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Author Topic: The System: Nucleus CMS  (Read 1686 times)
rork
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« on: September 28, 2010, 10:17:43 am »

'Once more I choose Nucleus CMS as package to manage my weblog. I have used it at in the past and was quite happy about it. It's fairly light and simple too manage and the plugin system supports customization without a heavy burden of unused code and options.

It doesn't look like much has changed since last time I worked with Nucleus CMS and the last stable version is from november 2009. This could indicate that little active development is done but I'd like to imagine that it just has a very stable (and secure) core now and the main improvements take place on the plugins and skins. At least the forum seems decently active.

A CMS can hardly be used out of the box so I made some modifications to the lay-out and added some plugins (which needed my old modifications too, I should learn to contribute but will do so this time.)

Lay-out
Although I fairly like the default lay-out some things had to be changed. I found the big yellow header overdone and rather went for printing the name of my website just on top of the content box. Also the navigation box was too much for me. I removed the categories, rss feeds, archive etc and made a cleaner menu with basic navigation and an overview of the latest articles and comments.

The fixed width of the text might look a bit small with the bigger resolutions, however it does give the text a more bulky appearance rather then just printing lines of text. It's also seems to fit well on mobile devices.

Updates
I'm using two plugins to show the latest updates to the weblog: NP_LatestComments and NP_LatestPosts. Both are pretty well configurable and use sensible template variables. I wanted to show each article/comment on one line by date, (author) and title only. The configurability of the templatevariable was too limited for this however: the title couldn't be shortened and when shortening the comments author three dots were added to it making it 5 characters rather then the 2 I wanted.

So modifications were needed and I changed the code to support (hard coded) shortening of the title and removed the dots at the end of the comments author. Because I wanted to use the nice link titles which come with the default template I also added support to print the whole authors name and complete title besides the shortened versions.

Anti-spam
What I do remember from last time I used Nucleus CMS was the big amount of comment spam which I tried to fight with a list of forbidden keywords and the "space before the title" technique a friend of mine invented. Especially the latter seemed to work very well but this time I choose for a Captcha to allow anonymous readers to comment. The recommended plugin NP_Captcha is currently used for this goal.

I think only allowing registered users to comment might proof a too high wall for many to leave a comment. Besides that I would've liked to allow the users of my other sites to comment with their existing accounts as well but I didn't have the time to build a good implementation of sharing the login with SMF. I hope the current system will work well in keeping out spam and letting in comments.

Statistics
No weblog without statistics, if you find yourself important enough to write about it you'll also need the statistics to prove this. Well yeah, I like to know if my articles are read and linked to so I installed NP_Views and NP_Referrer for this purpose. The statistics these generate are for private viewing only.

Future plans
I'm pretty happy with how the system is working right now and I'm not planning any big updates. I might however add a short list of articles in the same category at the bottom of an article and might also find need for other plugins when time comes. At first however I'd have to write better implementations of my modifications to the current plugins and see what others think of them.'
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rork
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2010, 06:24:02 pm »

I still had some spambots so I replaced http://wakka.xiffy.nl/captcha/' title = 'Nucleus Plugins - NP_Captcha'>NP_Captcha for http://lordmatt.co.uk/item/812/' title = 'Lord Matt - NP_RECaptcha'>NP_RECaptcha. let's see how that works.
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