Silverstripe howto : import group users

Developping new functions in Silverstripe CMS is not easy task  : documentation of the framework is good enough for most web site development tasks but when it comes to specific functions, we know the potentiality is there but lack specific API documentation. It took me a few hours and a lot of brain energy to find out how to ... duplicate the newsletter recipient import function to have it work for users and groups. Objective was to let my own customer import hundreds of his own customers. Done, tested to a certain extent, click here for more on Silverstripe's dedicated thread.

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Ajax development, which IDE ?

Who has code completion, CSS classes browser, Javascript function browser, PHP code browser, HTML elements browser, all together in a single interface that covers this multiple array of features in a perfectly usable environment  ?  As far as I'm concerned, the battle between Aptana and Dreamweaver is over : the eclipse extension known as Aptana Studio Community Edition performs incredibly well for me after a few months of learning which plugins are best and where different perspectives stand. The fact that Ajax development is covered does a lot : check out Spket extension, I have tested it in Aptana and it does a great job completing code with available  variables and methods from EXTJS . To be faire, Spket is available for Dreamweaver too.

osTube : MCMS for everyone

What is MCMS ?

MCMS is a new acronym used by the developers and marketers of osTube, a collaborative CMS that focuses on video publishing. videos, sounds, photos, documents types are supported in a portal layout that integrates user blogs and comments.

OSTube integrates encoder and flash player

Shipped with 4 or 5 available templates,  osTube featuires AJAX based portal layout manager and obviously a powerful uploader linked to command line encoders. CAn be a good application to resell but I wonder about the search engine : will that be as powerful as google 's youtube ?

Insite image gallery editing

silverstripe is getting serious there : experienced website developers will be delighted to try out a new version of the famous Gallery extension that implements in site image editing for text captions, reordering and item deletion. Novice users will not get lost as this extension builds on what's popular, with Facebook-style interface for adding captions after insite image upload. the result is wonderful as it implements one of the best modal galleries out ther, based on (commercial) Shadowbox jquery gallery plugin. Another guy is working on a Nyromodal implementation (because it's GPL) and no doubt next time I need the stuff I'll work on porting the front end to my own choice of jquery modal gallery plugin.

Monday’s web applications

Javascript libraries

While EXTJS 3.0 is on the way with a roadmap setting deadlines for early 2009, Jquery continues its path on the way to serious lightweight alternative to the massive EXT : JX extension for Jquery includes the viewport paradigm on which relies every EXT JS application.

Web based interfaces

In spite of huge progress and impressive use of ease, Jquery is not there yet : for the development of applications many developers have chosen the exhaustivity of EXT JS. Have a look at google code hosted project in development : ecartcommerce, CMS jimw, both ext js and zend framework based. In the world of content management systems, mysource is making the news with a new video that demonstrates inline editing, and other exciting Rich Application features.

Zend Framework extensions

Zend framework might not be as popular as other famous programming frameworks such as CAKE PHP or symfony. But still it's getting quite usable with version 1.7 approaching and a growing number of serious of libraries are hitting the ground. We've already covered code generationscaffolding and RAD with Zend framework in   previous articles, this article covers lower  level libraries from Zym Projet

Zym Project includes a powerful navigation abstraction that can help building pages hierachy in a CMS application for example. Other goodies include the bootstrap class, that takes all configuration from ini files (bootstrap class also exists in another ZF extension, ZENDEX). Some classes of Zym Project have been integrated into 1.6 official release of Zend Framework. API classes Reference guide is available online.

In site editing

The world of content management was doing  fine with the concept of  the usual administration framework or form based edition : some tools integrate front end editing, meaning that connected users can browse their site with a special menu tool bar on top or inside the page. What's even better is in situ editing, as demonstrated on NicEdit Wysiwyg editor demo page : NicEdit instances can also replace any element (divs,spans,paragraphs,ect.) with editor instances without effecting the layout of the page.

Flash 10, upload issues

What's nice about internet technologies is that they always get better. But this can also be a problem, and Flash 10 complies to this rule with a new security feature that impacts all CMSes with advanced file upload ability, specifically those using the swfupload component : wordpress and silverstripe customers have reported inability to upload files after upgrading flash from 9 to 10 ! Thank god the bug is fixed with the new version of swfupload : go ahead and start copy and paste operations on your websites.

modX 2 : first opensource ext js cms ?

I have to admit that the race for the best opensource content management software is an exciting one. Years pass and technology goes ahead but some names have the capacity to stay  on track : in 2007 modx was, in my opinion, the best PHP CMS I could implement for customers. 2008 saw an impressive competitor come up as a reliable solution, including a powerful development framework : Silverstripe version 2.2 is a must, with a simple tree based navigation and drag&drop page structure management as most visible features. Automatic image resizing, online image editing, flexible database structure, are features now common in silverstripe, sometimes shared with modx or other competitors (check out JOJOCMS, Concrete5 or even the old WordPress !!). Of course on the development side of the moon, 2008 also celebrated the ever increasing popularity of Zend framework on the server side, and EXTJS  on the client side : those 2 powerful libraries have little implementation examples, but that is changing quickly too : the latest pre release version of MODX CMS, code named revolution,  is demonstrating the use of EXT JS to an extent that's going to make 2009 a new era for opensource content management solutions !