World of Xoops (WOX): WOX (World of XOOPS) Newsletter # 25 (October 2009)

Posted by: MambaOn 2009/10/7 6:40:00 23527 reads
WOX - World Of Xoops
Welcome to the October 2009 issue of WOX (World of XOOPS) Newsletter  (see here previous versions

As always, as the first thing in each newsletter we wanted to express our gratitude to all of you who have donated money to XOOPS Foundation! We truly appreciate your trust and support! 

This month we've seen two major developments - going live with our new Theme for XOOPS Website, and testing of  XOOPS 2.4.0 RC 1. Also Wishcraft is back with several new and updated modules.

Highlights of the last month:

  • XOOPS Innovation Award - for people who create something very unique and innovative for XOOPS. This time the award goes to Chuting (Scott) Lai (scottlai) from China for his innovative work on XAM (XOOPS Application Module) Framework
  • XOOPSer of the Month Awardis given to XOOPS members who show extraordinary dedication to XOOPS, and go the extra mile for XOOPS. This month, we would like to recognize Mark Boyden (mboyden) from USA for his continues support on our Forums and providing XOOPS Tips on his Website  
  • VOTE Today for XOOPS @ Packt Publishing CMS Awards (click here)


Another very busy month for XOOPS! The work on a design for a new XOOPS Website theme has been done, and we went with a live test (please provide feedback here). Also the XOOPS 2.4.0 Beta RC1  is in full testing.

Check out updated news from around the world - it's always nice to see activities in local XOOPS Websites. Please keep us posted about new developments, so we can keep the worldwide XOOPS community updated!!!

Remember - XOOPS is powered by YOU!!!!

01. Donations

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If you like the XOOPS system, and would like to give something in return, you can make a donation to the XOOPS Foundation! Simply use the XOOPS Donation System and use your PayPal account or your Credit Card to donate .

Your donation will be used to promote and advance the use and development of the XOOPS system. The XOOPS Foundation is a registered not-for-profit organization in the USA, dedicated to promote XOOPS! All donators will get the Friend of XOOPS rank here on this website. Thanks to all the Friends of XOOPS for their donations and continued support!

If you wonder what is happening with XOOPS money, please read the 2008 XOOPS Financial Report

This month we would like to acknowledge following donors:

  • Ian A. Underwood: $15
  • Darin Allan: $25
  • Kaoutar Makhoukh: $15
  • Progressive Solutions: $5
  • Kristen Edelman: $15
  • Fahmi Salim: $50
  • Stutz, Schuh & Associates: $15
  • Kay Schaefer: $15
  • Steven Horner: $15

Thank you so much for supporting XOOPS!!!!

03. XOOPSers of the Month

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Our "XOOPSer of the Month" Award is given to XOOPS members who show extraordinary dedication to XOOPS, and go the extra mile for XOOPS. Sometimes they do something spectacular, but most of the time they just do something everyday, but by doing it day-in and day-out, they make a BIG DIFFERENCE in life of XOOPS community. And we thank them for that!!!

This month, we would like to recognize Mark Boyden (mboyden) from USA for his continues support on our Forums and providing XOOPS Tips on his Website  

Where are you from, and where do you live now?

I live in Austin, TX (USA) for the last 25 years, and was born in Garland, TX (near Dallas). For the record, I was conceived in California. I've had the opportunity to be in every state but Alaska and Hawaii as well as travel some of Europe (but not nearly enough).

How long have you been programming?

About 30 years now, starting initially on TRS-80, TI 99-4a, and Commodore 64 computers. Never stopped and still love coding more than most anything else in the job/business world.

What is your expertise?

Good question. I often wonder myself. An information technology consultant, systems architect, and security analyst, my consulting and professional experience remain focused on developing strategies for, and the architecting, integrating and administering of secure, multi-platform networks and n-tier server environments that contribute to the realization of each business’s unique strategic objectives. Strengths include project and risk management; network architectures, security, continuity, and administration; software test plan development and implementation; and database design and development. I also think I'm a good parliamentarian as well as Boy Scout. While I've managed many a project and team, my love is coding, developing, and hacking out solutions.

What got you into XOOPS?

After leaving the corporate world and focusing on smaller clients, I needed a good, solid CMS for the needs of my diverse clients, now mostly small businesses, non-profits, and community organizations. Knowing that every CMS has a learning curve, I wanted to invest my time and energy in a solution that always led to the future while providing a solid, stable, flexible and robust foundation. Around 2004, as a fan of open-source software, I studied a number of PHP-based CMS applications, and after trying and looking under the hood of the top 10 of the day, I decided that XOOPS was the best choice over with an excellent foundational architecture and the most flexibility to customize for the exacting needs of me and my clients.

What do you like the most about XOOPS?

There are too many to list, realistically. However, some things I truly appreciate are the object-oriented programming, the foundational aspects that make module development easier and more secure, the focus on security, the focus on lightweight (instead of the resource hog aspects of other CMSes), the separation of presentation and development layers, and of course the large, friendly contributive community that gives back as much as they get out of it. You can learn more about my XOOPS experiences from the information I've put together for friends and colleagues (and anyone else that finds it). Most of it has already been posted to the X.o site.

In what area of XOOPS do you contribute and why?

I give back as much as I can and as regularly as I can but as yet haven't published a full module (although I developed a couple of proprietary ones for clients). I try to touch base with the website daily to share what I can, but don't always make it. I have worked on FCKeditor integration -- I've found it to be the best and most configurable WYSIWYG editor and that's what my clients want. I have also contributed process documentation for upgrades of mature XOOPS installations and checklists related. I help some in moderating the forums. I also help test and debug the XOOPS core and various modules that I've put into use.

If you could add one feature to XOOPS, what would it be?

A tough one as robust as XOOPS is, and now that the profile module is included.... But, of course, there is always something to add. Based on client requests, an auto-thumbnailing feature usable in all modules and WYSIWYG editors -- and one that resizes the image to the desired display size so that less bandwidth is used (and authors don't have to think). AJAX foundational capabilities for modules would be another benefit. User-selectable blocks, and administratively selectable block positions for each block for each module. Searching of PDFs and other common uploaded binary documents. I'd also like to see some additional organization and rework of the current X.o website to continue to make it easier for newbies to get started, and I'd like to see us close threads on the support forums after a certain period of inactivity as they get re-opened by folks asking a different question when a new topic should have been started. I think that was more than you asked....

What you you major achievement in programming that you're most proud of?

Whew; that's a tough one, too. I'm not sure that exists, although I've done a lot of programming. At age 15, I wrote some real-time software for timing and photo-finish of sporting events for the family business; maybe that qualifies. However, I'm very proud of each and every site that I've built for every client whether it was for money or for the joy in knowing I was enabling an organization to do good in the world. When they tell me how much better they are able to interact with their folks, then that makes my day. I also lead the strategic internet efforts for a Fortune 100 company throughout the 90s and worked as a consultant in the early 2000s providing enabling architectures and solutions to our clients and I've always been proud of my work. The latter was an employee-owned company that was a great idea (that I'm not sure actually achieved what it originally set out to do).

What are your hobbies, when you're not coding?

Paddling (canoeing, kayaking), backpacking, camping, volleyball, radio, mountain-biking, music, reading and still photography. I like to spend time with my family, and seeking spiritual one-ness with the universe as well as follow politics. Past hobbies include sailing, massage, drumming, skydiving, and producing television programs and videos.

You favorite dish and drink?

Pho and most any locally crafted beer. Real Ale Full Moon Pale Rye ale is at the top of my list.

What about movies and music?

I watch a lot of movies preferring Sci-Fi for escapism and thinking about the future, and documentaries for learning. I'm a huge fan of Babylon 5 and the Star Trek series of all flavors -- yes, even the original, especially for what it brought to its time. I also love the foreign and independent movies as they create the next generation of movies, and I enjoy some comedies and action flicks (and the occasional romantic comedy, aka chick flick, with my SO). I love most kinds of music, but my collection focuses on "progressive rock". I also DJ a weekly "prog rock" show -- Virtual Noise -- on a local community radio station (KOOP). I'm working on their new site -- built on XOOPS of course.

If you would have a chance for a 30 seconds commercial with a message to the world, what would you say?

Ground yourself with regular moments of reflection. Live your life to the fullest. Live each day as if there was no tomorrow. The three greatest things to remember in life are to be respectful of all -- even when they aren't, be tolerant -- even when you don't agree, and be compassionate -- because it's the sign of an enlightened individual. Respect yourself and everyone and everything around you. Think daily about how you would like others to remember you after you're gone. Give of yourself to others and your community as you are able. Turn off the television. Take a 14-day dory ride on the Grand Canyon and feel the heartbeat of the universe. Take any of this sage advice (once attributed as a hoax to a favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut).

If you could choose a place and time to live, what would it be and why?

The place and time is anywhere and anywhen money is no longer the manner in which we measure our self-worth across this globe, rather who you are and what you have done to make the world a better place defines you; and when wars are no longer fought and we work together for the common good of all. And then when reality sets in for me, I think I'd like to live during the last century and watch my parents and grandparents grow up and see the things they saw and experience the same.

Who is the person that you would like to meet and why? 

Thomas Jefferson -- for his efforts during the age of American enlightenment in the construction of the US Constitution and it's founding principles that remain foundational today. I'd love to have many a discussion over beer (although today's beer, most likely) about all of that thinking. Ben Franklin, for his entrepreneurial aspects, inventiveness and pragmatic thinking during the same age as well as his love of beer. And finally, while there are many worthy people I'd love to meet, I think it would interesting to meet the father of science fiction, Hugo Gernsback.

04. XOOPS Innovation Award

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Our XOOPS Innovation Award is given to people who create something very unique and very innovative for XOOPS! We are clear that XOOPS can only succeed, when we push the limits of our creativity, imagination, and innovation to "infinity and beyond" . And therefore we would like to recognize people who create this "WOW!" effect, when we see what they've done. The XOOPS Innovation Award is not a monthly award, i.e. theoretically, there might be a month where we won't give one, but we certainly hope that this will never happen

Xoops Innovation Award Xoops Innovation Award

This month the Innovation Award goes to Chuting (Scott) Lai (scottlai) from China for his innovative work on XAM (XOOPS Application Module) Framework 

Where are you from, and where do you live now?

I am from China, and I live in GuangZhou, the capital of Guangdong province, south of China.

How long have you been programming?

The first time I did programming was 1999, started on Visual Basic. After a year, I started to learn C++ and PHP by myself.

What is your expertise?

Using C++ to build desktop applications, and using PHP to build web applications.

What got you to XOOPS?

In Oct. 2005, when I graduated from college, I worked few months in a financial company. The company needed a portal website at that time. A friend told me that I can use CMS to build portal website. That was my first time to hear the word "CMS". So I searched for CMS on internet, then I found XOOPS, and other CMS platform. After 2 months of testing XOOPS, I chose XOOPS to build the company portal website at last. From then on, I used XOOPS to do projects and create modules of XOOPS.

What do you like the most about XOOPS?

I like that XOOPS has a good architecture, rich API and interfaces to extend. And there are a large number of users and community support.

Why did you decide to work on the XAM Framework?

First, let me explain what is XAM. XAM is short for XOOPS Application Module. It means the framework is used to build application module of XOOPS.

From 2005, I started do development of XOOPS. I created modules in 2.2x, 2.0x and 2.3x. During this time, I read many modules' code. I found that there is a lot of redundant code in many of the existing modules' code. And the developers had to code twice for the front area and the Admin area, even if the code has the same function. It is difficult to maintain and upgrade the functions after a long time. And module developing is lacking design pattern or standard specifications. Although XAM Framework is an independent entity in the XOOPS world, its development does not conflict or duplicate XOOPS. In fact, XAM Framework is the XOOPS API for another re-packaging, which aims to make it easier for programmers to develop and maintain the module.

What are the major advantages of XAM Framework? Why should XOOPS Developers care about XAM?

Advantages of using XAM Framework to build module:
1. Single entry mode, help to rewrite URL easily.
2. Use MVC design pattern to coding.(Like coding in Zend Framework)
3. Writting one copy code can be used in Foreground and Admin area. Example, a code file controller.helloworld.php in module root, you can access it both in http://locahost/modules/foo/index.php/helloworld  and http://localhost/modules/foo/admin/index.php/helloworld
4. Migration easliy to different version of XOOPS.

I hope more and more developers can test XAM Framework, and give me more advices. The target of XAM Framework is to simplify the module development process, reduce code redundancy, so that module development can happen from a development model or specifications.

What is your ultimate goal for XAM Framework?

I will update and add to the XAM Framework constantly, to let it be continuously improved and provide additional functionality.

What other features do you plan to add?

I plan to add some more classes like FormWorker and XGrid. And I have a plan to use XOOPS and XAM Framework to develop a Supply Chain Management software.

What is your major achievement in programming that you're most proud of?

In fact I am proud that I created XAM Framework.

What are your hobbies, when you're not coding?

Swimming, cooking, listening to music, and watching movie.

You favorite dish and drink?

I like Chinese food, also like sushi and sashimi.

What about movies and music?

I like movies and pop music.

If you would have a chance for a 30 seconds commercial with a message to the world, what would you say?

Never give up, try your hard to do best.

If you could choose a place and time to live, what would it be and why?

I love my home, so I will choose to live in GuangZhou.

05. New/Updated Modules

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06. New Hacks

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07. Security Issues/Alerts

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08. YAXS, Sites using XOOPS

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09. Tutorials/Add-ons

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10. New/Updated Themes

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11. New Translations

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We are still looking for more translations!!! Can you help? See the list here

12. News from around the World

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13. Local supportssts

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14. How to contribute

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