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Author Topic: Idea: A content management system that lives up to the name  (Read 18523 times)
tranglos
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« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2009, 02:16:14 PM »

ps. i understand the topic of the thread was meant to emphasize a point, but this is one of these cases where it makes it harder for people to find things when searching -- how about renaming the thread to something more relevant to the discussion?

Ever since I posted I was wondering if you were going to say that! I just had some evil fun putting MMF in the title where it was actually a legitimate use, though sarcastic by reference. Next time I was going to make a post titled "Good Times"  cheesy )

Anyway, you're right, and I've changed the title.
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40hz
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« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2009, 02:44:53 PM »

... I'd be interested in something a little more scriptable and that working by analyzing different files in a directory tree that might have all kind of extra information to guide how the site is constructed and what menus are shown.

@Mouser - Are you envisioning something similar to a web crawler? Something that spiders down through a directory tree and abstracts and formats what it finds into a series of webpages? That's what it almost sounds like.



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mouser
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« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2009, 02:56:24 PM »

yes, i suppose that would be one way to look at it.
one key thing though is when one talks about "spidering" one usually is talking about scanning some content that one does not have control over.  in this case my intention is that one would have control over the data and be able to add any info that the website builder would need.
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tranglos
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« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2009, 03:05:28 PM »

in this case my intention is that one would have control over the data and be able to add any info that the website builder would need.

So are you looking to find such a thing, or are you going to write it? smiley

I can't believe something like that doesn't exist, but then again, I believe it all right.

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40hz
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« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2009, 03:20:23 PM »

OK, lets call it a bot or an intelligent agent then! Grin

Question: wouldn't you still need to cache the pages it constructs for performance reasons? Or at least update a database somewhere along the line?

Otherwise, if the CMS were being driven by this beastie, wouldn't every page request result in the spider having to transverse the entire (or a significant portion) of the directory structure each time someone browsed to a different page? Wouldn't you still need to to have the agent update a database of some sort with what it finds in the directory tree? Possibly even cache the actual pages for performance reasons and only update them if it detects changes.

True it could be an old fashioned 'flat' or even 'hierarchical' as opposed to 'relational' database (which is overkill for about half the applications that incorporate one*) but I can't see how you can not use some sort of database query to dole out the actual page requests.





« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 03:26:16 PM by 40hz » Logged

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mouser
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« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2009, 03:47:49 PM »

i thought it would use some kind of cache of file dates or crcs, so only rebuild files that had changed.
keep in mind that i am NOT proposing such a system for a site with daily changing content.  my hope was that it could be used on a site like donationcoder where most of the pages are static.
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40hz
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« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2009, 05:32:39 PM »

I was wondering if something like razorCMS might be closer in basic functionality to what you're looking for? It's a flat-file CMS. http://razorcms.co.uk/

Or alternatively ezPublish, which is a lot more complex but also much more sophisticated. http://ez.no/ezpublish
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kwacky1
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« Reply #32 on: October 08, 2009, 06:14:26 AM »

tranglos,

I'd like to address all the points in your opening post about a better CMS, but I have a baby sleeping in my lap and it's a little bit difficult to type.

So I just want to find out your thoughts on ModX.

I believe I could implement your ideas in a couple of hours with ModX.  The power of ModX comes from it's use of Template Variables (TV's), which give you the 'fill out a form' capability for your content.  Chunks are repeatable pieces of html code (eg. an application name, a version number, an image).  Snippets are repeatable pieces of php code, and they accept parameters.

One example on one of a community website I manage, is that each community group has it's own calender.  I have placed a TV in the template which lets the group specify their calender username.  There is also a checkbox that allows them to toggle the calender.

So by checking the box and putting in your username, you now have a calender relevant to your group.

Another example on a website I'm currently developing is a product listing much like you specified.  I have a form that lets you edit each product, it has a name, description, price etc.  I then have a snippet in my product listing template that retrieves these details, the snippet calls on a chunk of html for it's template.

So if even want to change the look and feel of the product listing, all I need to do is edit 1 piece of html.

Quote
So there should be two ways of linking. One, by the database ID of an article.
ModX does this.

I stumbled across ModX about a year ago when we were researching a CMS to use for GraniteNet, and the more I use ModX the more I like it.  I now have 3 projects in the pipeline all based on ModX. 

Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2009, 01:47:24 PM »

I'm not a dev so I can't vouch for it, but don't forget NSIS - the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System: http://sourceforge.net/projects/nsis/
Open source.

- Oshyan
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tranglos
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« Reply #34 on: October 08, 2009, 03:11:35 PM »

I'm not a dev so I can't vouch for it, but don't forget NSIS - the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System: http://sourceforge.net/projects/nsis/
Open source.

The description says it's a "tool for the development of Windows installers", so not quite the thing for running a website smiley Its job is to package a number of files into a single "setup.exe" which people will download to install software.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 03:13:08 PM by tranglos » Logged

JavaJones
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« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2009, 04:03:52 PM »

Hah, I posted to the wrong thread, sorry.  embarassed

- Oshyan
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #36 on: October 08, 2009, 04:59:13 PM »

I inadvertently deleted this last post (misunderstood it, thought it was a wrong post). Sorry about that, it's back now smiley
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tranglos
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« Reply #37 on: October 08, 2009, 06:14:48 PM »

I'd like to address all the points in your opening post about a better CMS, but I have a baby sleeping in my lap and it's a little bit difficult to type.
smiley

Thanks, kwacky! ModX does look very polished. I don't think I've seen it before. I'll give it a spin on my local machine, because I'm curious.

At the moment though I've invested quite some time (and a little cash) in Joomla, so I'll stick with it for a while, and then maybe replace it with something of my own making.

Besides all the inadequacies I described in my earlier posts, now that my site is live (though incomplete), I'm seeing a lot of overhead. A single-article page loads much slower than the DC forum for example, even though it's much simpler, and altogether the browser is pulling something like 230 kb to display a few paragraphs of text. Some of that is going to be cached, but I just don't like this hypertrophy. If I ever got featured on any of the popular software blogs again, the server could get a proper pounding.

So I decided to have some fun for a change and I'm writing a simple static site generator in php, with templates. Not even using Smarty or anything like that, because even that is much too complex, and I won't understand how Smarty works until I get php first. So I'm writing my own thing, with the (great!) php manual to the side, and I'm much happier now smiley I've come from almost zero knowledge of php to one-third done in three days, and that's with constantly checking the syntax and library functions. It's really awfully simple, but it does at least some of the things described in my OP. I'll post the results when it's ready to run my site.

(And for the blog section, I'll just run WordPress. WP back-end is so much more inviting than Joomla's!)
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 08:27:45 PM by tranglos » Logged

40hz
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« Reply #38 on: October 08, 2009, 06:43:16 PM »

A friend just pointed me to this CMS:

Quote
CMME means "Content Management Made Easy". It is a web content management system that is easy to use, doesn't have a lot of requirements and allows for reasonable flexibility. Have a look at the user manual if you want to see how it works.

Some key features of CMME:

    * Easy installation, small requirements.
    * Page layout using templa¬≠tes and page parts.
    * Markup using cascading style sheets.
    * WYSIWYG page editing.
    * Page(part) inclusion.
    * Syntax highlighting for code parts on pages
    * RSS Feeds.
    * Web Log functionality.
    * Statistics and page visit counters, including charts.
    * Built in backup functionality, using ZIP.
    * Supports Firefox and Internet Explorer. Safari is not yet supported. It will be supported with the next version of xinha.
    * Simple installation.
    * Technical clarity.

This content management system is completely file based. It doesn't need a database to work like most other content management systems.

Link: http://cmme.oesterholt.net/

Like the blurb says, it doesn't use a database - which is what piqued my interest. Cool

Not much in the way of details or documentation on the site. Looks like a labor of love. But it looks to be pure PHP. And since I know pretty much 'squat' about that language, it should make for some interesting code reading.

Quote
CMME has been developed for technical clarity. It has been developed to do one task and do it with simplicity. It's design is to be extendable, using plugins that are themselves simple (sub)programs. Only the parts of the program that need to be a script are so, the rest is kept cleanly functional and object oriented. This is contrary to the common PHP way of creating scripts that mix HTML with PHP code.

I'm crawling through it to get an idea of how you'd put together an app like this. Not being a PHP coder (yet!) it's taking me a while. Like you, I'm sitting with O'Reilly close at hand.

Still, I figure it will ultimately be time well spent. Thmbsup

Might be worth a look. smiley


« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 06:47:31 PM by 40hz » Logged

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rgdot
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« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2009, 08:11:11 PM »

Thanx, always on the look out for good and/or alternative CMSs. cmme looks promising and I will try and test it.
I know size should mean little or nothing especially if the features required are there and also that in cmme's case there is an images folder at 1.55MB, but a (non-DB) CMS approaching 10MB in size? Don't flame me but that's huge.
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superboyac
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« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2009, 10:37:00 PM »

So what is the latest on this front?  I'm curious because I might try out such a system, especially if mouser or tranglos is writing the program.  I'm finding it difficult to add content regularly to my wordpress site, and I'd prefer it to be a more cms kind of thing rather than a blog faked to look like one.  And I would LOVE what mouser mentioned earlier about being able to do it with a file system and templates.  Anyway, I was just interested in any news updates.
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tranglos
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« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2009, 08:50:47 AM »

I don't have that much to report smiley I got my php "minisite" system up to where it can serve pages built on the fly from templates and dictionaries. (This is not the same as Mouser's idea.) It works, but cannot handle a number of edge cases, such as a project that has a page unique to it (not present in sibling projects) - in this case my system would think every project contains that page, and serve up useless blank pages for all projects that don't actually use this particular template. I also decided it needs categories as another level of organization - not yet implemented.

Real life caught up with me more just about when I was creating templates to put up the live site, and I haven't touched it since then.

I dropped Joomla entirely, btw. It's too heavy and at the same time too inflexible for my needs. The editors are awful, all of them much worse than WordPress's built in wysiwyg/html editor (the latter is actually very smart in a good way and convenient).Serious functionality is missing, such as there is no support for comments under articles, until you either find a suitable free module (which may become unsupported later) or pay up. My least favorite aspect of Joomla though was how much effort it takes to add a single new article, compared to WordPress, and how little functionality is achieved after all the work is done (again compared to WordPress).

So my site is static, until I roll out my homegrown php solution, but it's WordPress all the way for the blog.
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superboyac
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« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2009, 10:41:43 AM »

Thanks for the update.  Hopefully, you will be the pioneer for this kind of cms, just like you were with keynote for notetaking.
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superboyac
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« Reply #43 on: February 25, 2010, 12:47:55 AM »

I just wanted to bump this thread again in case anyone had new information or discoveries.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2011, 07:53:37 PM »

My turn to bump. So...is app/or anyone organizing the new DC CMS trying out the CMS listed here?
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« Reply #45 on: March 12, 2011, 02:50:42 AM »

I just wanted to bump this thread again in case anyone had new information or discoveries.
I have. Check out YII.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2011, 08:39:40 AM »

good article - not just about yii but about the process just about everyone goes through - the pendulum is about to go round again isnt it?

begin:
 - start with a standard tool
 - outgrow the standard tool
 - look for better tool but not find any at a reasonable price, find language/environment/framework that does custom

now rinse/repeat ad eternam, with 2-5 years in each phase:
 - get fed up with the pain of maintaining and growing custom - decide to switch to the new generation of standard CMSes
 - get fed up with the pain of having to maintain and grow on a standard CMS, with upgrades on someone else's schedule - decide to switch to the new generation of frameworks that does all the bits you remember were painful when you did custom. Optional: change language while you do so

(oddly enough, I'd say 40% of the market is in each phase at any one time, with the remaining 20% assessing where to go)

end:
 - get fed up with the whole loop, "i dont want to have to do X ever again" - move to other department, to management or just hire a new young person who a)arent fed up with these questions yet b)know the cool CMS or framework Y and will take over that project

will it end?  one thing I know is that we do rediscover the wheel all over again each time, and forget what we learned last time around... partly because looks further back than 2 years in web technology if they even look back at all. The pendulum goes round and round with specific questions as well, around templates, scripting, splitting (or not) content administration from content presentation in 2 systems or one, mapping URLs to content, etc.

« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 08:46:04 AM by iphigenie » Logged
Ath
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« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2011, 08:52:04 AM »

now rinse/repeat ad eternam, with 2-5 years in each phase:

Isn't that what ALM is all about? but doing that alone can be something between daunting and boring, I guess undecided
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