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The preinstalled modules

6.1. The preinstalled modules


Born as the heart of PHP-Nuke, it was the obligatory Home Page in previous versions. In the last versions it is instead possible to define which modules should appear as the default page.

The News module expands its branches on more pages. The first one we see is a collection of the latest News published (it is possible , from the configuration panel [admin->preferences] to choose the number of latest news to be displayed, say 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30). In the main page only a small initial text of the news article is published. If the text is too large, it will be possible to read it whole by pressing the link "Read more".

The article module has many elements that distinguish it from other ones. In the first place, the title, the topic, that is the main category and is usually characterized by an image that, if clicked, brings up a selection of the articles that belong to this topic (starting from version 6.6, it is possible to assign more than one topics to one article). We have a second way to classify the articles, which is to assign them a category they are supposed to belong (see Figure 6-2).

Figure 6-2. Classifying articles

Classifying articles


This category is NOT a subcategory of topics, but rather a cross-sectional category that is completely independent from topics. Probably its most important function is to distinguish between "articles" and other admin-defined classes of news for which it will be possible to NOT be automatically published on the start page. "Articles" will always appear on the start news page.

For example, imagine a portal that talks about soccer and it has 3 topics:

  • League A

  • League B

  • League C

We could think of cross-sectional categories like:

  • Championship

  • Champions League

  • Soccer player market

We can have an article that talks about League A/Championship, or of the Soccer player market League B. Clicking o topic, say League A, we will have a selection of all the articles that talk about League A, clicking on the category, Soccer player market, will have a selection of the articles that independently talk about soccer market that independently of the League being A, B or C.

At the bottom of the article we find more information about the article: who inserted it, when & how many times it has been read etc.


The counter is incremented only if the "Read more" link has been clicked. The counter does not increment unless the user clicks "Read more".

It displays how many more bytes are still to be read, if there have been any comments on the article and what score has been given to the article by the readers. It is also possible to print the article in a printer-friendly format or you can send the link via e-mail to a friend.

Clicking on " Read all " brings us to the page that contains the entire article and the comments pertaining to it. In this page the user can read the entire article and interact with it through a multitude of operations.

He/She can cast a vote for the article, thus expressing a judgement on its validity, can comment on the article or answer to comments inserted from other users, can follow the links associated with this article, display it in a printer-friendly format and send the link via e-mail to a friend. You can also attach a survey to the article.

In Section 18.7 we show how to modify the PHP-Nuke News module.


It is a very simplified version of the news archive, cretated mainly from the need to visit the page via a Palm Pilot. AvantGO is a system for archiving and visualizing the pages on palmtop screens due to the fact the Palm Pilot has a very small screen and has a low resolution (and even a low bandwidth connection) so they require simplified pages.

Downloads Module:

This module is deeply branched and is used to manage a file archive (present on our own or a third party site). It offers various modes of interaction the user (see Figure 6-3).

Figure 6-3. Downloads module

Downloads module

In the main page it is possible to use an internal search engine that searches for keywords among all the files cataloged. There is also the possibility to add external links to a file (these files will not be added immediately, but put in a waiting list until an administrator will approve them and they become visible). We can also base our selection on which files were downloaded most, or which ones obtained the highest score. On this page we can have a list of categories that accompany the files (there may exist subcategories but in Figure 6-3 there is only 1 category, "Linux Downloads"), the user is recognized when he/she views the downloads section after their first visit so if new downloads have been added since the last visit, the corresponding category will be have a "new" icon beside it.

Once we have entered the desired section, we can download the files that interest us, cast a judgment vote, report a nonexistent link to the administrator or see more information regarding the author of the file.

The file list may be ordered by insertion date, judgment or popularityy (files downloaded most).

Read Section 27.6 if you are looking for a quick way to enter thousands of Downloads links. Further, in Section 18.10 we show how to modify the PHP-Nuke Downloads module.


Allows the user to send feedback and contact the webmaster of the site. The user just fills in the appropriate fields which are "Name", "E-Mail" and then the "Message Text". The system will then format an e-mail message that will arrive to the webmaster of the site.

Member List:

It displays all the users registered on the site. It is possible to select the users on the basis of their basic information fields (name, nickname, personal homepage and e-mail address). It is also possible to obtain a complete list of all the users and to order it by real name, e-mail address or homepage.

Private messages:

All the registered users have access to an internal messaging system, thus being able to exchange messages with each other. In the login box of each user the number of messages that are archived for this user will be displayed, and there is a management functionality allowing for replies or deletions (see Figure 6-4).

Figure 6-4. Private messages

Private messages

The message that we compose has various parts:

  • The Recipient

  • The Subject

  • The animated icon that will accompany the subject of the message

  • The text that can be equipped with emoticons (emotional icons) and an aid for formatting the message in HTML adding Hyperlinks, emphasized words, bullet lists etc...

In case there are private messages waiting for a user, this will be indicated in the login block.

Starting from version 6.5, the Private Messages module has been changed: it has been integrated to the private messaging functionality of the phpBB forum. Sending functionality has not been changed, but there have been additions in other areas like:

  • The list of sent messages.

  • The list of drafts (messages that were written, but not have not yet been sent).

  • The remaining space in the box containing the list of messages.

The module has been integrated in a very strict fashion into the phpBB forum.

Recommend Us:

This module is so you can send an e-mail to a friend recommending visiting our PHP-Nuke site. The message that will be sent to the friend must be configured by the administrator.

Book Reviews:

This module serves as an archive of product/services/site reviews. The book review must be inserted by the administrator but also from a user (a book review will need , in this case, be accepted by the administrator) who, after inserting a short description of the product then may express his judgment assigning a score to it. It is also possible to insert a descriptive image. The book reviews are catalogued in alphabetical order and the selection can be made based on starting letter.

We discuss how to modify the Reviews module in Section 18.4.


It is the main search engine for PHP-Nuke, it does full text searches on articles, comments, sections, users and book reviews (see Figure 6-5). It is possible to make multiple searches (e.g.. an article of a certain category written by a certain author).

Figure 6-5. Search module

Search module


This module is a classification system parallel to the one of the topics. The classification of articles in PHP-Nuke does not follow a tree-like scheme, as in the following example:

  • Series A

    • Amateur football

    • Professional football

    • Gossip

  • Series B

    • Amateur football

    • Professional football

    • Gossip

Instead, classification is achieved through the use of two transversal criteria, of which one is the "Section" and the other one the "Topic", as is better captured by a table, whose two dimensions (rows and columns) cover the two criteria (see Table 6-1).

Table 6-1. Classification with topics and sections

Series A

Series B

Series C

Amateur football



Professional football





We discuss how to modify the Sections module in Section 18.9.


The statistics module provides basic statistical information regarding use of the site. The information varies from the total number of displayed pages , to the type of browser and operating system used, up to the number of users that are registered, the version of PHP-Nuke used etc.(see Figure 6-6).

Figure 6-6. Statistics module

Statistics module

Stories archive:

Archives all the articles by month enabling a chronological consultation. After having chosen the month, the corresponding articles are displayed with small flags besides them, visualizing the language they were written. Also in this plane it is possible to see the article in printable format and to send it to a friend. An inner search engine is also comprised as well as the display of details regarding the article, such as:

  • number of comments

  • number of readings

  • score

We discuss how to modify the Stories Archive module in Section 18.11.

Submit news:

The users or the simple visitors of the site can propose to the administrator an article that will then be examined and, if approved, published. The users do not have all the possibility of classification that the administrator does, in fact they can only decide the article's title, the topic, the language and the text. They cannot classify it or choose if it should appear in the Home Page or not. And they can neither decide to publish it on a temporary basis.

We discuss how to modify the News module in Section 18.7.


Enables the administrator to create a survey that will later appear in a block (Figure 6-14) or in the survey list. The users can vote on this survey (not more than once in 24 hours), and possibly leave a comment. Moreover it is possible to display the list of the previous surveys and to consult their final results.


It lists the top 10 active elements of our portal:

  • 10 most read articles

  • 10 most commented articles

  • 10 most active categories

  • 10 most read articles in the special sections

  • 10 most voted surveys

  • 10 most active authors

  • 10 most read book reviews

  • 10most downloaded files

  • 10 most read pages


Lists the main categories of PHP-Nuke. Once we have entered this module, we will be able, by clicking on the corresponding icon of the topic we are interested in, to carry out a selection of articles and in automatic mode, to see all the articles corresponding to this topic. We are also presented with a small search interface to finish our search in the chosen context.


It is a collection of web links. This module has the exact same functionality as the Download module so there is no need to explain it any more.

Read Section 27.5 if you are looking for a quick way to enter thousands of Web links. Further, in Section 18.5 we show how to modify the PHP-Nuke Web Links module.

Your Account:

It's the administration console for your "User Profile" (It only works for registered users), the implemented functions are (see Figure 6-7):

  • Change your info: enables management of your profile by changing your E-mail, Where you're from, AIM, ICQ, Avatar & Fake E-mail etc...

  • Change your Home: creates a personalized menu (as a block) for navigation, the user can put in there whatever he wants (tests, links, images).

  • Setup comments: Configures the display of comments, assigning display criteria.

  • Theme selection: Changes the theme of the site, allowing you to choose between all available themes.

  • Journal: enables you to write your own diary to be published on the portal. Something like a Weblog in a Weblog, so to say. ;-)

  • Webmail: once configured correctly, this mail application allows you to read all your e-mails from all your e-mail accounts, without the need for any other mail client.

  • Logout/Exit: It lets us exit from our current user profile, cancelling the cookie.

  • My Headlines: Imports into the the user's private area those news in RDF/RSS format that are published by preselected news sources. The user can thus set up together his own personalized newspaper. An even broader news functionality is offered by the My Headlines module (Section 8.3.9), whose functionality you can see in action at Chris' News-o-matic page.

  • Broadcast Message: If the subject is aproppriate and the administrator has allowed it in the Preferences of the administration panel (Chapter 7), we can send messages that will be visible to all users on the home page of the site. It is also possible to disable the function, so that we don't see messages broadcast by other users.

  • Your private messages: This box displays the user's private messages.

  • Last 10 articles: Offers a list of the last 10 articles posted by that user.

Figure 6-7. Your account

Your account

We then have a main menu that informs us of how many and which comments we have inserted and how many stories we have published.

In Section 18.6 we show how to modify the PHP-Nuke Your Account module. If you are looking for a module that extends the possibilities of the standard Your Account module, have a look at the Your Account Tweak module in Section 8.3.3 and the Approve Membership module in Section 8.3.4.


This is a module that allows you to create your pages just as you prefer: you can insert HTML code (even one created by those very ugly visual editors) and it will be incorporated into the look and feel of your theme when the article is displayed.

The Content module posesses a series of fields. Some are displayed only in the first page, some others only in the last one. The "Page Header" field is the principal one, it is possible to separate the content into subpages, inserting at the aproppriate places in the text the <!--pagebreak> tag. For example, if you write

My Homepage is the best website
I visit it every day

then the text "I visit it every day" will be on the second page. See also Section 21.5, Section 21.6 and Section 21.7 for other techniques to incorporate HTML content in PHP-Nuke.


It is a system for creating one or more word dictionaries. In the first selection scheme it requires you to enter the dictionary (displaying even a small flag that indicates the language), after the click we are invited to choose the letter that corresponds to the searched word or to use the inner search engine of the encyclopedia, once found it's enough to click on the word to discover its meaning.

In Section 27.9, you can read how to internationalize the Encyclopedia module. You can also use the Random Quotes block (Section 8.2.8) to create a random encyclopedia.


It is an archive of Questions/Answers divided by category that can be consulted by the user as a first solution to his problems. He can divide the Questions/Answers by category in order to facilitate the consultation.

If you want to display HTML code in a FAQ, have a look at Section 27.4. See also Section 22.1 if you want to duplicate the FAQ module.

Splatt Forum:

(note: the Splatt forum is included in PHP-Nuke version 6.0, but not in the successive ones, where it was replaced by the phpBB Forum, to be described subsequently).

The functionalities implemented in this forum (on the user side) are many (see Figure 6-8), the forums are divided by category, have a dedicated inner search engine, users can associate to every post (participation in the forum) icons relating to the argument, cast a vote on a discussion, see various icons according to the degree of attention degree that a specific discussion has generated, see how many questions and answers a certain thread has received, see the profile of that user and many other functions.

Figure 6-8. Splatt Forum.

Splatt Forum.

phpBB Forum:

This Forum module is installed in PHP-Nuke starting from version 6.5, replacing the Splatt Forum (Figure 6-9). It offers a series of additional features, like an optimal search functionality for threads or an optimal user profile management, where it is now possible to insert alerts to inform a user via e-mail of the arrival of a response to a posting or private message of his.

Among the novelties in the forum interface is a list of the users currently online, an interface for the formatting of the inserted text, the possibility to attach a survey to every thread etc.

Figure 6-9. phpBB Forum.

phpBB Forum.


Starting from version 6.8 of PHP-Nuke, it is possible to acquire News from the XDMP site. The News are available in many categories and will be automatically published on your site, once you acquire the service. For this to take place, you will only need to edit the modules/News/xdmp.php file, inserting the login and password you were assigned on acquisition. You can set up the news categories and the refresh intervalls from the interface offered by modules/News/xdmp.php. An even broader news functionality is offered by the My Headlines module (Section 8.3.9), whose functionality you can see in action at Chris' News-o-matic page.

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