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Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Programmer's Comparison of CMS: Configuration

A good web developer must be knowledgeable to be able to make use of all the techniques and technologies available. Not to mention work along side an increasingly pedantic group of web designers and front-end developers. The tools they use must be able to ensure project deliveries with a minimum investment of time and effort. Several content management systems have gained a considerable following thanks to their ability to satisfy this need. But what do they look like on the inside? How do they compare to the others if you strip away the slick graphics and look at the code? This series will compare the top three and one unknown CMS from a programmer's view point.

Opening the Black Box

Open source projects don't think that you can handle the truth. The truth is that good ideas are not implemented by geniuses that know more than anyone else. They count on the fact that many can not or will not open their code.
Abstraction is away of making the complex look easy. But abstraction in code that is undecipherable is essentially a black box. It is this type of abstraction that stands in the way of gaining true knowledge about the quality of the product being delivered. In this series articles I'll strip  the abstraction to give a fair comparison.  In cases where the abstraction is the item being compared then I will put up the software architecture behind it up for comparison.

Much of the open source community even the most experienced of web developers look at the features and compare only those features. Few if any ever look at the code that creates those features.

What is missing in the most popular CMS are sound practices for high quality code and architecture. Contributors understand the solutions but have no understanding of the problems at hand when writing their code. This leads to complicated and large code bases that over time no one understands.

One of these CMS is not like the Others

This comparison series will be like nothing you've ever heard about or read on the web to date. It will be a step by step guide for developer's going from the installation to the creation of "Hello World" extensions  for the top three CMS systems and compare them to the Content Connection Kit.

The points covered will be:

  • Configuration.
  • multi-site
  • template
  • extending
  • database structure and use
  • documenting
The tools used to judge each point will be:

  • ease
  • performance
  • clarity of code


Up first: Installation

Most  CMS claim that they are easy to install and they are when you are using their well thought out user interface or a command line tool.  But what are they like for the programmer that is a code mechanic and wants to get his hands dirty?  Let's take a look at the configuration file. The place where it all starts.

Content Connection Kit:

First  let's take a look at the CCK  configuration file. This will let you appreciate the beauty of simplicity and minimalism.  The section  location comments are saved and formatted automatically. The help line or description is editable  from the UI or directly in this file. Multisite configuration is a simple as copying a directory with the sub-domains name.  Multiple database connection configuration is straight forward and complete.

//Configuration File


$settings['site']['name']['value'] = "Content Connection Kit";
$settings['site']['name']['description'] = "site name";
//end name

$settings['site']['description']['value'] = "Web Architecture for web programmers";
$settings['site']['description']['description'] = "site purpose";
//end description

$settings['site']['frontpage']['value'] = "blog/blog_latest";
$settings['site']['frontpage']['description'] = "landing page url";
//end frontpage

$settings['site']['site_logo']['value'] = "";
$settings['site']['site_logo']['description'] = "path to site logo include http://";
//end site_logo

$settings['site']['destination']['value'] = "admin/main";
$settings['site']['destination']['description'] = "default destination after log in";
//end destination

$settings['site']['theme']['value'] = "default";
$settings['site']['theme']['description'] = "templates and visual appearance";
//end theme

$settings['site']['files']['value'] = "_files/";
$settings['site']['files']['description'] = "a directory set writable(chmod 777) by PHP";
//end files

$settings['site']['404_page']['value'] = "cck/not_found";
$settings['site']['404_page']['description'] = "templates and visual appearance";
//end 404_page

$settings['site']['message_timeout']['value'] = "3";
$settings['site']['message_timeout']['description'] = "flash messages stop appearing after this time in seconds";
//end message_timeout

$settings['site']['user_timeout']['value'] = "3600";
$settings['site']['user_timeout']['description'] = "user is logged out automatically";
//end user_timeout

$settings['site']['content_title']['value'] = "Content Connection Kit";
$settings['site']['content_title']['description'] = "default page title";
//end content_title

$settings['site']['timezone']['value'] = "Europe/Berlin";
$settings['site']['timezone']['description'] = "time zone ex. Europe/Stockholm";
//end timezone

$settings['site']['content_footer']['value'] = " The FHQK Universal Content Connection Kit software is owned and developed by ©2010 - Carl McDade - All rights reserved. Do you want to replace Drupal with something better  faster and easier to understand?";
$settings['site']['content_footer']['description'] = "footer message";
//end content_footer


$settings['system']['version']['value'] = "1.x";
$settings['system']['version']['description'] = "";
//end version

$settings['system']['base_url']['value'] = "";
$settings['system']['base_url']['description'] = "http location all information is delivered from";
//end base_url

$settings['system']['approot']['value'] = DOCROOT;
$settings['system']['approot']['description'] = "";
//end approot

$settings['system']['controllers']['value'] = "_controllers";
$settings['system']['controllers']['description'] = "directory containing controller modules";
//end controllers

$settings['system']['models']['value'] = "_models";
$settings['system']['models']['description'] = "directory containing model classes";
//end models

$settings['system']['views']['value'] = "_views";
$settings['system']['views']['description'] = "directory containing themes and templates";
//end views

$settings['system']['themes']['value'] = "_views/themes";
$settings['system']['themes']['description'] = "sub directory to views";
//end themes

$settings['system']['helpers']['value'] = "_helpers";
$settings['system']['helpers']['description'] = "directory containing external libraries";
//end helpers


$settings['owner']['name']['value'] = "carl";
$settings['owner']['name']['description'] = "username for the site owner";
$settings['owner']['id']['value'] = "1";
$settings['owner']['id']['description'] = "exclusive identification for owner in database";

//end name

$settings['owner']['password']['value'] = "cck";
$settings['owner']['password']['description'] = "strong password fo thesite owner";
//end password

$settings['owner']['email']['value'] = "";
$settings['owner']['email']['description'] = "the email address to be used by the site";
//end email


$settings['developer']['modules']['admin'] = "admin";
$settings['developer']['modules']['blog'] = "blog";
$settings['developer']['modules']['category'] = "category";
$settings['developer']['modules']['content'] = "content";
$settings['developer']['modules']['menu'] = "menu";
$settings['developer']['modules']['portfolio'] = "portfolio";
$settings['developer']['modules']['users'] = "users";
//end modules

$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_links'] = "hook_links";
$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_forms'] = "hook_forms";
$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_content'] = "hook_content";
$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_blocks'] = "hook_blocks";
$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_access'] = "hook_access";
$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_permissions'] = "hook_permissions";
$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_admin_links'] = "hook_admin_links";
$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_module_links'] = "hook_module_links";
$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_user_links'] = "hook_user_links";
$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_debug'] = "hook_debug";
$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_js'] = "hook_js";
$settings['developer']['hooks']['hook_css'] = "hook_css";
//end hooks

$settings['developer']['module_files']['admin'] = "This file contains information and menus for the administration area of this module";
$settings['developer']['module_files']['form'] = "Forms used by this module should be described and variables info inputed  in this class file before rendering.";
$settings['developer']['module_files']['api'] = "Resources made available to services API in this class file per method";
//end module_files


$settings['connections']['datasource_default']['resource'] = "cck.sqlite";
$settings['connections']['datasource_default']['hostname'] = "_db/";
$settings['connections']['datasource_default']['username'] = "cck";
$settings['connections']['datasource_default']['pwd'] = "administrator";
$settings['connections']['datasource_default']['type'] = "sqlite3";
//end datasource_default

$settings['connections']['datasource_0']['resource'] = "cck_development";
$settings['connections']['datasource_0']['hostname'] = "";
$settings['connections']['datasource_0']['username'] = "cck";
$settings['connections']['datasource_0']['pwd'] = "zZ_tofu8";
$settings['connections']['datasource_0']['type'] = "mysqli";
//end datasource_0

$settings['connections']['localhost']['resource'] = "cck_development";
$settings['connections']['localhost']['hostname'] = "localhost";
$settings['connections']['localhost']['username'] = "root";
$settings['connections']['localhost']['pwd'] = "";
$settings['connections']['localhost']['type'] = "mysqli";
//end localhost

$settings['connections']['api_keys']['google'] = "";
$settings['connections']['api_keys']['facebook'] = "";
$settings['connections']['api_keys']['linkedin'] = "";
$settings['connections']['api_keys']['twitter'] = "";
//end api_keys

  return $settings; 


requires two files wp-config.php

 * The base configuration for WordPress
 * The wp-config.php creation script uses this file during the
 * installation. You don't have to use the web site, you can
 * copy this file to "wp-config.php" and fill in the values.
 * This file contains the following configurations:
 * * MySQL settings
 * * Secret keys
 * * Database table prefix
 * @link
 * @package WordPress

// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define('DB_NAME', 'database_name_here');

/** MySQL database username */
define('DB_USER', 'username_here');

/** MySQL database password */
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here');

/** MySQL hostname */
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

/** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */
define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');

/** The Database Collate type. Don't change this if in doubt. */
define('DB_COLLATE', '');

 * Authentication Unique Keys and Salts.
 * Change these to different unique phrases!
 * You can generate these using the {@link secret-key service}
 * You can change these at any point in time to invalidate all existing cookies. This will force all users to have to log in again.
 * @since 2.6.0
define('AUTH_KEY',         'put your unique phrase here');
define('SECURE_AUTH_KEY',  'put your unique phrase here');
define('LOGGED_IN_KEY',    'put your unique phrase here');
define('NONCE_KEY',        'put your unique phrase here');
define('AUTH_SALT',        'put your unique phrase here');
define('SECURE_AUTH_SALT', 'put your unique phrase here');
define('LOGGED_IN_SALT',   'put your unique phrase here');
define('NONCE_SALT',       'put your unique phrase here');


 * WordPress Database Table prefix.
 * You can have multiple installations in one database if you give each
 * a unique prefix. Only numbers, letters, and underscores please!
$table_prefix  = 'wp_';

 * For developers: WordPress debugging mode.
 * Change this to true to enable the display of notices during development.
 * It is strongly recommended that plugin and theme developers use WP_DEBUG
 * in their development environments.
 * For information on other constants that can be used for debugging,
 * visit the Codex.
 * @link
define('WP_DEBUG', false);

/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */

/** Absolute path to the WordPress directory. */
if ( !defined('ABSPATH') )
 define('ABSPATH', dirname(__FILE__) . '/');

/** Sets up WordPress vars and included files. */
require_once(ABSPATH . 'wp-settings.php');



 * Fires after WordPress has finished loading but before any headers are sent.
 * Most of WP is loaded at this stage, and the user is authenticated. WP continues
 * to load on the init hook that follows (e.g. widgets), and many plugins instantiate
 * themselves on it for all sorts of reasons (e.g. they need a user, a taxonomy, etc.).
 * If you wish to plug an action once WP is loaded, use the wp_loaded hook below.
 * @since 1.5.0
do_action( 'init' );

// Check site status
if ( is_multisite() ) {
 if ( true !== ( $file = ms_site_check() ) ) {
  require( $file );

 * This hook is fired once WP, all plugins, and the theme are fully loaded and instantiated.
 * AJAX requests should use wp-admin/admin-ajax.php. admin-ajax.php can handle requests for
 * users not logged in.
 * @link
 * @since 3.0.0
do_action( 'wp_loaded' );


the multi-site settings configuration is much too complex for this limited space.

 * @file
 * Drupal site-specific configuration file.
 * This file may have been set to read-only by the Drupal installation program.
 * If you make changes to this file, be sure to protect it again after making
 * your modifications. Failure to remove write permissions to this file is a
 * security risk.
 * The configuration file to be loaded is based upon the rules below. However
 * if the multisite aliasing file named sites/sites.php is present, it will be
 * loaded, and the aliases in the array $sites will override the default
 * directory rules below. See sites/example.sites.php for more information about
 * aliases.
 * The configuration directory will be discovered by stripping the website's
 * hostname from left to right and pathname from right to left. The first
 * configuration file found will be used and any others will be ignored. If no
 * other configuration file is found then the default configuration file at
 * 'sites/default' will be used.
 * For example, for a fictitious site installed at
 *, the 'settings.php' file is searched
 * for in the following directories:
 * - sites/
 * - sites/
 * - sites/
 * - sites/org.mysite.test
 * - sites/
 * - sites/
 * - sites/
 * - sites/org.mysite
 * - sites/
 * - sites/
 * - sites/
 * - sites/org
 * - sites/default
 * Note that if you are installing on a non-standard port number, prefix the
 * hostname with that number. For example,
 * could be loaded from
 * sites/
 * @see example.sites.php
 * @see conf_path()

 * Database settings:
 * The $databases array specifies the database connection or
 * connections that Drupal may use.  Drupal is able to connect
 * to multiple databases, including multiple types of databases,
 * during the same request.
 * Each database connection is specified as an array of settings,
 * similar to the following:
 * @code
 * array(
 *   'driver' => 'mysql',
 *   'database' => 'databasename',
 *   'username' => 'username',
 *   'password' => 'password',
 *   'host' => 'localhost',
 *   'port' => 3306,
 *   'prefix' => 'myprefix_',
 *   'collation' => 'utf8_general_ci',
 * );
 * @endcode
 * The "driver" property indicates what Drupal database driver the
 * connection should use.  This is usually the same as the name of the
 * database type, such as mysql or sqlite, but not always.  The other
 * properties will vary depending on the driver.  For SQLite, you must
 * specify a database file name in a directory that is writable by the
 * webserver.  For most other drivers, you must specify a
 * username, password, host, and database name.
 * Transaction support is enabled by default for all drivers that support it,
 * including MySQL. To explicitly disable it, set the 'transactions' key to
 * Note that some configurations of MySQL, such as the MyISAM engine, don't
 * support it and will proceed silently even if enabled. If you experience
 * transaction related crashes with such configuration, set the 'transactions'
 * key to FALSE.
 * For each database, you may optionally specify multiple "target" databases.
 * A target database allows Drupal to try to send certain queries to a
 * different database if it can but fall back to the default connection if not.
 * That is useful for master/slave replication, as Drupal may try to connect
 * to a slave server when appropriate and if one is not available will simply
 * fall back to the single master server.
 * The general format for the $databases array is as follows:
 * @code
 * $databases['default']['default'] = $info_array;
 * $databases['default']['slave'][] = $info_array;
 * $databases['default']['slave'][] = $info_array;
 * $databases['extra']['default'] = $info_array;
 * @endcode
 * In the above example, $info_array is an array of settings described above.
 * The first line sets a "default" database that has one master database
 * (the second level default).  The second and third lines create an array
 * of potential slave databases.  Drupal will select one at random for a given
 * request as needed.  The fourth line creates a new database with a name of
 * "extra".
 * For a single database configuration, the following is sufficient:
 * @code
 * $databases['default']['default'] = array(
 *   'driver' => 'mysql',
 *   'database' => 'databasename',
 *   'username' => 'username',
 *   'password' => 'password',
 *   'host' => 'localhost',
 *   'prefix' => 'main_',
 *   'collation' => 'utf8_general_ci',
 * );
 * @endcode
 * You can optionally set prefixes for some or all database table names
 * by using the 'prefix' setting. If a prefix is specified, the table
 * name will be prepended with its value. Be sure to use valid database
 * characters only, usually alphanumeric and underscore. If no prefixes
 * are desired, leave it as an empty string ''.
 * To have all database names prefixed, set 'prefix' as a string:
 * @code
 *   'prefix' => 'main_',
 * @endcode
 * To provide prefixes for specific tables, set 'prefix' as an array.
 * The array's keys are the table names and the values are the prefixes.
 * The 'default' element is mandatory and holds the prefix for any tables
 * not specified elsewhere in the array. Example:
 * @code
 *   'prefix' => array(
 *     'default'   => 'main_',
 *     'users'     => 'shared_',
 *     'sessions'  => 'shared_',
 *     'role'      => 'shared_',
 *     'authmap'   => 'shared_',
 *   ),
 * @endcode
 * You can also use a reference to a schema/database as a prefix. This may be
 * useful if your Drupal installation exists in a schema that is not the default
 * or you want to access several databases from the same code base at the same
 * time.
 * Example:
 * @code
 *   'prefix' => array(
 *     'default'   => 'main.',
 *     'users'     => 'shared.',
 *     'sessions'  => 'shared.',
 *     'role'      => 'shared.',
 *     'authmap'   => 'shared.',
 *   );
 * @endcode
 * NOTE: MySQL and SQLite's definition of a schema is a database.
 * Advanced users can add or override initial commands to execute when
 * connecting to the database server, as well as PDO connection settings. For
 * example, to enable MySQL SELECT queries to exceed the max_join_size system
 * variable, and to reduce the database connection timeout to 5 seconds:
 * @code
 * $databases['default']['default'] = array(
 *   'init_commands' => array(
 *     'big_selects' => 'SET SQL_BIG_SELECTS=1',
 *   ),
 *   'pdo' => array(
 *     PDO::ATTR_TIMEOUT => 5,
 *   ),
 * );
 * @endcode
 * WARNING: These defaults are designed for database portability. Changing them
 * may cause unexpected behavior, including potential data loss.
 * @see DatabaseConnection_mysql::__construct
 * @see DatabaseConnection_pgsql::__construct
 * @see DatabaseConnection_sqlite::__construct
 * Database configuration format:
 * @code
 *   $databases['default']['default'] = array(
 *     'driver' => 'mysql',
 *     'database' => 'databasename',
 *     'username' => 'username',
 *     'password' => 'password',
 *     'host' => 'localhost',
 *     'prefix' => '',
 *   );
 *   $databases['default']['default'] = array(
 *     'driver' => 'pgsql',
 *     'database' => 'databasename',
 *     'username' => 'username',
 *     'password' => 'password',
 *     'host' => 'localhost',
 *     'prefix' => '',
 *   );
 *   $databases['default']['default'] = array(
 *     'driver' => 'sqlite',
 *     'database' => '/path/to/databasefilename',
 *   );
 * @endcode
$databases = array();

 * Access control for update.php script.
 * If you are updating your Drupal installation using the update.php script but
 * are not logged in using either an account with the "Administer software
 * updates" permission or the site maintenance account (the account that was
 * created during installation), you will need to modify the access check
 * statement below. Change the FALSE to a TRUE to disable the access check.
 * After finishing the upgrade, be sure to open this file again and change the
 * TRUE back to a FALSE!
$update_free_access = FALSE;

 * Salt for one-time login links and cancel links, form tokens, etc.
 * This variable will be set to a random value by the installer. All one-time
 * login links will be invalidated if the value is changed. Note that if your
 * site is deployed on a cluster of web servers, you must ensure that this
 * variable has the same value on each server. If this variable is empty, a hash
 * of the serialized database credentials will be used as a fallback salt.
 * For enhanced security, you may set this variable to a value using the
 * contents of a file outside your docroot that is never saved together
 * with any backups of your Drupal files and database.
 * Example:
 *   $drupal_hash_salt = file_get_contents('/home/example/salt.txt');
$drupal_hash_salt = '';

 * Base URL (optional).
 * If Drupal is generating incorrect URLs on your site, which could
 * be in HTML headers (links to CSS and JS files) or visible links on pages
 * (such as in menus), uncomment the Base URL statement below (remove the
 * leading hash sign) and fill in the absolute URL to your Drupal installation.
 * You might also want to force users to use a given domain.
 * See the .htaccess file for more information.
 * Examples:
 *   $base_url = '';
 *   $base_url = '';
 *   $base_url = '';
 *   $base_url = '';
 * It is not allowed to have a trailing slash; Drupal will add it
 * for you.
# $base_url = '';  // NO trailing slash!

 * PHP settings:
 * To see what PHP settings are possible, including whether they can be set at
 * runtime (by using ini_set()), read the PHP documentation:
 * See drupal_environment_initialize() in includes/ for required
 * runtime settings and the .htaccess file for non-runtime settings. Settings
 * defined there should not be duplicated here so as to avoid conflict issues.

 * Some distributions of Linux (most notably Debian) ship their PHP
 * installations with garbage collection (gc) disabled. Since Drupal depends on
 * PHP's garbage collection for clearing sessions, ensure that garbage
 * collection occurs by using the most common settings.
ini_set('session.gc_probability', 1);
ini_set('session.gc_divisor', 100);

 * Set session lifetime (in seconds), i.e. the time from the user's last visit
 * to the active session may be deleted by the session garbage collector. When
 * a session is deleted, authenticated users are logged out, and the contents
 * of the user's $_SESSION variable is discarded.
ini_set('session.gc_maxlifetime', 200000);

 * Set session cookie lifetime (in seconds), i.e. the time from the session is
 * created to the cookie expires, i.e. when the browser is expected to discard
 * the cookie. The value 0 means "until the browser is closed".
ini_set('session.cookie_lifetime', 2000000);

 * If you encounter a situation where users post a large amount of text, and
 * the result is stripped out upon viewing but can still be edited, Drupal's
 * output filter may not have sufficient memory to process it.  If you
 * experience this issue, you may wish to uncomment the following two lines
 * and increase the limits of these variables.  For more information, see
# ini_set('pcre.backtrack_limit', 200000);
# ini_set('pcre.recursion_limit', 200000);

 * Drupal automatically generates a unique session cookie name for each site
 * based on its full domain name. If you have multiple domains pointing at the
 * same Drupal site, you can either redirect them all to a single domain (see
 * comment in .htaccess), or uncomment the line below and specify their shared
 * base domain. Doing so assures that users remain logged in as they cross
 * between your various domains. Make sure to always start the $cookie_domain
 * with a leading dot, as per RFC 2109.
# $cookie_domain = '';

 * Variable overrides:
 * To override specific entries in the 'variable' table for this site,
 * set them here. You usually don't need to use this feature. This is
 * useful in a configuration file for a vhost or directory, rather than
 * the default settings.php. Any configuration setting from the 'variable'
 * table can be given a new value. Note that any values you provide in
 * these variable overrides will not be modifiable from the Drupal
 * administration interface.
 * The following overrides are examples:
 * - site_name: Defines the site's name.
 * - theme_default: Defines the default theme for this site.
 * - anonymous: Defines the human-readable name of anonymous users.
 * Remove the leading hash signs to enable.
# $conf['site_name'] = 'My Drupal site';
# $conf['theme_default'] = 'garland';
# $conf['anonymous'] = 'Visitor';

 * A custom theme can be set for the offline page. This applies when the site
 * is explicitly set to maintenance mode through the administration page or when
 * the database is inactive due to an error. It can be set through the
 * 'maintenance_theme' key. The template file should also be copied into the
 * theme. It is located inside 'modules/system/maintenance-page.tpl.php'.
 * Note: This setting does not apply to installation and update pages.
# $conf['maintenance_theme'] = 'bartik';

 * Reverse Proxy Configuration:
 * Reverse proxy servers are often used to enhance the performance
 * of heavily visited sites and may also provide other site caching,
 * security, or encryption benefits. In an environment where Drupal
 * is behind a reverse proxy, the real IP address of the client should
 * be determined such that the correct client IP address is available
 * to Drupal's logging, statistics, and access management systems. In
 * the most simple scenario, the proxy server will add an
 * X-Forwarded-For header to the request that contains the client IP
 * address. However, HTTP headers are vulnerable to spoofing, where a
 * malicious client could bypass restrictions by setting the
 * X-Forwarded-For header directly. Therefore, Drupal's proxy
 * configuration requires the IP addresses of all remote proxies to be
 * specified in $conf['reverse_proxy_addresses'] to work correctly.
 * Enable this setting to get Drupal to determine the client IP from
 * the X-Forwarded-For header (or $conf['reverse_proxy_header'] if set).
 * If you are unsure about this setting, do not have a reverse proxy,
 * or Drupal operates in a shared hosting environment, this setting
 * should remain commented out.
 * In order for this setting to be used you must specify every possible
 * reverse proxy IP address in $conf['reverse_proxy_addresses'].
 * If a complete list of reverse proxies is not available in your
 * environment (for example, if you use a CDN) you may set the
 * $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] variable directly in settings.php.
 * Be aware, however, that it is likely that this would allow IP
 * address spoofing unless more advanced precautions are taken.
# $conf['reverse_proxy'] = TRUE;

 * Specify every reverse proxy IP address in your environment.
 * This setting is required if $conf['reverse_proxy'] is TRUE.
# $conf['reverse_proxy_addresses'] = array('a.b.c.d', ...);

 * Set this value if your proxy server sends the client IP in a header
 * other than X-Forwarded-For.
# $conf['reverse_proxy_header'] = 'HTTP_X_CLUSTER_CLIENT_IP';

 * Page caching:
 * By default, Drupal sends a "Vary: Cookie" HTTP header for anonymous page
 * views. This tells a HTTP proxy that it may return a page from its local
 * cache without contacting the web server, if the user sends the same Cookie
 * header as the user who originally requested the cached page. Without "Vary:
 * Cookie", authenticated users would also be served the anonymous page from
 * the cache. If the site has mostly anonymous users except a few known
 * editors/administrators, the Vary header can be omitted. This allows for
 * better caching in HTTP proxies (including reverse proxies), i.e. even if
 * clients send different cookies, they still get content served from the cache.
 * However, authenticated users should access the site directly (i.e. not use an
 * HTTP proxy, and bypass the reverse proxy if one is used) in order to avoid
 * getting cached pages from the proxy.
# $conf['omit_vary_cookie'] = TRUE;

 * CSS/JS aggregated file gzip compression:
 * By default, when CSS or JS aggregation and clean URLs are enabled Drupal will
 * store a gzip compressed (.gz) copy of the aggregated files. If this file is
 * available then rewrite rules in the default .htaccess file will serve these
 * files to browsers that accept gzip encoded content. This allows pages to load
 * faster for these users and has minimal impact on server load. If you are
 * using a webserver other than Apache httpd, or a caching reverse proxy that is
 * configured to cache and compress these files itself you may want to uncomment
 * one or both of the below lines, which will prevent gzip files being stored.
# $conf['css_gzip_compression'] = FALSE;
# $conf['js_gzip_compression'] = FALSE;

 * Block caching:
 * Block caching may not be compatible with node access modules depending on
 * how the original block cache policy is defined by the module that provides
 * the block. By default, Drupal therefore disables block caching when one or
 * more modules implement hook_node_grants(). If you consider block caching to
 * be safe on your site and want to bypass this restriction, uncomment the line
 * below.
# $conf['block_cache_bypass_node_grants'] = TRUE;

 * String overrides:
 * To override specific strings on your site with or without enabling the Locale
 * module, add an entry to this list. This functionality allows you to change
 * a small number of your site's default English language interface strings.
 * Remove the leading hash signs to enable.
# $conf['locale_custom_strings_en'][''] = array(
#   'forum'      => 'Discussion board',
#   '@count min' => '@count minutes',
# );

 * IP blocking:
 * To bypass database queries for denied IP addresses, use this setting.
 * Drupal queries the {blocked_ips} table by default on every page request
 * for both authenticated and anonymous users. This allows the system to
 * block IP addresses from within the administrative interface and before any
 * modules are loaded. However on high traffic websites you may want to avoid
 * this query, allowing you to bypass database access altogether for anonymous
 * users under certain caching configurations.
 * If using this setting, you will need to add back any IP addresses which
 * you may have blocked via the administrative interface. Each element of this
 * array represents a blocked IP address. Uncommenting the array and leaving it
 * empty will have the effect of disabling IP blocking on your site.
 * Remove the leading hash signs to enable.
# $conf['blocked_ips'] = array(
#   'a.b.c.d',
# );

 * Fast 404 pages:
 * Drupal can generate fully themed 404 pages. However, some of these responses
 * are for images or other resource files that are not displayed to the user.
 * This can waste bandwidth, and also generate server load.
 * The options below return a simple, fast 404 page for URLs matching a
 * specific pattern:
 * - 404_fast_paths_exclude: A regular expression to match paths to exclude,
 *   such as images generated by image styles, or dynamically-resized images.
 *   If you need to add more paths, you can add '|path' to the expression.
 * - 404_fast_paths: A regular expression to match paths that should return a
 *   simple 404 page, rather than the fully themed 404 page. If you don't have
 *   any aliases ending in htm or html you can add '|s?html?' to the expression.
 * - 404_fast_html: The html to return for simple 404 pages.
 * Add leading hash signs if you would like to disable this functionality.
$conf['404_fast_paths_exclude'] = '/\/(?:styles)\//';
$conf['404_fast_paths'] = '/\.(?:txt|png|gif|jpe?g|css|js|ico|swf|flv|cgi|bat|pl|dll|exe|asp)$/i';
$conf['404_fast_html'] = '404 Not Found

Not Found

The requested URL "@path" was not found on this server.'; /** * By default the page request process will return a fast 404 page for missing * files if they match the regular expression set in '404_fast_paths' and not * '404_fast_paths_exclude' above. 404 errors will simultaneously be logged in * the Drupal system log. * * You can choose to return a fast 404 page earlier for missing pages (as soon * as settings.php is loaded) by uncommenting the line below. This speeds up * server response time when loading 404 error pages and prevents the 404 error * from being logged in the Drupal system log. In order to prevent valid pages * such as image styles and other generated content that may match the * '404_fast_paths' regular expression from returning 404 errors, it is * necessary to add them to the '404_fast_paths_exclude' regular expression * above. Make sure that you understand the effects of this feature before * uncommenting the line below. */ # drupal_fast_404(); /** * External access proxy settings: * * If your site must access the Internet via a web proxy then you can enter * the proxy settings here. Currently only basic authentication is supported * by using the username and password variables. The proxy_user_agent variable * can be set to NULL for proxies that require no User-Agent header or to a * non-empty string for proxies that limit requests to a specific agent. The * proxy_exceptions variable is an array of host names to be accessed directly, * not via proxy. */ # $conf['proxy_server'] = ''; # $conf['proxy_port'] = 8080; # $conf['proxy_username'] = ''; # $conf['proxy_password'] = ''; # $conf['proxy_user_agent'] = ''; # $conf['proxy_exceptions'] = array('', 'localhost'); /** * Authorized file system operations: * * The Update manager module included with Drupal provides a mechanism for * site administrators to securely install missing updates for the site * directly through the web user interface. On securely-configured servers, * the Update manager will require the administrator to provide SSH or FTP * credentials before allowing the installation to proceed; this allows the * site to update the new files as the user who owns all the Drupal files, * instead of as the user the webserver is running as. On servers where the * webserver user is itself the owner of the Drupal files, the administrator * will not be prompted for SSH or FTP credentials (note that these server * setups are common on shared hosting, but are inherently insecure). * * Some sites might wish to disable the above functionality, and only update * the code directly via SSH or FTP themselves. This setting completely * disables all functionality related to these authorized file operations. * * @see * * Remove the leading hash signs to disable. */ # $conf['allow_authorize_operations'] = FALSE;


There are two configuration files because Joomla! 1.5 is essentially two systems built in a stack whereas Joomla! 1.0.x was one big system.  Joomla! 1.5 consists of the new Joomla! Content Management Framework and the Joomla! 1.5 Content Management System.  When using Joomla! 1.5 as a CMS, all you need to be concerned about is the configuration.php file in the root of the Joomla! installation.  There is another configuration file in the libraries folder that is strictly for the Joomla! 1.5 Content Management Framework so that it could be used as a stand-alone framework for other applications.  The configuration file in the libraries folder is mostly for documentation purposes and to keep track of which configuration parameters the framework itself depends on.


class JConfig {
 public $offline = '0';
 public $offline_message = 'This site is down for maintenance.
 Please check back again soon.';
 public $sitename = 'OpenShift Example Joomla Installation';
 public $editor = 'tinymce';
 public $list_limit = '20';
 public $access = '1';
 public $debug = '0';
 public $debug_lang = '0';
 public $dbtype = 'mysqli';
 public $host = '';
 public $user = '';
 public $password = '';
 public $db = '';
 public $dbprefix = 'sfj8s_';
 public $live_site = '';
 public $secret = 'UnX75NMoFOpLpSn6';
 public $gzip = '0';
 public $error_reporting = 'default';
 public $helpurl = '{major}{minor}:{keyref}';
 public $ftp_host = '';
 public $ftp_port = '21';
 public $ftp_user = '';
 public $ftp_pass = '';
 public $ftp_root = '';
 public $ftp_enable = '0';
 public $offset = 'UTC';
 public $offset_user = 'UTC';
 public $mailer = 'mail';
 public $mailfrom = '';
 public $fromname = 'OpenShift Example Joomla Installation';
 public $sendmail = '/usr/sbin/sendmail';
 public $smtpauth = '0';
 public $smtpuser = '';
 public $smtppass = '';
 public $smtphost = 'localhost';
 public $smtpsecure = 'none';
 public $smtpport = '25';
 public $caching = '0';
 public $cache_handler = 'file';
 public $cachetime = '15';
 public $MetaDesc = '';
 public $MetaKeys = '';
 public $MetaAuthor = '1';
 public $sef = '1';
 public $sef_rewrite = '0';
 public $sef_suffix = '0';
 public $unicodeslugs = '0';
 public $feed_limit = '10';
 public $log_path = '';
 public $tmp_path = '';
 public $lifetime = '15';
 public $session_handler = 'database';
 public $display_offline_message = '1';
 public $offline_image = ''; 
 public $captcha = '0';
 public $MetaVersion = '0';
 public $robots = '';

 public function __construct() {
  $this->host = getenv("OPENSHIFT_MYSQL_DB_HOST").":".getenv("OPENSHIFT_MYSQL_DB_PORT");
  $this->user = getenv("OPENSHIFT_MYSQL_DB_USERNAME");
  $this->password = getenv("OPENSHIFT_MYSQL_DB_PASSWORD");
  $this->db = getenv("OPENSHIFT_APP_NAME");
  $this->log_path = getenv("OPENSHIFT_LOG_DIR");
  $this->tmp_path = getenv("OPENSHIFT_TMP_DIR");

The Matrix has you...

As you can see this series is not some worthless feature comparison. Looking at the code and architecture behind those features though reveals something that can actually be judged and measured. Comparison no longer becomes a game of feature one-upsmanship subject to the marketing promises of a community or company.

CMSmatrix lets you easily compare the features in over 1200 content management system products. Check the boxes next to the software you're interested in and click the Compare button. CMS comparison data is added/maintained by the vendors who develop the products. If a product is out of date or not included in the matrix, be sure to contact the vendor of the software and ask them to update or add their product listing on

Programming is an Art

One glaring truth that is revealed by opening the those little black boxes is that if programming is an art.  What the top three have created is nothing more than a very bad crayon drawing.

Computer scientists are taught to program properly, just like linguists are taught how to write literary texts. However, not all computer scientists are programmers, just like not all linguists are writers, although most of us program regularly. -- Ruben Verborgh

Round One: CCK wins!

As we go though this series the Content Connection Kit may not always be the clear winner. But in this case I am going to call it. With something so basic as a configuration file it is easy to see where the others went wrong. Clearly the other projects do not care about them or have implemented "something that works". But that's just my opinion based on my visual interpretation of the code. Maybe you'd like to vote otherwise.

Maybe you have your own ideas for testing of implementation, code or architecture  that you would like to see compared? If so tweet me.

READ NEXT:  A Programmer's Comparison of CMS: Multi-site

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