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On Wednesday morning, after at least 4 weeks of full-time development, we made the EGN v5.0 Live. The new version comes with new branding, a clean web 2.0 style layout, clear structure, and a few new features. So far we have had at least 30 compliments in the forums, so it has been well received.
The site uses a content management system I wrote from scratch back in 2005 for a big mining client. Since 2005 however, the CMS has undergone many enahncements, to suit other clients, and so on. The CMS resolves around site structure, rather then content. i.e. you manage you're content through an interface that shows you the structure of you're site. This structure is in turn used to automatically generate menu's (note pages can of course be set hidden). Some of the other CMS features include: Content Approving (1 and 2 levels of approving), versioning, archiving of content, user management, and so on. It's not ready to be made open source yet, as it really needs some tiding up, but eventually, hopefully it will be one day.
The EGN forums (InvisionBoard Pro, IPB) are a critical part of the site, and so we use the accounts of our forums for everything else - customer area, admin area, and so on. Previously we use to just have a function that read the cookie variables set by IPB and validated it against the database values, but now we are using IPBSDK which comes with a whole bunch of functionality, and I have to say, it is a really great piece of software ! It's not official, and wasn't written by Invision - so be weary of this. If you ever use it, amke sure you use the CVS version, and the tarred version for download is obviously out dated.
There are still a number of things we still need to do to the site, but they'll have to wait a few weeks, while I catch up on my other work.