Ok I’ve had some time to continue development of our intranet site at work, and I have to say the results have been really excellent. WordPress United was finally released last wekend, and it’s every bit as good as it promised to be. I appreciate that it might be getting hard to track what I’m using and not using now so I’ll break it down:

  • WordPress 2.3 alpha trunk build (using SVN so it gets updated constantly).
  • A post RC2 version of phpbb3. If you don’t know phpbb well, it’s not as fun to use as WordPress, since phpbb mods are actual modifications to the code, not plugins. Therefore, I’m stuck with my current version of the code until I upgrade and reapply all the mods.
  • Active Directory phpbb authentication.
  • WP-United 0.51. Any time a logged in phpbb user goes to the WordPress page, it logs them in there too. It also handles embedding the templates, cross system plugins, widgets, style sheet priority, user blogging permissions and many other things.
  • NextGen Gallery. This is a fairly straightforward embedded gallery plugin for WordPress. I really wanted to stay as lightweight as possible for this one as its initial task is simply to replicate and augment a staff photo gallery using modern technology.
  • Phpbb3 Portal. The developers of this front end for phpbb3 have made a very good effort considering the constraints that the system has. You have to do a lot of hacking around to get things a) working, and b) looking good, but the results are a powerful block based portal. I particularly like a dynamic tabbed RSS block I hacked together from code at StaticFX.
  • Simple Syndication. This is a phpbb3 mod which syndicates the entire bulletin board in RSS feeds on a per forum basis. It’s really powerful but I suspect it doesn’t parse bbcode tags correctly, which will cause a few issues when I try and syndicate news directly into users’ Outlook mailboxes.
  • AskPeople. This is a separate project I’ve been working on, which happens to have a beautifully integrated style. We’re hoping to use this initially for performing staff surveys, but eventually for wider customer ones. It’s really cool and very easy to quickly put something powerful together.

Anyway, that’s an overview of the technologies I’ve been using. The front page of the intranet is the WP blog. Our Newsperson will blog to that and keep the masses informed. The rogues’ gallery and a bunch of other static pages exist as links from the front page. Other than that I’ve kept things very similar to how they were. The intranet content is still using ‘activemedia’ and the bulletin board is still accessed via the front page and probably will be completely ignored. However, I feel quite positive about the whole thing – the implementation has gone so well that surely there’ll now be an uptake for it….