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Vincentt's avatar

What would you like to see in a CMS?

Asked by Vincentt (8079points) July 4th, 2007

Hey, I'm going to write an open source Content Management System in PHP, and I'm now in the process of planning. I was wondering what features people would like to see in the base application (it should be very extensible so it's only the core features) that cannot be found in other CMSes. Thanks in advance.

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11 Answers

sferik's avatar

I would advise against building your own open source CMS in PHP. With all of the projects already in existence (see, why not just pick one and contribute to it? Drupal, just to name one, makes it really easy to add whatever functionality you want with it's modular architecture.

segdeha's avatar

Oh gawd, not another PHP CMS! Seriously, maybe consider contributing to an existing open source project? There are literally thousands of CMSes already. Why write another one? (To be fair, I can totally understand the desire to do this, and if the goal is refining your own skills then more power to you!)

twilliams's avatar

I'd have to agree with sferik on this one. If a "microkernel"-style PHP CMS is what you are looking to work on, I would highly suggest looking into developing module for Drupal than rebuild a new system from scratch.

I'm never one against building a better mousetrap, though. So, if you choose to build ground up I would review the Drupal core for 1) architectural inspiration and 2) to see what it does not do well (or is missing) to help you build a feature set. Same could be said for ezPublish or the newest version of Mambo.

Either way, best of luck.

Vincentt's avatar

I have enough reason to start a new one (e.g. one of them is learning to work with the Zend Framework) so I don't need any advice on not doing this. But if someone knows of some special feature he'd really think should be in a CMS by default (and perhaps isn't even available as a module for another one, perhaps because it should be incorporated from scratch) it would be nice to include it now that I'm making one anyway.

wingsoffire's avatar

Vincentt, my number one wish for a PHP CMS is to see a 100% true separation of 1) content, 2) layout and 3) code.
I've worked with Mambo/Joomla, Drupal and a handful of lesser known cms solutions, and I like them a lot, but I have yet to see true separation of these three things.

I wish for greater flexibility in creative graphic designs without having to hack the CMS code too much, in order to break away from the "dime in a dozen template" look.

Please keep me updated on your CMS, would love to test-drive it.

Vincentt's avatar

wingsoffire, it will take a while until it's finished and I make it more for myself than for anyone who thinks current CMSes lack, but I hope it'll provide what you're looking for.

I don't know how on earth you could have content intermingled with code or layout, but I'll make sure not to ;)

Also, I was planning to just use CSS for the layout, but the Zend Framework which I'll be using already kind of forces you to also separate the HTML from the content, so that's arranged too ;-)

glial's avatar

I agree with wingsoffire. My chief complaint with many of the open source systems is 1.) their default appearance 2.) The lack of web standards and accessibility 3.) Oddball, obnoxious templating systems.

Vincentt's avatar

The lack of web standards and accessibility - wow, that is what I consider most important :D

You will definitely get to see that in mine. The default appearance in the first version, well, I've already started on it, and I don't think it's terrible but I'm not that good at graphics too.

particleman's avatar

I have a request: please don't make it blog-centric. I for one am tired of seeing CMSes that come with forum, poll and image-gallery modules as standard. There are plenty of those already and they are pretty useless to people setting up small business or personal sites. What *is* required, in my view, is standards-compliant content management that focuses on collaborative document management. Textile is a very good example of this - perhaps you could think of other features to add to it?

Vincentt's avatar

particleman, thanks, that was useful. I wasn't planning on making it blog-centric, but the collaborative element is a great idea IMHO, and it can probably be also put to more good use with other features.

felipelavinz's avatar

I think that a CMS should have a very minimal, solid, secure and fast core and nice and complete API so you could have lots of plugins that could handle all of the special requirements that are particular to each project.

Oh, and a nice template system, too.

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