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Author Topic: For those who write articles on CMS, a question.  (Read 6156 times)
Paul Keith
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« on: September 28, 2009, 11:04:10 AM »

Is the key difference just the fact that blogs are chronologically written while site/CMS articles aren't?

I was thinking if this was the only issue, I'd use a social bookmarking service to off-set this problem instead of learning CMS.
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2009, 11:46:14 AM »

I think the internet is in a transitionary period where we have several different kinds of systems that are increasingly overlapped, and it's confusing.

If you think about a CMS, a Blog, a Forum, and a Wiki colaborative system -- the overlaps in functionality are tremendous.  And I have not yet seen any holistic solution that came even close to being satisfying.

Think about the DonationCoder forum where most of the content on this website comes from -- it's the most natural for us because most of what we do is interactive discussion.  I ended up building a custom "blog" thing for the forum that let me basically identify forum posts that get promoted to the chronological blog page -- which works reasonably well, but then it's not a truly full featured blog.

Blog comments and forum discussions are almost identical -- but they tend to be displayed differently because blog comment threads usually don't go on as long and aren't meant to have such rich formatting and content.

What about a wiki -- most wiki systems now have a way to have full discussions among users for each node -- again much like a forum discussion but again (like blogs) not intended to support such rich and lengthy discussion as a forum.  And again the organizational structure is completely different.

But we frequently find ourselves on the forum in situations where we'd like to have a more structured wiki like organization of information for certain things -- but usually that information was hashed out on the forum -- so what do we do -- strip it out and move it to a separate wiki where people usually never go? or duplicate it and then risk diverging non-updated versions?

Like I said I don't think anyone has come up with a great solution.. yet.. but i can't wait to see what it is.  I think eventually it has to take the form of a content system with different facets or ways to interact with the content -- as a blog, or as a forum or as a wiki -- but still be one repository of information.  I'm not sure exactly how that will look or work, but i'll know it when i see it.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2009, 11:54:35 AM »

Thanks for that insight mouser.

Still... it is problematic though.

What made you eventually settle on this model ...or was it a case that you just tried adapting to your needs and eventually when you found something that satisfies you, you just stuck with it?
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2009, 11:58:06 AM »

like most things in life, donationcoder has just evolved incrementally over time..
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2009, 12:11:45 PM »

I don't suppose you have an article somewhere listing the evolution of DC do you?
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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2009, 12:16:36 PM »

afraid not.. though i think it's really time for me to write a follow up to my 1yr report article about DonationCoder ( which i link to every chance i get, since i'm the only one who will smiley ).
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2009, 12:28:40 PM »

since i'm the only one who will smiley
That's too bad, I really enjoyed reading it Wink
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40hz
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2009, 12:34:14 PM »

Here's another thing thing you might want to consider.

If you are running a website where it's just you authoring the articles; you're only updating it weekly (like a formal newsletter); and you're fairly organized about things - then a CMS might be overkill for you.

If you create a well designed homepage, create basic article templates, and use a carefully thought out page directory structure, it's not such a big deal to manually maintain your website. I know several people who do that even though they have more than sufficient technical chops to go the CMS route.

On their home page they have links to: Featured Article, What's New, and Past Articles. These links get updated by some fairly simple code which grabs the information from easily maintained text files that are nothing more than title information and page links. Every individual article page has a single link which returns you to the homepage.

Newpage uploads are handled by a simple FTP utility. Most of them have automated the update process via some macros on their authoring workstation. Synchronization software might also be an option since it would allow for automatic mirroring of your pages with your home machine.  Instant backups!

A basic search engine, BBS module, and separate bog engine in one rare case (she likes to ramble and think out loud when she's not writing her carefully focused and meticulously edited main articles) takes care of the rest.

They prefer this system (or variants of it) because it allows them full flexibility to design a website their way without needing to beat somebody else's vision of how to do things into submission.

Something else to think about. smiley Thmbsup

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Paul Keith
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2009, 12:54:20 PM »

Thanks 40hz, I forgot to add that I'm using a free micro-blogging service, so outside of templates I don't really have much options.

It doesn't really help that I don't know either systems well to start immediately from creating sections for Featured Article, What's New, and Past Articles if I do pay for a blogging service like Wordpress.

I guess, I really should have thought more about the question.

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« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2009, 01:19:37 PM »

I wrote this a while back, regarding the IQ community web site, which has all 3 types: blogs, forum, wiki-style books:

http://www.sqlnotes.net/d...upal5/index.php?q=node/96
Quote
There are currently 3 types of posts: Blogs, Forum and Book Page.
 
Some of you may have noticed the similarities between these 3 types:

    * There is a first post (rich text editor - HTML type), which can be tagged, files attached
    * On which users can comment. Comments are  organized in hierarchy (flat view is possible too)
    * All three types are shown on the New Posts page.

Of course, there would not need to be 3 types if they didn't have some differences:
 
Blogs:

    * Post belong to 1 user. Only he (and admins) can edit.
    * All user blog posts can be viewed, in a blog-like reversed chronological list, on the user page (my blogs are shown here)
    * When viewing blogs, a collapsable section appears in the left sidebar. (bug:No title). It shows useful links (my blogs, add new blog, Top bloggers, blogs grouped by year / month, etc)

Forums:

    * Belongs to 1 user. Only he (and admins) can edit.
    * Post are organized in section and sub-sections
    * The forum page provides a nice UI

Book pages:

    * All users can edit
    * Can be organized in hierarchy (book, section, sub-section)
    * Table of contents are automatically generated
    * Printer-friendly version will print the current page and all sub-pages

So, one can see that the same concept is applied slightly differently to give a great knowledge-base environment

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40hz
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« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2009, 03:18:29 PM »

I guess, I really should have thought more about the question.

Don't be so hard on yourself. smiley

I sometimes need to ask a few questions before I know enough to ask my real question. Thmbsup

This topic is especially confusing because there's so much feature bloat and overlap between blogs, wikis, and CMS systems that the original concept and philosophy behind each of them has become blurred. Blogs are incorporating CMS features; CMS is now incorporating wiki-like features; wikis now want to be taken as serious content management apps - and everybody's blogging their tail ends off about all it. It never ends.

No wonder its so confusing for so many people. But that's what happens when you're dealing with continually evolving technologies.


« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 03:29:30 PM by 40hz » Logged

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Paul Keith
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2009, 07:45:08 PM »

I guess, I really should have thought more about the question.

Don't be so hard on yourself. smiley

I sometimes need to ask a few questions before I know enough to ask my real question. Thmbsup

Thanks but it's kind of annoying because on my part, I wasn't just asking the question to deal with the theory.

I was seeking the answer because I need it -- in the sense of improving my blog without paying and learning more about technoloy -- so it is kind of annoying to not receive the "Ultimate Answer" because the question is not the question that can receive it.
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40hz
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« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2009, 10:29:48 PM »

it is kind of annoying to not receive the "Ultimate Answer" because the question is not the question that can receive it.

I've said this so many times when posting on various topics that I run the risk of getting lynched if I say it again so...oh well, what the heck!

"The perfect is the enemy of the good."

Once we stop wasting time looking for the absolute perfect answer to our problem, and concentrate instead on identifying a workable solution, there's no limit to what we can accomplish.

I usually shoot for a software solution that gives me 80-90% of what I'm looking for straight out of the box. I'll then fill in the remainder as time and resources permit. That doesn't stop me from looking for a 100% answer. But I don't sit around doing nothing in the meantime. If I can't subsequently fill in the missing piece (or two) of the puzzle, I have two options.  I can either learn to live without; or kick what I've got to the curb and try something else. (FWIW, most times what remains missing is not a real problem - it's just an inconvenience.)

In a way, it's like programming.

When I first learned how to program, Prof. Kugel told my class that there were two basic ways to develop a major piece of software:

The first way was the "IBM Way." It was mostly for companies with time and money to spend. This method involved requirements planning, process analysis, abstract pseudocode drafts, prototypes, etc. etc. etc. Once all that was completed, then - and only then - did you start to code.

The second way was to go down to the computer room; grab any procedural code listing you found in the trash hopper; and then "bash at it" until it did what you wanted it to do. He half-jokingly remarked it would amaze most people how many of the applications they're currently using began their lives as part of a payroll program written five years earlier.

Oddly enough, both methods seemed to work. But of the two, the [bash/test/repeat] cycle generally yielded the most bang for the buck. And the core principles behind this method have evolved (with some refinement) into what is now referred to as the "rapid application development" process. RAD gets used extensively. The old IBM methodology has been largely forgotten.

So what to do?

Be pragmatic.

If it were me asking your original question, I think the best approach for me would be to learn ONE platform extremely well. Whether it's Wordpress, Joomla, MediaWiki, raw XHTML/CSS or whatever - I'd learn it inside out. Based on experience, I know once I did that, I'd be able to get it to do whatever I want. It might not be the optimal solution. Maybe not even a complete solution. But it would be a working solution. And that's better than nothing.

80% of something now is better than all of it someday. Grin

Just my 2ΒΆ Cool

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Paul Keith
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2009, 10:46:10 PM »

Haha, thanks for that. Yeah, I've read a similar theme'd opinion before but it never hurts to repeat that and read everyone's take on it.

I'll admit, my reply was more casually written and didn't really hint of already knowing that.

If I have one criticism with that it's that focusing on that concept derails as much as it helps.

What I mean by this is that the "Bash at that" situation works and works so well ...but it's so random and so general, that things like: How good are you at being a generalizing specialist vs. being a specializing generalist comes to be asked. ...or how productive are you? ...or how talented are you? ...or how much people you have around that can inspire you vs. your own determination? ...ends up washing the focus away from the original question and answer.

Admittedly though, those are still the self-critical voices that needs to be quieted down but it's still a thought that should not be abandoned or else the talented and luckier basher will never realize that there's a problem and user friendler programs gets ignored in favor of a technology that constantly requires increasing pages of manual just to produce the basics of basics.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 10:47:50 PM by Paul Keith » Logged

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sri
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« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2009, 10:47:37 PM »

Wordpress, Joomla, MediaWiki, raw XHTML/CSS, Drupal, postNuke, Typo3 (learning how to use this is equivalent to doing a PhD)...I have tried them all.

WordPress is the best. Whether you want a one page site or multi-page static site or of course a blog, nothing can beat WordPress.

It is simple to learn, simple to use, has unlimited feature set thanks to the plugins and is easiest of them all to customize [That as someone who don't know programming (PHP in particular) can still use WordPress to make a (side) living speaks volumes on how great the platform is].
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40hz
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« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2009, 11:19:06 PM »

If I have one criticism with that it's that focusing on that concept derails as much as it helps.

I feel your pain. Grin

But if you know of any way to get around that, please let me know. I've been trying for years to prove myself wrong on that score. But no matter how hard I've tried, in the end, it still keeps coming back to a [bash/test/repeat] cycle if I want to get something done. True, I've optimized part of the process through experience so I'm a lot more efficient about it as time goes on. But I'm still nowhere closer to Nirvana than I ever was when it comes to computers.

(Hmm...maybe I should use a different word? Bash sounds so inelegant and chaotic when it's actually quite the opposite in this context.)

OK, that being said, I agree with sri in his comment above. If you want to learn one thing only, go with Wordpress. It's conceptually easy to grasp, has the most extensive feature set, and can rapidly be morphed into just about anything with little more than some thought and a few plugins.

Hmmm...that sure sounds like a "bash" solution to me! Grin

« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 11:22:10 PM by 40hz » Logged

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Paul Keith
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« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2009, 11:32:37 PM »

Quote
(Hmm...maybe I should use a different word? Bash sounds so inelegant and chaotic when it's actually quite the opposite in this context.)


IMO, that's one way to get around that.  Thmbsup

It's one of the dropped topics I was originally going to post in GOE. Ended up posting some of the current examples I have here:

http://thinksimplenow.com...f-language/#comment-63510

Yeah, I often hear praise of Wordpress but because I'm not focused specifically on learning the system right now as opposed to writing articles, I don't really feel it's advantageous to cash out on an application especially when I'm unemployed.

Also from what little I've seen of Wordpress in the previews, I don't think it will really show me all the difference between a chronological blog and a mult-page static site so that's still something I have to learn elsewhere. (somehow)

 
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40hz
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« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2009, 12:14:12 AM »

Also from what little I've seen of Wordpress in the previews, I don't think it will really show me all the difference between a chronological blog and a mult-page static site so that's still something I have to learn elsewhere. (somehow)

If you want to get some hands-on, bop on over to the Bitnami website:

http://bitnami.org/stacks

They have preconfigured stacks for all the major LAMP/WAMP apps. Most are available for either 'real' or virtual machine installation. Just download and run. You can get Wordpress or Joomla installed and working in under 10 minutes. Ditto for about 20 more apps. All are free for the download.



Bitnami has been criticized for occasionally being behind the curve with revision levels so I wouldn't want to use them to do an actual production server installation. But for trying out or learning something, they're pretty hard to beat.



« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 12:17:53 AM by 40hz » Logged

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Paul Keith
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« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2009, 12:35:49 AM »

Thanks!

Edit: I forgot to ask does the Wordpress stack (I don't really know what stacks is) support everything from simulating adding Adsense, Wordpress plugins, Writing from Windows Live Writer-like editor to the stacks or is it just a simulator for the barebones service?
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 12:38:32 AM by Paul Keith » Logged

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tranglos
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« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2009, 07:14:48 AM »

Wordpress, Joomla, MediaWiki, raw XHTML/CSS, Drupal, postNuke, Typo3 (learning how to use this is equivalent to doing a PhD)...I have tried them all.

WordPress is the best. Whether you want a one page site or multi-page static site or of course a blog, nothing can beat WordPress.

I have to agree. For the last two weeks I've been wrestling with Joomla, then set up a (separate) blog site in Wordpress. It was such a relief. Everything "just works" in Wordpress. The ajaxy adminstrative UI is awesome, functional and clean. All the settings I wish to change are right where I expect to find them, and they make sense. The documentation is exhaustive and written with a dash of humor, which is always welcome. And though I had previously only read php code, never written a script, I wrote a simple widget for WordPress, from scratch, within a couple of hours yesterday.

And WordPress has smarts! I was editing a page in html view, and pasted a few paragraphs of text but forgot to wrap them in p tags. Switched to the page view, and the display was correct! My text was properly divided into paragraphs. WordPress did what I meant, not what I told it to do. It was "smart" and did the right thing.

That said... and I'm beginning to hate this phrase, but that said, I don't (yet) think I can use WordPress for my main site. All the templates I've seen display the menu of pages as static and fully expanded. That works for 10-20 pages, but not for 50 or more, with levels of nesting. It's just not convenient trying to find your way around a fuly expanded, long menu of dozens, maybe hundreds of pages eventually. Joomla, by comparison, got the menu right (but little else).

And WordPress seems strangely slow to load on the front-end. Slower than Joomla, even for simple pages with no images. There's the SuperCache plugin; I read the docs and didn't quite like the caveats.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 07:16:34 AM by tranglos » Logged

40hz
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« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2009, 07:31:02 AM »

Thanks!

Edit: I forgot to ask does the Wordpress stack (I don't really know what stacks is) support everything from simulating adding Adsense, Wordpress plugins, Writing from Windows Live Writer-like editor to the stacks or is it just a simulator for the barebones service?

Quote
Solution stack
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  
In computing, a solution stack is a set of software subsystems or components needed to deliver a fully functional solution, e.g. a product or service.

For example, to develop a web application, the designer needs to use an operating system, web server, database and programming language. Another version of a solution stack is operating system, middleware, database, and applications.


Basically, a stack is the complete environment needed to run something. Think frozen dinners - except you'll like these. Grin

In the case of Bitnami, it usually means an Apache webserver, PHP environment, and the MySQL database engine combined with whatever app you want to run that needs them. They're all preconfigured and install via a single Windows .exe or NIX package.

Bitnami stacks are not emulator. They're the actual software packages. Anything available for Worpress can be used. You could even install a live production system on your server using them. Some people do. (See my previous caveat about that.) It works the same because it uses the exact same software you can download yourself from Wordpress, the Apache Foundation, and all the others.

Great tools. Right up there with library furniture and firemans' helmets! Thmbsup

---

Re: Adsense et al -  Anything that uses outside services or requires enrollment would first need to be set up with that provider. But that's no more a limitation with Bitnami than it would be if you set up your blog (or whatever) with an ISP hosting service.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 07:42:51 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2009, 12:06:09 PM »

@trianglos:

 
Quote
Joomla, by comparison, got the menu right (but little else).

Your post made me curious. Could you post a screenshot on why a menu in Joomla is more optimized for 50 or more pages?

I just can't imagine a menu that can handle 20 or so pages but suddenly switches usability with 50 or more pages.

@40hz

Thanks. It still went way over my head (because I know nothing about servers especially when using a personal PC) but I think I'll just gut this one out as I can't think of any question that would make it clearer to me.

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tranglos
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« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2009, 02:01:19 PM »

@trianglos:
 
Quote
Joomla, by comparison, got the menu right (but little else).
Your post made me curious. Could you post a screenshot on why a menu in Joomla is more optimized for 50 or more pages?

Well, there are two major differences:

1. In WordPress, you can have a menu that shows all categories or all pages. (Categories are used to organize blog posts, while the page menu links to static pages. Both categories and pages can be nested). You can have either of the two menus on top, and both on the sidebar. The menus are generated automatically, however, so no matter what theme you use, you don't really have much control over the structure of the menu. You can only hide certain categories or certain pages. Also, the menus you choose will always be displayed the same way, on all pages. (There may be plugins that give more control over WordPress menus, I don't know yet.)

In Joomla, by contrast, you create menus manually, which takes some work. But this means you can have any number of different menus and show different menus on different pages. (There is a little hitch to that, but in general that's what you get.) You can have two or more items, in different menus, that link to the same page, for example. You can create menu items that link to individual pages, or items that link to blog-like listings of articles, or items that link to "table of content" layouts with links to more stuff. And certain plugins add their own menu types - e.g. there's a photo gallery plugin that adds a menu item type that automatically creates a gallery page. Maintaining the menu(-s) does take some work, and if you change the menu item that links to an article, the URL of the article will change too, which is bad. But overall, Joomla's structure is much more flexible, especially if your site is not all a blog.

2. The second difference is in the way the menus work. Here's a menu of static pages for my blog site (in Polish), using a free WordPress theme called Fusion:


It's quite long already, and imagine what's going to happen when there are three or four times as many pages. It's not easy to find stuff in it, and it's not easy to navigate. The selected page is not highlighted, and the nesting, while indicated, isn't all that clear (nested items should be indented). And it's still the best effect I can get - all other themes I've tried were worse in this regard. To improve, the menu should be collapsible, indented, and should only show the expanded portion.

This is the same WordPress menu, displayed on top:


This is better, because the menu is collapsible, so the lists are not as long. But (a) this menu can only be shown on top and is only navigable with the mouse, and (b) if there are many levels of nesting, it will not be very usable, either - much like the Start menu in Windows. And since you can only have one menu on top (the "better" one), you have to choose whether to use it for pages or for categories. The other menu has to live in the sidebar.

I do not have the same menu composed in Joomla, so the effect of comparison will not be as persuasive, perhaps, but this is a typical Joomla menu on the sidebar (using a commercial theme):


It's pretty small, but you can see that only the "path" to the current page is expanded: New products -> eStopWatch -> Download. Graphical indicators make it easy to see where you are in the overall menu structure. If I now clicked the "Activehotkeys" item, the currently expanded part of the menu would fold, and the clicked item would open up. Perhaps such a menu is also possible in WordPress, but I haven't seen one like that.

Now, here is the same Joomla menu displayed as a top menu:


This one works pretty much like the top menu in WordPress, only here it's prettier. It's the sidebar menus that really differ in functionality.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 02:07:11 PM by tranglos » Logged

Paul Keith
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« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2009, 02:57:56 PM »

@trianglos,

Ah I see...

Would you say that the nest/outline view capability is the only big ui difference between optimizing for mutli-page static pages in Joomla?

I ask this because I have seen people praise things like Tumblr's archive (example) but criticize it because the rest of the ui doesn't quite match. (Like that page has no search engine)

Others have praised popurls' and Alltop's way of simplifying the Netvibes engine lay-out.

Still there are some uis which I feel have the potential of being a better way of negating discovery of old blog posts without forcing it to use a model of pick 1 random article like OurSignal's way of showing aggregated news.

Still kind of confusing but I guess to understand my question, you would have to consider people like me who don't feel comfortable with any kinds of list so when thinking of a multi-post static page ui for us, my question stems from asking whether the difference is just Joomla's ability to create outline style categories and top menus (I know I've already said that before) or you are just showing one of the more obvious ways that Joomla differs from Wordpress? (That is if I focused on Joomla, I should have a more tech-newbie friendlier way of going wild with menus so that I can design/experiment with a multi-post static page that is on par with being an advanced website designer/developer and is tailored made for people like me who prefer other ways of navigating besides outline lists.)

« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 02:59:58 PM by Paul Keith » Logged

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tranglos
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« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2009, 03:39:11 PM »

Would you say that the nest/outline view capability is the only big ui difference between optimizing for mutli-page static pages in Joomla?

I think so now, but while I've spent a lot of time trying out various CMS-es, I can't claim any significant experience with any of them yet. So my impressions may be somewhat superficial.

Note that the approach WordPress takes makes sense, since it is primarily a blogging platform. If you post often, pretty soon you will have hundreds, eventually thousands of posts, and no menu can handle that and stay usable. So the idea of having an automatic menu that lists only categories, then simply browsing through a timeline of posts, is rational. It just doesn't work too well when you have mostly static content, rather than blog posts that grow every day.

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I ask this because I have seen people praise things like Tumblr's archive (example) but criticize it because the rest of the ui doesn't quite match. (Like that page has no search engine)

It's the first time I've seen it, and I don't think I like it much. The intro text is too short to make sense of or get an idea what the article is about. And I wouldn't want to scroll through several screenfuls of such little blocks. But it certainly is a novel idea smiley

On the other hand, if the intro text was a little longer, this layout could work for incremental search. In FireFox I can start typing, and the browser jumps to the nearest match. The Tumblr layout does make it easy to find text in this manner - but only in the first few words of each post, which isn't all that practical.

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Others have praised popurls' and Alltop's way of simplifying the Netvibes engine lay-out.

And these are not bad at all!

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Still there are some uis which I feel have the potential of being a better way of negating discovery of old blog posts without forcing it to use a model of pick 1 random article like OurSignal's way of showing aggregated news.

Ouch! smiley I can tell which articles I am *supposed* to look at in this design, but all the less-prominent articles are like noise. I suppose you could use that for images, but with text it's pretty self-defeating. Maybe not if you have very young eyes.

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Still kind of confusing but I guess to understand my question, you would have to consider people like me who don't feel comfortable with any kinds of list so when thinking of a multi-post static page ui for us, my question stems from asking whether the difference is just Joomla's ability to create outline style categories and top menus (I know I've already said that before) or you are just showing one of the more obvious ways that Joomla differs from Wordpress? (That is if I focused on Joomla, I should have a more tech-newbie friendlier way of going wild with menus so that I can design/experiment with a multi-post static page that is on par with being an advanced website designer/developer and is tailored made for people like me who prefer other ways of navigating besides outline lists.)

My aim was to show the differences - particularly in the light of how I praised WordPress, yet ultimately did not find it suitable for my software site.

Beyond that, I think a lot depends on the nature of your content and audience. People over 40 may not be happy with Tumblr's or OurSignal's way of presenting information; younger people may be OK with that. Also, how important is it that your visitors actually read or scan the whole listing? Are they supposed to do that, or do they just arrive and click a specific link they're interested in?

You could google for articles on website usability; there's a lot of good advice. I learned a lot from Joel Spolsky's User Interface Design for Programmers (his book is on Amazon, and he published online  a large part of it). The rules for the web will often be similar.

In my experience radical new designs may be visually captivating, but they often volate even basic rules of usability (such as, don't show too much dense text at once; don't use too many colors because they distract; don't spread the text across the whole width of the page, etc.) You may be able to find some middle ground. Check out the BBC News site: they use lists arranged into blocks of different but coherent styles, so that they don't look too much like lists, and the content is sectioned in a very clear way. It's easy to scan through the whole page, and it's equally easy to go directly to just the special link you want. (I seem to recall BBC website won some usability awards, but don't quote me on that.)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 03:41:21 PM by tranglos » Logged

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