October 10th, 2009 No comments


Cutenews is a blog publishing system written by Georgi Avramov and available free of charge (although a subscription fee is required to remove the Powered by CuteNews line).

CuteNews is written in PHP and all content is stored in flat text files, so database software is not required.

Categories: Directory

MODx Web Development

August 7th, 2009 No comments

[MODx Web Development]

In 2007 MODx won the “Most Promising Open Source CMS” Packt Award. A little more than one year later, the MODx Web Development book has been published, to fulfill the expectations of many interested readers.

MODx Web Development is the first book available on MODx, and will undoubtedly contribute to spread the knowledge of this emerging CMS. Once again, Packt Publishing does a great job promoting Open Source Software, and MODx especially deserves such a promotion.

But let’s have a look at the book itself. The author, Antano Solar John, is active in the field of consulting, education and training, and the intended audience of the book are readers new to MODx or less experienced with this platform. But even advanced MODx users will find something interesting, especially in the last chapters.

After explaining how to install MODx, the book proceeds to present Documents and Containers (the basic elements of a MODx site) and templating (the way to style those elements according to our preferences and needs).
Each concept is presented without assuming any prior knowledge of site development, with many step by step examples.

After the basics are covered, the author introduces more advanced features, like authentication and authorization of users. This chapter is available for all to read in Sample Chapter 5, and is a good sample of the clarity of the whole book.

Next comes the explanation of snippets, powerful tools to enhance our MODx site. Two important built-in snippets are presented: Ditto, which enables content aggregation (including tagging and feeds), and Wayfinder, which builds a variety of document lists, useful for instance to build navigation menus. Many more MODx snippets are available, whether in the MODx package or as a separate download, and we learn how to search for the snippets we need, and how to install and use them.

The last chapters put the finishing touch on our MODx learning journey, and are probably more interesting for advanced users, since they discuss the PHx notation, ways to integrate forums or image galleries, and finally creating snippets, plugins and modules. Search Engine Optimization and Security are also covered.

Conclusions? Well, given the clarity of MODx Web Development and the features of MODx I’m really thinking about developing a MODx site myself!

Categories: Articles


March 15th, 2009 No comments


SkyBlueCanvas is a lightweight CMS developed by Scott Lewis and released as open source in March, 2008.

SkyBlueCanvas is designed to be easy to use, and is intended for small web sites with relatively simple requirements. That means sites with about one hundred pages, two or three page layouts, and typically a non-technical site administrator.

The software core is extensible with modules, plugins and even Google gadgets, and offers a skin system to customize the site presentation.

What’s missing? Well, given the target audience, SkyBlueCanvas doesn’t require a database, and doesn’t provide user management and content hierarchies like Sections or Categories.

SkyBlueCanvas is a PHP application, and is licensed under the GNU General Publc License 3.0. A service package for business owners including site setup and design is also available from the Developer.

Categories: Directory

Most popular CMS in 2008

February 21st, 2009 No comments


The year 2008 has seen a concentration of interest on just a few CMS or blog platforms, with an increasing distance between the most popular ones and the followers.

As in 2006 and 2007, I’m using the data from the Most visited CMS site report, based on the Alexa traffic rankings. We can see that there is a large gap between the first four and the fifth in rank.

The first places in the popularity chart for 2008 belong to the same trio who won them in 2006 and 2007, that is WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal.

WordPress released its major versions 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7 in 2008, Joomla! released its major version 1.5 in January and many minor ones during the year, while Drupal released the new 6.0 version in February and many updates afterwards.

Actually this wonderful trio holds the first, third and fourth position; the second position is unexpectedly conquered by PHP-Nuke, whose latest release is version 8.1 of August 2007.

The fifth place belongs to a brilliant new entry, TYPOlight, a very active PHP5 project led by Leo Feyer. TYPOlight released version 2.5.0 in December 2007 and version 2.6.0 in August 2008, with almost monthly updates.

Xoops rises to the sixth place, up from the seventh in 2007. Xoops released its major version 2.3.0 in September 2008, and apparently hasn’t suffered from the ImpressCMS fork that also happened in 2008.

The seventh place is for Movable Type, who held the fourth place in 2006 but dropped a bit under the radar in 2007. Movable Type released version 4.1 and 4.2 in 2008.

And, last but not least, the eight place is for Zikula, a reincarnation of PostNuke. Zikula debuted in June 2008 with version 1.0.0, the new name for the long awaited PostNuke 0.8.

Four platforms were present in the 2007 top eight, but dropped under the radar in 2008: Pligg, ExpressionEngine, Mambo and MODx.

They are possibly suffering for some reason. Pligg visible activity was lower than usual in 2008, version 1.0.0 RC1 has been released only in January 2009; ExpressionEngine kept its fans waiting for the major version 2.0 redesign, unexpectedly delayed; Mambo activity was also low in 2008, and the impact of the MiaCMS fork is being felt; and MODx also kept its fans waiting for version 2.0.0.

Another possible explanation is the new traffic ranking system that Alexa deployed in 2008; the new system averages many popularity factors, giving results sometimes very different from the former ones.

As usual, this article doesn’t make any claim of scientific accuracy, it’s just an attempt to discuss what happened last year in the wonderful world of Content Management Systems.

Categories: Statistics


February 16th, 2009 No comments


Seditio is the successor of the LDU (Land Down Under) website engine. Both systems were created by Olivier C., who released LDU in July 2002 and Seditio in March 2006.

Seditio is a PHP / MySQL application, and is free for personal use, but it’s not open source. In 2008 Olivier C. authorized an independent and open source fork, Cotonti, that was first released in February 2009.

Categories: Directory


January 16th, 2009 No comments

Coming soon …

Categories: Directory


January 16th, 2009 No comments

Coming soon …

Categories: Directory


October 23rd, 2008 No comments


ImpressCMS is a fork of Xoops, based on version 2.0.17 core. Born at the end of 2007, ImpressCMS feels that a community is most effective in a loose and informal structure, without fixed teams or organizational structure.

One of the most essential conditions for the success of this project is to have a healthy and open communication within the community and outwards. The open organization is what makes ImpressCMS different and it helps to achieve the goal of having a true open source project.

Categories: Directory


September 12th, 2008 No comments


Elgg – meaning “elk” or “moose” in Scandinavia – was started by Ben Werdmuller and Dave Tosh in 2004, as a social networking platform designed especially for e-learning.

In August 2008 Elgg 1.0 was released. Elgg 1.0 has a completely rewritten core, to improve scalability and allow for greater customization; moreover, the focus has moved away from the e-learning use only, and today Elgg is a general social networking platform.

Elgg is available in two flavours, the core engine and the full package.
The core engine is for those wishing to build up their own network from the beginning, while the full package is the core engine plus a few preloaded plugins: blogs, files, pages, bookmarks, messageboard, status, TinyMCE and private messages.

Elgg is a PHP – MySQL application, requiring the Apache web server with mod_rewrite, MySQL 5+, PHP 5.2+ installed as an Apache module and with the GD, JSON and Multibyte String libraries. It’s distributed under the GNU General Public License, version 2.

Categories: Directory

Learning Drupal 6

September 7th, 2008 No comments

[Learning Drupal 6]

If you are going to build a website for the first time, and you wish to use Drupal, a good book like Building powerful and robust websites with Drupal 6 is an invaluable help.

This new book, written by David Mercer and published by Packt, walks you through the many steps required to successfully build your Drupal website, from setup of a development environment to deployment and management of the final public site.

You start installing Drupal with Apache, PHP and MySQL on a test machine, so you can work offline while you experiment with Drupal and develop your site; then you become familiar with Drupal basics (Modules, Blocks, Menus) and start adding functionality to your site.

Almost without realizing it, you are absorbing the Drupal fundamentals, and you start to appreciate the power and flexibility of Drupal that otherwise could scare a new user away.

Next you go on configuring your site: the topics of clean URLs, error reporting, file and image management are clearly explained and put into practice. A new chapter is then devoted to understand the Drupal access control mechanism, with Roles and Permissions, Access Rules, and general User Account administration.

But, what about adding content? Don’t worry, you are now ready for that, and the author offers you two whole chapters, Basic Content and Advanced Content, to let you become familiar with Drupal content types and content related modules, like Aggregator and Book, Taxonomy and CCK (Content Construction Kit).

As you can see, the author consistently provides the reader with an easy path to climb the Drupal learning curve, carefully organizing the progression of topics and alternating bits of theory with examples and practice.

To complete the journey, the next chapter is devoted to Drupal themes, probably the most creative part of building your new site.

In conclusion, this book is a great resource for beginners, but also intermediate Drupal users won’t be disappointed, as the book covers topics like the Content Construction Kit, Actions and Triggers, and even jQuery. In the words of Dries Buytaert: “Reading this book won’t make you a Drupal expert, but it will give you a solid base from which to build.

For additional information, you can read the page Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6 on the publisher’s website.

Categories: Articles