We Would Clone MLX If….

We are flattered. David is aiming for a clone of our Maricopa Learning eXchange, and is added to the list of people requesting a copy of it.

We are not being stingy and would love to put the code out there. For the 10 years I have been web publishing, our MCLI site has and still does share all of its content, e.g Writing HTML.

To be honest, as it stands right now, the MLX is rather specialized (our use of colleges for organizing content, some of the file storage methods, LDAP hooks for creating accounts). The real problem is time and staff- the technical staff in my office is 1.5 and one is writing this right now- the bulk of the database and PHP integration development has been done by a brilliant part-time student programmer. This is Maricopa, not Michigan ;-) We just are not able to devote resources into supporting a sharable MLX as it would drain what we have available for its development.

It still sounds stingy.

What I would like to aim to do is provide a documented framework for the MLX, a downloadable version of the mySQL database structure. But someone else is going to have to sort it out for making a clone.

We will give it a try, but do not hold your breath.

Alan will no doubt correct me (and I hope he does), but the basic concept is pretty simple ￐ people fill in forms and either upload data or point to existing online resources.ᅧ

That is pretty fair for the creation process. You do not see the submission forms, the user options, the inventory tools. The RSS creation is handled by a timed (cron) script, and uses a simple RSSWriter script for output. Trackback is automatically enabled simply in the template PHP that is output for each MLX item, but there are some background things like the MovableType Standalone Trackback code. We are working on a new content rating feature as well.

We have been updating code behind the scenes to make the system simpler (improved database table structure, streamlined search logic, use of more includes and templates for the output), and I can already see that our database tables have shrunk from 9 to 6.

For an environment, we are very much an open-source platform- Linux Apache, MySQl, PHP. The MLX is scattered across three servers though it need not be- a web server for the front end, a dedicated database server (for this and other projects), another server for the MovableType Trackback engine (just because I had MT on a test server, so that is where it landed), and another one just does the cron tasks for timed updates (actually it just does a CURL to PHP scripts scattered here and there). There is no reason it could not all go on one box.

So to end a long unorganized post, I will take a look into what it would take to boil the MLX down to a more generic version, removing of content and function specific to Maricopa.

But no promises.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Alan,

    Okay, can we start with the database structure and the framework (by which you mean?). Heck, just give me the database structure and I can start laying something out.

    I’m willing to do the php work.


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