Wyatt Barnett in his Sitepoint article, "I've Never Met a Boxed CMS I Like" makes some very valid points about content management systems straight out of the box. Take note that he isn't just talking about commercial products but also open source systems. His first complaint about "boxed" CMS:
The first issue is that the very nature of a CMS is not easily boxable, without creating an application that tries to do everything for everyone and fails at doing most things particularly well. The tasks required for content management are generic, but every organization has a far different focus when it comes to how that content should be managed and how it thinks about that content. I have lost days of meetings trying to help subject matter experts understand that an article, according to this system, is really a page. Trying to make a generic application to handle this for all comers is a very, very tricky prospect.
Sadly, his post doesn't really offer a solution. I assume building your own CMS is the only alternative to the boxed version. But I have to ask, who really has the time? I think there are some obvious reasons you see so many capable software developers are using open source software such as Wordpress, TYPO3, e107, Alfresco, and Drupal for their Web presence.
The folks over at e107.org have released e107 version 0.7.6. Don't let the numbers fool you, this is the first new release of e107 in half a year. This new version offers some new features, but for the most part the release fixes security vulnerabilities, stability issues and a number of bugs.
I'm finally down to just the finishing touches on that osCommerce project I mentioned about last month. The site is Dakota Angler, a fishing bait and tackle store, that finally is ready to sell their goods online.
What made the project challenging was that it already had a presence on the Web providing fishing reports, images of big catches by the customers, and an active forum. Having to integrate a new shopping cart around the old site in a way the client was comfortable took some effort. He wanted the online store, but he didn't want to change the existing site so much that he lost his current users or made it difficult for his employees to learn "everything new". There are some practical business decisions as to why you don't want to fancy up a "bait store" too much for the customers.
I know giving Microsoft a hard time is everyone's best pastime sport, but perhaps IE7 is an improvement over IE6. While there have been some complaints about IE7 "breaking" sites...the uproar is a lot quieter than I expected. I had anticipated a little bit more from the general public. Also, it is also nice to note that IE7 isn't included in many of the "critical"updates that the rest of the IE suite are.
From the IEBlog:
This is a “Critical” update that applies to all supported IE configurations from IE5.01 to IE6 for XPSP2 and IE6 for Server 2003 Service Pack 1 except IE7 where the associated vulnerabilities do not affect this newer platform. As always, IE security updates are cumulative and contain all previously released updates for each version of IE. Read More...
Developers and users of five content management systems (CMS) have been anxiously waiting for Packt Publishing to announce the winner of their Packt Open Source CMS Award. Packt Publishing is expected to announce on Tuesday, November 14th, the top three CMS along with the winner.
The winning CMS will get US $5,000, the second will get US $3,000 and the third placed finalist will get US $2,000.
As I mentioned a couple months ago, the top five CMS were nominated by the public are all that remain eligible for the award. Those five CMS include:
This release fixes a recently discovered cross site scripting issue. While there are no new features in this release, upgrading is recommended when your Nucleus installation has the "Allow Visitors to Create a Member Account" option enabled.
By the way, thanks to the folks at Nucleus for recommending users to upgrade to the new version and not saying that it is a required or mandatory upgrade. I don't know why that gets my goat, but the rebel geek inside of me always resists doing what others think I should be required to do.
Yesterday, I spent my time at the Techknowlogy Summit in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We don't get too many technology or geek conventions in the state of South Dakota, so I didn't want this one go to by without a mention here at CMS Report.
The Techknowlogy Summit is a trade show with presentations by both national and regional leaders in technology. The keynote speaker for the show was Kodak Company's Bill Lloyd, CTO, discussing his company's transformation for meeting the demands of the digital age. It was an interesting discussion on the challenges a century old company faces when needing to shift their primary products (film) over to new digital products. Kodak's current modernization efforts began around 2001 and is expected to be near completion in 2007. It was an interesting story, a story that looks likely to have a happy ending for the company and its investors.
Moodle 1.7 has been released. Moodle is a course management system (also called a learning management system) and used by educators to build online learning communities.
The five most significant features added to Moodle according to the release notes are:
Roles - Moodle has a complete new architecture for assigning people permissions. Permissions based on fine-grained capabilities allow all kinds of roles to be created and assigned in all contexts around Moodle. This creates a great deal more flexibility in the permissions that you can grant to people.
XML database schema - In addition to MySQL and PostGreSQL, Moodle also supports Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle.
New administrative interface - A new admin interface with accessible design and cool features to make access to settings fast and easy.
A new version of Tikiwiki has been released, Tikiwiki version 1.9.6. This version of Tikiwiki fixes the usual list of bugs and security vulnerabilities that come with the usual point releases. However, 1.9.6 also comes with some new features and enhancements including:
Wiki poll: Highlight in wiki rating box the user rating
Tracker: can choose export field type: visible/searchable/all
added a notification when attachement is added to a watched wiki page
various updates on Catalan language
install process can be localized to other languages
Those interested in Tikiwiki will want to check out the original wiki page that not only includes a list of the above features, but also a list of bug fixes and security enhancements. Tikiwiki 1.9.6 is available for download at SourceForge.net.