RT Cunningham

The History of WordPress and b2evolution and Where I’m Going

history of WordPress and b2evolution

The history of WordPress and b2evolution as content management systems is interesting, if nothing else. Of course, I only know about the published history.

When I started blogging in 2006, I chose WordPress. An online friend, “Hari“, chose b2evolution but I don’t know when he chose it. He started his blog in 2005 and I don’t know if he started with b2evolution at that time or not. It’s what he was using when I first “conversed” with him but it isn’t what he’s using today.

Blogger, B2/cafelog, WordPress and b2evolution

Pyra Labs created Blogger in 1999. It was one of the first online blogging platforms, if not the first. A French web programmer by the name Michel Valdrighi created B2 (also known as cafelog) in 2001, inspired by Blogger.

Francois Planque, the main developer of b2evolution to this day, switched from Blogger to B2 in December of 2002.  Valdrighi, who was working on version 1.0 of B2, disappeared around the same time.

Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, both B2 users, started WordPress in 2003. Version 0.7 was the official continuation of B2, announced by Valdrighi himself when he reappeared in 2003.

Planque was developing b2evolution at the same time Mullenweg and Little were developing WordPress. Mullenweg wanted Planque to contribute to WordPress but Planque decided to branch out on his own.

Server-Side Advances

Both WordPress and b2evolution use MySQL databases for content storage. That made a lot of sense back when we were still using PHP 4.  Many people used shared hosting back then because it’s all they could afford for self-hosting. Online services like Blogger (now owned by Google), WordPress.com and others became popular alternatives to self-hosting.

PHP, now at version 7.3, can do a lot more with file-based operations than it could back then. I ‘m working on something of my own with PHP only, inspired only a little by WordPress. I’ve even examined FlatPress  to see what  the original developer (it has since changed hands) does differently. 

PHP functions like file_get_contents, file_put_contents and glob make PHP much easier to work with than years ago. Many native database functions are relatively easy to emulate in PHP.

VPS and cloud services are now relatively inexpensive, with more memory available than ever before. You can host with one gigabyte of memory when using a database, less than that when you don’t.

My WordPress Exit

I’ve been examining other content management systems for at least the last two years. I’m not impressed with much of anything.

The top platforms (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla) and b2evolution all require database storage. The ones that use flat-file storage use SQLite or XML-based text files (or some custom plain text formats). I think JSON is a better idea but I’ve yet to see it used for anything other than configuration files.

The media or file managers are also unimpressive. I want something better than what WordPress has to offer, not worse. Currently, I like KCFinder and TinyMCE for the file manager/web editor combination. I actually like CKEditor more than TinyMCE but I don’t like its licensing restrictions.

For me, WordPress is the best platform to use until I find something better or create my own. Hopefully, I’ll be using something else before the end of another year.

Next Day Update

If I want to link to a larger image with KCFinder, I have to type in the URL manually. I’m going back to Responsive filemanager, the one I mentioned when I wrote about web editors. If everything isn’t point and click, nothing should be.

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RT Cunningham
December 14, 2018
Web Development