[wp-hackers] MU Progress

Donncha O Caoimh donncha at linux.ie
Thu Jun 23 22:33:13 GMT 2005

Hi all,

I thought I should bring you up to speed on what's been happening in the 
MU world of late. (If you don't know what WPMU is, take a look at 
http://mu.wordpress.org .. go on, I'll wait while you read! Back? Oh good!)
The ongoing discussion on openness reminded me that I need to volunteer 
some information now and again so as I can keep people up to date and 
hopefully pick your brains on difficult matters.

The last week has seen several huge changes in WordPressMU. What I'm 
discussing below is very seperate from WordPress. The two projects share 
a lot of code, but they're very different beasts.

1. I created a global "blogs" table. This table stores details about all 
the blogs on a system. It even handle multiple installations on one 
domain or across domains hosted on the one machine! It should be 
possible to install WPMU once, and then access it by different domains!
2. There's a global users table. Once you register on the system, you 
*could* get access to any of the blogs on that machine if the blog owner 
allowed it! You could even have different permissions in each blog!
3. The usermeta table is rather handy - it's a global table describing 
users. Matt put the user_level in there, prepended by the table prefix 
which facilitates having different permissions on different blogs on 
different domains! You could be a level 10 user on 
http://www.example.com/joesblog/ but only a level 0 visitor on 
http://www.anotherexample.com/marysblog/ and all driven from the same 
data source! Kind of exciting eh? :)
It takes the same form as the options table, so it's very expandable. It 
has the same name/value fields. Next to go in will be the usual suspects 
such as IM addresses, urls, etc.
4. Up until recently I used the blog name in the database table 
filenames, but because of the global blogs table mentioned above I've 
changed things so it uses the blog_id instead. Tables aren't as easy to 
maintain in phpmyadmin, but logically they match the records in the 
blogs table.
5. Themes! I've always been a fan of Smarty templates, but there are 
such a wealth of really great WordPress themes out there it was a shame 
WPMU couldn't use them. WP theme support has come along in leaps and 
bounds in the last year and it was a simple change so that WPMU can use 
them. It's read-only right now, but that will change.

*phew* those are only a few of the recent changes.
I still haven't thought about how the global userlist will be able to 
interact with a blog. Probably as a paged list with a search box and 
What about global categories? If multiple blog authors post to the same 
global category it would be simplicity itself to create feeds of that 
subject, or narrow site searches, or any number of things! Could you 
limit the categories to certain named blogs? Have an administrator who 
lets blogs in?

I'm off to bed, 'night!

Donncha O Caoimh
http://blogs.linux.ie/xeer/ / http://mu.wordpress.org/

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