[Gllug] Membership system: recommendations please

Richard Jones rich at annexia.org
Fri Jan 23 13:37:59 UTC 2009

On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 11:36:41AM +0000, David L Neil Mailing list a/c wrote:
> Am looking for a (relatively simple) membership system which will track
> society members and the status of annual fee payments, which can also be
> hooked up to Apache authentication. Would welcome your recommendations
> please?
> - >1,000 members currently on massive htpasswd file!!!???

1000 members means you should really consider a database of some sort.
You might go with a flat file database like a CSV file, but to be
honest it's almost as easy to use a real database.  Any Linux distro
worth its salt comes with PostgreSQL or MySQL, so use it.

For "htpasswd integration" [I'm assuming that members need
authenticated access to parts of your website?] Perl DBI, RoR, etc can
all do this sort of thing driven from a database with relative ease.

eg: with Perl / DBI / Apache::AuthDBI:

> - user password update/choice, plus auto password reset by email
> - membership payment online/links to payment mechanisms a bonus
> - eliminate double-handling between membership secretary and webmaster
> - webmaster to devolve operational stuff to membership secretary
> (separate access rights, ie mem/sec not messing with web site...)
> - web site is HTML hand-code
> - public areas of web site are open access
> - Members-only area includes upload rights

With Perl AFAIK you get to write all this stuff.  Not hard, but rather
time-consuming.  Things may have changed in the 5 or so years since I
did this in anger.

> - could look at Drupal or other CMS...

Content management systems (of which there are many) provide the
above, but then tie you into particular ways of doing thing which are
often not appropriate.  This can lead to an equally time-consuming
examination of CMSes.

> - wiki is access controlled, and needs own editor (cf webmaster)
> - dual level access: registered wiki users (only) and society members
> - wiki runs on MediaWiki (which has LDAP etc add-ons)

You should be able to tie MediaWiki authentication to a reasonable DB


Richard Jones
Red Hat
Gllug mailing list  -  Gllug at gllug.org.uk

More information about the GLLUG mailing list