Flexible Content Management System


PostNuke 0.8 RC3 Released

PostNuke 0.8 RC3 Upgrade Pack Download

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PostNuke 0.800 RC3 Core Download

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PostNuke 0.800 RC3 ValueAddons Download

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Release Highlights

There are a number of improvements in RC3 over RC2, these include an enhanced upgrade script, the new Tour module and some last minute categories module improvements.

New Upgrade Script

The two upgrade scripts, upgrade76.php and upgrade.php have now been combined into a single file. In addition to this, a number of interface improvements have been made to make the process of upgrading your .7x series websites simpler and more reliable. The new script also solves some long standing bugs with the update proceedure, so we invite anyone who had problems with the upgrade proceedure previously to try again with this new version.

Tour Module

In an attempt to reduce the learning curve when first starting with PostNuke, a new module has been developed to introduce you to this new release of PostNuke. It provides a first time tour of PostNuke, introducing you to common terms like block, module and theme with which new users may not be familiar and also gives some basic hints and tips on where to start.

For more experienced users, there is a 'New In PostNuke 0.8' section, where you can discover more about this release of PostNuke, and a distribution tour, where authors of distributions can describe the purpose of their package and how it benefits you as a site administrator. The distribution tour page is stored in docs/distribution/tour_page1.htm, and an example is included in this release. This file is not intended to be viewed outside the Tour module, as the Tour module adds navigational elements around the page.

Finally, module and theme developers can include tours for their module, to introduce users to key features, or help them familiarise themselves with the basics. It is intended to serve as a crash course for all modules - be they complicated (such as pagesetter) or more simple (such as the Pages module). Certain modules have hidden features about which a user may not necessarily be aware, and we hope that the tour module will allow module developers to better promote the features their modules contain.

The tour module supports multipage tours for all modules - simply store tour_page1.htm and any subseqeuent pages in modules/yourmodule/pndocs/, or themes/yourtheme/docs.

Categories Improvements

The categories module received a few last minute improvements in SVN just before the release of RC3. These improvements are aimed at developers using categories in their modules, and especially multiple categorisation scenarios. Further details will be available shortly, but those interested can read the patch submitted for the issues at the NOC.

Short Status Update

This problem is now solved and in the same action Frank Schummertz overhauled the upgrade's usability - and he merged the .7 upgrade and the .8MS upgrade into one file. So there's only one upgrade.php for all.

Simon Birtwistle together with some guys from the support team wrote a tour module that is supposed to explain the basic functions to first time Postnuke users.

All this is now in the SVN and will be release as RC3 ASAP.

As we are all pretty busy these days, I won't promise it for tomorrow but ASAP. ;-)

Intraweb project towards version 2.0

With the imminent publication of version 0.8 of PostNuke we have decided to check, improve and adapt all our modules to this new version and, at the same time give more diffusion to our work. So you are invited to visit our website (in catalan). In this moment we have 15 modules that work correctly with version 0.764 of PostNuke and we have 4 modules adapted to 0.8 version. There is a website were you can test them (in English). These modules are:
  • iw_moodle: It allows to integrate Moodle (versions 1.8.x) into the PostNuke (version 0.8) with single sign on between the two programs.

  • iw_vhmenu: It makes possible to create a vertical or horizontal menu with a lot of configurable options. At the same time it is possible to choose the groups that are going to see the different menu items.

  • iw_webbox: With this module it is possible to show any HTML content into the web. In this link there is an example.

  • iw_main: It contains some functions and variables that are used in the Intraweb modules.

Very soon we are going to have a new module available for the version 0.8, but I'll explain this in some days.

SEO for postnuke

Customize title

You can customize the general title of your postnuke, by filling in the correspondant fields in the module "settings". The problem is that, you will have only one title for the whole website ... and that's ugly (and bad for SEO).

A solution was offered by Markwest, in order to personnalize this title, on every pages.the title tag plugin

This plugin allow you to format titles like this <fieldset><legend>Classic titles</legend> HTML for Module Developers - A Discussion :: pnCommunity :: Support at your fingertips </fieldset>

if you want to have shorter titles like this, you can use the other unofficial version in the comments.

<fieldset><legend>Improved titles</legend> HTML for Module Developers </fieldset>

If you're using pnForum, it will give you title like this

<fieldset><legend>PnForum title</legend> <!--[settitle title=$topic.topic_title|pnvarprepfordisplay|pnvarcensor]--> </fieldset>

Customize meta "descriptions" and "keywords"

You can customize the meta "descriptions" and "Keywords" of you CMS, by filling in the correspondant field in the "settings" module, but with this customisation, you will have only one "description" and "keywords" fields for all the site.

In order to improve this, there are two plugin on the community repository, one for fixing the descriptions and the other one for the keywords tags.

Notes : As the Search engine were spammed by overloaded keywords tags, for most of them , they don't consider this tags anymore.

If you're using pnForum, it will give you this :

<fieldset><legend>PnForum metas</legend> <!--[setmetadesc description=$topic.posts[0].post_text|strip|truncate:600:" "]--> </fieldset>

Activate url rewriting

You can activate the url rewriting in Xanthia, go to the Xanthia module, then check the options "use short urls", and copy paste the .htaccess file from the "doc" folder to the root of you CMS.

/!\ Be careful, live search doesn't url with more than two dashes

Notes : an improved version of the current url rewriting is available in postnuke 0.8.

Duplicate content

Don't duplicate links in your portal, two differents links must not point to the same content. Indeed, some search engine don't like to see multiples versions of the same page on a website (that's called "duplicate content") To avoid this, you can use a robots.txt at the root of the CMS <fieldset><legend>Robots.txt</legend> User-agent: * Disallow: admin.php Disallow: config/* Disallow: header/* Disallow: footer/* Disallow: pntables/* Disallow: /images/* Disallow: /includes/* Disallow: /adlogger/* Disallow: /themes/* Disallow: /pnTemp/* Disallow: /docs/* Disallow: /javascript/* Disallow: *.php Disallow:module-Forum-viewtopic-topic-*-start-0.html </fieldset>

An other tip, "/index.php", "/index.html" and "/" redirect to the same page so you can add this rule in you .htaccess <fieldset><legend>.htaccess</legend> RewriteRule ^index\.html$ [NC,R=301] RewriteRule ^index\.php$ [NC,R=301] </fieldset>

Text formating

In your articles or templates, try to have a structured layout with H1, H2, H3 tags.

Autolink and intern link

The module "autolink" is interesting, because he allows you to create a large amount of intern links with the same source anchor, this will help to increase your rank on the given word

404 error

When you've got an important portal with a large number of pages , it may be possible some of you ranked pages doesn't exist anymore. When search engine bots come to look for this "ghost" pages, you can redirect them to the home of your website, with an "Error 404" header.

<fieldset><legend>.htaccess</legend> ErrorDocument 404 /index.html </fieldset>

Take off unused metas tags

For most of them, search engine bots don't read some meta like "revist-after", so you can take them of your head tags. It will not help you, but you will have a cleaner header.

<fieldset><legend>xxx.html</legend> <meta name="revisit-after" content="1 days" /> </fieldset>

This article is a translation from this "how to" released on Postnuke-France

A Warm Welcome to Our Newest Member, Mateo Tibaquir&aacute; Palacios

Welcome Mateo, tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?

My complete name is Néstor Mateo Tibaquirá Palacios, but I prefer to be called Mateo. I'm from Colombia, a very beautiful country with some horrible problems; balanced, eh? I live in Popayán, where I'm finishing Electronic & Telecommunications Engineer Studies with an emphasis in Telematics (Information and Communications Technology). I chose Telematics because I like to program. Growing up, I did not have a computer, and from the distance I hated the idea of using a command line console. Now, it's different; I love my Ubuntu with the Yakuake console; and Eclipse PDT rocks!

At the University, I discovered that I had sufficient skills to write software. I began programming in C++ and Java some time ago, and because of circumstances, I discovered PHP, and my interest in web development grew. Now, I think I am a web developer <img src="" height="15px" width="15px alt="icon_razz" />, and everyday I try to learn and to contribute more.

What are your experiences with PostNuke and other Content Management Systems? And how did you come to settle with PostNuke?

Well, after playing with PHP some time, I felt the need to search for an open source project and be able to mount a complete web platform. Searching on the web I discovered PHP-Nuke :-\ (At that time (2002), I don't know why I didn't find PostNuke on the first try). I studied the system structure and liked some things, but in general I felt that it needed a complete re-order. So, searching again I found a "secure" fork with some improvements in the organization, but in the beginning of the Iraq war, the site that I had built with it was hacked; I searched for another system again and I found to PostNuke :-). Just looking at the file system distribution and all the excellent work, I felt as if I completely identified with the project's direction. After that, looking to the excellent quality code of the 0.8 MS1, that feeling increased a lot! That's the reason I'm here right now.

You are very active on the PN forums. What drives you to help out so much there?

Well, I have to confess that in the beginning I didn't like to participate in the forums; my sense of the Free Software and my PHP skills was limited, and at that time, my concept of a developer was coding, not support. I devoted myself to study the code of the modules and the pn-Core. Meanwhile, my identity with the project grew a lot. So, I went to the forums and saw the developers supporting to the users. For me, being given support by Mark [West] was very cool. My interest grew and I began to read the homepage articles, and became familiar with the pnForum; I saw that with the gained pn-knowledge I was able to help others. I'm a friendly guy who likes a lot the social relationships and who knows many personality traits, so after losing the fear of posting and of making mistakes, I began to share my ideas. It's been a beautiful experience in my life and it feels so good when I help others.

Tell us a little about and the Spanish speaking community. What is your experience there? Does it differ from the PN community here?

Well, dev-postnuke is a good experience too; and recently is getting better. Unfortunately, when I did begin to contribute actively in the Spanish support forums, one of the founders of the community (Fernando Jordán aka 'el_cuervo') retired after a lot of pn-development. The Spanish Community stays online and has a lot of stuff which now has to be upgraded to 0.8. My experience there is parallel to here, I'm a community player, and a Silver-Poster there. About the differences... Mmmmm... it differs in the spoken language :-p . It's hard to perform a comparison. Different cultures, different dynamics, but I guess that the 0.8's local communities will be closer than before! ;-) a new era will begin and the community's relationships are going to change!

We have seen that you have been working on the Relay module. Tell us a little about what that is and your experience developing it. What can you tell others about developing modules from your experience.

Yes, Relay is my first serious practice developing a module. It's an AJAX-based Directory Manager that lets users share files and also allows users to have their own disk space (this will be fully implemented for Relay 1.0). I've decided to develop this module for many reasons: 1) to improve my JavaScript skills using AJAX; 2) to learn the PostNuke 0.8 AJAX technologies and 3) to test how hard it is to port an external Free Software project to the pnAPI. The conclusions are pretty good. In a less than a month of non-continued work, I've rewritten the code to the pnAPI with ease. A classic PHP code like Relay can be ported with no major difficulties, it's just a matter of time. On the other hand, porting a complex or non-quality web application like Moodle can be a pain!. I've studied it and in a month I have temporarily resigned doing this port. Relay was first for 0.76x, and the port was successful. But rewriting it to 0.8 was the coolest thing! The code was reduced in more than a 30 percent and was simplified! Improvements are applied with ease. The 0.8 technologies are awesome! DBUtil let you do a lot of queries with ease, LogUtil is very useful, SecurityUtil is very simple to use in the code... it's very cool to develop over the 0.8 release! Currently, I am deep into study of CategoryUtil and pnForm; Excellent tools!

What do you think PN greatest assets are? And its greatest deficiencies?

Well, it's hard to say exactly. From a developer's point of view, I love the separation between logic and presentation. This allows me to change the PHP code and allows the Graphic Designer (or anyone with XHTML & CSS skills) to choose the way in which output is displayed. The admins can change any view of their pn-sites, that customization level is good! Also, I love the architecture. All is very well organized, the pnAPI and the responsibilities are well defined; this makes the system very intuitive when you want to perform a change. From the end user's point of view the deficiencies are gradually falling behind, we still need more automatic and intuitive processes managing content and setting the site navigation. But with this robust core, we can implement that ideas with ease.

What are your future plans with PN?

Well, I'm controlling my imagination and learning to limit my plans to make it feasible ;-) . I want to code a lot of useful modules, contribute with user friendly stuff for Value Addons modules, and help with some details in the core when needed. I like to be a third party developer, and build useful functionality over this powerful tool. Also I like to socialize, to know and to help others, and to contribute to the Community, so I think I can help with this site's services too, and surely connect the Spanish community to the new era ;-) .

Anything else you would like to say?

Eternal life to the Free Software!
Long life to $NewName!
Long life to GNU/Linux, PDT & compiz :-P

Once again Mateo, welcome aboard to the team. We are glad to have you.Thanks for you your hard work and commitment.

~David Pahl

It's All About Distributions

Where's the HTML Editor?

There seems to be a small rally for a WYSIWYG editor to be included with the core distribution. Realistically, not every web site needs an editor. Some simply do not need the code bloat or overhead with which an editor comes. Furthermore, all editors are not created equal. In fact, if someone does not like or use the editor and wants to remove it, then work is needed to remove it. This is where distributions come into play. One only needs to create a PostNuke distribution with an Editor. Now it will be ready for the masses.

Now there are some real advantages to not including modules into the core. With a smaller core set, there is only a need to update and patch what you use. This also allows modules to add features at a rate independent of the core. Who wouldn't want features faster? For example, if there was a feature added to AvantGo that you really wanted but it was only available in the SVN, one may feel wary about using it. Now, you can have a release version of AvantGo whenever, complete with new and exciting features!

New Blood

Specialization allows new users to get what they need to start their project and start tinkering around with PostNuke, instead of trying to read endless forum threads trying to figure out how to assemble a package to start their endeavors. Specialized distributions should encourage many new website entrepreneurs to stop and take a good long look at the software. Imagine a user stumbles upon PostNuke while researching perspective engines. He looks at WordPress, a nice blog system. He finds Gallery, a nice photo gallery. Next he finds PostNuke with a nice list of different distributions. Next he finds phpBB, a seemingly good forum/portal system. Now which seems more appealing? The system with a wide range of flexibility, yet with specialized distributions or a specialized system with limited flexibility?

I'm a Winner, You're a Winner!

The advantages to separating the core from the modules outweighs the disadvantages. This is why there is a move towards specialized distribution. So people can have what they want and need, not what the core says they are getting. With the reduced core, you are getting more by getting less.

David Pahl

Bug-Fixing Weekend - A Review

Consequently the total number of bugs didn't really go down: We started with 65 bugs and 20 patches. After a brief evaluation some of them were moved to .81 or .9 and we started fixing the rest.

Saturday afternoon we still had the number of 65 bugs - because the testers were as busy as the programmers. And even all through the Sunday this number followed us.

All in all we were able to fix ~50 bugs and we are down to 44 open bugs - some of them are partly feature requests and thus are postponed till later versions. The is no priority 5 bug - only 2 upgrade related priority 4 bugs are left. They are regarded as showstoppers and are assigned to Mark West who will fix them in the next few days. So if you want to test wour modules with .8 - pick up the latest SVN version.

While most programmers tried to fix .8 bugs some others worked on their modules: Marco Kundert is in his last throes of his work on pagemaster - a full port of pagesetter to .8 techniques. Jörn and I worked on the next version of "Content". It has pretty much grown but as Jörn fixed some issues in pnForms along the way, we can not release this version before we have either a new RC or a final of .8.

The team is currently discussing if we need another RC or if this is going to be the final. It is only a matter of weeks until we can use $newname publicly so we could release the final as $newname 1.0. The idea was to use the meantime for some further testing with a new RC. Any opinions on that?

Bugfix weekend starts

For communicating we are using a Skype conference, in which everybody can contribute his ideas within an agile process. If you want to attend, simply contact me in Skype (username: weckamc), so that I can add you to the party.

Those who don't have Skype available and want anyhow report errors or patches, might refer to the [url=]according trackers[/url] in the NOC.

We are looking forward to active participation and stay in this spirit: Happy Bugfixing! :-)

Developers Love Feedback

Developers love feedback because that is the only real way they can know if what they do is any good. And it's not even only good feedback they love! As long as the criticism is based on fact, well argumented and constructive.

Developers can't read you minds and [b]they[/b] know their work, [b]they[/b] can use it. Once in a while I read comments about modules like "Nice start, but there is still a lot of work in it and it's a bit buggy." Well?? If you don't report bugs and if you don't make suggestions on how to improve a module, you can't expect that things will change to your taste.

You are not a programmer? Okay: There are new module releases in the module database now and then - download every module and test them!! That is the least you can do for the community.

Certainly developers won't answer every single PM or feature request you write - but be sure: They will see and appreciate your work.

This is what YOU can do for Postnuke ;-)

Big Final Bug-Fixing Weekend

We will then try to test the changes and make the final release as soon as possible.

We hope not only to attract Core developers - also module developers and themers might join and have a productive weekend with some nice chatting.

What you can do

  1. We open a Bug-Fix-Weekend Chat in Skype - If you want to join, drop me a line via PM and tell me your skype name
  2. Test everything you need for your sites with the RC2 or the latest SVN version and report all bugs in the noc.
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