Category Archives: Content Management Systems

Information related to Content Management Systems

What is a Content Management System?

Wikipedia defines a Content Management System (CMS) as follows:

A content management system is a computer software system for organizing and facilitating collaborative creation of documents and other content. A content management system is sometimes a web application used for managing websites and web content, though in many cases, content management systems require special client software for editing and constructing articles. They can also be used for storage and single sourcing of documentation for a firm including but not limited to operators’ manuals, technical manuals, sales guides, etc. The market for content management systems remains fragmented, with many open-source and proprietary solutions available. The term was originally used for website publishing and management systems. Early content management systems were developed internally at organizations which were doing a lot of content publishing. In 1995, CNET spun out its internal development offerings into a separate company called Vignette, which opened up the market for commercial systems. As the market evolved, the scope of content management systems broadened, and the term is now used to refer to a range of technologies and techniques, including portal systems, wiki systems, and web-based groupware.

For purposes of most individual and business needs, a Content Management System is a web application that allows for the easy organization and creation of web pages. Many websites are designed using HTML editors and pages are loaded to the web server using an FTP client. This is fine for most small sites but even with these smaller sites there is a basic knowledge of HTML, FTP, and file management that needs to be understood. Assuming the person can gain a basic knowledge of these apps to build a functioning site, there is still a pretty steep learning curve if the person is going to design an asthetically pleasing site that has bells and whistles.

In large organizations or communities of interest there is a desire to allow the common user to create their own pages. Web sites restricted to a business are commonly referred to as Intranet (vice Internet) web sites. These sites are used to share information between offices or individuals. It is an effective means of Information Management as organizations will place information on the Intranet website vice e-mailing several versions of documents to users who may not need the document and the risk that those who do need the document never get the e-mail or the e-mail is lost with all the other spam that each user gets. E-mail is just a bad method to share information. Giving offices or individuals write privileges to portions of a website allows information to be shared without worrying who did or didn’t get e-mails and, because it’s on the intranet page, folks know it’s the most current information.

The issue with an Intranet, if one uses a traditional HTML editor and FTP client to upload HTML files is that it would be a design disaster to allow hundreds to be making basic layout changes to link their new files. It also requires a good deal of training for everybody in an organization to get up to speed in basic web design.

So the “traditional” method of building html files for a web site with corresponding images and other resources is difficult for some novices and nigh impossible for large organizations. Surely the traditional method is best for some case in between. Perhaps but not necessarily. I used to have this entire site built on several dozen html documents that were all built around a Dreamweaver template. That worked fine for a while but it really was a good deal of work everytime I made a template change for I had to re-upload every html document whenever the common elements changed. Add to that, I had to sometimes go back and edit several files that referred to one another. Even sites with only a few trained webmasters, if they get too large, may benefit from a Content Management System (CMS). That’s why I moved this site to the Drupal Content Management System script.

Now I realize that there are design snobs who despise CMS because it’s not all designed pretty and managed by an expert. I don’t much care about their opinion on the matter. I’ll leave it to you to determine whether or not you believe this site design is functional if not a bit elegant. It not only makes the job of adding new pages as easy as an entry on a web forum but it also allows communities of interest to participate in a website like this while maintaining a constant theme.

The CMS works by setting the theme in place and adding any extensions that the administrator may desire. You may notice that I’ve added some Google Map functionality and I have syndication and news feed blocks. The background and title bar image were all designed by me as was the 3 column layout. More precisely, on the 3 column layout, I modified an existing theme and made it my own. Once the theme was set then the site is ready for users to register for accounts and begin contributing articles and comments. Sophisticated users can still integrate full HTML into articles while users with less HTML knowledge can just type and Submit.

While the name, Content Management System, seems a bit intimidating, there is nothing significantly different in terms of your web hosting needs. All the major CMS’s run PHP scripts and use database backends (mySQL or PostgreSQL) which are available on any quality shared hosting plan. Issues of quality really come into play here. Hosts who oversell and place too many clients on a server usually count on infrequent use of databases. Databases are processor intensive and tax system resources. Hence, if you choose price over quality and speed then your performance will suffer dramatically if you install a CMS to use as your main website. Thus, I would recommend a Premium Web Host such as ICANNWholesale if you intend to run a CMS.

Thus, I’ve become a huge fan of CMS applications as one who has a day job in the Marine Corps and can’t spend all my time managing a traditional web site. In fact, I’ve built a number of Church web sites using traditional html and have recently just deployed my first CMS based Church web site. I believe a CMS is ideally suited for a Church web site as it allows Church members access to parts of the site and even allows them to contribute content without relying on the one smart guy that understands all the internet stuff. My preferred CMS for this task is WordPress.

So if you haven’t considered a CMS for your personal, small or large business, or Church website then I highly recommend you give the idea some consideration. You may well save yourself a lot of time and get much more functionality and expandability than sticking with a traditional site design.


The following information was compiled from the WordPress site.

WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on hundreds of thousands of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.

Everything you see here, from the documentation to the code itself, was created by and for the community. WordPress is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it. (More than most commercial platforms.) It also means you are free to use it for anything from your cat’s home page to a Fortune 5 web site without paying anyone a license fee.


On this site you can download and install a software script called WordPress. To do this you need a web host who meets the minimum requirements and a little time. WordPress is completely customizable and can be used for almost anything. There is also a service called which lets you get started with a new and free WordPress-based blog in seconds, but varies in several ways and is less flexible than the WordPress you download and install yourself.

A Little History

WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. It is the official successor of b2/cafelog. WordPress is fresh software, but its roots and development go back to 2001. It is a mature and stable product. We hope by focusing on user experience and web standards we can create a tool different from anything else out there.

2005 was a very exciting year for WordPress, as it saw the release of our 1.5 version (introduced themes) which was downloaded over 900,000 times, the start of hosted service to expand WP’s reach, the founding of Automattic by several core members of the WP team, and finally the release of version 2.0.

After 1.5 we seemed to have something people really liked and we’ve experienced some fairly rapid growth. Here are some metrics for 2006 and 2007.

In 2006 we had 1,545,703 downloads, in 2007 we had 3,816,965!

As for plugins we had 191,567 downloads of 371 unique plugins in 2006. In 2007 there were 2,845,884 downloads (15x growth) of 1,384 plugins.

2006 saw the introduction of the first WordCamp in San Francisco.

In 2007 we adopted a regular release schedule, putting out major feature releases roughly every 3-4 months, or three times a year.

Because of the number of improvements in version 2.5 we took an extra 3 months on it, but 2008 looks on track to do three major releases again. It will be a very exciting year.

There are now dozens of WordCamps around the world, from Vancouver to Dallas to Milan, Italy.

To run WordPress your host just needs a couple of things:

  • PHP version 4.3 or greater
  • MySQL version 4.0 or greater

That’s really it. We recommend Apache or Litespeed as the most robust and featureful server for running WordPress, but any server that supports PHP and MySQL will do. That said, we can’t test every possible environment and each of the hosts on our hosting page supports the above and more with no problems.

We offer a feature set with WordPress on par or better than any other software of its kind. Also we are committed to making the latest blogging technology available to our users (such as Trackback) and taking it a step further (such as with Pingback). You can rest assured that with WordPress you will be on the cutting edge of the technology available.

The following is a list of some of the features that come standard with WordPress, however there are literally hundreds of plugins that extend what WordPress does, so the actual functionality is nearly limitless. You are also free to do whatever you like with the WordPress code, extend it or modify in any way or use it for commercial projects without any licensing fees. That is the beauty of free software, free meaning not only price but also the freedom to have complete control over it.

Key Features

  • Full standards compliance — We have gone to great lengths to make sure every bit of WordPress generated code is in full compliance with the standards of the W3C. This is important not only for interoperability with today’s browser but also for forward compatibility with the tools of the next generation. Your web site is a beautiful thing, and you should demand nothing less.
  • No rebuilding — Changes you make to your templates or entries are reflected immediately on your site, with no need for regenerating static pages.
  • WordPress Pages — Pages allow you to manage non-blog content easily, so for example you could have a static “About” page that you manage through WordPress. For an idea of how powerful this is, the entire site could be run off WordPress alone. (We don’t for technical mirroring reasons.)
  • WordPress Links — Links allows you to create, maintain, and update any number of blogrolls through your administration interface. This is much faster than calling an external blogroll manager.
  • WordPress Themes — WordPress comes with a full theme system which makes designing everything from the simplest blog to the most complicated webzine a piece of cake, and you can even have multiple themes with totally different looks that you switch with a single click. Have a new design every day.
  • Cross-blog communication tools— WordPress fully supports both the Trackback and Pingback standards, and we are committed to supporting future standards as they develop.
  • Comments — Visitors to your site can leave comments on individual entries, and through Trackback or Pingback can comment on their own site. You can enable or disable comments on a per-post basis.
  • Spam protection — Out of the box WordPress comes with very robust tools such as an integrated blacklist and open proxy checker to manage and eliminate comment spam on your blog, and there is also a rich array of plugins that can take this functionality a step further.
  • Full user registration — WordPress has a built-in user registration system that (if you choose) can allow people to register and maintain profiles and leave authenticated comments on your blog. You can optionally close comments for non-registered users. There are also plugins that hide posts from lower level users.
  • Password Protected Posts — You can give passwords to individual posts to hide them from the public. You can also have private posts which are viewable only by their author.
  • Easy installation and upgrades — Installing WordPress and upgrading from previous versions and other software is a piece of cake. Try it and you’ll wonder why all web software isn’t this easy.
  • Easy Importing — We currently have importers for Movable Type, Textpattern, Greymatter, Blogger, and b2. Work on importers for Nucleus and pMachine are under way.
  • XML-RPC interface — WordPress currently supports an extended version of the Blogger API, MetaWeblog API, and finally the MovableType API. You can even use clients designed for other platforms like Zempt.
  • Workflow — You can have types of users that can only post drafts, not publish to the front page.
  • Typographical niceties — WordPress uses the Texturize engine to intelligently convert plain ASCII into typographically correct XHTML entities. This includes quotes, apostrophes, ellipses, em and en dashes, multiplication symbols, and ampersands. For information about the proper use of such entities see Peter Sheerin’s article The Trouble With Em ’n En.
  • Intelligent text formatting — If you’ve dealt with systems that convert new lines to line breaks before you know why they have a bad name: if you have any sort of HTML they butcher it by putting tags after every new line indiscriminately, breaking your formatting and validation. Our function for this intelligently avoids places where you already have breaks and block-level HTML tags, so you can leave it on without worrying about it breaking your code.
  • Multiple authors — WordPress’ highly advanced user system allows up to 10 levels of users, with different levels having different (and configurable) privileges with regard to publishing, editing, options, and other users.
  • Bookmarklets — Cross-browser bookmarklets make it easy to publish to your blog or add links to your blogroll with a minimum of effort.
  • Ping away — WordPress supports pinging Ping-O-Matic, which means maximum exposure for your blog to search engines.

There’s much more, but these are the highlights. If there’s something that you really want, submit a request on the support forums and there’s a good chance someone will whip it up for you.


About Drupal

This is a useful compilation of information taken from Drupal’s site at Drupal is software that allows an individual or a community of users to easily publish, manage and organize a great variety of content on a website. Tens of thousands of people and organizations have used Drupal to set up scores of different kinds of web sites, including

  • community web portals and discussion sites
  • corporate web sites/intranet portals
  • personal web sites
  • aficionado sites
  • e-commerce applications
  • resource directories

Drupal includes features to enable

  • content management systems
  • blogs
  • collaborative authoring environments
  • forums
  • newsletters
  • picture galleries
  • file uploads and download

and much more.

Drupal is open source software licensed under the GPL, and is maintained and developed by a community of thousands of users and developers. Drupal is free to download and use. If you like what Drupal can do for you, please work with us to expand and refine Drupal to suit your needs.


In 2000, permanent Internet connections were at a premium for University of Antwerp students, so Dries Buytaert and Hans Snijder setup a wireless bridge between their student dorms to share Hans’s ADSL modem connection among eight students. While this was an extremely luxourous situation at that time, something was missing. There was no means to discuss or share simple things.

This inspired Dries to work on a small news site with a built-in webboard, allowing the group of friends to leave each other notes about the status of the network, to announce where they were having dinner, or to share some notewhorthy news items.

The software did not have a name until the day after Dries moved out after graduation. The group decided to put the internal website online so that they could stay in touch, continue to share interesting findings, and narrate snippets of their personal lives. While looking for an appropriate domain name, Dries settled for ‘’ after he made a typo to see if the the name ‘’ was still available. Dorp is the Dutch word for ‘village’, which was considered an appropriate name for the small community.

Once established on the Web,’s audience changed as the members began talking about new web technologies such as moderation, syndication, rating, and distributed authentication. slowly turned into a personal experimentation environment, driven by the discussions and flow of ideas. The discussions about these web technologies were tried out on itself as new additions to the software running the site.

It was only later, in January 2001, that Dries decided to release the software behind as “Drupal.” The motivating factor was to enable others to use and extend the experimentation platform so that more people could explore new paths for development. The name Drupal, pronounced “droo-puhl,” is derived from the English pronunciation of the Dutch word “druppel” which stands for “drop.”

Drupal is a highly configurable, modular content management system. Before you can answer if Drupal is right for you, consider a couple of questions: Which type of Drupal user are you, and what are your needs?

Below is a list of common user types followed by Drupal features. If the features meet your needs and you have the skill-set required to implement them, Drupal might be a perfect system for you. (See the list at the bottom of this page for more on required skills.)

I’m a Blogger and I need…

  • single- and/or multi-user blogs
  • to categorize content
  • commenting
  • trackbacks
  • custom style and layout using sample or custom themes
  • image and/or other media support using contributed modules (i.e., plug-ins)

Skills needed: end-user, administrator

I’m evaluating Drupal for my organization/company and we need…

  • customizable user roles and permissions
  • robust security model
  • scalability
  • to configure and extend functionality to meet specific business needs
  • a support infrastructure (documentation, community, etc.)
  • to categorize content
  • additional features/functionality

Skills needed: evaluator, end-user

I’m a community organizer and I need…

  • community members to easily share ideas (blogs, forum, files, etc.)
  • members to have tools to help them self-organize
  • a site that can evolve as the community evolves (keeping up with the state-of-the-art of interactive web sites)
  • a support infrastructure (documentation, community, etc.)
  • customizable user roles and permissions
  • a site that is safe on the web (security, spam, trolls, etc.)
  • a special distribution of Drupal and contributed modules that come preconfigured with community relationship management tools like CivicSpace.

Skills needed: evaluator, end-user, administrator, site developer (to some extent)

I’m a small business owner and I need…

  • to set up the site myself
  • custom style and layout using sample/custom themes
  • customizable user roles and permissions
  • a system that is scalable and adaptable to the needs of my changing business
  • to categorize content
  • a support infrastructure (documentation, community, etc.)
  • e-commerce support for
    • shopping carts
    • premium paid content subscriptions
  • to configure and extend functionality to meet specific business needs

Skills needed: evaluator, end-user, administrator, site developer (to a limited extent)

I build or design websites for clients and I need…

  • to create a custom look and feel with my own themes
  • additional features/functionality
  • to easily provide support to my clients
  • access to a community of designers and developers

Skills needed: evaluator, administrator, site developer, developer (to some extent)

I’m a programmer and I need…

  • a robust, well-designed, modular system that I can customize and extend
  • well documented APIs
  • system and architecture documentation and coding standards
  • access to a community of other developers
  • a rich feature list

Skills needed: administrator, programmer

Do you know what type of Drupal user you want to be? If you do, review the skill sets below to see what you’ll need to get started:

  • Evaluator: Familiar with web terminology and concepts.
  • End-user: familiar with browsing, clicking, submitting web pages, selecting options.
  • Administrator: Manage roles, select themes, categorize web pages (content), configure module settings, install and upgrade software and databases, apply security fixes.
  • Site designer/developer: Install software, design style and layout (with css and minimal php), build and deploy websites, evaluate contributed modules, work with LAMP.
  • Programmer: program in php, administer databases, program through a well-defined API, design database objects, evaluating existing solutions and apply patches, collaborate with other developers

Now is a good time to learn more about Drupal. The Case studies section examines typical types of sites that use Drupal and gives links to real sites of each type. This section includes a listing of hundreds of Drupal sites.

In the Feature overview we survey some of the most important and commonly deployed features of Drupal.

A discussion of the merits of using Drupal over writing a custom Web-application framework to support your project is presented in Rolling your own system vs. using Drupal.

Case Studies

Drupal meets the needs of different types of web sites:

Community Portal Sites If you want a news web site where the stories are provided by the audience, Drupal suits your needs well. Incoming stories are automatically voted upon by the audience and the best stories bubble up to the home page. Bad stories and comments are automatically hidden after enough negative votes. Examples: Debian Planet | Kerneltrap

Personal Web Sites Drupal is great for the user who just wants a personal web site where she can keep a blog, publish some photos, and maybe keep an organized collection of links. Examples: urlgreyhot | Langemarks Cafe

Aficionado Sites Drupal flourishes when it powers a portal web site where one person shares their expertise and enthusiasm for a topic. Examples: ia/ | Dirtbike

Intranet/Corporate Web Sites Companies maintain their internal and external web sites in Drupal. Drupal works well for these uses because of its flexible permissions system, and its easy web based publishing. No longer do you have to wait for a webmaster to get the word out about your latest project. Examples: Sudden Thoughts | Tipic

Resource Directories If you want a central directory for a given topic, Drupal suits your needs well. Users can register and suggest new resources while editors can screen their submissions. Example: Entomology Index

International Sites When you begin using Drupal, you join a large international community of users and developers. Thanks to the localization features within Drupal, there are many Drupal sites implemented in a wide range of languages. Examples: PuntBarra | cialog

Education Drupal can be used for creating dynamic learning communities to supplement the face-to-face classroom or as a platform for distance education classes. Academic professional organizations benefit from its interactive features and the ability to provide public content, member-only resources, and member subscription management. Examples: ENGL 420S | WPA

Art, Music, Multimedia When it comes to community art sites, Drupal is a great match. No other platform provides the rock solid foundation that is needed to make multimedia rich websites that allow users to share, distribute, and discuss their work with others. As time goes on, Drupal will only develop stronger support for audio, video, images, and playlist content for use in multimedia applications. Examples: Terminus1525 | Project Opus


About e107

A compilation of information from e107’s Site at

e107 is a content management system written in php and using the popular open source mySQL database system for content storage. It’s completely free and totally customisable, and in constant development.

Quick FAQ

Q. So why is it called e107?

A. It just is. Stupid name, maybe, but there it is.

Q. Is e107 based on/forked off any other content management system?

A. No. Right from version 0.1, e107 has been completely coded by the Development team from scratch. We do use some external code from other sources (xml parsers, archive scripts etc), these are all fully credited and linked to, under the terms of the GPL licence.

Q. Give me a good reason why I should use e107

A. That’s not a question but here goes anyway. We’re very proud of the large and committed community that’s grown up around us. Not only large and committed but polite and helpful too (this has been something we’ve encouraged since day one). It has massive plugin and theme resources which grow every day. It’s completely and totally free and always will be, you don’t even need to register anywhere to download it. But the main reason we’d give is that it’s coded by a team who care about the product. None of us make any money from e107, it’s something we do in our spare time, but it’s true to say we devote far too much time to it for our own (and our families) good. The result of this is a system we’re proud to put our names to. But there are hundreds of content management systems to choose from, if you’re not sure e107 suits your needs, head over to OpenSourceCMS and try a few out.

The History of e107 from It’s Chief Designer

I’ve never kept a journal or list of dates corrosponding to e107’s evolution, so all of the following is recounted from memery and is probably full of chronological errors

In late 1998, I coded and opened a website called Litestep2000 related to the Windows shell replacement Litestep. The site got fairly popular and a few months later became, when it moved to a php enabled server and I started my first tentative steps into scripting. After about 18 months of coding and maintaining this site, I was offered the chance by the then main admin c0mrade to take over the main Litestep theme site, I coded the site and I’m proud to say it continued to grow in popularity while I, DeViLbOi and jugg were at the helm.

Due to running such a busy site, I was always getting requests for site code, ot portions of the code we used on from other members of the Litestep community, but due to time restraints and real life, I was very rarely able to help, so I set about taking some of the code from and and turning it into a more modular and distributable codebase.

Over the space of a couple of months, websites (mainly Litestep and shell related) started popping up, and feature requests started coming in, so I decided to get a domain and give the code a name. I settled on e107 as it was turning out to be my seventh main project, and I purchased and set up a small e107 powered website there.

The site opened in July 2002, and e107 was a couple of months old at that stage, and at version 2.1. I continued to code and release revisions until 5.4 when I decided on a version numbering change, and the next version released was 0.6, which saw a major revamp of the code. At this time new versions and revisions were coming out on almost a daily basis (imagine that )

I was still maintaining the e107 codebase alone, but accepting contributions from users, notably McFly, Lolo_Irie, Cameron and a few others, but with version 0.612 I decided to ask a few of these contributors to join a newly formed developement taam, consisting of McFly, chavo, Cameron and Lolo_Irie, and myself. I was proud that these people accepting places as not only are they good coders, they were all good people as well (and still are )

A couple of versions later, I decided to take a step back from the development side of e107, as maintaining what had in a short period become a quite popular system had taken it’s toll on my real life, and I was not only tired but having to deal with the regular attacks on The development team have continued to release new versions (at the time of writing e107 stands at v0.617) and make improvements and refine the e107 core.

I started tentative development of a new system in March 2004, codenamed nostromo. This isn’t intended to replace e107 and will probably never see the light of day due to real life issues (again pfft). This code, or at least the site it produces, can be seen at my personal site

So there we have it, e107, due mainly to the work of the dev team, plugin coders and the people who selflessly and mostly thanklessly man the forums with support for less experienced users, has come a very long way in it’s first two years of life, and hopefully will continue to grow for the next two years and beyond – my sincerest thanks to everyone that has contributed in even the smallest way.


About Joomla

A summary of information gleaned from Joomla turned 1 year old on 1 Sep 2006.

The story behind Joomla! is long and rich in detail. There are many different perspectives. The story below is the author’s on Joomla. Since it describes what Joomla is about as no other I thought I would post it:

The birth of a new project

On the 1st september 2005 Joomla! was born. Some called it a fork. Some called it a spoon . Some call it an entire table setting. Whatever your philisophical persuasion, the facts are that Joomla was a continuation of the work of the Development Team which unanimously resigned from the Mambo project in August 2005 . To my knowledge this was an unique event in the history of open source, never before did a complete project and community move house.

After the actual split we where put in both an exciting and difficult situation. Exciting because we managed, for the first time in history, to re-brand an open source project and move it to a new home. Difficult because this had never been done before. We were writing the blank pages in our own roadbook, one step at a time.

The whole effort also put alot of strain on the core team. Growing pains that normaly emerge over a period of months or years, needed to be dealt with in a period of weeks. Community pressure was high, resources needed to be created, a version released, a vibe established, … and above all we needed to keep cool. When looking back a year later I’m still amazed what people can accomplish when they set their minds to it and I’m proud to have been part of writing opensource history.

A new project, an old product

The re-branding of the project was a big succes and the Joomla! project swiftly made name in the opensource landscape. We managed to establish a clear brand and identity. Despite all our efforts, the re-branding of the product was less succesfull.

What’s the difference between Mambo and Joomla ?‘ This must have been the most asked question in the months and weeks after the split. A valid question indeed. What is Joomla! 1.0 actually, is it Mambo’s own ‘Lor ‘, suddenly appearing, or is it a new born product ?

After the split we were faced with a problem, while Joomla! 1.0 was indeed a rebrand of Mambo it hadn’t established it’s own persoanlity yet. Although it already had a huge user base from it’s birth, to a new user it was still a Mambo copy-cat. Looking and functioning in the same way, the only difference are the logo and name. How does that set Joomla! apart from Mambo? It doesn’t.

A new project, an old team

It became appearant that we needed to create a new version soon to show the project was still very much alive and to differentiate ourselves from Mambo. But how did we proceed? Follow the old roadmap or not? Choose for a longer release cycle or choose a safer solution by doing a short and quick release? Lot’s of questions, very few answers.

At that time the latter seemed the best approach. The whole team was still there, we could easily pick up development again. International community pressure, especially from the French community, convinced us to go for a shorter release cycle and put forward internationalisation as the main feature. In october 2005 we picked up development as if nothing had changed.

It would soon become clear that this was a vital mistake. The spooning of the project had left it’s strains on the community and core team. New people were invited, others left, processes needed to put in place and roles shifted. We saw a time of heavy and sometimes heated discussions on the mailing lists and forums about a multitude of problems. Slowly the realisation grew that not only our project name had changed but this also had vast implications on our community structure and processes.

A new project, a new team

In the months that followed we had quite a struggle to norm ourselves as the Joomla! team. At that time we where moving into the storming phase and we dealt with a multitude of issues, mostly surrounding communication and processes. We could have called a time out, stopped all our work and get our issues sorted before moving forward again. Instead we kept going. This resulted in a longer (1.1 beta was originaly slated for april 2006), more natural,agile development process and eventually in what will be Joomla! 1.5.

In the mean time community pressure , especially on the forums, grew. People voiced their discontent with the way things where going. Politics always have a negative effect on a community process and Joomla! isn’t any differenent. It’s only in the last two months that the working groups are starting to settle in and we are slowly moving into the norming phase while motivation is increasing.

It’s good to see this happening, this means we are on the right path. Over the next weeks working groups will slowly move to the performing phase where we will be able to function as a unit as we find ways to get the tasks done in supporting Joomla! 1.5.

The birth of a new product

Joomla! 1.5 will be the first product we release as a community. It is the result of the process we went through since the split and personaly I think it will become an excellent product, one we should all be proud of.

Goals behind 1.5

The main drive behind the design of Joomla! 1.5 is to try and use the Joomla! 1.0 architecture at it’s full extend. We can’t deny that the API’s in 1.0.x are not in line with latest professional coding standards. Most of the API’s are not flexible and not always using proper Object-Oriented principles. These problems had been discussed time and time again and everyone agreed that something needed to be done about it.

In the past these changes have always been put off since they would be coming in a 5.0 version . A version that was started multiple times but never got out of cvs. In order to make the Joomla! codebase more attractive to professional developers we just couldn’t leave it as is.

The development cycle of 1.5 was the ideal time. We have used the time it took to properly research the UTF-8 issues and refactor the codebase. We based ourselves on the feedback gathered over the last year and the experiences from developing 4.5.3. As a result the system has been restructured and the API have been cleaned up resulting in a flexible and powerful core framework that sets new standards for all future Joomla! development.

Why 1.5 ?

Alot of the larger features (ACL, NBS, …) on our roadmap can’t be implemented in a backwards compatible way and need a major version increase. Joomla! 1.5 tries to address all of the issues that can be addressed without compromising backwards compatiblity. The main reason to call it 1.5 and not 2.0 is just that, because it is 90% backwards compatible and is using the same database schema as 1.0.

A lot has been told about the development of Joomla! The reality is that the story is bigger than just Joomla! 1.0. It goes back years, spans continents, and includes a cast of thousands. It’s a fantastic story, with all of your standard themes — greed, rage, turmoil, love lost. But mostly it’s a story of dedicated people laboring to create something they truly believe in. That’s something I think everyone should be able to relate to – no matter what their walk of life. That’s why Joomla! is so powerfull.

For me, the story included the realization that I had never believed in something this much before, and discovering how easily and arbitrarily your dreams could be snatched away. Ultimately though I realized that with some patience and good old-fashioned hard work, anything is possible.

In the coming years, I hope Joomla! will gain the ability to be a crossroads where people can come together and share their thoughts on society and where it is going. Different people have different ideas, and these are borne out in the many different extensions that exist today. These extensions create the ecosystem that is Joomla!. Whatever project scratches the itch of any particular person, having their contributions and ideas around is beneficial for everyone.

Joomla is so successful today that it is gaining attention from people across the globe. Many new contributors are finding the project and new ways to help out. This sort of thing is essential to keep the project vibrant and maintain the flow of innovation. It is important that those of us who’ve been round the block a few times share what came before, what did and did not work. The struggles that were fought, the price that was paid. This project has not been successful by accident. Its success represents the sum total of the energy expended by thousands of people around the world for more than half a decade.

A year ago the world had never heard about Joomla!, today Joomla! has earned it’s spot on the virtual highway, it will be exciting to see what tomorrow brings. Happy birthday !

Septemer, 01, 2006


About Mambo

More information can be found at You can read the Joomla! article for more information. Both sites are diplomatic about the rift but there is some definite tension here. Choice of any 5 of the top CMS’s boils down to a “religious” decision in the end.

What is Mambo?

This article will give you a better explanation of how Mambo fits into the content management landscape.


First and foremost, Mambo is a Content Management System (CMS). It is the engine behind your website that simplifies the creation, management, and sharing of content.

There is an excellent article on How to evaluate a Content Management System (written by James Robertson) that covers the features of a good content management system in great detail.


The goal of the Mambo project is to meet most of the requirements highlighted in the above article. As each day in development goes by we are getting nearer and nearer, while at the same time building a solid core which can be extended by third party developers.

In the hands of a custom developer, this makes Mambo a powerful platform for a wide variety of Internet applications that go far above and beyond the simple creation of content.

What Mambo isn’t!

Mambo is not a typical “portal” solution.

While Mambo can be modified or extended to provide this style of site this is not the goal of the project. Mambo is aimed at the more squarely at corporate websites or sites for small to medium businesses, families or personal sites.

The Mambo Team focuses on building a solid application framework rather than on add-ons that are typically found in many portal solutions. This keeps the Mambo core extremely lightweight and efficient, thus making it easier for anybody to extend Mambo through custom third party component and modules that directly serve their needs.


Mambo is a full-featured content management system that can be used for everything from simple websites to complex corporate applications. Some features include:

  • A large and healthy user and developer community.
  • Provides a basic level of content approval for registered users.
  • Online help.
  • Page caching mechanism to improve performance on busy sites.
  • Trash manager
  • Advertising management (banners, etc).
  • Media (images, documents) upload and management.
  • Content display scheduling.
  • Content syndication (RSS).
  • Search engine friendly (SEF) URL’s.
  • Internationalisation (interface translation).
  • Content macro language (aka mambots).
  • Advanced and separate system administation system.
  • Advanced package/addon/template deployment system.
  • Simple but powerful template system (written mostly in HTML, no complex templating syntax to learn, just a couple of PHP functions to include).
  • Heirarchial user access groups.
  • Basic visitor statistics.
  • Multiple WYSIWYG content editor support
  • Simple polls
  • Content voting/rating system.null

Many more free addons are available at Some of these addons include:

  • LDAP authentication
  • Extended user profiles
  • Forums
  • Media galleries
  • Document managers
  • Templates
  • Events calendar
  • and many, many more…

Some Frequently Asked Questions (see here)

1. Did Mambo change its name?

No. Mambo is still Mambo. There was a fork of the Mambo codeset in August which caused a lot of confusion. That fork was subsequently named “Joomla!” Please note that Joomla! is NOT a re-branding of Mambo. It is merely a fork; a totally separate project based on the same original codeset. Think Nuke / PostNuke / PHPNuke. All different, but with common roots.

2. Why did some of the original Mambo team decide to go elsewhere and create a fork?

Simple question without a simple (non-controversial) answer. As far as we are concerned, it’s ancient history and not relevant to where Mambo is today. The most important point is that the original Mambo is still very much alive and well. Under the Mambo open-source licensing agreement (GPL), anyone has the right to use the Mambo code to create a fork, that is, to create a special version of the software and distribute it freely. That’s the beauty of open source. There’s already a third fork running around at present and will probably be more in the future. Joomla may have been the first, but it won’t be the last time somebody bases a product on our award-winning code. In a way, it’s a compliment that people want to build on the code and customize it to meet the needs they see in the market. Open Source = Forks Happen.

3. What are the differences between the organization maintaining Mambo and the one maintaining the fork called Joomla?

The Mambo Foundation is a registered non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving and protecting Mambo as free Open Source software. Think Mozilla / GNOME / Eclipse. The Joomla organizational structure is, at the time of this writing, unclear.

4. Why create a foundation?

The Mambo Foundation gives its members a place to discuss and debate the roadmap for Mambo, a way to create authorized and unified communications to interested parties, and a point of reference for those who wish to interface with Mambo. Also, sad but true, Open Source is becoming a more complex landscape and things like legal threats, IP challenges, and other expensive issues can threaten the very existence of a project. The Foundation provides protection for the code and for the developers. You can learn all about how the Foundation works here:

5. What are the technical differences between Mambo and the various forks?

No short answer here; it is a moving target. The original Mambo and each of the subsequent forks have distinct core development teams, each pursuing the development goals they have independently set.

6. Will my modules written for Mambo and Joomla! work interchangeably?

As the minor and major revision numbers progress for both Mambo and the Joomla fork, the codebases will begin to diverge. In fact, reports state that some third-party modules written for Mambo 4.5.3h are not compatible with Joomla 1.0.7. The problem is not widespread at the moment, but it may worsen…or may not.

7. Are the databases going to stay compatible?

Over time, most likely no. Since there are distinct development teams, as Mambo continues to grow and the various forks mature, they will move along separate paths.

8. Help! I’m a third-party developer for Mambo! Does that mean I have to support both Mambo and the forks?

That’s completely up to you. We know that Mambo’s roadmap includes a plan to make third-party development more transparent and simpler to maintain. Our goal is to continue to embrace third-party development and further enhance the original Mambo to make it easier for third-party developers. Also let’s not forget: there were more than 230,000 downloads of version 4.5.3. Do you really want to ignore that many potential users & clients?


About Plone

Learn more about Plone by visiting which is where the information below is collated from. Why is it all of these Content Management Systems have weird names?

What is Plone?

Plone is a ready-to-run content management system that is built on the powerful and free Zope application server. Plone is easy to set up, extremely flexible, and provides you with a system for managing web content that is ideal for project groups, communities, web sites, extranets and intranets.

Plone is easy to install. You can install Plone with a a click and run installer, and have a content management system running on your computer in just a few minutes.

  • Plone is easy to use. The Plone Team includes usability experts who have made Plone easy and attractive for content managers to add, update, and mantain content.
  • Plone is international. The Plone interface has more than 35 translations, and tools exist for managing multilingual content.
  • Plone is standard. Plone carefully follows standards for usability and accessibility. Plone pages are compliant with US Section 508, and the W3C’s AAA rating for accessibility.
  • Plone is Open Source. Plone is licensed under the GNU General Public License, the same license used by Linux. This gives you the right to use Plone without a license fee, and to improve upon the product.
  • Plone is supported. There are close to a hundred developers in the Plone Development Team around the world, and a multitude of companies that specialize in Plone development and support.
  • Plone is extensible. There is a multitude of add-on products for Plone to add new features and content types. In addition, Plone can be scripted using web standard solutions and Open Source languages.
  • Plone is technology neutral. Plone can interoperate with most relational database systems, open source and commercial, and runs on a vast array of platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris and BSD.

Technical overview

Plone is a content management framework that works hand-in-hand and sits on top of Zope, a widely-used Open Source web application server and development system. To use Plone, you don’t need to learn anything about Zope; to develop new Plone content types, a small amount of Zope knowledge is helpful, and it is covered in their documentation.

Zope itself is written in Python, an easy-to-learn, widely-used and supported Open Source programming language. Python can be used to add new features to Plone, and used to understand or make changes to the way that Zope and Plone work.

By default, Plone stores its contents in Zope’s built in transactional object database, the ZODB. There are products and techniques, however, to share information with other sources, such as relational databases, LDAP, filesystem files, etc.

Plone runs on Windows, Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, and many other platforms; double-click installers are available for Windows and Mac OS X, and RPM packages are available for Linux.


About Xoops

Visit for more information. I collated information from that site.

XOOPS is a program that allows administrators to easily create dynamic websites with great content and many outstanding features. It is an ideal tool for developing small to large dynamic community websites, intra company portals, corporate portals, weblogs and much more. It can be installed on an Internet host with a PHP-capable web server (e.g., Apache) and a database (e.g., MySQL).

XOOPS is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) and is free to use and modify. It is free to redistribute as long as you abide by the distribution terms of the GPL.

What XOOPS stands for

XOOPS is an acronym of eXtensible Object Oriented Portal System. Though started as a portal system, XOOPS is in fact striving steadily on the track of Content Management System. It can serve as a web framework for use by small, medium and large sites.

A lite XOOPS can be used as a personal weblog or journal. For this purpose, you can do a standard install, and use its News module only. For a medium site, you can use modules like News, Forum, Download, Web Links etc to form a community to interact with your members and visitors. For a large site as an enterprise one, you can develop your own modules such as eShop, and use XOOP’s uniform user management system to seamlessly integrate your modules with the whole system.

Pronunciation guide

The standard pronunciation of XOOPS should follow English rules, and you should pronounce it as [zoo’ps].

Key features of XOOPS

  • Database-driven – XOOPS uses a relational database (currently MySQL) to store data required for running a web-based content management system.
  • Fully Modularized – Modules can be installed/uninstalled/ativated/deactivated with a click using the XOOPS module administration system.
  • Personalization – Registered users can edit their profiles, select site themes, upload custom avatars, and much more.
  • User Management – The ability to search for users by various criteria, send email and private messages to users through a template-based messaging system.
  • Supported World-wide – XOOPS was created and is maintained by a team of several hard-working volunteers working from all over the world. The XOOPS community has more than dozen official support sites around the world for support of non-English speaking users.
  • Multi-byte Language Support – Fully supports multi-byte languages, including Japanese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, etc.
  • Versatile Group Permissions System – Powerful and user-friendly permissions system which enables administrators to set permissions by group.
  • Theme-based skinnable interface – XOOPS is driven by a powerful theme system. Both admins and users can change the look of the entire web site with just a click of a mouse.