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Could WP Questions (TMA) be built with WordPress?

A number of people have written to us and asked why WP Questions was not built with WordPress. Possibly they do not understand what we are trying to do. Or, possibly, I am ignorant. The important thing to keep in mind is that we are trying to build software that can handle thousands of websites. I am not sure how to build this software with WordPress. So I'll ask this crew, could you build the TMA software with WordPress?

Here are some of the things we are doing, and I'm curious how you would do this with WordPress.

1.) Every owner of a website gets FTP access to their css files, their images, their Javascript files, but the website owners do not get access to any PHP files, since that would be a security risk.

2.) Several thousand websites (hopefully) should be able to run off of one installation of the software. The software will live on the server in the directory:


This is where the PHP files and all the default template files will live. The web site owners will not have access to this.

3.) Easy deploy of new code: the developers (I mean me and Chris and Misty) can deploy from Subversion to /home/codewise/core and this automatically grants new funcationality and new templates to each website (of which there might be thousands).

4.) A web interface so the web site owners can edit any template. The custom templates get stored in /home/codewise/core/custom. No PHP is allowed in the templates but there is a system of template tags that translates back to PHP. For security reasons, no web site owner is ever allowed to write any PHP code.

5.) Easy cron: we have 8 cron scripts that handle things like voting and sending money to and from the Community Pot. There needs to be an easy, automated way these scripts get called on several thousand websites.

6.) Easy cache management: when we deploy a change that requires the cache to be cleared, its useful to us if we can clear the cache for every site, with one command. And in the future this might be several thousand sites.

7.) Cache control of custom templates. Even when the user overrides the default templates and creates their own templates, there should be a way for us to specify in the code how often the custom template should be cached.

8.) Any error message in the software needs to be a variable, so that web site owners can easily translate the message into various languages (French, Russian, etc).

As it is, we built this software with a modified version of the Symfony framework. But I'm curious, if you were doing this with WordPress, how would you handle the above 8 items?

Lawrence Krubner | 08/23/11 at 12:59pm

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