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An interview with Francisco Burzi
updated by rck, 2005-08-18

phpNuke is a well-known portal solution and the base of a lot of other open source CMS projects. Think about postNuke, phpWebSite or Xoops. I did an interview with Francisco Burzi, the man behind the phpNuke project.

Mr. Burzi tells about his family, his job, the future of phpNuke and his thoughts on theoretical aspects of content management systems.

Thanks to Robert Kennedy for proof-reading!

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Politics / Religion

Do you see a correlation between Italy's politics and the nuke branches? :-)

I don't know much about Italian politics, so comparing the branches with it will be difficult, but I'm sure if Mr. Berlusconi lead PHP-Nuke he would not stand a single week ;)

Are you religious in any way?

I'm Catholic. Not the best one indeed, but I strongly believe in God, his Son and the Holy Spirit. They are the combustibles that drive my force.

What's more of your style: fight (drop bombs, etc.) or discuss (talk about things)? Strength or Intellect?

First I try to discuss (to use the intellect) but if nobody listens, I start to to drop bombs. I like nuke bombs.


Why did you create Nuke in the first place? Did you have a customer? Or did you just think it was cool? Or was there something else?

I created PHP-Nuke to be able to maintain my own site in the first place. After adopting it, I just thought that the same program could be useful to someone else to do the same that I did. So I decided to release it. Then people started to ask for lot of features and I started to listen to them and developing many of the requested things. At that moment I became a developer.

Why didn't you just start a forum similar to phpBB or vBulletin?

I used phpBB because contributors did. Forums were something I never had anyintention to create, but the first phpBB port called Splatt Forums arrived and I just added it. Then another group of people worked on version 2.x of phpBB and then I changed it to have the latest one. PHP-Nuke currently uses that forum module.

If someday, someone came out with anything else, I'll be happy to evaluate it and eventually add/change it.

Have you been / are you an active contributor to Slashdot? (Was that the reason for Nuke? Doing something similar for yourself?)

I send some news but never got published on Slashdot. So, from time to time an anonymous comment, but nothing more.
My site was created using the Slashcode engine, but it carried the infamous Y2K bug. My irritation was enough to drop it and start my own code. I don't consider PHP-Nuke a Slashcode-similar software.

Why did you switch from PERL to php?

PHP offered ease of coding and stability, more than Perl.

do you think that php is the best language for programming a CMS? Why?

Yes. It's flexible, easy, friendly, there are lot of tutorials and communities out there, and any hosting company server carries PHP.

How important is / was cooperating with other programmers / community during the evolvement of phpNuke? How did you benefit from ThatWare? Do you benefit from the phpNuke forks (postnuke, phpWebSite, etc.) in any way?

Other programmers usually send me pieces of code, suggestions, fixes, etc. Some are included in the official release and some others not. But that cooperation is great because they are the final users and they for sure see stuff that I can't see.

As you know, PHP-Nuke was initialy based on ThatWare, but I never see what others are doing or base my work on other CMS steps. I base new features on what users want and suggest. For example, I never installed the forks you mentioned.
Many ideas come from my web surfing experience. When I see something attractive, I just think about it and how to do that, and eventually I do it.

How did the forks happen? Why is there not just one big project, like for example Mambo or Typo3? With a couple of application programmers and a core team?

That is called Freedom in the Free Software concept.

The idea of Free Software is the propagation of new applications starting from one or more projects. Having a development team is something that anyone can do. I don't do that, for example. But anyone is free to select a work method.

Did people talk to you prior to branching off? Did you talk to the guy creating ThatWare before branching off? Do you know what happened to him?

No. My last contact with the ThatWare author was in November of the past year and about the GPL license.

The only person who decides on the release date, and what's included or not, is me.

Do you feel like people are doing similar things again all over and over? Or do you feel that the derivatives have character of their own?

They have character of their own. PHP-Nuke forks look different and the author claims different goals. This should be respected and there isn't any reason to to think that we're doing the same things. Anyone can have a vision and work to make it a reality.

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The comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for its content.
  • Thanks

    Posted on 2005-08-20 12:40:42 By Anonymous

    Thanks for this detailed informations! Hinrich

  • No Subject

    Posted on 2005-08-23 23:53:09 By Anonymous

    excellent interview!

  • Great Read!

    Posted on 2006-03-27 09:55:30 By Anonymous

    This interview with Francisco was an absolute pleasure to read, I'm an IT graduate from Australia just starting to look into the advantages of using CMS and portal systems. To get an insight into one of the early developers of a Portal system was fantastic ;)

    • Re: Great Read!

      Posted on 2006-03-27 16:47:14 By rck[110]

      Glad to hear that! Btw., I have a couple of years experience with CMSes, too. Maybe you'd like to start a discussion or two in my forums? I'd gladly join...

  • Great Read!

    Posted on 2006-04-03 20:59:26 By Anonymous

    Excellent Interview. Congratulations!!!

  • Burzi And Nuke

    Posted on 2006-08-09 18:33:10 By Anonymous

    I'm A TÜRK Webmaster Thank You Burzi php-nuke forever number one cms ;)

  • No Subject

    Posted on 2006-11-27 17:39:39 By Anonymous

    Someone needs to create an online or correspondence school for Nuke. Burzi says his programming is easy and in the community I'm a part of none of us fully understand it. Nuke technical help forums abound for a very good reason and even there, the pros can't figure out a lot of things. Nuke is the greatest but create a site with full definitions of variables and their uses and all entailed in programming Nuke, make money doing it, I know a million people that would pay.
    vive le Nuke.

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