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Integrate a PHP-based portal system into Geeklog?


DigiSquid

Anonymous
curious
I operate a small web development company and we've got this online directory serving my local area called NEPADirectory. This 'portal' runs on a PHP-based system called InLink and has held up pretty well over the last two years. The trouble is, when I initially made the decision to standardize on InLink, it was because the package was supposed to evolve into something more robust, a system complete with news, message boards, etc. etc. It's two years later, however, and that update never shipped so now the product is fundamentally dead.

Well not wanting to lose my investment of time and money I'm looking for a way to keep my InLink system and wrap something more modern around it. Essentially I'm looking to integrate InLink within Geeklog. Meaning that InLink would still provide my directory listings (still the focus of the site) however Geeklog would to all the rest including news, messageboard, weather, etc. etc.

Does anyone know if this would be theoretically possible, or even viable? I have very limited programming skills and my programmer is often busy working on moneymaking projects so if it would be a huge undertaking it would probably be out of the question (unless someone here was interested in a subcontracting job). However I'd love to keep this directory alive so if it were possible I'd be very interested in hearing about ways to integrate the two. External pages plugin? Iframes? Or an honest to goodness integration of the two via php scripting? Or is it simply not a viable option?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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exaurdon

Forum User
Regular Poster
Registered: 08/13/03
Posts: 107
There are certainly a multitude of ways that the two could be integrated. How do you want your page to be displayed? Are you looking toward having your directory wrapped in the geeklog headers and footers with the left & right blocks etc...?

Options:

1. You could use the external pages plugin. This would provide a reasonably simple way to integrate your site into the geeklog system. It does generally require modifing your existing page, but usually not very much. (Mainly just adding permissions code and an include) This owuld be pretty quick to implement

2. You could iFrame your page, but I heavily recommend against it (frames of any kind are almost always a pain to the user.... )

3. You could edit the InLink system to directly interface with geeklog.

4. You cold turn InLink into a GL plugin (Most work, but also most flexibility.)

It is certainly viable, but I couldn't necissarily recommend a particular approach without knowing how you want your final result to look, and how much integration you were seeking. (Do you want things like geeklog comments associated with your directory elements, etc....) Do you need to actually integrate the pages? or could you just create a similar looking geeklog theme, and just have links between the news page and the directory page?

Exaurdon~
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DigiSquid

Anonymous
Quote by exaurdon:
There are certainly a multitude of ways that the two could be integrated. How do you want your page to be displayed? Are you looking toward having your directory wrapped in the geeklog headers and footers with the left & right blocks etc...?


Well ideally the page would be the directory wrapped in the Geeklog header and footer with right blocks only. As for the integration of the two, at best it would be a single login to add, update or maintain links (no comments or the like needed) and then simply the display of content within the blocks. So nothing really fancy, just a universal login and seamless integration of content, keeping in mind that the directory would still be the main focus.

Quote by exaurdon:
1. You could use the external pages plugin. This would provide a reasonably simple way to integrate your site into the geeklog system. It does generally require modifing your existing page, but usually not very much. (Mainly just adding permissions code and an include) This owuld be pretty quick to implement


Definitely considered this as it seemed to be fairly easy way of integrating the two (maybe even I could do it). The downside is, from my understanding there would be no true integration between the two (eg. universal login).

Quote by exaurdon:
2. You could iFrame your page, but I heavily recommend against it (frames of any kind are almost always a pain to the user.... )


This I know I could do but then there'd be no integration and all and it's really just a kludge, not a true integration.

Quote by exaurdon:
3. You could edit the InLink system to directly interface with geeklog.


Thought this might present the most work but figured it'd be a very good option as far as integration goes.

Quote by exaurdon:
4. You cold turn InLink into a GL plugin (Most work, but also most flexibility.)


Probably the most interesting of all the options as I know both myself as well as all the other InLink users are now searching for alternatives. Having such a plugin would be very interesting to say the least. How much work would something like this potentially entail?

(BTW, thanks for the nice detailed responses!)
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exaurdon

Forum User
Regular Poster
Registered: 08/13/03
Posts: 107
Hello,

I was looking at InLink some more, and because it isn't open source it can't be freely distributed. Because Geeklog is open source I don't think the two can be legally blended. Anything you derived from geeklog would have to be freely distributed, and anything you used InLink in could not be freely disributed.

Now, I'm not an expert on the GPL, and I'm still trying to fully grasp all its implications. If DigiSquid was to develop a plugin out of InLink for his own use, but didn't distribute it, does that violate the GPL?

The only safe integration (particularly if you want to share this with others) is going to be chuck of linking code that is independent of InLink. That way, it can be a legal distributable Geeklog plugin. (This would have to by some kind of integration toolkit) However, it is then still something of a derived product from InLink since the InLink code is going to have to be accessed.

Exaurdon~
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digisquid

Anonymous
Quote by exaurdon: Hello,

I was looking at InLink some more, and because it isn't open source it can't be freely distributed. Because Geeklog is open source I don't think the two can be legally blended. Anything you derived from geeklog would have to be freely distributed, and anything you used InLink in could not be freely disributed.


It's certainly a gray area. However if the plugin was for my own personal use and the parts of it that were open source were made freely available I think we should be fine. Plenty of companies mix open source and closed source nowadays. Then again I haven't read the entire GPL, only browsed through it.
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digisquid

Anonymous
On a side note, while the topic is up for discussion, would anybody out there skilled in Geeklog be interested in creating such a plugin for me? You'd be compensated for your time, of course. If interested, drop me an e-mail at studios@digisquid.com
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