Flexible Content Management System


PN Updates from PHPCon

Contributed by on Nov 06, 2002 - 12:04 AM

The Phoenix Rendering Theme Engine: Perhaps one of the more eagerly anticipated new technologies to be integrated into PostNuke is the Phoneix Rendering Engine, based on SMARTY. This engine will provide drop-in, plug-in flexibility by providing PostNuke with an extremely 'smart' rendering engine not only allowing a new way of providing layouts, but also by providing continued support for legacy themes (and modules) - after all, just because we've got new technologies, isn't any reason to force you to throw all your legacy work out the door - instead, we want to provide a smooth and easy transition for our users.

Additionally, SMARTY supports smart caching, and allows you to specify with fine granularity the parts of a page to cache and the parts you'd like to keep dynamic. SMARTY also has a very active, and very large developer community, so any enhancements to SMARTY will immediately benefit PostNuke (i.e. we don't suffer from the problems of having to maintain a proprietary core engine ourselves).

Phoenix will be released towards the end of December and we would like to have preview releases available sooner to give theme and module designers a good look before the final release.

- Open Theme Engine: Of course, we're big fans of open technologies, and we like giving back to the rest of the CMS community - therefore, as the rendering engine is a drop-in engine, PostNuke plans to make it freely available to any other project, in doing this we hope the will permit theme compatibility among projects. Individual projects will only need to provide their own admin interface. It's all GPL, and everyone can grab what they want, and this was designed from the ground up with the goal of being shared in a platform independent way from the start. This should also help make theme designers happy because then they only have to write one theme that works in as many CMS systems that support this technology.

- PEAR : We are investigating to use the PEAR repository and mechanism to create an appropriate PostNuke installer under PEAR. This idea didn't come to us on our own, but actually came out of Rasmus not just mentioning PEAR, but mentioning PostNuke, by name, as an example of what can be done with the PEAR installation mechanisms. Who are we to argue with him :-)

Aside from the obvious elegance of using the PEAR installation process of since PEAR checks dependencies, and the directives are in a simple XML file, it would also tremendously simplify our installation process (the installer would just become a front-end to PEAR, for example - except in those cases where the user doesn't have 'net access).

- Application Embedding Bridge: These are advanced technologies providing elegant solutions, created from the ground up by Neo, allowing a webmaster quick and easy access to functionality of external PHP applications by embedding them into PostNuke - the embedding technology allows for seamless integration of users, security and permissions among other areas. For example the developers site is currently used the PNbridge to integrate phpBB2, BugTracker, and phpCollab. While this technology has been built from scratch, using no other assets or parts, this technology will be available after the release of the Phoenix rendering engine, free, and under the GPL.

As the above announcements get implemented in the coming months, we believe they will provide, you, our users with significant technologies that can help you all build better sites.


The PostNuke Team

P.S. Stay tuned, we should have some pictures up from the event for your viewing pleasure......;-)