CMS trials

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I'm becoming familiar with various content management systems (CMS) for websites. FCCJ uses Xoops, DigitalEve is experimenting with Zope, and WWJ is setting up a PHP-Nuke site.

All three do basically the same thing. They allow the administrator to post content, create user accounts, and manage forums. On top of that, you can install modules and add-ons to do other things--create polls, mange a FAQ, support weblog-like journals, display RSS feeds. You name it and someone has probably written a module to do it.

But all three have their own specialised jargon to describe what they do and myriad quirks in the way they handle even the basic functions. None of it is as straightforward as it should be.

My challenge today is to figure out the subtle differences between the various PHP-Nuke "blocks." How does Content differ from Articles differ from News? Sections relates to them in what way? What the heck is Ephemerids?

Once I've sorted that out to my satisfaction, I need to figure out how to display excerpts of articles on the front page, but to restrict access to the rest of the content to people who have registered on the site. Luckily for me, I have an entire community of Nuke developers to support me. I just have to figure out how to speak their language!

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