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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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every member of the Burzi family has his/her own computer
Computer collection

What percentage of your downloads are paid for? Read: How many people do buy that lifetime-without-phpNuke-branding license compared to your downloads?

The commercial license compared to the number of downloads is very low, just two digits after 2 years.
Instead the number of paid downloads is a little higher, 3 digits and a couple of times in 3 years it has passed that barrier.

Do you have any statistics about how many people download phpNuke? About how many people visit every day / week / month?

Yes. Some basic site's statistics are on

PHP-Nuke has been downloaded around 3,000,000 times from the official site and a lot more from other sites.
According to my server stats there are around 300,000 unique visitors to the site per month for a total of 3,000,000 pages views per month.

How happy are you with the current support situation? Do you have the feeling that you have to do everything on your own? Do you have a support team? Do you pay it? Is there a community that helps out "just because"?

I'm happy at this time, but I had bad times and bad experience with some efforts to assembly a local team. It was a frustrating experience. I offered several people big cash to develop new modules and never got a single one to accomplish the goal. So, now I'm in the position that I'll do all the work as usual. The community helps a lot, but there is a need for the leader in front of the project all the time.

If you had to explain phpNuke in a paragraph to someone who never heard of it, how would this paragraph read?

PHP-Nuke is a dynamic website creation that offers your users many features to interact with others. You as the owner of the site will have a powerful and easy to use tool to add content of any kind for your visitors.

... in a sentence?

PHP-Nuke is the definitive solution for your website two words?

Free Power

Will there be a phpNuke 10.0 one day? 15.0? 25.0?

Sure. I'm not convinced about putting letters instead of numbers in the versions.

How much time do you spend coding on phpNuke every day / every week? How much time with support-requests, with sales, with other phpNuke topics (which)?

Reading manuals, code samples, forums comments, etc. get my attention and consume a lot of time.

Coding consumes several days for each release

Support requests consumes very low time, since I don't give support directly. Being PHP-Nuke licensed under the GPL, I can dedicate more time to research than answering basic questions that are out there on the net. Anyway there aren't too many support requests.

Sales, very little, almost nothing. Reg.Net is in charge of fulfilling all PHP-Nuke orders. I decided on their way after testing it because this way I have lot more time free for other stuff.

Where could someone find you if not on

Personally, in my house.

Virtually... in too many places at the same time.

Are there theme-foundries for phpNuke?


professional consulting companies?


professional programmers?


contributors (which)?

The community of users. Way too many to mention all of them. People that use PHP-Nuke really help catch bugs and fixing them.



books? official books even?

There is a book called "PHP-Nuke Garage" which isn't bad at all for newbies. Official books, maybe if I receive a good offer from a publisher and they accept my language (Spanish) as the original language for a book, I'll consider writing it.

is there a "phpNuke light" or something similar?

I made something tiny for a little site I had in the past, but deleted it, never shared. It was based on PHP-Nuke but was very light.

is there a "one code-base -- multiple sites" concept in phpNuke? (it's called branching in phpWebSite)

No, there isn't. But you can have multiple sites using the same database, for example, to share registered users

can these sites share content as well?

Yes they can share users and content together or separated

does phpNuke support centralised meta-data (read: Every module has access to a list of item-titles, of authors, creation-dates, keywords etc. even outside their module scope?)

This is a requested feature and future versions will have it.

How would you describe phpNuke to a manager? To an end user? To a programmer?

To a manager: the perfect powerful and free solution

To an end user: the power at your fingertips to create a portal without need to code

To a programmer: a perfect free software tool with a source code easy to understand, modular, user friendly with a professional look

What's the architecture of phpNuke from a bird's view?

Like a skyscraper

...and from a frog's view (read: code-quality / object orientation / include files / etc)?

Like a bird looking at a skyscraper ;)

Code "Homogeneity" is absolutely important. Discarding Forums, Private Messages and Members List modules, PHP-Nuke doens't use objects, just the database calls, since the database abstraction layer has been adopted from phpBB.
Includes files are present as they are in many PHP scripts and they are obviously organized by functions and included when needed.

I think the code itself, even if not commented, is absolutely understandable even for new developers.

do you do inline-documentation?


is there a documentation concept?

Not at this time, but I want to create a complete reference documentation material for PHP-Nuke. Here there is lot of work to do.

are there phpNuke conferences? (When and Where?)

I don't organize official conferences. From time to time the official community sites organize conferences on their respective countries. For this you should take a look at Sometimes I was invited to assist those conferences, but for me, moving is not easy.

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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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