Joomla! 1.5 released

January 22nd, 2008 No comments


What started two and a half years ago with a letter to the community is culminating today with the release of Joomla! 1.5.

Joomla! 1.5 boasts remarkable advances over Joomla! 1.0 in the areas of extensibility, usability and internationalization.

Over the last 2 1/2 years the code base has been melted down and reforged into a carefully organized, object-oriented framework. The user interface has been thoroughly refined to improve usability and simplify administrative tasks. To simplify life for designers, the templating system has been expanded to allow meticulous control over core markup as well as an all new template configuration interface.

The article Joomla! 1.5 Overview details the major strong point of Joomla! 1.5 for site administrators, designers and developers:

Site administrators: many improvements in the installer, in global configuration, a simpler article manager and menu manager, and the new functionality of Search Engine Friendly URLs;

Designers: total control over how Joomla!’s content is presented, with use of custom layouts instead of the typical table heavy output from Joomla! core; no need to manually edit variables and settings in template files, now users can change settings from within the template manager interface;

Developers: architecture and design of the code base follows current development methodologies and design patterns; object-oriented, pattern based API organized into well structured framework packages; support to PHP 4.3 and to the most current versions of PHP 5.

For additional details, please refer to the Joomla! 1.5 release announcement.

Categories: News


January 20th, 2008 No comments


PivotX is the successor of Pivot, and that’s why its first release is named PivotX 2.0.

Completely redesigned from the ground up, the first alpha version of PivotX 2.0 was released on November 25, 2007. Among its features:

* Entries and Pages: publish multiple weblogs, and independent pages;
* Commenting: comments with state of the art anti-spamming protections, that make it harder to leave comment spam, but won’t irritate legitimate commenters;
* Images and Files: upload images and, using the built-in Picnik extension, even edit images;
* Extensions: very powerful and flexible extension framework, developers can create Extensions that ‘hook’ into the core PivotX functionality;
* Templates: uses Smarty, a powerful template engine with caching capabilities, even for the Admin Interface.

PivotX stores data in flat files or, at your choice, in a MySQL database. Usage is free under the GNU GPL (General Public License).

Categories: Directory

New leadership for RunCms

January 14th, 2008 No comments


After many years spent with open source CMS projects (Xoops, then E-Xoops, then RunCms) EsseBe took the leadership of the RunCms project in August 2006.

Today, after little more than one year, other duties claim his time and EsseBe has to leave that position. He has already announced that his successor will be Netshark, currently an active member of the development team.

Many thanks to EsseBe for his contributions to RunCms and to the open source world, and congratulations to Netshark on his appointment as the new leader of the RunCms project!

Categories: News

Most popular CMS in 2007

January 2nd, 2008 No comments


While in 2005 and 2006 Content Management Systems as a group were enjoying a steady rise in popularity, 2007 has been a year of stable if not slightly declining public interest in these systems.

The evidence comes from our Most visited CMS site report, based on Alexa traffic rankings. The absolute rankings of CMS sites are down compared with 2006, and this could be interpreted as a sign of declining interest.

Let’s now take a look at the relative rankings among CMS sites. The first three places in the popularity chart for 2007 are firmly held by the same three champions who won them in 2006: WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.

WordPress released versions 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 in 2007, while Joomla! released 1.0.13 in July and 1.5 RC4 in December, and Drupal released 5.0 in January and 6.0 RC1 in December.

The fourth place belongs to Pligg, up from a very good eighth place in 2006. Pligg has just released its 9.9.0 version, and has confirmed its rising star status in the second year of its existence.

The fifth place is conquered by ExpressionEngine, up from the seventh place last year. ExpressionEngine has released its 1.6 version in June.

Mambo keeps the same sixth place it held in 2006. Mambo released two minor 4.6.x versions in April and December 2007.

Xoops drops to the seventh place, down from the fifth place in 2006. Xoops released two minor 2.0.x versions in August and December 2007.

And last but not least, the eighth place is conquered by MODx, up from the 12th place last year. MODx is a relatively young platform, it was born in 2005, and released its 0.9.6 version in May 2007.

Please note that these numbers don’t make any claim of scientific accuracy, but are intended for your entertainment only. Happy New Year!

Categories: Statistics


December 31st, 2007 No comments


Plume CMS version 1.0 was released on September 26, 2004. From the original announcement by Loïc d’Anterroches:

After 2.5 years as a SourceForge project, 2 near to be full rewrites, 1 complete rewrite, 9 Release Candidate versions, n hours of development, 150 Kg of pasta and cheese, an unaccountable number of coffee cups, 3 name changes and a lot of fun, HT, alias PXSystem, alias XULit!, alias Plume CMS is released in 1.0 version.

Plume is a PHP – MySQL application, and uses the same release naming convention as Linux. The 1.0, 1.2, 1.4 (even numbered) versions are the stable releases while the 1.1, 1.3, 1.5 (odd numbered) versions are development, or unstable, releases.

Plume is released under the GNU GPL (General Public License).

Categories: Directory

sNews 1.6 review

December 30th, 2007 No comments


sNews 1.6 is the current version of a single file, template independent, PHP and MySQL powered, standards compliant CMS written by Solucija and released under a Creative Commons License.

This article is a short review of sNews 1.6, covering Installation, The Administration Page, Adding and Managing Content, and sNews Themes.

=> Installation

sNews requires PHP, MySQL and Apache with mod_rewrite enabled. The installation archive contains five files:

* snews.php: the sNews CMS code;
* .htaccess: the Apache settings file;
* readme.html: the installation instructions;
* index.php: the default template;
* style.css: the default stylesheet.

After we unpack the installation archive and follow the installation instructions in readme.html (setup the database, edit settings, upload files) we can browse to our site home page, where we are presented with a clean default layout.

=> The Administration Page

To add content, we need to log in. The first time we have to use the default account (username = test, password = test) but we must change that as soon as possible for obvious security reasons.

After logging in, we find a clean and simple administration page, with a first panel to add and manage content (Categories, Articles, Extra contents and Pages) and a second panel to edit settings and upload files.

To change our username and password, we go to Settings, where the last panel allows us to do just that. The other panels are about basic Settings (e.g. Website Title), Contact info, Time and Locale settings, Contents settings (e.g. how many articles per page) and Comments settings.

=> Adding and Managing Content

sNews handles different types of content.

Articles: content for display in the Home page or other Category pages;
Pages: content for display in independent pages;
Extra: content for display in other locations on our pages.

Articles are the most usual form of content and, by default, they are displayed on the Home page in reverse order. Each Article could be assigned to a Category instead, and in this case the Article would display in its Category page (no longer in the Home page).

Articles usually include text and (X)HTML, but it’s possible to include PHP scripts as well. Articles can be commented, and comments can be moderated. Each Article has a SEF (Search Engine Friendly) permanent URL, which displays the Article on a page by itself when entered in a browser.

Pages are much like Articles. The only difference is that a Page content is never displayed in the Home page nor in any Category page, but always on an independent page by itself. Like Articles, Pages can include PHP scripts, can be commented, and have a SEF permanent URL.

Extra content is similar to Articles and Pages, but is displayed in a specific location, typically in a sidebar, on a page of our choice (Home page, Category page, or Page) or on them all. Extra content can include PHP scripts, but can’t be commented and doesn’t have a permanent URL.

=> sNews Themes

While it’s not possible to activate a new theme from the Administration page, it’s perfectly possible to do so manually. We just need to replace the index.php file with a new one; the new index.php will possibly reference a new style.css stylesheet and a few images, all contained in a subfolder of the sNews installation.

=> Conclusions

sNews offers many useful features in a surprisingly small package, less than 2000 lines of PHP code. Any (X)HTML / CSS website template can be easily converted for use with sNews, simply replacing the static content elements of the template with the sNews functions that generate the dynamic content.

So, whether you are a normal user, a developer, or a designer, you may find sNews interesting. Give it a try!

Categories: Articles

Drupal and Acquia

December 10th, 2007 No comments


A few days ago Dries Buytaert announced Acquia, my Drupal startup.

The main reason to start a new company around Drupal products and services? Examining the open source projects that have had big impact on the technology industry, Dries concludes that successful projects usually have a well-capitalized company behind them. The presence of a well-capitalized provider makes projects palatable to users who might not otherwise try them.

The new company’s current working name is Acquia. “Acquia’s software products will include a number of Drupal distributions — for community networks, digital media properties, corporate websites, and others. In addition to providing Drupal distributions, Acquia will build the Drupal-tuned analogue of the RedHat Network, over which we can deliver a wide variety of electronic services intended to be useful to people developing and operating Drupal websites. An example such service is an automated upgrade/update service, an uptime and performance monitoring / reporting service, a configuration management service, etc.

Will Acquia fork or close-source the Drupal code? Fear not, answers Dries. Since Acquia’s success is directly tied to the overall success of the Drupal project – and to how widely-used it becomes – the new company will contribute to Drupal development just as other companies or individuals do today.

So we wish all the best to Dries and Acquia, and we hope for a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship between business goals and free software!

Categories: News


December 3rd, 2007 No comments


Typo is a blog engine built using Ruby on Rails. It was started in early 2005 by Tobias Lütke, a German programmer also creator of the popular Shopify e-commerce platform, and is currently developed by Piers Cawley and Frédéric de Villamil.

Typo features include:

* Textile, Markdown and SmartyPants support
* Ping / Trackback
* Categories / Tags
* Ta-da Lists,, Flickr, 43 Things, and Upcoming syndication
* Ajax based live search and commenting
* Ajax based comment moderation
* Full text search with live preview
* RSS2 and Atom feeds as well as feeds for comments and trackbacks
* Comment feeds
* Caching – Typo only creates the XML files when needed and serves static copies to your readers
* Supported databases: MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL
* Easy to type permalinks
* Web based administration and posting interface
* Migration scripts from many platforms as well as plain RSS

Typo is released under a Creative Commons License.

Categories: Directory

b2evolution 2.2.0

December 2nd, 2007 No comments


Among many incremental improvements and fixes, b2evolution 2.2 introduces Search Engine Optimization (SEO) presets.

Check out the SEO tab under “Blog Settings” to see how the SEO experts would optimize your blog!

Version 2.2 also fixes a lot of small issues with 2.1 and a stable 2.x release is foreseen around the end of the year.

To learn more, please read the release announcement.

Categories: News


December 2nd, 2007 No comments


Habari is a blogging platform announced in January 2007, whose aim is to represent a fresh start to the idea of blogging.

Habari relies on PHP5 with PHP Data Objects (PDO), and your choice of SQL database (MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite). Habari is strongly object oriented, and implements the full suite of the Atom Publishing Protocol. User-created plugins make Habari do nearly anything imaginable, and a robust theme system permits the use of several popular templating solutions.

Some of the developers of Habari were developers of WordPress, currently the most popular blogging platform. An interesting read is the Interview with Habari Developers published in the Blog Kazani web site in August 2007.

Habari is named after a Swahili word meaning “news”, and is released under the open source Apache License 2.0.

Categories: Directory