Musings of an anonymous geek

November 17, 2006

Yet another LinuxLaboratory overhaul in the works.

Filed under: LinuxLaboratory,Technology — m0j0 @ 4:50 pm

Well, it’s that time again. Time to suck it up and come to terms with yet another “conent management solution” that doesn’t fit the bill as far as is concerned.

The latest system is MediaWiki, and it’s not working out. There’s about a million things built into MediaWiki that I don’t use, and then some of the simple things I do want to use are either hacks or don’t work right, or both.

For example, MediaWiki, to my knowledge, doesn’t have *native* support for providing downloads through your site. You can do it using a hack that utilizes the “Images” tag, and I’ve done that on LinuxLaboratory, but recently, and without warning, the wiki markup stopped honoring my request to hide the hack in the actual title of the download, so now my downloads all say “Images:Downloadname” instead of just “Downloadname” as my wiki markup indicates.

Anyway, MediaWiki doesn’t really aim to satisfy the needs of sites like LinuxLaboratory. I just tried to repurpose it, and it hasn’t worked as well as I would’ve liked. I still actually use it for other projects that are more wiki-like, and it’s great, but not for this site.

So what’s next? I’m not really sure. There seems to be an unclaimed niche in content management. I can’t seem to find a solution that doesn’t consist of either some arbitrarily convoluted framework, or a bunch of hacked PHP scripts with no real flexibility. I don’t want to run a news site, I don’t want to run a blog. I run, primarily, a HOWTO-style documentation website that also provides downloads of various bits of code.

I’ve looked into handling this with WordPress, but there’s not a really good way to handle category navigation, or downloads, that’s *native*.

Why am I obsessed about native features? Well, because I’ve been shot in the foot in the past by installing whiz-bang extensions written for one version of the CMS-of-the-day, only to find they’re unusable when the CMS is upgraded, and they’re in no big rush to update their code.

I’ll be testing out a few systems, now that I’ve basically given up on wordpress. Open source projects use systems to host their software downloads and documentation, so I’ll look into some project home pages and see what they use.


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