DHTML / PHP automation to maintain small NEWS SITE

Large News organizations use big apps to separate the DHTML of a news site, from the content that a reporter plugs into a news editor format.  These packages are large, pricey and heavy stuff to set up.

A News site takes 2-3 changes a day to keep up, so it is unrealistic to do it by hand.  The layout and links that go with each news article need to be tied to that news article, so basically one needs a story book editor, with a bunch of check boxes, for subject, topic area, include which links, etc.  The DHTML needs to provide the layout, time or date, and standard other DHTML entities and links on all pages.

Even a small news site needs this level of automation -- yet I have never been able to find a news site program to help automate this for a writer, a package designed for a small site, maybe only 1-2 editors.

                       **** BBS, CMS, Blog and portal software don't cut it for these needs ***
Others that DON'T cut it -- DynaPortal, Smarty, P2P, Mambo, Typo, + other standard CMS / DB software

The writer handles only the news story content and related pictures, nothing else, no layout, no DHTML -- the server pages plug in all DHTML code for the page, the story goes into an IFRAME on demand.

Monthly costs like Bondware's online newspaper software are out of the question for a small news site.  Most CMS systems are database oriented and that is not the way to go for a small news site.  The entire thing can be done with a series of DHTML in PHP pages, a few time and date functions, and maybe a database or server file of inter-links.  A lot is pre-done DHTML - some the writer checks for his article.

I can't find anything to suit.  Maybe you would be interested to help.  I don't mind if you google around for some links, but please, only really relevant ones.  The cost is preferably free, no monthly fees and with PHP code that is customizable -- this is essential to any front end, you have to customize it.

It must auto-upload to a server or be online .... news editors know nothing about web design or upload.

You could look here for ideas - http://www.scripts.com/php-scripts/news-publishing-software/5/
the preference is to avoid any reliance on MySQL or SQL databases -- too much DB maintenance.

TIA for some thought, ideas, effort on this tough question.  
LVL 44
scrathcyboyAsked:
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adamsetzlerCommented:
I would suggest Limbo CMS.  It's database independent, fast, and free.  There are also many mods available for it.

Link to description page: http://tinyurl.com/3dpf7k or go to http://www.LimboPortal.com

If this isn't a good fit, could you explain why in more detail?
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blue_hunterTechnical ConsultantCommented:
may try out silver strip
:)
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scrathcyboyAuthor Commented:
Limbo seems interesting.  Cannot run a demo, don't want to subscribe.  Can you tell me what does what in the package?  is Limbo for just editing the PHP code.  Is the editor integrated?  How does it handle links?  The two screens they show look mainly like websites, not news sites.  Any comments on news site use?

BH -- please give me a link !!!
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adamsetzlerCommented:
I think BH meant SilverStripe http://www.silverstripe.com/

Limbo's editor is integrated, yes, and it handles links as well as any other CMS.

The problem, here, is that a CMS, customized for a news outlet, that stores data in a flat-file (text) "database" and is free doesn't exist.  You would have to build a template for the Limbo CMS, but it could do what you want it to do.

Not sure about SilverStripe, although it would be far better for non-techs as far as editing and multimedia go.
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scrathcyboyAuthor Commented:
thanks Adam, I will DL Limbo and test it out.  In the mean time, can you look over the scripts.com link I posted in the original question, see if anything there takes your interest -- one of those packages might do, I can't really tell from the descriptions.  Will get back when I have tried Limbo and maybe SliverStripe.  Thanks.
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adamsetzlerCommented:
Stash News is flat file, and so far I like it the most of all of any on scripts.com.

http://www.webmasterstash.com/scripts/stash-news.html
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scrathcyboyAuthor Commented:
Adam, they are bugging me to close this, and I haven't had a chance to try limbo.  But I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment --

"The problem, here, is that a CMS, customized for a news outlet, that stores data in a flat-file (text) "database" and is free doesn't exist.  You would have to build a template for the Limbo CMS, but it could do what you want it to do."

Want to help me write one?
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