In my quest for a good enough CMS/CP system, I resisted the urge to abandon Java all these days, but my patience is now running out. Found JLCP of JavaLobby too new. CoFax is interesting but is not designed for what I need. OpenCMS appears to be a closed system, simulating its own filesystem. Jetspeed is promising but would still require a good amount of work to get what I want. After spending better part of the long weekend trying to figure out how to make Apache Forrest and Apache Cocoon work for me, and finding them hopelessly complex (and I am not new to Apache Cocoon. In fact, it was I who wrote the Understanding Cocoon two years ago when the Cocoon documentation was really scarce ), I was quite disenchanted with the current state of Java CMS/CP systems (or their building blocks).
In a moment of vulnerability, Gyan (Veena's brother), who himself has been dabbling with PHP, convinced me to try out PHP-Nuke. In the beginning, I was bit scared of learning yet another programming language (i.e., PHP). However, this fear turned out to be baseless. Downloading and installing PHP-Nuke on my Linux system was a breeze. Browsed through some of the source files and an excellent guide. PHP-Nuke's completeness for what I was looking for and its relative simplicity was amazing. I was impressed.
However, running PHP-Nuke successfully involved some work. It needed MySQL and I discovered that my standard Linux installation didn't have it installed. Luckily, it was there on the RedHat Linux 8 CD#3 and installation using KDE Windows Manager (System Settings --> Packages) was quite smooth. But even after installing MySQL, I was not able to access index.php or admin.php of PHP-Nuke. I was getting a blank browser and the View --> Source indicated a html document with empty body. With some experimentation, I tracked down the problem to the failure of PHP to access MySQL. This was resolved by installing php-mysql from CD#3 and restarting Apache. I had to resort to line mode commands for this (for, the KDE Package Manager would just not show me this package):
#rpm -i /mnt/cdrom/RedHat/RPMS/php-mysql*.rpm
Well, PHP-Nuke now works great on my box and I think, is quite simple to customize and extend. Perhaps this is what I will end up using.