Flexible Content Management System


Development Update, October 2006-04

Contributed by on Oct 10, 2006 - 02:42 AM

PostNuke and the aim regarding ValueAddons

There have been a lot of discussion about what release structure there will be in any future versions of PostNuke. Let us clarify this a bit.

As soon as the core codebase of PostNuke .8 is stable, it will be released as a core application framework, from which advanced users can create their own custom module set. Also available will be a package containing basic content modules, a simple page manager (Pages) and an News article manager.

Eventually, the aim is to build different distributions for different purposes. A good example of a (very very) extended .76x package is the current OpenStar distribution.

At this moment, there exist a few modules in the ValueAddons repository that have third party equivalents with improvements and better functionality than the historic ones. And even more important, these module developers have taken good thought about importing historic data from the original modules, so this does not mean you lose any when deciding to switch to an other module. Some examples are Downloads 2.0 to replace Downloads, MultiHook to replace AutoLinks, pnMessages to replace Messages and Advanced_Polls to replace Polls.

Maintenance of the 'old' ValueAddons modules is a lot of extra work for the core development team, which will not only delay any future releases of the core framework, but also increases the timeframe for functionality and feature improvements in these modules. So, the less there is to maintain for the core development team, the better they can work on security, stability and finetuning the core framework codebase.

We to make clear that adoption of old-style modules is encouraged! Please remember that there do not (and will not) exist 'official' ValueAddons modules. While we'd urge all third party developers to maintain high standards in their code (pnAPI compliancy, using hooks for better integration of existing functionality), this can't be enforced.

Secunia's vulnerability advisory on the core Downloads module

Secunia anounced a flaw which has status 'less critical'. The ability to exploit this flaw is limited, since it can only be exploited by administrative users: specifically, you need admin permissions to the downloads module . A new release for the 0.7x codebase is planned for next week, together with some other bug fixes. People who want to patch earlier can download modules/Downloads/admin.php from the SubVersion repository and replace their existing file.

Legal module

The German PostNuke community has hired a lawyer to update the German terms of use, because translations into foreign languages of the original legal module only work on a linguistic basis (and if at all they only apply to US-American laws). In some countries, maybe it is even better to not at all use the legals module, than to apply one that doesn't fit your country's laws. Every user should keep this in mind when using or activating this module for his / her site.

Sneak preview: Wendell's Admin theme

Admin theme by Wendell (DynaWerx)

Wendell is currently working on a design for the PN Admin area. This is a first setup to make the administration interface much more user friendly and productive.

Code update for .8 Installation

Do you have a personal_config.php included in your installation of .8? That could be the reason for an MS2 installation problem. If you are having problems installing, try removing this file. Furthermore, lots of enhancements have been made to the installer routine. One can test it by pulling the latest nightly builds.

System Changes / Updates

In the Settings module, a link to the w3school page on each allowable HTML tag has been added to inform a user about the available tags.

The Modules module now shows a (more logical) indicator of a module's status: not initialised is red; installed but inactive is yellow; installed and good to go is green.

In the pnRender plugins, some additions and changes have been committed: The pnbutton plugin now utilises the button tag, and a suitable style for the button tag was added. On can add parameters like id, class, name and value. Furthermore, the date input validation was refactured, moving the parser into the DateUtil class. All pnForm* plugins have been reviewed and optimized by Jörn.

More information on the PostNuke Forms Framework can be found in the Wiki.

Miscellanious updates

Within the complete codebase, all occurences of extract($args) will be (or already have been) removed and replaced it with $args['myvar']. The reason for this change is that you should not use variables that are not expected within the function. We encourage module developers to not use extract also.

Error handling and Status reporting has been improved to also display module, file and line information depending on permission level. LogUtil has been updated and all occurences of statusmsg or errormsg in the codebase now use the LogUtil class (LogUtil::registerStatus() and LogUtil::registerError() respectively).