It’s fortunate that Friday’s concert took me to a galaxy far, far away, because I was absolutely exhausted in this one. In the middle of setting up an entirely new intranet for the CSIRO ICT Centre I was called upon to redo their public site. My superior wanted to use Dreamweaver templates, but in my experience these can be a pain in the neck as you need to check out the whole site for even the smallest tweaks (and it was guaranteed that there would be lots of those). The checking out and updating process alspo appears to be unstable once the site goes over a couple of hundred pages.
I looked around for an open source content management system that would suit our needs. Unfortunately, most seem to be designed either around community sites or be difficult to customise to our needs. So I wrote one from scratch in PHP, using a MySQL backend, PEAR modules and Xinha as the WYSIWYG editor.
In less than a month I developed a fairly sophisticated system. The end product included features such as LDAP authentication, a dynamic, expanding menu tree and filtering to strip Microsoft Word HTML. I’m hoping to release it as open source and to write more about lessons learned during its development.
I got very little sleep during the development process, but at last I can be proud to be associated with the ICT Centre website. Many thanks to my colleagues for entering the actual data and providing testing and comments. The home page design is by my colleague Lisa Walker, which I then converted to XHTML.
The greatest thanks go to my wife for putting up with an invisible and dead tired husband over the past few weeks.
The ICT website can be seen here.