Ariadne is a web application server and a content management system. It is a lot like Zope, a python based CMS, but not quite the same.
Simply put, Ariadne stores and retrieves objects in a database (MySQL or PostgreSQL.) Ariadne does this by simulating a file system in the database. This simulated filesystem understands operations like 'ls','find','link', and 'get'. It adds database indexes, called properties, which can be used with the find command. Each object can be retrieved by another object or directly through a url. Objects can create, delete and modify other objects through these and other operations.
Objects can have multiple templates. These are different forms and layouts to represent and change the same underlying object. A template can be formed from a combination of text elements, like HTML or XML, and PHP code. A template is called from within an object so you can use functions related to that object's class in templates. The templates created via the web interface use a 'safe' subset of PHP, called PINP. This prevents access to PHP functions that access the file system or database directly.
Ariadne has a customizable user interface. You can either select one of three prebuilt user interfaces, or create a completely custom UI, tailor made for your application. Ariadne doesn't really distinguish its own user interface from any other application, it is all built in Ariadne.
The default UI is heavily based on the Windows XP Explorer, so users should feel right at home. You can create new content objects through easy to use wizards. (X)HTML content is editable through a WYSIWYG editor.
It is also possible to create sites that are entirely editable in-situ, with just a few extra lines of code. This means that editors will not even have to know that there is an advanced CMS behind the site, they simply browse the website and whenever they want to change something, they just switch to edit-mode and edit the entire page in a fully WYSIWYG editor. All content from content objects can be changed, while layout defined in templates cannot be edited.
In addition there is also an FTP server built into Ariadne, allowing you to upload or download a large number of files into the CMS directly, or for programmers and designers to use their preferred editing environment to edit Ariadne templates.
Designers and Programmers Interface
The UI is actually the same as for an editor, except designers have access to more features of the system. All output of Ariadne is defined through templates and there is no limitation on what kind of output you can send. Any kind of text output is easy to create, simply by editing a template. Using a sand-boxed subset of PHP, called PINP, you can easily add content and display code to your templates. If you already know PHP you will feel right at home, if you don't, don't worry, PHP is one of the easiest languages to learn, and you don't need to know much to build great websites and applications.
Performance and Scalability
Flexibility and Extensibility
Security and Recovery
Management and Maintenance