Flexible Content Management System


Interview: Lee Eason

Contributed by on Jan 14, 2005 - 10:18 AM

Tell me about your postnuke "career".

Well, when I first started with PHP it was to build an object translator for

a Flash based order management application I was building. The key was to

keep cost low, so we were using all open source stuff. I liked PHP because

it was fast and very easy to use. Then I started seeing how much PHP was

being used on the web as a language for dynamic sites. That led me to the

open source CMS world, which is where I found PostNuke. I liked how easy it

was to install and extend. I messed with some other systems but PostNuke

was the one I settled on because of its flexibility.

What is your task in within pnCore?

Good question, lol. I don't really know for sure. I'm pretty sure it has

something to do with an article I wrote a while back outlining a PostNuke

module development SDK I have a vision for. It would include a couple of

modules that would work together to help people develop PostNuke modules

rapidly with documentation and support tools all built in.

When did you start programming for PostNuke?

I have not actually started programming for PostNuke yet. I suspect most of

my contribution to the core will consist of input on the project's direction

whenever I can help, and in the writing and development of the SDK's


What is your development like?

I hope it will be huge. I'd like to see more of the "average joe" be able

to developer, deliver, and support modules they have a need for and can pass

on to the rest of us.

What is the biggest difficulty in your development?

The most difficult thing about developing is trying to create cutting edge

features that will work on any server configuration. I found with

pnFlashGames that subtle differences in PHP and mySQL versions can really

throw a monkey wrench in the works.

Which route will Postnuke in your opinion go in the future?

I think that with the introduction of Xanthia the doors have been opened

wide. The upcoming .76 release also shows us that the developers are

thinking in practical terms, which is great. I would like to see PostNuke

go towards a more business oriented platform, but that is greatly dependant

on module developers providing the functionality to make that work.

What is the weakest/strongest point in PostNuke?

I think PostNuke's greatest weakness is also its greatest strength: the

modular nature of the system. PostNuke relies on third party modules to

deliver a good bit of functionality that every site needs or wants. As a

result, users are at the mercy of the developers of these modules. So if

the modules are buggy then it makes PostNuke look buggy. Conversely, if

they are written and supported well then it makes PostNuke look all the

better. This is another driving force behind my vision for the SDK.

Anything else you always wanted to say about Postnuke?

It never ceases to amaze me how no matter what you do or where you go,

everything is run by individuals. Everyone has their own personality,

complete with their own set of characteristics. This simple fact is what

makes working in a global community like PostNuke so exciting. But you

know, even with all the different cultures and languages the pnCore has to

deal with, module developers and the pnCore team alike all just has to

provide good quality customer support and that will guarantee PostNuke's

continued success. I have always been impressed with the pnCore's customer

support. I strive to offer a high level of support to my module's users as

well; staying positive and trying to be helpful has helped me to establish a

good reputation and a successful project. I only wish we could see more of

that with the third party module developers.

Tell me something about your module work?

I am the author and director of pnFlashGames and

When did you start working on your own module?

When I first starting using PostNuke I wanted to build a website for my

company and have some tools to help our customers get downloads and

information they needed quickly and efficiently. I could not find modules

that did what I needed so I set out to learn how to make my own modules. I

thought that the best way to do that is just to make my own. So I chose a

fun and easy subject for my first module, a flash games gallery. I found

some flash games to start out with and it just so happened they had a common

high score system (they came from the same author - Paul Neave). So then I

though, if Paul Neave can store high scores in a text file with a common API

for his games, I can make my own API and store the scores in PostNuke's

database for any flash game. Thus, pnFlashGames was born. I never thought

it would become as popular as it is now. I still chuckle when I look back

at my first release.

What features should the Postnuke .8 core have to simplify your


:lol: an automatic conversion script that will take a pnHTML module and

convert it to pnRender.... Seriously though, I'd love the ability to load a

"light" version of the PostNuke API that gives me access to the database and

module API for only the parts I need. This way, I don't have to load the

entire application just to store a score. I only have to load just enough

to get to the pnFlashGames API and make a database call.

Which route will your module in your opinion go in the future?

My community is so fantastic. They are always providing me with great

suggestions and very cool ideas for features and direction. We are working

on multiplayer games, global high scores (site vs. site competitions),

enhanced team functionality (team vs. team competitions), and better quality

and more port projects for other CMS. Currently, pnFlashGames has been

ported to Xoops, Mambo, Invision, and just recently to PHPNuke.

Recently a wonderful thing has happened with pnFlashGames as well. My

company, SourceKit, acquired pnFlashGames and It's great

news and means that big things are happening with our project. I believe

this is the first time a PostNuke module has been purchased by an

independent company. It says a lot about PostNuke and a lot about

pnFlashGames that a company not involved with PostNuke would see enough

potential and value in a module project to invest like they have done. Best

of all, I still run the project and it is still open source. :) For full

details you can go to the <a

href="">press release on

What should users of your module regard?

Well, the weakest part of my module is the pnHTML I think. However, I have

addressed that in the short term by using CSS classes in the output whenever

possible and documenting how to use them to customize their look and feel.

I think they are happy with that for now. Eventually I'll port it to

pnRender, but its going to be a lot of work. The strongest part of

pnFlashGames is the traffic generation that comes from it. People like

being on the score board and they will come back to check and make sure

their rank is held. pnFlashGames is an automatic community builder. I

think it is even more effective than a forum because more people will play a

game than post in a forum. Every feature I write is done with that thought

in mind.

Thank you very much for your patience