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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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Book shelf

What's the big difference between a CMS and a portal? Do you think about phpNuke being more of a portal or a cms? Or is there no difference anyway?

I think that the difference is very little. A CMS can be anything that manages content, as its name suggest. But a portal manages content as well. So, I think the line is tiny between the two definitions, and all is a question of a single definition of the concept.

What do you think about multiple output-formats? Like: You write an article and have it available as an (fully formated) PDF as well as an RSS feed and maybe even other things?

That is great. Today a portal or CMS system should be able to offer different formats of its content. The more options you give to your users, the more happy they become. PHP-Nuke offers few formats at this time and I'm planning to add several formats to enhance the users experience to reach the interested content.

What do you think about multiple languages united on a single site?

Personally, I think that two or three languages are enough. This obviously depends on the content, target public of that content and your goals as a webmaster. The more languages you offer the more visitors will find your site useful, but it's a personal decision of the webmaster.

Do you believe in workflow? In sandboxes?

No. And no for a single reason: I work alone.
But if the development of a software project is a team work, a workflow with a serious structured plan is a must.

What do you think about a versioning system? Does it make sense to track all the steps a document / an article goes through from "birth to death"?

For techie people this can be useful. But a reasonable order in the versioning numbering is enough for almost all users of a system. Doing this for an article is pointless, from my point of view.

Is there a concept behind phpNuke? What's the big picture? What's similar to / different from other systems? What's unique to the phpNuke branches?

Yes, there is a concept. There is well known path planned several years ago.

The big picture is to reach the corporate world with a strong and mature product.

Similarities with other products on the same field is how it manages the information.

The difference is the clean understandable code, code homogeneity that can be reached with order after adopting a coding style, which is unique.

If there was a lecture about CMS and/or portals in a university, which topics should it cover? Why?

Security, commercialization of services, marketing, content planning, graphic design and ethics.

If there was a lecture about Web developement in general, which topics should it cover? Why?

Modularization, standardization, graphic design, code testing techniques, coding style, marketing.

Any good books / sites you can recommend?

I like Bible's series from Wiley's Publishing and those red books from Wrox.

I can't recommend a specific site. There are too many out there but you first must go to the biggest one to search what you need: Google.

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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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