I am just writing to see how your portal coming along?
I think this is a great idea of how to make a portal. Right now on my site, my main index.php file can tell if a user is logged in, what permissions they have and serve a menu up depending on who they are.
So if you go about thinking about this if you know who a user is you can determine what they are able to do, right? So if you can tell what they are able to do you can determine if they can access the non-SMF portal admin section, what they can see as far as articles and blocks and so forth.
So what is going on with the portal? I know you can design a simple version that can work fast. I just don't know what is up with the portal world and you guys have a great idea. Just think about the future compatibility. If SMF ever changed you will not have to change much in order for this portal to work with the new version.
I just want to get off my chest some ideas.
Ok in order to use SMFs member group permissions and log in system you do not have to be in SMF. You can do all this from SMFs SSI file. So no you do not need to make a portal a part of SMF to work. So I believe you guys are on the right track.
My idea of a portal that is completely dependent of itself will uses SMFs member system but will back up or sync a copy of it to its own members table in the database just in case SMF is not available.
It will have its own log in system and registering system but will also allow administrators to pick to either use SMFs system or the portals system.
You can inject stuff into the SMF templates via hooks. You just have to put a include in the main index.php file in SMF to load up all the values for the hooks and place the hooks in the SMF templates.
I think hooks will be better as functions and depending on the information on the hook it can be eval'ed or echo'ed. So in a template if I wanted to include the left side bar of a page I would put.
For a page however you will not have to load all the hooks, just the hooks that are required for that page. We can tell where a user is if we read the url or even the action. So if we know the action we only load hooks associated with that action. So content for that page only shows up.
As far as I can see there is no need to modify any sources besides index.php and the template system to include the hooks. Member tables can be sync so what SMF has the portal will have also. If SMF goes completely down on the site, it will fail-safe and the site will still be running.