Flexible Content Management System


Interview: Jørn Lind-Nielsen on his new module "Pagesetter"

Contributed by on Dec 28, 2003 - 06:00 PM

Jørn Lind-NielsenDid it evolve out of some special need, or how did you get the idea? What was the impulse to start a completly new and complex module?

The seed for Pagesetter was laid shortly after I started working with PostNuke back in the summer 2002. I needed a setup where I could let non-admins describe the mountaineering courses our web site promotes. Soon I discovered Content Express. It did the job, but you had to be very very carefull in order to make all pages look identical, and it was still difficult to get non-techies to do the job (which it may still be in Pagesetter?). Since then I have always been wanting a module that let me ("me me me" as Mr. Anderson would have said) define the database fields and layout, but still, of course, with all the fancy features of a module like Content Express. The same applies to PagEd which also is a really nice content module.

The final push came when I saw Xaraya's article system. At that point I was ready to convert Photoshare to Xaraya. But then something (I actually don't remember what) turned my mind on Pagesetter. Bang! I didn't have time for it at that point, it was awfull, and my mind was completely filled with all the stuff you could implement in such a module (I don't care much about what you can use it for, it just have to be fun implementing it - typical for my mindset).

In the last interview you told us, that you are doing 99% of the work on your other module, a gallery called Photoshare. Did you find any help for pagesetter? I read for example about a member of the pnCommerce project working on an import/export for pagesetter.

Yep, this time a have gotten a lot of input from Sebastian (pnCommerce) and Jörg Napp (core developer). Both have supplied code snippets and been very kind to answer my pnRender and Smarty questions. I have although not heard anything about a pnCommerce integration. Other people like yourself have

also been very kind to supply both ideas and code snippets for things that are needed. But as a whole Pagesetter is still a one man's show. Not that I don't need any help, it's just that I have so many specific ideas that I really really want to implement - myself.

Since pagesetter 2.0.0 you make use of the new postnuke templating system (Xanthia Templating Engine) based on smarty. How do you like working with it? What problems occurred?

The templating system works really well and is quite simple to use. Smarty took me a few hours in the initial version of Pagesetter and after that pnRender worked as a charm. A pnRender compatible module is really cool to work with. The complete control of layout it gives to the administrator is fantastic.

What happens to Photoshare? Is it more or less ready and it doesn't require much work anymore?

Yeah, what happens to a module when focus changes? It is obvious that I don't spend much time on it now. It does all I need it to, and a bit more, so there's no rush for me to do much for it. But Photoshare is still on my mind, and there are quite a few features that I want to implement. I keep saying "I'll just fix this thing in Pagesetter, and then ...", but (unfortunately?) I always get another idea for Pagesetter and fails

misserably to come back to Photoshare.

Thank you very much for this update on your work.