Conference list web app based on CakePHP framework
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Update captcha language in about file
Latest commit 4611313 Jun 20, 2018

Conference List Web App

version 2.1.4


Copyright (C) 2009 Niles Johnson

Licensed under GNU GPL v.3 or later. See LICENSE.txt for a copy of the license.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program.  If not, see <>.


Conference List is a web application for community-maintained public lists (e.g. math conferences). Its basic functions are:

  • A web form for adding new announcements, storing them in a database.
  • An interface for viewing announcements, sorted by date or location.
  • Interfaces to update and delete announcements.

The application is based on the Cake PHP framework (version 2.4.5):


v. 2.1.4

  • Rudimentary login for curators

v. 2.1.3

  • ICS feed
  • Rudimentary search

v. 2.1.2

  • SSL support
  • Google reCaptcha

v. 2.1.1

  • support json and xml views

v. 2.1

  • Now filter announcements by subject tags

  • Set specific admin email addresses for individual tags

  • Form for editing announcements is now the same as that for adding new announcements

  • New 'view' page for each announcement, and announcement data in confirmation emails

  • Select boxes improved with select2 (jquery)

  • Links to sort by country or show past announcements have been removed as these features are rarely used and are incompatible with the subject tags. If you would like to see these features reimplemented, please let Niles know!


Begin by cloning the git repository

git clone --recursive conference-list

The --recursive flag automatically clones the two necessary submodules:

You can also use this command: git submodule update --init --recursive

Clone the cakephp repository

If you don't already have it:

git clone cakephp

Set up the app

There are five basic configuration steps necessary to get the app running:

  1. Point to a copy of cakephp library: Put a copy (or symbolic link) of 'cakephp/lib' at 'conference-list/Lib/cakephp-lib'

    ln -s /path/to/cakephp/lib /path/to/conference-list/Lib/cakephp-lib

  2. Create a private configuration file by copying the default one:

    cd conference-list/Config/

    cp conflistConfigDefault.php conflistConfigPrivate.php

  3. Set up a database and put the connection information (user, password, etc.) in the private configuration file from step 2.

  4. Register with Google reCAPTCHA and set the Recaptcha keys in the private configuration file.

  5. Update the rest of the settings in the private configuration file:

    • site info (name, admin email, etc.)
    • new values (random strings) for:
      • admin_key
      • admin_cookie
      • Security.salt
      • Security.cipherSeed

    DO NOT leave these default values as this will comprimise your site's security.

  6. Create the necessary database tables and (optionally) initial data for testing. This can be done with the following MySQL commands:

     CREATE TABLE conferences (
     edit_key VARCHAR(10),
     title VARCHAR(200),
     start_date DATE,
     end_date DATE,
     institution VARCHAR(100),
     city VARCHAR(100),
     country VARCHAR(100),
     meeting_type VARCHAR(100),
     subject_area VARCHAR(100),
     homepage VARCHAR(400),
     contact_name VARCHAR(100),
     contact_email VARCHAR(100),
     description TEXT
     INSERT INTO conferences (title, edit_key, start_date, end_date, institution, city, country, meeting_type, subject_area, homepage, contact_name, contact_email, description) 
       ('Test Conference 1', 'edit key', '2100-06-01', '2100-06-02', 'University', 'City', 'Country', 'conference', 'math', '', 'Name', '', 'This is an example entry.'),
       ('Test Conference 2', 'edit key', '2200-06-05', '2200-06-06', 'University', 'City', 'Country', 'conference', 'math', '', 'Name', '', 'This is an example entry.'),
       ('Test Conference 3', 'edit key', '2300-11-03', '2300-11-04', 'University', 'City', 'Country', 'conference', 'math', '', 'Name', '', 'This is an example entry.'),
       ('Test Conference 4', 'edit key', '2400-02-20', '2400-02-21', 'University', 'City', 'Country', 'conference', 'math', '', 'Name', '', 'This is an example entry.');
     CREATE TABLE tags 
     PRIMARY KEY(id),
     name varchar(255)
     INSERT INTO tags (name)
     CREATE TABLE conferences_tags(
     PRIMARY KEY(id),
     conference_id INT,
     tag_id INT
     INSERT INTO conferences_tags (conference_id, tag_id)
     ALTER TABLE conferences_tags ADD INDEX (conference_id);
     ALTER TABLE conferences_tags ADD INDEX (tag_id);


  • The file db_create_3 is a mysql script which automates the last step; edit it to work on the correct database, and run it with the following:

    mysql -p -u <USERNAME> <DB_NAME> < db_create_3 
  • Incorrect ownership permissions for the tmp directory can cause cake apps to fail without explanation. To fix, use something like chown -R www-data tmp.


Site administrators receive a copy of every confirmation email. If this is lost or the edit keys there are invalid for some reason, you can get the edit/delete url for conference number N as follows: Navigate to conferences/admin/N and use the admin key from your private config file. You can also use conference-specific edit key there.


This project began as cakephp-conference-list available at