Flexible Content Management System


Year in Review

Contributed by on Dec 31, 2001 - 10:44 PM


As stated before, we moved from just myself, to four other developers to where we are now in six short months. Here are some statistics that I have just thrown together in a general manner.

Mailing Lists

Our development mailing list has generated 19513 topics and replies, and rivals the Linux mailing list in terms of activity over these few months. You might say that we either like to talk a lot or that we like to argue quite a bit.


We have generally been amongst the ten most active projects on SourceForge since our release in July. This is quite an accomplishment in my mind considering the other projects that use SourceForge as a development tool.

We have had 1094 reported bugs, and 1033 corrected bugs, all the while paying attention to the feature request which has generated 685 request with 493 either closed, added, or combined.

We have also had 6,168 commits, 3,110 CVS adds on the code base since we started. That is an impressive statistic on the amount of changes and that we have had since we started.


We currently have 95 developers listed on SourceForge. The truly unique aspect of the project, which I for one was not expecting, was the international feel of the development. I am one of the few people in the group from North America. Our development originates from several continents including Europe (France, Great Britain, Germany and Russia being very well represented) to Asia (China, Japan being the easiest countries for me to spell, and thus represented with these statistics) to Australia, South America and Africa represented.

Six of the seven continents have a development influence on PostNuke. This to me has been a very big challenge to my skills of not only management but communication, which I have learned that often my humor doesn’t translate well (either that or I am just funny to me and me alone as my wife often reminds me).

PostNuke Engine


We started with PHP-Nuke 5.0 and I believe that we have come quite a ways in terms of a complete rewrite. The PostNuke engine with the next release should finish what we started way back in the .5 Fall Out releases with the modular plugin system. We are close to having the system complete where you can simply install a module and not have to change any core files.

The .6 release cycle brought about a great deal of enhancements with the ML system and the Block system by Patrick and Crocket. We are working on a great deal of enhancements on these systems to improve performance but the overall intention will be intact. In fact many of the enhancements that we are working on with the core falls under the idea of improved performance of these system amongst others.

With these two release cycles I believe we established ourselves as being the leader in development for CMS type systems.


We have also come quite a ways toward what our actual core system is as defined during our initial planning meetings. With the .7 Rogue releases we are working on the users and authentication system with a great deal of success. The current system in my opinion is months if not years ahead of our closest competitor in terms of flexibility and control.

We do have some usability issues that are being address. I appreciate the comments that have been made about the current system and believe me that they will be addressed as we go. When planning the system (any system that is) I have learned to start with the coarse ideas and then fine grain them as we go. Thanks to all that have made constructive remarks in the past month so that we can work on these issues.


The .8 series titled Ragnarok will be when the fun actually begins. We will be working on the content management in order to address the bells and whistles that everyone sees, and not just the underlying codebase which you may or may not recognize the advancements. From the theme system, to the article and the topics, to just better DB design for plugin developers, you should see the beginnings of the finished product.

The .9 series will be the final concentration on usability and performance issues for our BETA period. During this time, hopefully you will finally see a more polished product. I understand the fustration that some of you may have from time to time with what seems like a mountain of small details that seem to slip through the cracks. However, these small issues (and some large) are a product of our constant changes in development to devise the best system toward Tranquility (1.0) and sometimes cannot be helped.

Project Management

I feel that I have grown as a manager as the project has grown. This has not been the easiest growth process, and there have been several bumps in the road, as some have seen, or pointed out. I had not expected the amount of interest that we have generated in the short period of time, but I do feel that I have adapted somewhat well.

That being said, there are changes that I need to make as we move into 2002. I spent the last week refocusing and spending time with my family. I have also spent quite a bit of time thinking about both my successes and failures and what I have learned during this time. I never imagined the amount of praise that I would receive, and conversely I never imagined the amount of criticism I would have to deal with as well.

One of the things that I have learned is that I do not delegate as well as I should for the current growth. I need to concentrate on my communication between the people that are running the major projects and help them to be successful. I don’t believe that I have micro-managed the major projects, but at the same time, I probably have not given people like Steve, Michael, Gregor, Isaac, Greg, and the rest a chance to be a successful as they could be. Our collective success rest on the shoulders of our team, and not on myself. With that weight, however, they need tools to move us forward.

What my goal is for this year is to provide a benchmark for anyone managing a small or large GPL project. Sometimes a project has a life of its own, but it still needs to be guided so that we are all successful. I also have a vested interest in other GPL projects to be successful since PostNuke is only an engine, but the sum of its parts make it great.

I will be concentrating on these issues, and will be trying to improve. I believe that I have done a fair job in avoiding most catastrophes, but I do need to be more proactive on my approach.

I will also let you all know that I hope to get to 1.0 before the end of this year (the sooner the better in my book). At that time I will step down as the lead and just work on bugs or whatever and allow a fresh approach. I think that after a year and a half I might be more of a detriment to the project than a resource. This is in the future, but I wanted to share this with all.

The Intangibles

The intangibles, our support, our documentation and our marketing can also be a measurement our success. This is where I ask for help within the community for the coming year. You do not necessarily need to know a line of code to help us with these areas.

The documentation project headed by Steve needs help not only with complex issues such as examples of the permissions system, but with simple ideas as well that experienced users should have insight on. Such as what is a topic vice a category, and when to use what? Even best practices in setting up plugin categories like you find in downloads or links.

Isaac can also use help in the Live Support room and the forums as well. If you can spend fifteen minutes a day answering just one question in the forums you have my thanks. With this in mind I’d also like to personally thank Mr. Herald for the time that he spends in the forums, along with everyone else that helps out answering questions in either of the support areas.

Our marketing also could use some help. If you want a little fame in the PostNuke folklore, the easiest way is to write an article on a tech website. The more that we can spread the word on what we are doing here, the more development help we will receive as well. I am often amazed at the amount of experience we have working on this project, which I would bet would rival some major companies’ IT departments.

That being said, there is a challenge for each and every one of you reading this. Help us out by donating some time to the project even if you are not familiar with PHP or SQL. These are three areas that we depend on you to grow. All of the time on this project is donated. The bandwidth and space for this website is also donated. Asking everyone to give back a little time is not to much in my opinion.


We have come quite a ways this year, and we are no where close to being finished. For those of you that are familiar with the code that is in the script, you know exactly how far we have come code wise. I think however, PostNuke is more than just a script.

As a community we have grown together. There is life here that I am not sure is easily duplicated. I am very proud of all that we have accomplished this year in the engine. I am more proud though in the accomplishment of global teamwork we have seen. It is truly something special to be a part of, and to sit back and wax rhapsodically on.

Thank You to all that have helped in the past year, and a happy New Year to all of my new friends that I have met this year.