A recent article about Chrome moving to mark all HTTP sites as Non-Secure has rekindled some thinking about a potential remodel of the Highway side of cahighways.org. I don’t necessarily believe that the highway side needs to be HTTPS (after all, this is really low impact data, and the risk is relatively low), but the actions of Google plus the desire to ensure that advertising or malware isn’t inserted in the data stream is going to push me to HTTPS. Plus, as a cybersecurity professional in real life, I should practice what I preach. So I’ve renewed the certificate for cahighways.org, and I’ve got the blog side of the site already set to be always HTTPS. I believe I’ve got the Highway side so that the pages are all using or referencing secure sources (some images on the book reference page are broken right now), but I’m waiting for Westhost to help do the final HTTPS redirect.
To understand what I’m planning to do, you need to understand something about the setup of the Highways side of the site, other than it is old. I keep individual files for each highway. I run a perl script over these files that builds them into the pretty version the user sees, puts 8 highways per file, builds all the cross references when highways are mentioned, and such. For non-individual highway pages, it takes a source version of the page and fixes links and references to generate the final HTML version of the page. My remodeled setup will need to retain all of that, and ideally, will not break any link into the site that other sites may have, except, perhaps, forcing them to HTTPS.
I’d like to build upon a notion I use for an application I’ve developed at work, where I download an HTML template file that has markers for the title (%TITLE%) and the gooey center (%BODY%). The generation scripts will insert whatever my content is into that template. At work, I use a hidden template file in a WordPress installation. I can’t do that here, because I use WordPress for the blog and I’ll need a different content management system for the site.
I’d also like the updated site to be more responsive and adaptive — in other words, it would automatically adapt to mobile and other devices. This may need to change how I refer to my image callouts. Luckily, I can have my perl generation scripts fix IMG tags to add whatever I need. I also plan to have a script that will change http: in image callouts to https: (if they aren’t local), and potentially, to do automatic validation that websites are still good by attempting to download from them.
What I’m thinking is that I’ll install a second either content management system (CMS) or blog on the Highway side of the site, and if necessary, make index.html do a reload of whatever the top page is of the CMS. The question is: which CMS or Blog. The Softalicious Installer lists the following blogging software packages as available for installation (in addition to WordPress): Open Blog, Serendipity, Dotclear, b2evolution, Textpattern, Nibbleblog, LifeType, Pixie, Nucleus, Chyrp, eggBlog, HTMLy, PivotX, FlatPress, and Movable Type. One thing I don’t know is whether a second installation would create mysql conflicts with WordPress. In terms of CMSs available, there is: Joomla, Open Real Estate, Concrete5, MODX, e107, CMS Made Simple, Xoops, Composr, Drupal, Website Baker, PHP-Nuke, Subrion, sNews, Kliqqi, jCore, Contao, Silex, GRAV, SilverStripe, Geeklog, Bolt, ProcessWire, Kirby, Koken, Pluck, ImpressPages, Quick.CMS, Sitemagic CMS, Redaxscript, ImpressCMS, Open Business Card, Monstra, Mahara, PopojiCMS, Bludit, Microweber, SiteCake, Croogo, Jamroom, Pimcore, Anchor, PluXml, WonderCMS, Fiyo CMS, Typesetter, razorCMS, SeoToaster CMS, Pagekit, OctoberCMS, Cotonti, Hotaru CMS, TYPO3, Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware 15, Zenario, liveSite, Kopage, SCHLIX CMS, CMSimple, Precurio, appRain, ClipperCMS, and. Wolf CMS. No, I’m not going to link all of these; you can see them here.
So, I’d appreciate thoughts any readers who have made it this far might have.