XOOPS: The XOOPS Project in 2008

Posted by: XoopsCouncilon 2008/1/7 19:40:00 123610 reads

Xoops 2008This year XOOPS is entering its 7th year of existence since its creation. We definitely hope that it will be the "Lucky Seven" for XOOPS and our community!


We had three releases for XOOPS 2.0 series, providing major improvements and security fixes, as well as maintenance releases for XOOPS 2.2 users. Management Structure Proposal has been preliminarily done by community. For the first time in history of XOOPS, we'll have an Annual Report made by community.

2008 PLAN

In 2008 we'll focus on "Community" and "Development".

Community :

  • Implement recently proposed new management structure
  • Make XOOPS Website more user friendly as a "one stop shopping"
  • Provide XOOPS Social Network

Development :

  • Better gathering of user-desired features
  • Merging of 2.0 and 2.2 branches
  • Next generation XOOPS 3.0; XOOPS as "Social Network in a box".

XOOPS, Powered by YOU! 2008 will be a very exciting year with a lot of fantastic developments. Let's work together to make it all happen and make 2008 the best year ever for XOOPS.

Closing an uneasy year of 2007, with some changes and heated discussions about the future of XOOPS, we are now entering a very promising and exciting 2008.

This year XOOPS is entering its 7th year of existence since its creation by Kazumi Ono, Goghs Cheng and their colleagues. We definitely hope that it will be the "Lucky Seven" for XOOPS and our community!

1. Highlights of 2007

1.1 The XOOPS development

After major changes in core development team in July, we had three releases for XOOPS 2.0 series, providing major improvements and security fixes :

  • XOOPS 2.0.17 (2007-08-25)
  • XOOPS (2007-10-12)
  • XOOPS 2.0.18 (2007-12-28)
  • Meanwhile the development team has taken care of the XOOPS 2.2 users with maintenance releases:

    • XOOPS 2.2.5 (2007-08-27)
    • XOOPS 2.2.6 RC (2007-12-23)

    Looking forward to XOOPS future, we've discussed a roadmap and created two development branches :

    • XOOPS 2.30 (2007-10-19) for merging 2.0 and 2.2
    • XOOPS 3.00 (2007-10-19) for next major version

    Apart from the core development, we can see many other exciting progresses in the community, like the release of new module Yogurt, alpha release of CBB 4.0, continuous development of catzwolf's well known modules, new themes released by talented designers almost every week, as well as creative add-ons and improvements from third-party development teams like XoopsMexico, Instant-Zero, Smartfactory etc. which will be adopted and implemented in XOOPS 2.3 or 3.0 branches.

    1.2 The XOOPS Community

    1.2.1 Annual Report

    For the first time in history of XOOPS, we'll have an Annual Report where you can see more of the 2007 highlights and community activities from around the world.

    1.2.2 Management Structure Proposal

    Out of recent community discussions it was clear that we need to evaluate our current management structure. A team of several members of our community started working on a proposal for a new management structure for XOOPS that :

    • Encourages broad community participation in the project, including among international support sites
    • Provides for democracy or meritocracy among active contributors, vesting authority in groups rather than individuals
    • Ensures coordination of effort between working groups
    • Identifies a mechanism to promote collaboration between the Community and the new Project Management bodies

    It was good to see that the group pretty much reinforced the current organizational structure model with the following teams :

    • Core Development and Code Standards
    • Module Development and Distribution
    • Design
    • Documentation
    • Support
    • Communication

    The issue is that while the similar model existed in the past, some of the teams were not active anymore, and some of the team tasks were not defined well.

    Since the XOOPS Project Council is committed to support the findings, we've reinstated the teams with temporary team leaders, so they can start building the new structer right away. For more info about this proposal, please visit this link

    2. 2008 Plan

    XOOPS is defined by the XOOPS software and by the XOOPS Community that develops and uses the software, and therefore in 2008 we'll focus on these two things : Community and Development

    2.1 Community

    2.1.1 XOOPS Teams

    Building XOOPS as a sustainable open source project has been one of the most import goals of XOOPS community. As first we'll start with the implementation of the recommended management structure. We have assigned temporary team leaders to the proposed teams so we can get the process rolling. Some are well known, some are new - but the one thing that unites them is the dedication to XOOPS and its Open Source philosophy. Some of the teams and people who are working either temporarily or regularly at this moment:

    • Core development team, led by phppp, or Taiwen Jiang, has been working on the core development since July 2007
    • Kris_fr has led the theme design team. They will be providing theme for XOOPS official release packages. One new experimental theme has been released with XOOPS 2.0.18
    • Christian has worked on the community aspects, building closer and more regular relationships between xoops.org and local communities. They are about to publish a roadmap desired by the community for XOOPS development
    • BlueStocking is working on XOOPS documentation with her team. They have brought significant updates to xoops.org documents
    • irmtfan and kc0maz have been managing the xoops.org site together with coordination team and technical group. One of their critical contributions is identifying some security issues that had troubled community users a lot. Meanwhile, they also start to update the XOOPS module repository.

    2.1.2 Xoops.org Websites

    Xoops.org has been the home of XOOPS community, and it will be the home of a variety of XOOPS websites providing XOOPS users with "one stop shopping" for everything related to XOOSP. What will be available on xoops.org ?

      Documentation : A wiki module as a place to easily contribute content. Organized documents coming from the wiki or forum will be managed by a documentation repository

      Modules and themes : A newly designed module will provide users a centralized add-on repository from where users can find all up-to-date modules and themes in well maintained categories. Specifications available in the repository will include: author's website, update date, user comments, ratings, reviews, links to relevant wiki pages. A new designed mechanism will enable automatic notification of module/theme updates from authors.

      Survey :An improved xoopspoll module will be installed for community surveys.

      Information navigation : To find easily desired information, we will enable tags and internal wiki to build links among all types of contents on xoops.org: documents, wiki pages, module/theme repository, forum topics, community polls, etc.

      Community blogs : The new module of most widely used multiuser blog system, "lifetype", will be installed for XOOPS teams and individual developers will be able to to share their articles on xoops.org. Meanwhile a RSS aggregator module will be used to collect articles via feeds from all over the XOOPS world.

      Real-time communication : Live chat tools, most likely IRC will be used for members to chat with each other while they are hanging on xoops.org.

      2.1.3 XOOPS as a Social Network

      We'll also focus on enabling XOOPS Website as part of a vast XOOPS Social Network. The excellent new module Yogurt will lead the way on our Website, but we also will help XOOPS users to connect via

      As next, we'll encourage creation of local user groups to enable XOOPS members to connect with each other locally. We'll also put a lot of effort in connecting our International members. The world is not a collection of isolated islands. It's a one exciting global bazaar, and we want to take advantage of that.

      2.2 Development

      XOOPS has been created as a web-based portal system. Its strength lies in simplicity and extensibility for development. Although it has been widely recognized as a web content management system, it is much more than a simple CMS, as it provides real content management functionality for Web applications. Thus, the main considerations for XOOPS core are security, performance and extensibility built upon well-designed architecture and high quality of code.

      In the last year the core development team had mainly worked on maintenance of the legacy system. In 2008 we will focus on the next generation of XOOPS, the XOOPS 3.0 branch which has been designed for years. Now it is the time to make it ready for public. Of course, we'll maintain the current code base, which is defined as 2.3 branch.

      The XOOPS development will offer the best and most secure growth path for current XOOPS Users.

      2.2.1 XOOPS Development Team

      The XOOPS project has been a purely community driven Open Source project with no commercial organization involved. Thus in this project we are able to develop both the XOOPS software itself and Open Source practices.

      Learned from six years of XOOPS development history and the nature of open source development, our development team is streamlined in the following structure:

      • Lead developers overseeing overall aspects to guarantee the excellence of XOOPS, with SVN commit access
      • Core members working on standard development, with SVN commit access
      • Local developers submitting improvements/hacks on the core with assistance of local community supporters, through patch tracker
      • Users who have strong development background in other languages or projects providing discussions and ideas, through developer forums
      • Third party developers building their own Add-ons to fit their needs, then sending their improvements back to the XOOPS through patch tracker or personal emails.

      In order to attract more developers and designers to the project, we provide various manners on both SourceForge and xoops.org :

      • Generic technical discussions through development forums at SourceForge
      • Development roadmaps on development wiki at SourceForge
      • Development documents on SourceForge and xoops.org, and third-party development resource sites like dev.xoofoo.org

      In order to get timely information or help with XOOPS development, you may join some mail lists :

      • Xoops-announcement AT list.sourceforge.net : XOOPS release announcements. You may subscribe to this list for all release notifications
      • Xoops-test AT list.sourceforge.net : for XOOPS testers. You may join the list to help test XOOPS packages before each release
      • Xoops-cvs2 AT list.sourceforge.net : You will receive all SVN commit logs by joining the list
      • Xoops-security AT list.sourceforge.net : If you find any security issue in XOOPS, send an email to the list you will be contacted immediately
      • Xoops-svn AT list.sourceforge.net : for acquiring SVN commit access. If you need SVN commit, just send a request

      2.2.2 First Achievements in 2008

      The XOOPS community has immediately moved onto the new developments after release of XOOPS 2.0.18 and started 2008 with a Bang:

      • Kris_fr published excellent source documentation, which will help developers a lot
      • Users are working together on XOOPS wish-lists to help core development team to make plans and designs for new XOOPS releases. The inputs come from both long term users and new ones like whoops, which is very inspiring
      • Christian, philou and their team members published a well-documented roadmap in an amazing format based on community wish-lists
      • New members join the development team and start to work with existent developers, including phelim on 2.3 from French community, huzhenghui on 3.0 from Chinese community. More developers will join after they come back from their spring holidays.

      2.2.3 XOOPS 2.3 Branch

      The 2.3 branch is defined by core development team as "merging of XOOPS 2.0 and 2.2 branches". It will be a maintenance release based on XOOPS 2.0.18 plus following features that are already available in XOOPS 2.2 :

      • Multiple instantiation of block
      • Admin area theme engine and GUI, excellent work from EXM team will be adopted as much as possible
      • Extensible user profile module
      • Modularization of private message
      • Implementation of xoopseditor framework
      • Initialization of i18n : implementation of localization in XOOPS 2.2 as starting point of XOOPS's new localization layer

      We will focus first on finishing the above features as soon as possible. Some other features desired by users may also be considered in case we have developers devoted to them :

      • Modularization of banner management
      • Modularization of comment system
      • Modularization of notification system
      • CAPTCHA implementation

      2.2.4 XOOPS 3.0 Branch

      XOOPS 3.0 is our next generation of XOOPS and has been prepared for years, which was named Xoosphere. The first goal of 3.0 is to improve XOOPS with a solid low-level architecture upon which we can build all required components.

      The stable public release of XOOPS 3.0, is expected to provide developers and designers a platform with extreme extensibility and high development efficiency, end users with a powerful and customable web management and development system :

      • Fully supporting PHP 5.2+ and MySQL 5.0+ natively
      • Supporting multiple database drivers
      • Supporting multiple authentication drivers, including native xoopsDB, LDAP, OpenID, etc.
      • Supporting multi-site feature
      • New i18n service with native multi-language support
      • Supporting multiple template engines thus customized template engine
      • Embedded security protection against XSS and sql injection to free module developers from security concerns
      • Enhancement of backend, including usability, automation of management tasks, security audit, etc.
      • Boot sequence allowing preload feature
      • Kernel is open to third-party developers so that they can add own frameworks or libraries without hacking the core, which also allows developers sharing libraries with others
      • Improved ORM will enable crossing-module hook to allow interactions between modules without hacking each other
      • RIA (Rich Internet Application : flex or ajax) will be implemented for usability improvement
      • Creativity and compatibility: the future XOOPS will focus on the solid architecture and cutting edge features, meanwhile, XOOPS 2.3 modules will be fully compatible with XOOPS 3.0 through a legacy system
      • A basic module toolkit will be provided for webmasters to create their own modules without programming skill
      • Theme becomes inheritable, allowing webmaster creating a new theme dependent on a parent theme shared by other themes, which is convenient for webmasters and powerful for multi-site applications with great potential

      All in all, we will continue to evolve XOOPS into a top-notch CMS for end users, a powerful and extensible platform for developers!

      We'll also focus on creating more user-friendly features for the administrator as well as the end-user. The goal is to make XOOPS a first-class experience "out of the box". Once installed, the user should have all the basic modules and features to be fully operational.

      Our recent releases focused on stability and security. While we'll improve these as well, our focus will shift to make XOOPS more extensible by creating a module framework that makes development of new modules easier. All of this while ensuring our legendary compatibility with previous modules. We know that switching to another CMS could be very painful, regardless how easy they might make it sound. Only XOOPS is the true growth path for our users and we are committed to keep it that way!

      2.3 Community Achievements

      Along with the design and development of XOOPS 3.0 branch by core developers, the community has made fantastic progresses with achievements that could be adopted into XOOPS 3.0.

      • Kris and his team is organizing a theme contest from which the winner's product will be packed into XOOPS official releases
      • RIA related technology has been reviewed and AJAX will be the choice, of which jQuery seems to be the first option since it has been widely implemented by many XOOPS modules and sites
      • Pemen, a well known developer from French has implemented almost all main authentication methods into XOOPS, including OpenID, which makes corresponding development much easier in 3.0
      • Huzhenghui, a developer from China has implemented web service (SOAP) support in XOOPS 3.0 objectively, which will provide valid references
      • Kiang has done some experimental work on integration of CakePHP framework
      • XoopsMexico team has published a very promising backend GUI which could be the first trial in XOOPS 3.0 if it is not able to implement in 2.3 branch
      • Multilanguage and localization has been practiced much, in particular, with the valuable contributions from eastern Asian users, we believe this part is much ready for 3.0 branch
      • After the integration of Oscomerce, gallery, wordrpess, mediawiki, phpbb, simplemanchine, etc., yet another great open source software lifetype, the most widely used multi-user blog system, has been integrated by XoopsChina community
      • The XoopsFrance community, one of the most active communities, has been working on some add-ons compatible with XOOPS 3. They also have many good discussions on the future versions of XOOPS
      • Sujit Nair and Rathna Chellaiya from SUN have made a solaris package of XOOPS/install instructions for Solaris. They are ready to release it.
      • roc from XoopsChina has released his multi-database package supporting mysql/oracle/sqlserver/sqlite developed by his team.

      While our community focus will include strong "social network" aspect, we'll also work with developers of Yogurt and other solutions to make it easier for our users to have a "social network in a box" when they install XOOPS. We'll be also exploring the Google OpenSocial (http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial/) to see if we could incorporate it into XOOPS.

      With the community support, XOOPS will continue to be what it always has been - the most stable and most innovative OpenSource environment for XOOPS users.

      XOOPS - Powered by YOU

      As you can see, 2008 will be a very exciting year with a lot of fantastic developments. But in order to make it all happen, the project will need your help. Let us know what you need, advise us, volunteer with us. We know that not everybody is a PHP developer, but if you could write a help tutorial, make a translation, etc. it would be very helpful.

      The loyalty of the XOOPS community we've enjoyed for so many years is unprecedented. And we hope that together we'll make 2008 the best year ever for XOOPS.

      XOOPS Project Council
      January 7th, 2008