Moving onto Typo

This is the new server, better than the old server. I’ve moved off the old PHP-Nuke system because of the constant security issues associated with it. Now I’m on Typo. Read on for details…

UPDATE: If the razure theme broke after upgrading to Rails 1.1 or using the trunk version of typo after the 9xx versions,

change

<%= render_component(:controller => ‘sidebars/sidebar’,
:action => ‘display_plugins’ %>

to

<%= render_sidebars %>

Every week I read the @RISK Consensus Security Vulnerability Alert newsletter for issues with any software that I use. PHP-Nuke and its branch projects constantly shows up on the list. With most software I use, finding something on that list usually means a patch would be posted within the next day or two. With PHP-Nuke, unfortunately, this is not the case – patches are left up to other sites like NukeFixes.com which has not seen a patch released since July 28, 2005. This is in combination with the fact that PHP-Nuke is not a free product – the current maintained release is $10 each time a new one is released. Any older releases are free, but unmaintained. The author of PHP-Nuke is notorious for not accepting patches into the main tree of the project, so this makes using the system more of an admin project than a publishing project.

No longer wanting to deal with any of this, I began the hunt for a new CMS. I’ve looked a Drupal, which was a close match because of its flexibility and its compatibility with the Gallery2 setup I wanted to use. It was around that time that I saw articles posted on Slashdot about Ruby on Rails. Seeing the demo for the Rails system, I was amazed at how easy it might be to do development on such a structured platform. It turns out that a CMS
has already been written for this. Enter Typo, a very modular system based on Rails. At first I was very intimidated by the strange nature of Ruby’s controller-model-view method, but it works so tightly with mySQL and Apache that it was worth a look. The result is the web site you see before you, complete with my own custom theme (Razure) featured on Typo Garden, and my own Amazon Sidebar module.

Among other things, it works well with a number of RSS based services, and lets me use tagging, rather than plain categorization, for articles. With Typo’s page caching, performance is fantastic compared to my old Nuke setup. Updates to the server are done through Ruby’s gems system, and through the subversion repository for typo – lots of nice automation there. I feel that this new system will let me concentrate more on the content and less on the admin side of the site. More to come…

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