Flexible Content Management System


GSoC Interview: Daniel Byrd

Contributed by on Apr 23, 2008 - 06:02 AM

I was born and have lived in England my entire life, although I am also an American national due to my father being one. I tend to switch between being American and English whenever it’s convenient (It’s pretty much only more convenient to be American when trying to enter America).

I enjoy doing a bit of drawing here and there and pretty much any reasonable kind of sport, especially team sports. But as far as interesting hobbies go I don’t raise boa constrictors or compete for the world record for juggling with flaming knives or anything like that. I guess I need to take something up so I can better answer these kinds of questions.

I currently run (technically not completely finished yet) where I’ve implemented a specific self-made content management system, which probably had something to do with what drew me to Postnuke.

2. What attracted you to the Google Summer of Code as a programme, and PostNuke as a project?

What tempted me about the GSOC program was the flexibility of the whole system, working where you want, when you want, as well the opportunity to get paid to code, which probably wouldn’t have been possible otherwise and is obviously going to offer some useful experience.

PostNuke seemed like a project I could actually make an impact on, as I already have a decent head start in all the required areas, I didn’t like the idea of taking a plunge into the unknown and having to spend half the time trying to figure out what was actually going on rather than actually contributing. Also a lot of people use websites, and a lot of people benefit from Postnuke, so the idea of contributing to something genuinely useful to many people was a factor for me.

3. Tell us about your project, and how you hope it can benefit PostNuke?

I’ve been on countless websites where the search functionality is just not up to scratch, it’s frustrating to say the least. Although Postnuke already has a fairly well implemented search module, theres room for improvement. My project is essentially to construct a fully functional search engine for PostNuke. Actually, two. One direct port of an existing search system, (along the lines of htdig or phpdig) and one more specific implementation that works more intimately with PostNuke.

The outcome for Postnuke should be the following the features:

  1. Unsharp searches so that users get probably expected results in spite of typing or spelling errors.

  2. Searching of non-html documents (such as open office documents and PDF)

  3. Improvements in performance. Currently, each module is queried individually, multiple results for the same page are displayed more than once and there is no way of displaying searches by relevance.

  4. (If time allows) Semantic searches (ie content added by person x)

5. What do you personally hope to gain from participating in the Summer of Code with PostNuke?

I’m looking forward to getting an insider’s perspective on an open source project as I don’t really know much about open source, and this seems like the best way to learn more. Of course in terms of further work prospects, this is a useful bit of experience to have for sure. It would also be nice to make some friends in the process.

6. Can you see yourself contributing your talents to Open Source projects following the SoC? Will you continue to work with PostNuke in some capacity after the programme has ended?

It’s a definite possibility, I’ll have to see how it goes and see how much I enjoy it. It also depends on how much spare time I have as well I guess. But I’d definitely consider it.

7. Is there anything else you’d like to say now, as the programme begins?

I’d like to thank the people here at PostNuke for applying to GSOC so that I could have this opportunity, and I’d like to say that I’m looking forward to the next few months and that I’ll do my best to make my effort a worthwhile addition to PostNuke.

Lastly, thanks for your time – we in the PostNuke team are excited about the Summer of Code, so thank you for taking part and choosing PostNuke!