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our inhouse-developed website content delivery system.
Mara performs a similar core function to 'Content management systems' such as Joomla!, Drupal or Wordpress, - although it differs in many fundamental aspects from those packages. Probably the most significant difference is its being file based instead of database dependent.
As a brief outline of its design principles:
- Host requirements are recent versions of Apache and php
- Pages are stored as conventional HTML files, as opposed to in an SQL database
- Pages are loaded by native URL, instead of an untidy parameter-string or confusing URL rewrite
- A reliable and substantially quirk-free online editor, plus the ability to upload pages the traditional way
- Configuration is by way of text files rather than browser dialogs
- Common styles and elements are stored in a theme, which is highly customisable
- Menus are cascading, independent of page location, and do not require page refresh to show sublevels
- Page loading should be near-instant, and should not involve 'earthquaking' of content as it loads
- Mara websites should be location-agnostic, and easily relocatable to a new domain
- A site can use HTML5 or HTML4 as desired (and the editor semantics adjust accordingly)
- Disasters should be rare, but always be recoverable by simply replacing the affected files
- System programming should be understandable by a coder of average ability
- Your site should not 'look like a Mara site' or even be identifiable as one unless you wish it
- Near-complete flexibility to modify the system itself, if existing controls don't meet your needs
- Simplest method that does the job satisfactorily, is best