Flexible Content Management System


PostNuke Project Summary Issue #3

Contributed by on Mar 13, 2004 - 05:42 PM

Xanthia Templating Environment

The Xanthia Templating Environment for PostNuke .726 is nearing an RC3 release. Since RC2 a number of enhancements and changes have been made, including some large performance gains. This has been achieved through reducing the number of SQL queries used to generate themes and, recently, the caching of palettes, zone and theme settings in a new pnTemp/Xanthia_Config directory. In addition, the Short URLs output filter now only operates on the master, not the sub-templates.

Theme designs should now form a full page (minus module and block zones). The header and footer areas are all contained within the themes, so as a user you can change header settings simply by modifying the theme.

Full page caching means that pages can be served without the need to execute module code. This feature, although of less use in heavily dynamic sites, those that have large amounts of static content can make use of this.

Support for module specific style sheets is also included in Xanthia RC3 – in <modname>/pnstyle/style.css.

The pnRender module has itself undergone changes. Additional template paths are available, allowing hooks functions and blocks to have different templates per to level module (pnModGetName()). A separate improvement, plugin results can now be assigned to a template variable.

.8 Development Progress

As development of .8 continues, more progress towards a Milestone release is being made. This release will primarily be aimed at 3rd Party Developers to allow them to test their modules with the new Core. Due to the substantial amount of change in the core, it is anticipated that module may need to make some minor changes – the milestone release should allow this to happen. As an initial target, 6-8 weeks has been estimated. This does however represent a substantial step towards Release Candidates and the future full release. The recent .8 developments are listed below:

New installer – The new installer is completed (exempting graphics work). The module is now based on the module’s separate initialization script, and links through each <modname>/pninit.php script to complete the install. This simplifies the installer, and ensures that it remains current through module changes.

Core pnHTML usage – The PostNuke_Core (system) tree is now free of pnHTML. Although PostNuke will continue to support pnHTML based modules until 1.0, all .8 core modules use pnRender.

Core optimization – Changes have been made throughout the core (/includes) to reduce the number of queries made during a page load by creating in memory caches of common data.

New database connection – This reduces memory overhead and global database connection. Credits for this enhancement go to Eric Barr from Envolution. This new method is backwards compatible to existing modules.

.7x Gold Release

It is planned to release a .7x Gold Release which will include the back ported enhancements that have been made to the .8 core, the removal of font tags, allowing for more control using CSS. The new database connection method is back ported, XTE will be included, and, although yet to be confirmed the Mailer module from .8 allowing configuration of mail settings, such as external SMTP servers.

Documentation Website

For a while now, the documentation site has been online, at The first project of the pnCorps at this website has been to improve and expand the FAQ. It now contains an increased amount of useful information and answers to common questions.

As the documentation site expands, the pnCorps would like contributions and suggestions for new documentation, As well as assistance maintaining and writing requested documentation. If you are interested in helping, submitting, or writing documentation, please see the pnCorps site at or contact myself; hammerhead AT postnuke DOT com