It's been a while. I guess this post will make up for lost time...
Weblogs: I've been looking around for a weblog/forum package which has the feature set I'm needing, without some of the built-in design and performance flaws of Slash. I came across PHP-Nuke by accident, after noticing that debianHELP went online using it. The feature spread is there, it's written in PHP bolted up to MySQL (which is a fairly good performer), and seemed relatively navigable, so I downloaded it and gave it a spin.
- No database access abstraction, so there's no hope for trying to bolt it up to (for example) PostgreSQL instead without heavy modifications. One site (warning, Spanish ahead) mentioned that they were working on creating an abstraction layer, but it doesn't look like they've released anything yet. <RANT>This has got to be PHP's single biggest failing: lack of a project-independant transparent database API, such as Perl's DBI/DBD scheme, or Python's DB- API.</RANT>
- Security is scary. The documentation recommends mode 666 and 777 nearly everywhere, and the adminstration interface includes a complete file manager for working on your website. This is just plain overkill; if you need site management tools, look into making effective use of mod_dav or something (hi, gstein ;-) Luckily, most of this functionality is easily disabled, and files on disk are only written to by the admin frontend; normal system use does everything through the database backend, or through read-only access to the filesystem.
- Performance seems to be a little limited, but my testbed hardware isn't exactly the latest and greatest. I'm a little concerned how it will handle heavy load; debianHELP seems to be seeing a steady decrease in responsiveness as more people find out about it, for example (if anyone from there is reading this, I'd love to hear your experiences from rolling out the site and watching the userbase grow).
- Built-in RSS handling makes adding syndication boxes from other news sites a snap, but it's not per-user configurable like /.'s interface. I'll have to see if that's something easily added or not. Of course, there's RSS/XML exportation of the articles posted to the PHP-Nuke system too.
- Whassup with the name? ;-)
- The built-in theming support is a nice touch; uneccessary, but a pleasant end-user usability feature. See SourceForge for another example of site-wide theming based on user preference.
Overall, it looks managable, but I have a few serious concerns. Other systems I've been considering are Slash (made famous by /.), Squishdot (see Technocrat as an example), Scoop (Kuro5hin is an example most of us know), and, of course, mod_virgule (as seen here). They all have their strengths and weaknesses; mod_virgule was my first choice (for simplicity), but I really don't need the trust metric management (which is the main drawing card here). I similarly skipped on Scoop, since I didn't need the peer-reviewing of articles, it's main feature over Slash. Slash and Scoop both have scalability and performance issues I'd rather not worry about initially, and Squishdot wasn't quite feature-complete for me (no individual preferences management). Squishdot also imposed the requirement of installing and maintaining Zope; while not a bad thing in and of itself, I don't have any other use for it right now, making it unneeded additional administrative overhead.
Anyone else have any systems I should take a peek at?
Obligatory personal stuff: At the stroke of midnight, there will be 11 days, 6 hours, and 30 minutes until I am on an airplane with a very special woman on my way to the Carribean. This vacation couldn't come at a better time, for an unimaginable number of reasons.
Advogato diary musings: I've seen a number of people posting anti-employer sentiments here (and I'm among them). I wonder why I, or others, don't worry about said employers reading this information, and using it against them in their workplace? Do we not worry about it at all, because this forum has an "in the company of friends" feel to it? Is it the anonymizing nature of these diaries? Hmm.
More later, I'm sure. :-)