PHP Nuke

Why do teams insist on building their site in PHP Nuke?
I Think there are like a million teams that built their site with PHP N.
I understand it’s easy, dynamic and powerful, but how about INNOVATION (hint, hint).
Why not be creative and use original code and graphics that you can call your own and be proud at?
It may not be the prettiest or whatever site in the contest, but it will be original, innovative and different. and most of all, it will be the way you really want it to be.

think about it…

I have the same question (Why do teams insist on building their sites in PHP-Nuke?) but for a different reason. I don’t see anything wrong with using a CMS, and in fact, i see something wrong with not using a free CMS when it is so perfectly suited to the needs of a robotics team website. I just don’t understand why people use the buggy, insecure, and generally crappy PHP Nuke when there are so many better alternatives.

Just wondering, does using PHP Nuke or any other service qualify for a website award entry?
Or does it have to be student built from scratch all the way down to the coding? I’m 90% sure it’s the latter but i want to be 100% sure :smiley:
Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Its not a service, it’s a piece of software. And yes, it definitley qualifies for the award. Disallowing any non-custom code for the website would be as stupid as requiring the robot to be built entirely from raw materials with the only purchaseable items being aluminum ore and petroleum.

If you’re going to use PHP Nuke, I hope you’d at least customize the template a things like that to at least make it LOOK original. I never really kept tabs on the web awards… but have any sites with a basic Nuke theme and basic addons ever won an award? PHP Nuke seems to really kill originality.

Read that and wanted to play devil’s advocate. Making robots out of ore and petroleum is more like writing an http server, and a language. My (limited) experience with build is that you order parts, not a complete grasping arm. I view PHP-nuke and alot of the larger CMS projects as similar to an arm, and not a screw or even aluminum ore.

There is a middle ground between having teams do everything themselves and nothing themselves. Not trying to bash any of the teams who have posted, but you do see sites here made using premade templates. Could we apply the same logic here? The look of the website is the aluminum ore! Its the special people who took the effort to open dreamweaver, or download a theme! What, then, would the website award honor? Is it an award for writing complete cohesive paragraphs? Or is it learning about how websites are built, and then applying it? I would hope that the emphasis is on teams putting together websites with as much done “internally” as possible.

Disclaimer: This was written by someone who actually enjoys sitting in photoshop or with his texteditor, and has been doing “web development” for years, so he doesn’t really quite remember what it was like to put together websites the first time around.

I find any kind of CMS very helpful. Especially if your team is lacking in members that can use HTML, PHP and so on. But I have to agree by using PHP Nuke you run the risk of looking exactly like someone else’s site. What my team uses is e107 which is an open-source CMS. There site is www.e107.org One of its’ cooler features is allowing each user to view the site in a different theme. This gives power to the users which is great. Check out our site at www.aceshigh176.com It is made with e107 and only took about a day to set up.

I wrote an original CMS for our site :slight_smile:

PHP-Nuke type cms’s are useful for people who can’t code, I guess.

It definitely helps to use some pre-written code (we have a phpbb forum).
I would think that if the team customized the template to give the site a good look and feel, using a CMS isn’t a sin.

–Jonathan

Yeah, pre-written CMS’s are great for people that can’t code or don’t want to waste time on writing one… but FIRST is supposed to be a learning experience. Learn first, win awards later. If you have the ugliest site in all of FIRST, but you did it correctly and learned something from it, that’s way more important than figuring out how to roll out a CMS. If you’re doing this to learn how to become a web developer, I can tell you now that not many pro web developers use PHP Nuke :slight_smile:

Personally I think php-nuke is extremely large and bloated. Designing your own cms is a lot simpler and you can acually understand whats going on.

However, I have no problem with a team using a nuke template because some users might not have the knowledge to do so. We’re all forgetting that the thing that makes a FIRST site competitive is the content, rather than its design. Besides, the 3 column layout looks professional and is easy to use.

**peaseonearth: ** I find any kind of CMS very helpful. Especially if your team is lacking in members that can use HTML, PHP and so on. But I have to agree by using PHP Nuke you run the risk of looking exactly like someone else’s site.

I guess the CMS thing also has the same problem, these sites look almost identical when looked at very quickly

http://www.max1071.com/news.php

http://www.aceshigh176.com

i don’t think that PHP-Nuke sites should be allowed to enter the website contest. There’s nothing wrong with using PHP-Nuke as your website, but using a pregenerated page, and adding text to it is kind of cheap, especially since other people developed their website from scratch and put a lot of thought in to it. It’s also not unique, it would be as if FIRST gave us pregenerated robots for us to “customize” by drawing on them. Here are my analogies

Nuts and bolts = HTML tags
Robot parts (ex. arms) = Scripts (note that the developer makes this)
Robot design (framework) = CSS/HTML (again, the majority of the framework, or design is done by the developer)
Robot CPU = Scripting language (ex. PHP)

if you are using PHP-Nuke, you are taking a premade “robot” and adding content to it, thus you aren’t technically ‘developing’ the website, rather adding content (BIG difference, anyone can write a paragraph, not many can make a valid XML 1.1 page)

again, these are my opinions, feel free to discuss.

Again, if you can’t build a site better than a phpnuke template, you have a long way to go my friend.

I think all of you have some very big misconceptions about FIRST. Winning the robot part of the competition is not about learning or doing unneccesary work. It works just like “winning” in industry. You are given a goal with some simple restrictions. That’s it. No one really cares how you get it done, just the fact that you get it done. If I can make a website based on a free CMS and make a more functional, content-rich, and aesthetically pleasing website, why should it matter?

There are very few rules restricting what can go on the robot beyond safety rules and rules that limit the advantage that teams with very large resources have. I don’t see how disallowing (or frowning upon) freely available tools, tools that are available to real web developers, makes any sense.

Here’s a direct quote from the PhpNuke faq…
“Need I to know HTML to use PHP-Nuke?
The answer is no. You only need to know the basic functions to change somethings through the system administration included in PHP-Nuke. This system is designed to do all its jobs automated using your preferred web browser. You’ll never need to edit files in your server.”

“The Website Award recognizes excellence in student-designed, built, and managed FIRST team websites.” Direct quote from the official document. Using a predesigned or built website would disqualify you. Does PHPNuke count as predesigned or built? In my opinion yes, it would be the same as getting a professional to build your site, and you add content to it (and maybe some little changes) I’m going to send an email to FIRST to clear things up though.

I have always hated PHP-Nuke (please dont confuse me hating the program with me hating teams that use the program), I like to make everything my way. On my here I built my own CMS, which works very well for our purposes and is completly customizable because I wrote it. I can make it do whatever I want, which is much more powerful than any pre-made CMS. I also do not like the design of many pre-build CMS’s … I think it is in fact getting old, when I look at a site, I dont want to be BATTERED with tons of information … words filling the entire screen. I want space for my eyes to wander, to look be pulled into the website. When I see a site with words all over and links to every think on everyside everywhere, I’m discouraged to look at it all. The over crowded look is out in my opinion.

What I really like to see in a site, is a design that flows, everything seems seemlessly connected. I view webdesign as a form of art that combines computer graphics with inforation like no other form of media can, and when the combination is perfect it really draws you in to read the site and take in the information available to you. With most CMSs and their premade cookie-cutter layouts, this is not accomplished. So from just a design stand point, I would discourage teams from using pre-made CMS.

After that nice long preface, here are my opinions on some of the points brought up:

I think all of you have some very big misconceptions about FIRST. Winning the robot part of the competition is not about learning or doing unneccesary work. It works just like “winning” in industry. You are given a goal with some simple restrictions. That’s it. No one really cares how you get it done, just the fact that you get it done. If I can make a website based on a free CMS and make a more functional, content-rich, and aesthetically pleasing website, why should it matter?

Designing and maintaining a custom made CMS and knowing how to write internal scripts for a site, is just as big of a deal as making the design functional and pleasing to the eye. If you know the inner workings of you own CMS, then you can adapt your system to better suit your content and the way you post your content. If you worked at a highly user-interactable site company, you would need to make the inner workings of your site as efficient as possible! Also, my usual argument, someone had to write the pre-made CMS, someone has to learn how to write the pre-made CMS’s of the future.

Again, if you can’t build a site better than a phpnuke template, you have a long way to go my friend.

I stated my opinion on most pre-made CMS designs, I think the perfect website, has the functionality of a CMS, but looks like it is a normal site. … And yes some of the phpnuke templates are very lame

Ok, i’m tired of typing, maybe i’ll post more later

It’s somewhat ironic to see people bashing the use of php nuke and other similar vehicles for website developement. Glad you are doing it on a site that is “powered by vBulletin” :yikes:

Using something like phpnuke does not negate the use of dreamweaver, or coding raw code. Some people use it as a jump point, others just as it is “out of the box”. Would you rather see a team that has no web skills have a lame site that has a front page saying “yes, we exist” but nothing else? I would rather see teams have sites that are useful to their team members, using whatever tools they have to make these. And if you have ever tried to seriously modify a portal system using php, you will find that you do indeed need to apply some serious php knowledge, not to mention the work that goes into customizing the site’s look… Themes from other developers are nice, but they too often serve as jump points.

As far as winning an award for best website using purely phpnuke, i doubt it - too limited. Morally, I guess it would be like someone winning the competition with a robot manufactured by a bunch of professional engineers. Oh, nevermind…

I agree with Max, professionals use the tools they have at their disposal.

but why would people rather have a 2 minute website and actually learn and experience something from the whole business of building a website?

when i volunteered to be the Webmaster of our team, i knew very little HTML and stuff, through trying and experimenting i learned the works, i didn’t retreat to a website wizard, which is by the way, lame…

building a site with VI in Unix is tru… anything else is for failures

PHP Nuke and other similar portal systems are not 2 minute websites, nor are they website wizards. Our team has put in over 100 hours of website development and yes, we used a portal system as our base. It probably would have been easier to do it from scratch, like we did last year, receiving our regional’s best website award, but then we would not have had the experience of using a portal system and finding its limitations - and learning how to extend them.

Quite frankly, if you were a professional website developer, you would probably not use vi/unix. You would, if wise, use the best tools you could get to do the job in the most efficient manner. If vi works for what you do, good for you, for me, it would be horribly limiting. What works for one person, might not work for others.

To extend your learning, you might want to try doing a site using php Nuke or similar systems. It’s really nice to see how others do things, and hacking the code to make it do what you want is quite educational.

BTW, i would love to see your site. Can you post the link?

yes, we are currently swaping hosts, but i hope in a few days it will be back up again