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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member rfwrangler's Avatar
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    Developing a CMS

    Hello,

    I am new to the forums on Sitepoint but thus far I have found some very intelligent posts and talented people on this forum. As a result I think that this forum is a great place for me to look for some talent in developing a content management system (CMS) for a developers forum that I am working on. I have yet to start the project but I am looking to get it started in the very near future.

    Here is what I am wanting to accomplish with this management system:

    1.There needs to be a forum that registered users can access and read and post messages. This should be simple due to the amount of forums that have been built using PHP and MySQL. I have some thoughts about how the forums should work and what they need to be capable of doing.

    a.The forums should allow users to post code examples that use the standard color coding techniques and this needs to be automatic and should follow the language that the code is written for i.e. HTML, PHP, VBScript, Javscript, ect.

    b.The forums should allow users to post screen shots so that they can show what is going on. These screen shots should autoscale down for the forum post and clicking the scaled version should result in the full size version being viewable in a new window. Simular to thumbnailing.

    c. There are other features that I am looking at doing as well in this but those are the main features that I need to start with.

    2. Registered users should be able to post tutorials that are able to have animation show code examples in the proper coding format and color format.

    a. The animations should ba able to be in any format and then be automatically reformatted into flash

    b.The color coding of the code should be automatic.

    c. users should be able to tab indent instead of the table movving to the next field.

    This is a good start and other items will be added as the project grows. This will be an opensource project and will be made available as such upon completion.

    If you are interested then contact me through these forums and I will be happy to discuss this project in more detail with you.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    *********! *********!!! jackli's Avatar
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    uh.... and what's wrong with using or modding on top any of the existing open source CMS's?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member rfwrangler's Avatar
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    There is nothing wrong with that I just would like ot have something that is a project that I have worked on and something that meets the parameters that I have describe above and the parameters that I have yet to describe.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict silentcollision's Avatar
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    I really dislike the current open source CMS's. Sure it makes it easy, but what irritates me is that designers with a limited coding knowledge are really restricted as to what they can create. I really think some of these CMS's need to consider that there needs to be room for creatitivity. I'm still waiting for a CMS where I can copy and paste some code into the body of the pages I want to be able to edit, and using includes or something have fields to edit the pages. Maybe a simple news script as well.

    They're over complicated, and way too restrictive.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member rfwrangler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentcollision
    I really dislike the current open source CMS's. Sure it makes it easy, but what irritates me is that designers with a limited coding knowledge are really restricted as to what they can create. I really think some of these CMS's need to consider that there needs to be room for creatitivity. I'm still waiting for a CMS where I can copy and paste some code into the body of the pages I want to be able to edit, and using includes or something have fields to edit the pages. Maybe a simple news script as well.

    They're over complicated, and way too restrictive.
    Thank you for your input I agree with your views as well and that is another reason for this project.

  6. #6
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    Hi,
    My first first question is; What's about the core design of this cms? Its architecture? I think that should be the first problem to attack.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member rfwrangler's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by atu
    Hi,
    My first first question is; What's about the core design of this cms? Its architecture? I think that should be the first problem to attack.
    Thank Atu for the response. The basic architecture of this will be PHP accessing a MySQL database but we will need to use other scripting and programming I am sure before the complete projected is finished. This will include and is not limited to PHP, javascript, CSS, HTML, DHTML, and AJAX. The goal is to make this an easily used fast responding system.

    The PHP platform will be PHP 4 due to the fact that so many hosting servers use this as the PHP that is installed with out getting an expensive hosting package. I have check with a few hosts and this is the comments that they have made to me. I know that there are a few hosts that offer PHP5 out of the box but those are limited.


    I am not sure if this answered your question or not I hope that this is the information that you were wanting.

    After the project has been started I will be setting up the project on SourceForge to track it.

    If you have any more questions about this please ask them.

    Again thank you for the response.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I'd just like to add that PHP5 will dominate in not too long, as more and more developers require this. Of course, PHP5 supports most (all?) PHP4 syntax, but PHP5 offers so much more.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfwrangler
    The PHP platform will be PHP 4 due to the fact that so many hosting servers use this as the PHP that is installed with out getting an expensive hosting package. I have check with a few hosts and this is the comments that they have made to me. I know that there are a few hosts that offer PHP5 out of the box but those are limited.
    Is this really the case??? I keep hearing this, but the few hosts I have checked out recently all offer PHP5...

    I know that for a CMS you aren't responsible for the hosting that users of the CMS have, but this attitude doesn't help PHP5 adoption. Developers should demand up-to-date installs from their hosting companies or move hosting providers - who relies on who in the relationship?

    Sorry, nothing to do with your CMS design... but I couldn't help myself.

    Dan

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member rfwrangler's Avatar
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    Very good point Dan and I have been thinking about this a little since my previous post and PHP5 offers a lot in the ability of the design aspect and it is a way that the PHP community is moving as a whole so I will continue too think about this and watch the trends that are developing with the hosts that are out there and the trends in the PHP community. Weither it is PHP4 or 5 a lot of the ground work can get started.

    I want to thank everyone for their input on this topic and the advice they have given and questions that they have raised. I hope peole continue to respond as I think that there is a need for this system and that a better system can evolve than what is currently available.

    I am very open to any and all recommendations and features that others would like to see in this type of system as this is the only way to really get a system that is what the people really want.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfwrangler
    The PHP platform will be PHP 4 due to the fact that so many hosting servers use this as the PHP that is installed with out getting an expensive hosting package.

    I am not sure if this answered your question or not I hope that this is the information that you were wanting.
    php4 is history! believe me. At least in 1 year your will rewrite the whole package.

    What i mean under application architecture is that you must have an idea of how to assemble all this files to a whole package.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Member Squirrel*Salad's Avatar
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    Thumbs up if it helps

    If it helps I have been developing a CMS of my own. its not an easy task! the main problem i found developing this on my own is time. As fast as I code I find problems within PHP itself, which I think all single developers have the same problem.

    If it helps you can have a copy of what I have done so far and alter it as you feel. It is a functional CMS with many features but still a bit buggy in places. email me if your interested.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member rfwrangler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atu
    php4 is history! believe me. At least in 1 year your will rewrite the whole package.

    What i mean under application architecture is that you must have an idea of how to assemble all this files to a whole package.
    Thank you for the advice I am reconsidering the PHP4 aspect and really starting to lean towards PHP5.

    As far as how the files will be assembled and set up on the client machine I am thinking that a single PHP file could be distrubuted that will set up the files that are needed on the server and the database tables. The user would download that file and set it up on the hosting server then go to the page that is set up. They would fill out a little information and then click a button that says create site then the files will be created.

    The other thought is to host the system on a server and have people accesses it remotely through their sites.

    What are your thoughts about this??

  14. #14
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    I reckon if you want a single file approach, it's probably going to be linking up to another server and downloading the required files to operate the system from there. There's other ways to skin a cat of course, but this way at least you'd have a certain amount of control over the files that are being run.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfwrangler
    As far as how the files will be assembled and set up on the client machine I am thinking that a single PHP file could be distrubuted that will set up the files that are needed on the server and the database tables. The user would download that file and set it up on the hosting server then go to the page that is set up. They would fill out a little information and then click a button that says create site then the files will be created.

    The other thought is to host the system on a server and have people accesses it remotely through their sites.

    What are your thoughts about this??
    Thats only a detail which isnt important when starting such a project. Most cms like systems lacks of a core design. Some includes here and there. And that's all. Have you any idea of what is a controller, a view and model?

  16. #16
    SitePoint Member rfwrangler's Avatar
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    I am looking at setting it up using a three tier system of design.

    1. The client interface.
    2. The client-server and server-client interface
    3. The database interface.

    Using classes and functions I will be able to use various functions where needed in the system and limit the required and include files. I will use some required and include files but this will only be for very repetitive files. I want to rely more on classes.

    The other thing that I want is that any part of the system should work as a stand alone feature and work with out relying on other factors this should make the debugging easier and the future development of the system easier.

    I want this to be a very modular design.

    Thank you Atu for the questions that you are asking and if you haven't guessed yes I am relatively new at this type of project but I do have some end goals and requirements in mind for the overall design and what I am wanting this to be able to do. I have several projects that I wnat to do that will benefit from the system that I have in mind.

    Your questions have really made me think about things that I haven't thought about and this is a great thing and what is required for a successful project. Thank you very much and keep sending me those questions.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy devbanana's Avatar
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    Just some thoughts.

    I see your point about a three-tier interface, but that wasn't exactly the question posed. How about your logical layers? Separating presentation, business logic, and data access? This can all be in one physical tier,, and often is with smaller applications, such as the majority of applications made with PHP, but the logical layers is a whole different issue.

    Are you going to be using MVC? It'd probably be an interesting project to have a CMS with a decent design that uses MVC. Not that this is your only option, but regarldess, you should put together a good structure and have it well-planned.

  18. #18
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    Hi,
    May this can inspire you. A core design i'm currently playing with:

    http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...roup_id=179442

  19. #19
    SitePoint Member rfwrangler's Avatar
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    Yes I am planning on seperating out the presentation, business logic, and the data access. That is a little of what I was getting at with my last post I just didn't state it that way and I should have. I apologize for my unclear statement. The point that you make about the MVC is a good one and one that I think would make this a better system.

    One of the reasons that I started this post was to get the quality feedback like what I have recieved thus far and to get some great input on what I need to look at with this design. I can't thank everyone enough for the input that they have given me on this and I hope that it continues.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentcollision
    I really dislike the current open source CMS's. Sure it makes it easy, but what irritates me is that designers with a limited coding knowledge are really restricted as to what they can create. I really think some of these CMS's need to consider that there needs to be room for creatitivity. I'm still waiting for a CMS where I can copy and paste some code into the body of the pages I want to be able to edit, and using includes or something have fields to edit the pages. Maybe a simple news script as well.

    They're over complicated, and way too restrictive.
    I agree. I might work on a CMS myself. One that is simple yet powerful

  21. #21
    SitePoint Enthusiast HappyPike's Avatar
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    For forums you should just use an existing forum package, instead of making one yourself. I especially recommend vBulletin. For $169 it's super good value.

    This way you can focus on the other tasks and can finish it much faster.
    The only way to have a friend is to be one. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


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