Building an art website in Xoops

It must have been one of those days…

It was one of those days I must have felt a bit overconfident. When you read why I think so, I’m sure you’ll all agree. Surfing on the forums of the GarageGames web site, I came across some posts by artists that wanted to share their work with the world. To do that, they were using free hosting sites, among them GeoCities, that impose restrictions on the daily amount of data your site sends over the network. I can understand the GeoCities decision, as they don’t want to host half of the world’s pirated software on free sites. Limiting the distribution of files in this way is a very efficient way for GeoCities, but it kind of limits the usefulness of the service for people wanting to distribute their assets.

I recently changed hosting company, and they provide me with next to unlimited storage space, and tens of gigabytes of data traffic each month. At the moment, my usage doesn’t even come up to 0,1 percent. One could state I still have some capacity left. So, I decided to contact some people and propose them to host their files, and to build a site around it. I figured it would take me a few hours and I would be done.

Oh boy, was I wrong…

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Lack of Documentation

I’ve been looking around for a nice comprehensive series of posts on how to write a Xoops module, and have yet to find one that suits me. I know, there is the famous Kaotik tutorials, but the coding style is a bit old, and there is too much generation of the final HTML in the programming itself. Xoops is object oriented, so let’s use it.

I have found a module that generates the base classes for a given database table with the inventive name of DAO Class Generator. I’ve tried it, and it generates classes that are used in well-known modules like Userpage. It surely helps to have that rather dull part automated.

Alternatives

I’m currently looking at some alternatives, at least for the short run. I really need to get something up and running with the minimal feature set so that the service starts to be available. After that, I can quietly start building the other platform based on Xoops. I’ve been looking at WordPress for that, as it has most of the features I want already available in plugins. All I will need to do is write the plugin that provides the services towards the artists. Technical stuff like OpenID login, Adsense handling, Sitemap generation for search engines etc.. is already taken care of. I’m working my way through the excellent Devlounge Series How to Write a WordPress Plugin to accomplish that.

Conclusion

Although I think Xoops is the best platform for the long run, the lack of certain functionality out of the box and the severe lack of development manuals and tutorials has forced me to look towards WordPress to develop the first version of the plugin. Xoops development will follow once the WordPress version is up and running.  Unless someone kindly tells me there is no interest whatsoever for the site. Then at least it will have been a nice experiment.

Een gedachte over “Building an art website in Xoops”

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