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
'Mara' was suggested in discussions with colleague Eileen, who had always felt that the previous choice of 'Hyperframe' did not convey the impression we wanted. It is a Scots Gaelic word meaning 'of the sea' and is often found as part of house or place names in this part of the world. It can be a female given name, or short form of Tamara. It is also the name of a (male) Tibetan Buddhist demon of destruction.
In its role here, it is intended to be pronounced with the emphasis in the first A, as in 'Mah-ra' or 'Māra.'