Eric Caldwell, 17 October 2001
With all the different CMS's out there, why was MyPHPNuke developed?
To start, lets look at what's out there as far as the different phpNuke forks which will help you better understand why MyPHPNuke (MPN) was developed.
If you want to think of an original Nuke distro then we need look no further than phpNuke (http://www.phpnuke.org). phpNuke was a GPL project started by Francisco Burzi out of frustration because of the dearth of quality CMS's (content management systems).
In short, Francisco Burzi (the original author of phpNuke) was in search of a nice CMS and soon found that other CMS's were incomplete and not very flexible. Due to this frustration, the phpNuke project was born to in hopes of delivering an easy to use, easy to install and easy to maintain CMS that didn't have enormous systems requirements. All that's needed to run phpNuke is Apache, MySQL and PHP. These simple systems requirements is one of the distinctions that make phpNuke a hit. It has low systems requirements and was written in a server side scripting language (PHP) that's easy to learn, cross platform and is building critical developer mass.
Now we get to the meat of why MPN was born; phpNuke was (and still is) considered buggy, unstable for production use and not feature complete. During the development of phpNuke, a project called NukeAddons (http://www.nukeaddons.com) was created with the mission of taking existing PHP scripts and porting them to work within the phpNuke framework to fill out some missing feature gaps.
The problem with this approach was that phpNuke was in heavy development as was the NukeAddons scripts (which was almost always a release behind), When you put them together (phpNuke and NukeAddon modules), life became a chore since site developers were continually chasing bugs.
This development process was frustrating many in the Nuke community and one day a guy by the name of Kodewulf decided that he'd had enough and started what is now MyPHPNuke. With a fork in hand (pardon the pun), Kodewulf's first decision was to take the phpNuke 4.4x base and the NukeAddon modules and combine them into a stable feature rich Nuke distro. Through the hard work of Kodewulf, a few other developers, Ruffdogs.com and myPHPNuke.com, you have what you have today, a stable base system that you can dependably run a production web site on.
To sum it up, MPN should be looked at as a mature core system that's easy to install and relatively bug free.
Now that MPN 1.8.x is out there, what's next?
Lets look at what's made MPN so popular and I think we'll answer that question clearly. MPN is built upon a mature stable core but, that's not all you need to have a great offering, you need functionality. Another great thing about MPN is that the development team has taken a lot of time to listen to users requests for functionality and sought out the best of breed GPL'd applications for integration into the current MPN distribution. These (hopefully) best of breed applications have been debugged and ported to work within the MPN architecture giving you a system that has a lot of functionality out of the box with the stability of the MPN core.
In other words, you generally don't need to look any further that MPN to find a feature that your looking for.
What's next is more of the same, keep integrating modules from other systems into a mature stable core system that still has life left in it. Most people running a production web site are only interested in stable mature systems, not installing a patch every week to keep the system running or upgrading the system because a newer version of something is out.
What's this I'm hearing about MyOOPS?
MyOOPS is being developed as a separate CMS system from scratch and is being managed, as is myPHPNuke and myPHPNuke SE, by Ruffdogs.com (http://www.ruffdogs.com). It will have no affiliation with the current Nuke forks on the market but, it is being developed as a GPL'd system for the time being. Also understand that MyOOPS is being developed by a lot of the same developers that contributed to the success of MPN. If you want more information on MyOOPS, please visit http://www.myoops.com. There are links that will point you towards the information regarding the project thus far. Also, the MPN site (http://www.myphpnuke.com) and http://ruffdogs.com has information regarding the project.
I keep hearing about this "Ruffdogs.com". Who are they and what do they have to do with myPHPNuke?
Ruffdogs.com is actually a company, Ruffdogs.com, LLC. It is a Open Source consultancy who's primary focus is aiding in the development and deployment of open source software. At present they manage the development of three open source projects: myPHPNuke, myPHPNuke SE and myOOPS. Plans are also in development for a Linux distribution aimed at the home or small business web host using a broadband internet connection.
This is all fine but, why is it taking so long to get MPN 1.8.8 and other versions out the door?
If you look at the other Nuke distros out there, what do they include? Simple, a base core news publishing system with a few features thrown in like a FAQ's system, download system, reviews system, members section and web links system. While these are a great start, much more is needed to run a truly interactive site like forums, yellow pages, classifieds, picture gallery, etc.
Every time you add a feature, the system needs to be tested thoroughly to make sure that you don't introduce bugs into other parts of the system which is what makes MPN attractive, stability. A product like MyOOPS will make this process much more efficient since it's going to be object based which means that you'll only need to test the small pieces that get affected and not the whole system every time a feature is added. That's a key differentiator of monolithic vs. object based programming.
Now that we understand the MPN culture and development process, why should I stay with MPN versus moving to phpNuke or PostNuke?
I think the easiest way to explain this is, how much is your time worth? With the other Nuke distros (which by the way are good systems), you get a base system and you then have to add the features that you want like forums, picture gallery, contact form, user mailing system, etc. With MPN, all that comes in the box, it's not something that you have to spend hours or days installing, debugging, testing etc. just to get that functionality added to your site. That's the best explanation that we have. We'll save you countless hours of work to get a feature rich functional system up and running. Most people would rather not use a feature than have to install it from scratch.
The developers and supporters of MyPHPNuke hope this document helps you understand why this Nuke fork was started and where it's going. We also understand your desire to see more frequent releases. Please understand that we get just as excited about putting new software into the world but, we also like to make sure that it works well out of the box so that we're not always going back and fixing bugs that actually slow down the process.
We hope this answers a majority of your questions and gives you a road map of where MPN came from and is going.