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Journal's Journal: Death of phpNuke

So good ole Gortbusters had started out as a nuke site. For those not familiar with it, Nuke is a popular content management system written in PHP. It is written and largely maintained by one guy down in Venezuela called FB. Ignorant of alternatives at the time and just wanting to get a site up quickly, I jumped on the band wagon. It looked like hundreds of thousands had already did and there were so many sites around that you could get tons of software for free.

Well, truth be told and other sites like got hacked many times with the 6.5 release of their sotware. Of course you could get it early from their 10 dollar a month club, but that didn't help you with your security fixes. They tried to integrate phpBB into their system but it was poor at best with lots of bugs and poor features surrounding the whole thing. I lost count of the constant fixes and updates (for both security and features) that I knew the end was near for this. Many times FB has wanted to rewritethe software. After a while I even thought about rewriting it, just as many others have done, most notably myPHPNuke which spawned X-oops, and PostNuke which spawned Envolution and Xaraya. Who has the time for this? I wouldn't have the time for things like Tracking School if I wanted to re-write Nuke.

The icing on the cake for nuke is now a commercial licensing scheme. That link will take you to the story where just about everyone is in an outrage. More or less it just means that if you want a solution now you'll have to pay or wait for a while unitl a major release is sent out.

I was now faced with some choices... do I rewrite nuke and scour it for security holes? Do I migrate things into slashcode? Do I look for a phpBB oriented solution? Do I just say f-it all and get some sleep? While all had their pros and cons I choose to find something that was oriented around phpBB. The Gortbusters user base is often fascinatined with things like living with nature and when they do post they enjoy the user-friendly interface of phpBB. More imporantly, phpBB (like slash) both are maintained by a group of people and work very professionally. The quality is the largest selling point. You can easily spot simple poorly optimized code in nuke, which reading the php manual will point you to a better solution. The best example is that eregi is over-used in nuke when strposis the fastest function for a needle-in-a-hay-stack call.

Looking around for a phpBB oriented CMS (of which there are a few), I came across MX-system. The phpBB team will be releasing their own portal software, but I can't wait for it as it won't be ready for months - and who knows how many Nuke holes will be found by then. MX-system promised easy integration with just about no modifications to the existing phpBB software! Score. The one thing that sunk me on the bbtonuke project was that they were always behind the current phpBB code. The only thing remaining was a news posting module for their system, as none was written yet. I found had a nice news front page modification to phpBB. I took that, modified it for MX, and wrote an import script to convert my nuke database tables into phpBB. Voila, I'm happy and you can see it in action.

I hate to put down an open source project, but nuke seems to be run by one person who dictates everything. Had it been better managed, maybe the phpBB team wouldn't have the need to write a portal because they would have been working with Nuke from the start. Ah well, such is life.
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Death of phpNuke

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