August 15th, 2008 No comments


Born as phpRadiant in January 2007, Frog is a PHP version of Radiant CMS, a well known Ruby on Rails application.

Radiant and Frog share the goal to simplify content management, and offer an elegant user interface, flexible templating, and simple user management and permissions.

But, while PHP hosting is ubiquitous and affordable, Ruby hosting is less common and often expensive, so this project could definitely find an audience within the PHP users community.

Frog requires PHP5, a MySQL database or SQLite 3 with PDO, and a web server (Apache with mod_rewrite is highly recommended). It is distributed under the GNU Affero General Public License.

Categories: Directory


August 4th, 2008 No comments


DotClear is a blog package distributed as free software under the GNU GPL (General Public License). It’s not very well known outside the French speaking world, probably because only basic documentation is available in English.

DotClear is a PHP and MySQL application, and its features include:

* use of the W3C standards, including XHTML 1.0 Strict;
* friendly URLs;
* RSS and Atom feeds;
* full Unicode support;
* multiple user levels;
* support of XML/RPC clients, to edit the weblog from third party applications.

DotClear was started in 2002 by Olivier Meunier, and its first version was released in August 2003. DotClear 2.0+ requires PHP 5 and supports MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite databases.

Categories: Directory

Packt Open Source CMS Award

July 29th, 2008 No comments

[Packt CMS Award]

On July 14 the Packt 2008 Open Source CMS Award has launched, “inviting visitors to submit nominations for their favorite Open Source Content Management Systems. Now in its third year, the Award has helped to support a variety of Content Management Systems gain recognition in a crowded and high quality marketplace.

In 2007, Drupal was the overall winner of the Award. With the introduction of four new categories in 2007, the Award succeeded in expanding the opportunities for a wider range of Open Source Content Management Systems to benefit.

A new category for 2008 is the Open Source CMS MVP Award, which will recognise the contributions to projects made by individuals that often go unnoticed.

Packt Publishing has opened up nominations for people to submit their favourite Content Management System at The top five in each category will go through to final, which begins at the start of September.

For more information, please see the Press Release by Packt: 2008 Open Source CMS Award Launched.

Categories: News


July 1st, 2008 No comments


MiaCMS was forked from Mambo on April 29, 2008. Two weeks later the new project released MiaCMS 4.6.4, based on Mambo 4.6.3.

The MiaCMS fork was initiated by a majority of the Mambo core development team, including Al Warren (alwarren), Chad Auld (cauld), Ozgur Cem Sen (ocs), and Richard Ong (arpee).

But why a fork? The founding team felt “that the policies, processes, and priorities of the official Mambo Foundation were having a negative impact on the code and the community… we never gave up on the product or the community, but rather just the Foundation which controlled it.

MiaCMS requires PHP 4.3.2+ and MySQL 4.0+, and is released under the GNU General Public License version 2.

Categories: Directory


June 5th, 2008 No comments


Zikula “combines the best of a solid API and object library, with cross database compatibility, templating, security and performance.

Two packages are available for download: Core, which contains just those modules required for the system to run, and Full, which contains all those modules currently maintained by the Zikula development team.

Zikula is a PHP – MySQL application, and is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Zikula was known as PostNuke before June 2008.

Categories: Directory

PostNuke becomes Zikula

June 5th, 2008 No comments


Shortly before its seventh birthday the PostNuke project, born as a fork of PHP-Nuke, has been renamed. It’s now called the Zikula Application Framework.

A few commenters noted the resemblance of Zikula’s new name and logo with the name and logo of the very popular Joomla! CMS and Web Application Framework. Others applauded the end of the rather long rebranding process, hoping to concentrate now on new release development. Many more expressed their satisfaction with the new name and branding, which denotes the project willingness to be part of the Web 2.0 era, moving away from the *Nuke past.

The first accomplishment of the Zikula team will be the release of Zikula 1.0.0 (formerly PostNuke 0.8). For details, please read Welcome the Zikula Application Framework.

Categories: News


April 18th, 2008 No comments


TYPOlight is a web content management system that specializes in accessibility (back end and front end) and uses XHTML and CSS to generate W3C/WAI compliant pages. It was started by Leo Feyer in 2004 and is released under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

I remember that in April 2006 – about one month after TYPOlight had been released – there were about 10 registered users in the forum. It is amazing to see how far the project has come in the last two years. Today there are about 1,800 users in the forum having created more than 30,000 posts and although I know that we are still a small community, I am tremendously proud of this trend.

TYPOlight requires PHP from version 5.1.0 with the GDLib extension, and MySQL from version 4.1. Other optional PHP extensions are mcrypt for data encryption and mbstring for multibyte character handling. You can also download a system check tool, which will determine whether your hosting environment is suitable for TYPOlight.

TYPOlight was renamed Contao in June 2010.

Categories: Directory

CMS or Web Application Framework?

March 24th, 2008 No comments

What’s the difference between a successful CMS and a Web Application Framework? Not a big one, I think, for the reasons I’m going to explain in this post.

Let’s start with the definitions. A content management system (CMS) is a web application used to manage and deliver the content of a web site. A web application framework, on the other hand, is a reusable set of code libraries and tools designed to support the development of web applications.

So one might think that a CMS could, or could not, be developed using a framework, and that’s perfectly true, but it’s only part of the whole story.

Things start to get more interesting when we look at a cornerstone feature of successful content management systems, that is their ease of customization and extension. Very often designers and developers need to tailor their CMS, so they tend to prefer those exposing a clear structure and a documented API, in much the same way as an application framework.

The resulting system could well be a content management framework that, out of the box, behaves like a blog platform or a basic CMS but, under the hood, retains the full capabilities of a framework ready to be used.

Real life examples abound. Many systems already advertise themselves as being a content management framework, rather than simply a CMS, from Drupal to PostNuke to eZ publish to SilverStripe to Joomla! to MODx. Even blog platforms, like b2evolution, offer an embedded framework for their users to build upon.

The next logical step is a CMS built using an independently available application framework; both systems, the CMS and the framework, would greatly benefit from the sinergy and the added visibility. Today Plone is probably the only CMS built upon an independent framework (Zope CMF), but that is changing.

A few months ago the Mambo team announced their decision to build Mambo 5.0 using the CakePHP framework. Lately Typo3 announced they are developing an independent framework, Flow3, to build their next 5.0 release. And EllisLab has just announced that ExpressionEngine 2.0 will be based on CodeIgniter, their application framework already available as an independent product.

In my opinion, this trend is going to accelerate, and the most successful Content Management Systems will be strongly tied to a successful Web Application Framework, in a mutually beneficial relationship, and to the best advantage of designers, developers, and final users.

Categories: Articles

Managing eZ publish projects

March 1st, 2008 No comments

[Managing eZ publish projects]

Are you responsible for the implementation and management of eZ publish projects, or are you building sites for medium to large clients? If your answer is yes, then this book will give you a better understanding of all the elements involved in eZ publish Content Management projects.

This is what we can read on the back cover of Managing eZ Publish Web Content Management Projects, and I think this is what we can actually get from this rather unusual book.

I say unusual because this is not a book to learn eZ publish, it’s a project management book for delivering eZ publish solutions. It’s also unusual because, while there are many project management books for software development projects, Content Management (CM) is still a young discipline, and no defined methodologies are currently available to cover the full scope of CM projects.

This book, published by Packt, is then an attempt to define a set of practices to help project managers deal with CM projects until suitable methodologies emerge. The author, Martin Bauer, is the Managing Director of designIT, an Australian based CM specialist practice, and has ten years experience in web development and web based content management.

You can find a general description of this book contents on the publisher’s site (Managing eZ Publish Web Content Management Projects), so I am not going to duplicate that information here. I prefer to report my own experience while going through the information packed chapters of this book.

I might group the thirteen chapters, according to their content, in:

a) Chapters mostly related to software development projects in general, containing sound advice for both “traditional” and CM projects: chapters 4, 7, 8, 9 and 12 fall in this category, covering Project Definition, Planning and Pricing, Risk Management, Open Project Management, and User Training;

b) A chapter mostly related to the eZ publish Content Management System (CMS), giving an overview of this powerful CMS: chapter 3 explains Content Classes, Nodes and Locations, Sections, Templates, Access Control, Workflow and Extensions;

c) Chapters mostly related to content management projects, containing specific practices tailored to this young discipline, like chapters 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 11 and 13, covering Content Modeling, Implementation, Testing and Support of eZ publish sites.

I enjoyed reading the whole book, but the chapters in the last group are the ones I like the best, because they bring so many insights into the fascinating world of content management projects.

Categories: Articles

Drupal 6.0 available

February 13th, 2008 No comments


Drupal 6.0 final is now available.

This new release of Drupal offers “major usability improvements, security and maintainability advancements, friendlier installer, and expanded development framework” plus many other smaller improvements.

Usability: a new friendly installer, drag and drop administration for e.g. menu items, forums, taxonomy terms, uploaded files, and an improved multilingual interface make Drupal 6.0 easier to use.

New core modules: actions and triggers let you build a custom workflow with no programming knowledge, OpenID support is built in, the Update status module keeps you informed of new versions of Drupal, your modules and your themes.

Theming: customization of the look and feel of your site is more flexible, with improved theming structure and support for translations, usage of new jQuery 1.2.3 and a powerful Theme Developer module (a separate download) that offers handy tools to develop your own themes.

Security: password strength checking and more granular permissions let you better manage your site security, and with the core Update status module and a subscription to the e-mail Security Announcements list, you are promptly informed about new security updates.

Performance: most core modules are split into smaller pieces and only loaded when needed, resulting in less code per page, and the menu system, rewritten from scratch, is much more efficient and powerful.

To learn more on Drupal 6.0, please read the detailed release announcement.

Categories: News