Opus is a Content Management System which lets you publish one or more
web sites each of which can include an online newspaper. Each site can have
a different look and feel. Sites can have multiple authors. A web front end
allows authors to post new articles without any need to learn HTML.
Opus was developed to publish a web site and online newspaper for the
village of Milton. A number
of other sites have been developed, both by
The Hug and by other designers
Opus lets you run one or more web sites which we call "papers". In the
paper the text on each web page is called an "article".
Each paper can be divided into one or more sections and within the sections
you can have any number of articles. Each paper has an editor and one or more
authors, including the editor. Authors post articles which are stored in the
database and retrieved when the paper is read.
Articles come in different shapes and sizes. News articles appear in the
site's news section while web articles allow you to add more static content.
Database articles are useful for holding more structured information, such as
contact directories. Document articles let you put other types of document such
as Word and PDF files on your web site, and have them managed and searchable
Articles are written via a web form. The text of articles can be plain text
so you don't need to understand HTML mark up (although if you do you can use
Each news article has a headline followed by the text. Long articles are
split automatically after the end of the first paragraph and only the first
paragraph will then appear followed by the hotlink "More...".
News articles can be embargoed, so they don't appear in the paper until
the date/time specified, and expired, so they disappear after the date/time
News articles can be marked to go in the paper's diary, in which case a
date and optionally, start and end times, are specified and it will also
appear in a diary section.
Web articles are similar to news articles, but don't appear in the news
section of the site. They have a title followed by the text, which again
can be plain text or HTML.
Database articles consist of one or more predefined fields. The fields
can be single or multi-line text, select pull downs or check boxes.
Document articles have an attached document, usually a PDF or Word document,
and can include a headline and text, line a web article, which introduces
the document to the reader.
Opus also includes its own search engine.
Opus is designed so that it is easy to customise the look and feel of
Opus is written in PHP using a MySQL database back end. Both of these
are freely available under the GNU General Public License.
Opus is designed to be useable by people with little or no experience
of either PHP or MySQL, although you'll get more out of it if you understand
these packages. You also probably need to understand the basics of how to put
together a web page and how to write HTML. Although again these aren't vital.
Probably the hardest part of the installation is installing PHP and MySQL,
but if you're using an ISP to host your paper this will already be done for
Copyright and Licence
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