So a few weeks ago I blogged about the Drupal installation I was going to create. I had a plan and began to implement it. I had installed Drupal in a Multi-Site configuration but as I worked on the server, I realized that it was too much. I needed my faculty and students to publish in a simple, quick and easy way. I could have restricted Drupal a great deal to implement this, but…
At about the same time, I saw D’Arcy Norman post a tweet about his new WordPress MU installation and how great it was to install and how easy it was to use. I use WordPress for this blog and have installed WPMU multiple times. I realized that what we needed was an intranet type site and that building it with WordPress MU would be much easier than Drupal. If eventually we needed the functionality of Drupal, our teachers and students would be used to a web based Content Management System and the switch would not be so difficult.
With that said, I built our new intranet in WordPress MU. I added the LDAP plug-in so faculty can authenticate off of our Active Directory. I also installed Anarchy Media Player and Farmer’s Anti-Spam Pack from the WPMUDev.org Web Site (be careful, some of those plug-ins are out of date). I installed Farmer’s Theme pack and we selected two themes for our faculty to choose from.
So we’re up and running. We have some teachers, staff and student clubs interested in and publishing.
I have a few outstanding issues to resolve:
1. How do I support the teachers who ask for a password protected site? Why? I have some concerns about copyright and student privacy. The easy way would be to install a new WPMU installation and put it behind a PAM Auth password. But I wonder if there is a way to password protect certain blogs on our WordPress MU installation. That would be ideal as I would only have to support one installation. I’ll be looking for a plug-in for this in the near future. Know any?
2. The WordPress MU LDAP plug-in allows for authentication of one tree of an LDAP directory, but I would like to add two (faculty and students). I need to check out the code to see if those variables are held in an array and if they will work with two LDAP trees. Drupal’s LDAP Integration Module is awesome in this respect. Maybe I can borrow some of its code? More tweaking needed.
3. The root site on our WPMU 1.2.5a installation is a bit buggy. Here the problem:
When I view http://url.org using Internet Explorer 6.0 and 7.0, it looks fine. When I look at http://url.org using Firefox, the url is forward to http://www.url.org and the style sheet does not load. I have seen some versions of Firefox load the css but not many. The css url in the page source appears correct.
To get around this, I logged into one of the sub sites and went to Site Admin -> Blogs, and clicked Edit to the right of the http://url.org site. I then added a www. to all of the urls in on that page, except for the Site URL
This works, but is quirky and I would like http://url.org to work correctly in IE and Firefox. This is one of the only situations where IE has come through for me — probably because of a non-standard implementation of dns.
4. Last, but not least, I need to do some theme hacking so we have a default theme and the default links that load in the Blogroll link all of our sub-blogs back to the mother blog.
I have to post #2 and #3 those last two issues up in the WPMU forums.
Now for the hard part, getting people to write!