By Jefferson González


It all started during the development of Jaris FLV player website on sourceforge.net. SourceForge offered the facility to install web applications so you could host your project site on their servers, this was a pretty common practice so I decided to roll my own. The service was pretty limited and kind of confusing to use (I was even asked by people from other projects to help them setup forums and the like). The best way to work was to develop the website offline and upload file and database changes if possible. It was kind of a pain having to upload database changes to the MySql server since there were many steps involved.

With a previous background in web development, I had some bad experiences with well known content management systems based on mysql. Almost all of them suffered slow response times in shared web-hosting environments due to many circumstances. So I wanted something lite and fast that could run decently on any kind of environment, but with almost all the features of existing well known content management systems. I started working on something that only depended on plain text files. The idea was to have a cms that could be easily setup without having to install and maintain client/server relational database systems. It would only require a re-upload of files. Also I wanted the flexibility of launching my favorite text editor to make modifications on any part of the content.

After some thinking, a PHP database system (if it can be called that way) was developed to store any kind of text content. An XML solution could have served for the purpose but a php one was more flexible and to a certain degree more secure. It was decided that each page was going to be stored on individual files instead of a monolithic one.


In the beginning Jaris lacked an interface to manage the content, everything was done by modifying files. The php code was only in charge of generating the output of the site depending on these files. After taking a run on sites outside of sourceforge It began to see more features and the administration interface saw the light!

Up to date, Jaris is being developed and continues to see new features as they seem necessary. From the simple idea of hosting project sites in sourceforge an extensible and modular content management system was conceived.