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Author Topic: To begin at the beginning  (Read 30442 times)

philmoz

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To begin at the beginning
« on: October 04, 2008, 12:09:39 AM »

Behind closed doors (well forums anyway) we (sNews dudes) have been looking and discussing some approaches for a fully reworked sNews.

What I have suggested, as a means of determining what is critical in core, is to produce a stripped out snews removing bits like archive, sitemap, extras and other things then to rebuild as necessary.
This is based on the assumption that we would be looking at making snews natively pluggable, and many of the stripped out items could conceivably be refitted using the plugin system developed.

There is also the debate on OOP vs Procedural. I will openly declare that I am a NOO (Not OOP Oriented), and am reluctant in participating to make snews OOPsed.
Plugins, however can be whatever they like, provided hooks for them to operate are in sensible places, accessable, meaningful.

We have located (well Eq found) a procedural plugin method which could well be used as a starting point for a plugin system (more on that later).

So, we need to determine
1) What is bare basic critical for a useable engine
2) What are bare basic enhancements that 80-100% are likely to want/use
3) Do we chase the natively pluggable option
4) OOP
--a] Should we avoid totally
--b] Keep options open for use where it will advantage the whole
5) What do snews users want from 2.0
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funlw65

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Re: To begin at the beginning
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2008, 01:00:10 AM »

Good start...
1) and 2) ?
  - What are sNews targets? Small/Medium sites or also sites with big traffic? If all, then maybe a cache system?
  - SEF switcher?
  - If @Joost mysql schema remain as a standard, are dudes able to maintain it and offer guaranties?

3) Yes, I want a plug in system, tutorials of making plug ins (and how a plug in can create and use his own mysql table(s) if need this)
4) Let's try first a procedural approach... and maybe a OOP in parallel as study case... (hmm, I think 2.0 will be more or less a prototype?)

5)
  - separated admin area (in a different directory), AJAX-ified  if is possible.
  - compact, valid and fast frontend (user/visitor frontend)
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Re: To begin at the beginning
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2008, 01:41:29 AM »

Good start...
1) and 2) ?
  - What are sNews targets? Small/Medium sites or also sites with big traffic? If all, then maybe a cache system?
  - SEF switcher?
  - If @Joost mysql schema remain as a standard, are dudes able to maintain it and offer guaranties?

3) Yes, I want a plug in system, tutorials of making plug ins (and how a plug in can create and use his own mysql table(s) if need this)
4) Let's try first a procedural approach... and maybe a OOP in parallel as study case... (hmm, I think 2.0 will be more or less a prototype?)

5)
  - separated admin area (in a different directory), AJAX-ified  if is possible.
  - compact, valid and fast frontend (user/visitor frontend)

3. Yes I wouldn't feel good about moving forward with a plugin system if we couldn't document it properly for our end users. 
4. 2.0 *maybe* a complete restructuring of how sNews is and works, hence why the discussion is out here
5. There was a discussion somewhere about Jquery, I don't know where.  How does everyone feel towards the JS frameworks? 
 - When Ajax is mentioned, please elaborate on that.  Certain functions could be achieved using AHAH, which in turns keeps the overall file size smaller.   
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philmoz

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Re: To begin at the beginning
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2008, 01:51:13 AM »

Good start...
1) and 2) ?
  - What are sNews targets? Small/Medium sites or also sites with big traffic? If all, then maybe a cache system?
  - SEF switcher?
  - If @Joost mysql schema remain as a standard, are dudes able to maintain it and offer guaranties?
for 1), am refering not to a finished product, but what is the bare essentials for a cms
eg,
article storage,retrieval,display system
section/category system
navigation system
administration

target - people who want to use a lightweight, adjustable cms, and still don't mind getting hands dirty with code...
-- cache and switcher may well be operable through plugin system, therefore not basic critical for most users.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2008, 01:53:59 AM by philmoz »
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funlw65

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Re: To begin at the beginning
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2008, 05:09:37 AM »

5. There was a discussion somewhere about Jquery, I don't know where.  How does everyone feel towards the JS frameworks? 
 - When Ajax is mentioned, please elaborate on that.  Certain functions could be achieved using AHAH, which in turns keeps the overall file size smaller.   

Ajax, Ahah... a easy way of managing mass content (comment spam as one of examples...). I don't have a specific way ... whatever is better... (jquery, mootools... etc...)

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funlw65

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Re: To begin at the beginning
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2008, 05:25:05 AM »


for 1), am refering not to a finished product, but what is the bare essentials for a cms
eg,
article storage,retrieval,display system
section/category system
navigation system
administration


Quote
A WCMS (Web Content Management System) allows non-technical users to make changes to an existing website with little or no training. A WCMS typically requires an experienced coder to set up and add features, but is primarily a Web-site maintenance tool for non-technical administrators.

So, also a visual editor (preferable, developed "in house" - sNews house) and in general, an accessible administration control panel.

Quote
target - people who want to use a lightweight, adjustable cms, and still don't mind getting hands dirty with code...
-- cache and switcher may well be operable through plugin system, therefore not basic critical for most users.
Then, the target (still) are personal sites for coders or static sites for clients... because others are migrating to Wordpress, as all dudes know...
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funlw65

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Re: To begin at the beginning
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2008, 10:36:06 PM »

No one else?
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Rui Mendes

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Re: To begin at the beginning
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2008, 12:21:05 AM »

What do snews users want from 2.0 ?

I start research OOP, and now I can say I'm a favour (because will be more complex to the users).

sNews natively pluggable sounds good to me.

Please give your opinion, it's very important.
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Keyrocks

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Re: To begin at the beginning
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2008, 03:58:36 AM »

Quote from: RUI
Please give your opinion, it's very important.

Yes... come to think of it... we did discuss this only among the Dudes some months back and I think (tho I'd have to look back to verify) that it kind of died off because we were (and still are) all fairly busy with every-day stuff like life, keeping family and clients happy and all that goes with it. And... we still haven't released 1.7 Stable yet. So... I paused for a while after Phil brought the subject up in the open this time.

Here is my opinion... and actually it's pretty short: It's beyond me at this point.
Now... the basis for that short opinion is little longer.  ;D

1. My personality is pretty laid-back and informal. I enjoy finding solutions to problems but my approach is often not mainstream
   and the results are sometimes unorthodox. I'm symantically challenged and unconventional.
2. I know... I've said it (somthing like this) before... Doodling with sNews is a hobby for me... not a professional pursuit.
   I'm just here for the ride.
3. I have finally come to be quite familiar with 1.6 and I am just now getting comfortable working with SQL (still have lots to learn).
4. When I do a mod, it's usually driven by a request from a client and, when my mods actually work, I am happy.
5. I just don't have the time to explore OOPs or AHAHs or AJAX or Microformats enough to really put them to work.
   They are beyond me ATM. So I can't say which of them (if any) are worth pursuing or considering for use with sNews 2.0.
6. I am happy enough working with sNews 1.6 as my main platform... and I think I'll stick with it for some time to come.

So... I am afraid this really leaves me out of the discussion I suppose.
What we really need is a New Team for 2.0. Perhaps what we could say to our sNews Community is...
If you have the interest, time and expertise to join and contribute to the conception and birth of sNews 2.0, please come forward.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 04:32:42 AM by Keyrocks »
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philmoz

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Re: To begin at the beginning
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2008, 04:14:35 AM »

If you have the interest, time and expertise to join and contribute to the conception and birth of sNews 2.0, please come forward.
... or forever hold your peace :D
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funlw65

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Re: To begin at the beginning
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2008, 06:52:59 AM »

If you have the interest, time and expertise to join and contribute to the conception and birth of sNews 2.0, please come forward.
... or forever hold your peace :D

;D I liked the joke. But also can be taken seriously. Who need a plug-in version or a special feature for 2.0 must post it.

1.6 version have almost everything to be used for long time. And can be improved further (see last package of Rui). Is a good base also for learning. I will keep working on it too. Is great! So, Sir, I am with you.

But also I need a plug-able version. Even for 1.6 (if is possible)! For a developer, is easy to maintain only a plug-in for a specific version, and not an entire package. At local server, you can have only one installation, where you develop and test plug-ins. And even easier for a web designer to download plug-ins and install them for a site (the same site every time,no changes and special requirements). This is a good improvement for sNews in my opinion.
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Joost

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Prelude to "To begin at the beginning" (in the key of c# major)
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2008, 06:57:04 AM »

Yes, it is a strange title. However, in my opinion the topic To begin at the beginning , does not start at the beginning. First boundaries have to be set. I admit, there's some similarity with the questions philmoz put forward (and answers further down), but the the angle is a little different.

philmoz's questions:
1) What is bare basic critical for a usable engine
2) What are bare basic enhancements that 80-100% are likely to want/use
3) Do we chase the natively pluggable option
4) OOP
--a] Should we avoid totally
--b] Keep options open for use where it will advantage the whole
5) What do snews users want from 2.0

My questions in response to philmoz's:

1) Which mysql and php versions should the engine be compatible with?
2,5) What's our target audience?
4) Shouldn't we stick to what we know?

It might seem like a paradox, but while elaborating  on my own questions (not necessarily in a ordered way), I'll get to Phill's questions as well.
2,5) What's our target audience? I think about css/html designers: I said it more then once: it is and should always be the strong point of sNews. I know, I started out with css. The basic is to built a system that is easy to style and provides a clear site structure. If it can do the latter, it might appeal young or small (low budget) businesses, with or without a designer as intermediary. And don't forget the hobbyist
Mentioning site structure, brings me to an important issue, namely.

Database structure:

There is a tight relationship between sitestructure and database structure. 1.7 uses an Adjacency List Model (a bit crippled though). Beyond three levels, it becomes more complicated to maintain site/database structure (integrity).  If tha't is what is wanted/needed, it has to be decided before anything else.
Mind you, we cannot reconsider one year later, that infinite levels of subcats or subpages is actually what we want. The core and database ( the database is core core), need to be stable for a very long time.
If it is infinite levels (or just a lot) we want, we need to look (and really understand) The Nested Set Model.
Beforehand... I am against The Nested Set Model. Main reason: sNews developers are not up to it. The queries are more complex than the once used in 1.7

Developers

The same goes for OOP. If no-one knows OOP, then why use it? The benefits of OOP over procedural programming will only show itself (if any ???, I am not convinced there are any), if it is done properly.
As I see it, these limitations (our own), set the boundaries. Just one or two developers who can work on core level is not good enough.
For me, 3 levels (subpages or subcategories, whatever you want to call it) is fine.

1) Which mysql and php versions should the engine be compatible with? (my question)

Right now, it doesn't look like an important issue: php4 can do virtually anything that we need. Mysql5 has got features we might not want to use (our limitations). Anyway, we cannot decide otherwise when arriving at 2.1.

2) What are bare basic enhancements that 80-100% are likely to want/use (Philmoz's)

We'd better weigh the pros and cons. For instance: If a feature can be implemented with little overhead regarding performance and filesize, while only a few will use it, then for me there is no reason to leave it out.

3) Do we chase the natively pluggable option (Philmoz's)

For me it is way to soon to discuss. So no comment. Well... A short comment: A simple copy/past system would be fine. No fancy stuff

In house development:

So, also a visual editor (preferable, developed "in house" - sNews house) and in general, an accessible administration control panel.

As I see it: No third party software in the core. There is no way, we can maintain software that we don't understand. If we do understand it, we can write it ourself. Else, make it an addon.

To conclude: We have to recognize our own limitations. Maybe we all should read   Doug's post once more. If you have high ambitions start studying now. Also think about which direction sNews should go before the train starts rolling. To think that sNews (or any cms) is capable to do it anything, is Utopic. Design decisions on database level, will determine the limitations of sNews 2.0 and limitations of any release after that.
I don't think big: I want a small cms.


Reading stuff to relax:
Managing Hierarchical Data in MySQL
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 07:01:18 AM by Joost »
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Keyrocks

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Re: Prelude to "To begin at the beginning" (in the key of c# major)
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2008, 03:22:14 PM »

1) Which mysql and php versions should the engine be compatible with? (my question)

2) What are bare basic enhancements that 80-100% are likely to want/use (Philmoz's)

3) Do we chase the natively pluggable option (Philmoz's)

1 - 1.6 and 1.7 run fine for me with PHP 5.2.6 and MySQL up to 5.0.51a. So anything we do should remain compatible with (up to) those versions.

2 & 3 - A way to simplify module or plugin installation... basically a drop-in-and-run approach.
          This is something I (personally) will continue to explore... I do want to achieve... with 1.6.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 03:42:27 PM by Keyrocks »
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Joost

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To begin at the beginning
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2008, 05:31:09 PM »


1 - 1.6 and 1.7 run fine for me with PHP 5.2.6 and MySQL up to 5.0.51a. So anything we do should remain compatible with (up to) those versions.

These are relatively new versions. It goes without saying , that sNews should run on current versions as well (I assume we all agree to that ;)). What matters, is backward compatibility. How far backward?
« Last Edit: October 08, 2008, 05:42:14 PM by Joost »
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Rui Mendes

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Re: Prelude to "To begin at the beginning" (in the key of c# major)
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2008, 07:02:24 PM »

1 - 1.6 and 1.7 run fine for me with PHP 5.2.6 and MySQL up to 5.0.51a. So anything we do should remain compatible with (up to) those versions.

PHP 4 end of life announcement, so for me sNews requires PHP version 5.x or above.
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