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DC Homebrew Mini-CMS Discussion

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there must be a php coder here who is interested in a medium scale serious project like this?

Conceptually, this is just a PHP wrapper around a directory structure, right?  The pain in the neck about writing a CMS is the User Interface stuff.  (At least to me it is)

From what I recall, you're proposing something like this:

A directory structure.....
/www/ of stuff
/www/ of stuff
/www/ header, footer, css, images, etc.
/www/ admin programs to promote content, preview it, etc.

with a control php script to read and display requested pages, but not unpublished or removed pages.  Something like:
That would read all of the mainsite directories and pages to create a link panel plus display the requested page.  Is that about right?

If you can live without WYSIWYG page creation, this should not be incredibly difficult....for someone else :)

Seriously, is this the concept?

this is very close to the concept, and you've grasped the main idea.

to be more specific, the idea is to have:
1) a Content Directory Tree, which is someplace not in public_html
2) a set of Template and Site Building instructions, again not in public_html
3) a tool for BUILDING (regenerating) the html site from the content+templates

so it wouldnt be a dynamically generated "wrapper" but rather a way of building static html (or php) pages on demand when they need updating, from a set of content pages and templates.

so for example if you changed the header/banner, you could say "rebuild the entire website now" and it would rebuild all the static pages with the new header, footer, etc.

in more advanced cases, you could say, this page should contain the text of these posts; so when one of these posts change, this page needs to be rebuilt. so there has to be a kind of table telling it what needs rebuilding and when.

the tool also needs to provide some nice functions for things like a navigation bar/menu (which means it has to scan the directories and discover the tree structure of the site from the content directory, and then make this into a nice menu system).  but yes the key idea is that the content directory tree IS the site layout.

the advantages are:
the final result is superfast static pages.
the content pages are all outside the public_html directory and can be made safe (ie you can dissallow php,etc), which means its easy to give random people ftp access to "their section" of content.
it lets you write page content easily by hand in flat files
it still allows for the possibility of a more sophisticated wsywig/gui/usermanagement cms front end to be layered on top, creating content pages in the content directory (as you mention above), thought this is not my immediate concern.

Excuse me, but why not choose a standard CMS in stead of reinventing the wheel?
I am currently looking into CmsMadeSimple, wich is very nice and has great features.

i've looked at CmsMadeSimple, and nearly every cms i can find.. so many my head is spinning.

i've tried hard to find an existing cms that i thought would work for us, and have come to the conclusion that the best thing is for us to design our own mini one.

some primary things that rule out most cms:
1) we want it tightly integrated with the forum login info
2) we want it to use flat files
3) we want the generated pages to be pure html and not make the entire site a php based dynamic page generation thing (almost every cms on planet fails here; only moveabletype adopts this rebuilding of static pages approach).  this is desired to reduce cpu load.
4) our expectation is that most of the articles and posts and blogs will be generated from actual forum posts - so that demands a custom approach.

it's been a real struggle trying to figure out the tradeoffs between using an existing cms and embarking on our own.  i don't take such a decision lightly and i would rather find one existing one that suits us - but in this case i don't think we need a lot of the heavy cms stuff and i think the existing cms systems don't quite match our needs so.. i think its a custom one for us..


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