed - I'll have a look at mArticle V1.5 when the link bug is fixed etc.

    Skunk - let me know when you've finish playing with your articles script. Sounds interesting.

    The Aroze system will be around $70 - which I would definately pay for if it lives up to the spec.

    My sites growing very fast and I've got numerous people wanting to write articles - so I'd pay a bit of money to get something really good which would make my work load easier.

    I'm suprised no one has done a low cost commercial version before - I would have thought that something like this could be very popular. I'm sure it would pay for itself with the extra traffic and the reduced work load for many webmasters.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Enthusiast Daniel's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Thanks to everyone for the comments on Aroze. But you might end up being disappointed, Aroze isn't something that'll take the world by storm. At the minute all you can base your opinion on is the Aroze Product Specification, but please don't judge Aroze until you see the finished product

    As for cost, $70 is what I chose as the upper price limit. I'll do a bit more research before I decide on a final price but so far I'm edging towards $30.

    Regards,
    Daniel Irvine
    Aroze - Content management simplified.
    F-Free.Net - Free Stuff and Freebies!

  24. #24
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    Skunk - a few ideas which may be worth considering:

    1/.Section pages - This area would give the headline link and a short intro text for each article from where you would click a 'more' link for full article. Maybe this intro could be set when the user enters the article.

    2/.A 'latest articles' subsection this could be purely a set of text links - or text link plus short intro text - the webmaster could set the number or length of into text from admin. These could then be 'included()' into other pages - It would be good to have this feature for each section - so you can put them in various areas of the site.

    3/.Article Rating System

    4/. Writer rating system - would just be and average of the total rating for each article they have written.

    5/. One thing I have noticed about mArticle/WSNM is that all the article areas 'login, search, news, categories etc etc' all require you to have one page for each. ie /news.php, /login.php etc (unless you significantly hack the code)

    What I would prefer is that each option is selected via a variable eg you have one template file /article.php then each of the other files is just included via a switch statement depending on the variable passed.

    eg /article.php?news => include news.php
    etc etc

    This would hopefully make it more manageable as you could just have the option of having one template. The Template could be altered buy the webmaster by using php to change the template via a similar switch statement etc etc.

    6/. When useing templates - I personally prefer the way WSNM do it to mArticle.

    In fact I dont really see that much need for templates for a lot of things really - as webmasters will probably change them so significantly it probably easier for them to start from scratch. What I would prefer is just a list of object that can be used for each 'section' and what they do.

    EG $News -> article : echo's the article
    $News -> time : echo's the time article written
    $News -> author : echo's authers name
    $News -> intro : echo's short intro text

    etc etc etc

    Its then really easy for the webmaster to design a layout for what they want and just enter object calls where applicable.

    Hope these are of some us.

  25. #25
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    BTW, the mArticle thread is back at vb.com if you haven't grabbed 1.5 yet.


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