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X96 Panel: A Historical Archive

This was one of my first-ever projects. I had just turned 14. I was hot on learning PHP. I was doing some consulting work with WordPress, but wanted a simpler option for the clients who didn't want or need a full blog or complex content structure.

Enter, X96 Panel.


I managed to dig out this relic in late 2018. Something reminded me of it, and I realised I had used Google Code to publish it, so surely it's still on the Internet somewhere... Turns out, yes: on the Google Code Archive.

Using svnadmin and git-svn, I managed to take Google's SVN dump file and save the original commit history in the Git repo you're currently viewing.


While the code is messy and there are several glaring security vulnerabilities, this project will forever hold a place in my heart. It was the first time I actually built custom software to solve a problem (instead of just building websites or using an off-the-shelf product like WordPress), and it was most likely what made me decide I wanted to stop doing web design and start focussing more on software development.

Plus... it worked.

I ran this in production for a few different clients back in the day, and they really enjoyed using it. It was simple, easy to understand, and had just enough functionality to get the job done and get out of the way.

Plus... it had features.

  • Full theming API.
  • Page weights for custom nav ordering
  • Update notification and in-place upgrades
  • File management

Considering this whole thing was written in a summer by a 14-year-old, that's a pretty solid feature sheet.

So yes, while it's full of (probably) bugs and (definitely) security problems, it still got the job done. And it got it done pretty well.


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