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Is Cpanel evolving?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cguimont, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. cguimont

    cguimont Well-Known Member

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    Hello,
    I would like to post this message in order to give my feedback on cpanel products over the last few years. My point is that for a while, Cpanel haven't made any big updates on their system. I have been a Cpanel customer for 3 years now, and since then, except changing some program versions, they haven't made any big updates. Where is apache2?
    So here are my suggestions on what cpanel could work on:

    -Clustering Cpanel. Having the ability to have mail server on a different server, webserver on another one.
    -Apache 2.0 would add a lot of new great features.
    -Devloppement to make easier Cpanel integration.

    If Cpanel could work on theses points, it would take the lead again.

    Cpanel is currently the best, but will it stay the best if they keep it like that?

    Thank You
     
  2. kris1351

    kris1351 Well-Known Member

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    Clustering involves a lot more than just a control panel. Cpanel is the front end to your web systems to provide hosting. There are a couple of guies here on setting up clustering properly for Cpanel. What Hsphere offers for clustering is really a LOT different than the focus that Cpanel has followed I believe. For clustering you are going to have to deal in hardware and the licensing fees are going to change a LOT. Your cheapest price on Hsphere I believe is $2.50 per license (client).

    Apache 2.0 is supported in Beta, but if you look at a huge portion of the scripts and programs that run out there 2.0 is still in its infancy. Tons of PHP/mySQL scripts are simply not ready to support 2.0 and the compatibility changes that will have to take place in the next couple of years will be massive for a lot of developers.

    Integration of Cpanel into billing systems, front ends and customer sites is pretty easy thus far. There are tons of developers out there that are adding to Cpanel constantly, what type if integration are you looking for?
     
  3. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    Go on, have a guess
    To me, cPanel has grown rather than evolved as such. That is it's feature-set has grown, but there's been no major overhaul.

    I guess it also depends what you want from a commercial web hosting product. Stability, security and consistency should presumably be the highest priority. Apart from a few glitches I think they've achieved that.

    Things that I note of progress which are to be applauded:

    1. Move to courier-imap and maildir support

    2. Feature set management

    3. cPanel Pro API

    4. Expansion of Addon Scripts

    5. Expansion of Addon Modules

    6. Lots of work on the stability of the update mechanism itself (moving away from wget, etc)

    I do agree, however, that we could do with a few significant improvements in particular:

    1. It's possibly about time for apache v2 to be offered as an alternative, though I do understand the reticence in making that step due to the inevitable problems that will bring

    2. Major overhaul of the WHM and cPanel themes. I really do dislike the WHM and cPanel default themes and to me they're not keeping up with the development of web pages and design (they seem a good 5 years out of date). A good designer should really be brought in to work on much better workflow and presentation of the product as a whole
     
  4. cguimont

    cguimont Well-Known Member

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    It is true that cpanel evolved, but the frontend didn't :P

    Also,
    It is true that clustering needs a lot of work and customizations, but, maybe it could have a premitive form simple form of clustering I think.

    But my general comment is that they aren't bringing anything new.
     
  5. webignition

    webignition Well-Known Member

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    Whilst I'm here, I might as well add my couple of pennies.

    On the subject of the frontend, I agree that it is quite outdated, however simlpy a refresh of the visuals is not near enough. What I would like to see is a fully functionally-independent frontend. Let me explain what I mean by that.

    With HTML-based frontends (websites, web applications etc), we all know that content and style should be kept very much apart, but what is lacking in script-driven frontends i.e. anything that is not plain HTML, is a division between function and content.

    For example no matter how much you hash around with a cPanel or WHM theme, the custom cPanel tags will inevitably be replaced, here and there and in some form or fashion, with hard-coded HTML - tables, silly little font tags etc. The presentation (the nice frontend that we love to use), is, to an extent, dependent on the functionality (the backend stuff that makes the frontend do what it does).

    Function and presentation can be quite easily seperated so that you can have a Perl/PHP backend effectively independent from the frontend - no Perl/PHP scripts squirting out odd, sometimes non-compliant, HTML into the middle of a designer's brainchild and no designers getting much confused or annoyed due to their designs being dependent on the backend output.

    The short answer is that by applying pairs of HTML comments with special meanings around portions of an HTML template, the backend can then add/remove/duplicate the template content by using the structure of the HTML template and not by squirting out whatever the coder saw fit. Read entire template, modify (using record sets defined in the template not the backend) and output. Easy.

    I use these techniques myself and can vouch for the fact that style+content and can be wholly seperated from function. For example I might have a webpage that lists a set of records. With one HTML template these records may be presented as rows in a table, using another they can be presented as a vertically-descending set of horizontal divs - with no change whatsoever to the backend PHP coding.

    It's not just cPanel that lack such seperation, however I'd like most to see such a change in cPanel as doing so would allow the creation of WHM and cPanel themes that can live out a full life independent of the backend. This would make it dead easy for anyone to create a theme in whatever visual style they chose and would allow cPanel to update the default themes much more easily.
     
  6. kris1351

    kris1351 Well-Known Member

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    I will agree on the Cpanel/WHM theme agreement. It does have an ugly frontend that should be modified to be more custom friendly. The current mods and skinning options for the Cpanel/WHM frontends make it so you have to spend a LOT of time just trying to keep them working.

    I agree with Chirpy on the leaps and bounds that we have seen in the last 3 years. The product is much more secure and much faster than it used to be. I would still like to see it get away from root logins and and further security tweaks. Maybe the term you posted was proper, it has evolved but the front end has not.
     
  7. WilliamE

    WilliamE Well-Known Member

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    Generally the system seems fine to me from the backend. HSphere, Plesk and the likes are good systems in their own rights but cPanel is the best, that I use at least, 'simple' system that allows you to do most things through the shell to the system and has a fairly basic and normal structure. I'd like it to stay the same there and I think the developers do too and that's why it's not really evolving away from that.

    The frontend though is about the ugliest out there and can be a pain to use when trying to remember what they called the section/link in the whm for the options you're looking for or just hunting for it in a giant long list. I've looked at customizing the templates too but quickly saw that would simply be a hassle. So work should be done here and I don't know why it hasn't yet.
     
  8. ntwaddel

    ntwaddel Well-Known Member

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    it would be awesome if cpanel brought in a good web designer and built some sweet new templates that could compair with something like ensim or plesk
     
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