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Content Management System

I know what it is, and yet the knowledge of what a CMS is, is so vague
that I find myself asking this question every now and then. I've
googled and read the resources too. However, the knowledge is still not
clear. It is so vague.
Me: Just what is a content management system?

Myself: A place where content can be stored.

Me: OK. So, then what's a file system?

Myself: That's not web-based. File-Systems are desktop-based.

Me: You can have a file-system on a common network server. I can even
have a network server and give remote access to people over a VPN. I
can host content on a terminal server, I can give them VNC clients, or
an RDP client, and let them browse what they want to.

Myself: How will they know "where" to find what?

Me: Come again?

Myself: With all those avenues you mentioned, you won't publish
content. There will not be a taxonomy. You will just be dumping files
on another remote server. How will the users "find" what they want?

So, is a CMS all about:

1. Taxonomy
2. Publishing content in a Web based format

Me: What about binary objects that cannot be published in HTML?

Myself: Yeah! What about them, dude? Use your head. What about them?
Heard of a hyperlink? Heard of HTTP? FTP? No?

Me: OK. I get it. But...I *still* don't get it, man. Why did we need
this? More importantly, where are the boundaries? I believe CMS also
lets users edit and publish content on-the-fly.
So, again, where are the boundaries? What about non-public content?
What about access rights? Do you have seperate users on CMS's having
their seperate folders as well, where they could put their own private
content? Or, is the idea behind CMS about "sharing" and so they put
only that which they need to share and not the private stuff.

Do CMS's also allow access rights or authorization levels *per*
resource/file/unit of content that is uploaded on to them? Or, are they
role-based - e.g all users of this group will be able to access all
files, and users of that group will have read-only access to this
website.

Mar 29 '06 #1
9 1674
Me: You can have a file-system on a common network server. I can even
have a network server and give remote access to people over a VPN. I
can host content on a terminal server, I can give them VNC clients, or
an RDP client, and let them browse what they want to. No, because the contents are published in a different manner.
Think about a "Shop" and a "deposit area", they have the same
contents/products
but at the same time they are exposed in different manners.
In the shop you can walk in and be comfortable by watching all the exposed
things
in the deposit area.
Myself: How will they know "where" to find what?

Me: Come again? Searching or by following the suggested links.
Myself: With all those avenues you mentioned, you won't publish
content. There will not be a taxonomy. You will just be dumping files
on another remote server. How will the users "find" what they want? It's not a *dumping* files but publishing contents.

So, is a CMS all about:

1. Taxonomy
2. Publishing content in a Web based format

Me: What about binary objects that cannot be published in HTML? 3. Other things.
Binary contents can be linked for download.
Myself: Yeah! What about them, dude? Use your head. What about them?
Heard of a hyperlink? Heard of HTTP? FTP? No?

Me: OK. I get it. But...I *still* don't get it, man. Why did we need
this? More importantly, where are the boundaries? I believe CMS also
lets users edit and publish content on-the-fly. The boundaries are the different methods.

So, again, where are the boundaries? What about non-public content?
What about access rights? Do you have seperate users on CMS's having
their seperate folders as well, where they could put their own private
content? Or, is the idea behind CMS about "sharing" and so they put
only that which they need to share and not the private stuff.

Do CMS's also allow access rights or authorization levels *per*
resource/file/unit of content that is uploaded on to them? Or, are they
role-based - e.g all users of this group will be able to access all
files, and users of that group will have read-only access to this
website.

The CMS can be created with any kind of feature, with restrictions or not to
anything.
That's up to the person to know what they want to do with the CMS.
It could be open to anybody or restricted.

CMS is only a generic acronym.

Regards.
--
Leonardo Armando Iarrusso - J2Be
www: http://www.J2be.com - e-mail: info[at]J2Be.com
Mar 29 '06 #2
[Follow-ups suggested]

Fleeing from the madness of the J2be - IT Services jungle
J2be <in**@nospamj2be.com> stumbled into
news:comp.lang.python,comp.lang.php,alt.http://www.webmaster,comp.infosystem...t.portalserver
and said:

[attribution lost]
You will just be dumping files
on another remote server. How will the users "find" what they want?
It's not a *dumping* files but publishing contents.


One could be forgiven for misidentifying one for the other based on that
which is to be found on the WWW.

--
William Tasso

whither a trophy?
Mar 29 '06 #3
"Water Cooler v2" <wt*****@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:11*********************@z34g2000cwc.googlegro ups.com...
I know what it is, and yet the knowledge of what a CMS is, is so vague
that I find myself asking this question every now and then. I've
googled and read the resources too. However, the knowledge is still not
clear. It is so vague.
Me: Just what is a content management system?

It's the website manager for Joe Average. It's removes user from such things
as knowing html, building site navigation, transferring files to server. You
don't need to know virtually anything about webdesign and yet with a CMS you
can build a site. Of course CMS based sites are crap on a stick if you ask
me, but in the users and another Average Joe's opinion it's superb. The
point is not in storing the files but maintaining the site.

--
"En ole paha ihminen, mutta omenat ovat elinkeinoni." -Perttu Sirviö
sp**@outolempi.net | Gedoon-S @ IRCnet | rot13(xv***@bhgbyrzcv.arg)
Mar 29 '06 #4
Water Cooler v2 wrote:
So, again, where are the boundaries? What about non-public content?
What about access rights? Do you have seperate users on CMS's having
their seperate folders as well, where they could put their own private
content? Or, is the idea behind CMS about "sharing" and so they put
only that which they need to share and not the private stuff.

Do CMS's also allow access rights or authorization levels *per*
resource/file/unit of content that is uploaded on to them? Or, are they
role-based - e.g all users of this group will be able to access all
files, and users of that group will have read-only access to this
website.


A CMS is just a general category of tool or infrastructure. Many things
can be used as a CMS. All a CMS does is provide a means for managing
content so that it can be made available - it can be a huge thing,
storing everything in databases and providing fine-grained permissions
control and workflow management. Or it can be built on the file system.

I'm on my way toward using Subversion as a content management system.
Right now, I write a new page in my working copy, add it to the list of
pages for that section (that will hopefully be automated sometime),
check it in, and do an update in the Web public root. Voila. Published
content. It lets me track historical versions of my content, does
automatic templating (mod_perl and HTML::Mason pull the data through
templates live). Soon, the website should automatically update any time
I check a new change into the public branch of the Subversion repo. A
system quite unlike things typically billed as CMS's, but in my mind, it
still qualifies - it's a CMS that works with the way I work (simple file
manager, terminal, and Vim).

I don't know if this helps or muddies the water more. There aren't
really boundaries IMHO - anything that does the job of managing your
content (storing it and providing access to it) qualifies as some form
of CMS. Frequently, they provide a nice, user-friendly Web interface,
and many mechanisms to allow non-technical users to edit content. But I
don't think they have to.

So yes, I believe your network file system would qualify as a form of CMS.

- Michael

--
mouse, n: a device for pointing at the xterm in which you want to type.
-- Fortune
Visit me on the Web: http://www.elehack.net
Mar 29 '06 #5
On Wed, 29 Mar 2006 15:19:05 +0300
"Kimmo Laine" <sp**@outolempi.net> opined:
"Water Cooler v2" <wt*****@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:11*********************@z34g2000cwc.googlegro ups.com...
I know what it is, and yet the knowledge of what a CMS is, is so
vague
that I find myself asking this question every now and then. I've
googled and read the resources too. However, the knowledge is
still not clear. It is so vague.
Me: Just what is a content management system?

It's the website manager for Joe Average. It's removes user from
such things as knowing html, building site navigation, transferring


Well, yes, but some very sophisticated sites use CMS. The objective
is to provide an engine for collaborative efforts.
--
Displayed Email Address is a SPAM TRAP
Our DNSRBL -
Eliminate Spam: http://www.TQMcube.com
Multi-RBL Check: http://www.TQMcube.com/rblcheck.php
Zombie Graphs: http://www.TQMcube.com/zombies.php
Mar 29 '06 #6
Gazing into my crystal ball I observed "Water Cooler v2"
<wt*****@yahoo.com> writing in news:1143627824.174540.13710
@z34g2000cwc.googlegroups.com:
I know what it is, and yet the knowledge of what a CMS is, is so vague
that I find myself asking this question every now and then. I've
googled and read the resources too. However, the knowledge is still not
clear. It is so vague.


For me, it was a way to give my client (local parish) some things:
1. An easy way for them to make _content_ changes to their website,
without getting into the nuts and bolts and potentially creating havoc.
2. A way to make the site searchable for the user.
3. A way from keeping them from publishing Word documents as HTML - urgh!
4. A way to have content changes immediate, and not have to wait for 24
hours before their current hosting company downloads content (in Word,
with no navigation).

I rolled my own in ASP/Access, not very complicated because I didn't need
anything complicated.

--
Adrienne Boswell
Please respond to the group so others can share
http://www.cavalcade-of-coding.info
Mar 29 '06 #7
Water Cooler v2 wrote:
I know what it is, and yet the knowledge of what a CMS is, is so vague
that I find myself asking this question every now and then. I've
googled and read the resources too. However, the knowledge is still not
clear. It is so vague.
Me: Just what is a content management system?

There's many different CMS sytems out there. How they work vary widely.
But basically it's about making the site maintainable. Creating pages ad
hoc on your desktop can lead to variations in a website depending on
when and who made that page. That can cause problems as a site expands.

Let's talk about web based.

Common and necesary features are:

1) A Page Manager that shows you the site structure and lets you add
edit or move pages about the site. Since this is stored in an online
database, everyone who needs to edit the site will have the same data.
That's an advantage over having this on your desktop where syncing the
data is necesary.

2) A page editor. The idea here is to seperate the content from the
presentation. Typically the content will be plugged into a template(s)
that conforms to your site so that all pages will have the same look and
feel. If you need to make a change sitewide, changing the template(s)
will do that,other than making changes one page at a time.

What you want is to seperate content from presentation. You want your
pages to be reasonable HTML instead of what an inexperienced (or even
experienced) might create on their own.

3) Navigation. CMS should be able to update your navigation as you add
pages, or move them.

4) Controlling access to editing and making navigation changes. This can
be by directory, subdirectory or even page. I usually see the first two,
sometimes an editor will need to to have access to different sections of
the site, but not to the whole site. Sometimes this will need to be
reviewed by an administrator. Every site tends to have differing needs.

5)Ability to upload PDF's, word docs, etc... and link them into your
site. Usually you will want to do this online, rather than having to FTP
content up, typically you don't want CMS users to even have to know
about FTP.
So you want your CMS to be easy for the html illiterate to use, you
want to be able to make sitewide changes easily, you want your
navigation to automatically update and you want to be able to control
access and if necesaary review changes.
Myself: A place where content can be stored.
Online in a structured place, this usually involves a database in some
way. How that all works should be something you don't need to know or
worry about.
Me: OK. So, then what's a file system?

Myself: That's not web-based. File-Systems are desktop-based.
Everything is file based, even database tables.

HTH,

Cheers,
Jeff
Me: You can have a file-system on a common network server. I can even
have a network server and give remote access to people over a VPN. I
can host content on a terminal server, I can give them VNC clients, or
an RDP client, and let them browse what they want to.

Myself: How will they know "where" to find what?

Me: Come again?

Myself: With all those avenues you mentioned, you won't publish
content. There will not be a taxonomy. You will just be dumping files
on another remote server. How will the users "find" what they want?

So, is a CMS all about:

1. Taxonomy
2. Publishing content in a Web based format

Me: What about binary objects that cannot be published in HTML?

Myself: Yeah! What about them, dude? Use your head. What about them?
Heard of a hyperlink? Heard of HTTP? FTP? No?

Me: OK. I get it. But...I *still* don't get it, man. Why did we need
this? More importantly, where are the boundaries? I believe CMS also
lets users edit and publish content on-the-fly.
So, again, where are the boundaries? What about non-public content?
What about access rights? Do you have seperate users on CMS's having
their seperate folders as well, where they could put their own private
content? Or, is the idea behind CMS about "sharing" and so they put
only that which they need to share and not the private stuff.

Do CMS's also allow access rights or authorization levels *per*
resource/file/unit of content that is uploaded on to them? Or, are they
role-based - e.g all users of this group will be able to access all
files, and users of that group will have read-only access to this
website.

Mar 29 '06 #8
On Wed, 29 Mar 2006 16:32:39 GMT, Adrienne Boswell wrote:
Gazing into my crystal ball I observed "Water Cooler v2"
<wt*****@yahoo.com> writing in news:1143627824.174540.13710
@z34g2000cwc.googlegroups.com:
I know what it is, and yet the knowledge of what a CMS is, is so vague
that I find myself asking this question every now and then. I've
googled and read the resources too. However, the knowledge is still not
clear. It is so vague.


For me, it was a way to give my client (local parish) some things:
1. An easy way for them to make _content_ changes to their website,
without getting into the nuts and bolts and potentially creating havoc.
2. A way to make the site searchable for the user.
3. A way from keeping them from publishing Word documents as HTML - urgh!
4. A way to have content changes immediate, and not have to wait for 24
hours before their current hosting company downloads content (in Word,
with no navigation).

I rolled my own in ASP/Access, not very complicated because I didn't need
anything complicated.


Try taking a look at Joomla:

http://www.joomla.org/

I generally hand code PHP sites, but occasionally use a CMS. Of all
the ones I tested, Joomla seemed (to me) to be the most flexible.

If you install the JCE (WYSIWYG) editor, it actually has a "paste from
Word" function that tries to strip out as much MX cr*p as it can - but
it's a tall order!

I've [even] used Joomla for pretty simple non-"blog" sites simply for
the remote admin and the search functions. It really is best suited
for the more "newsy" community sites. It's definitely worth a look at,
IMHO.

Adam.
Mar 30 '06 #9
Jeff <do*********@all.uk> writes:
Water Cooler v2 wrote:
I know what it is, and yet the knowledge of what a CMS is, is so vague
that I find myself asking this question every now and then. I've
googled and read the resources too. However, the knowledge is still not
clear. It is so vague.
Me: Just what is a content management system?

There's many different CMS sytems out there. How they work vary widely.
But basically it's about making the site maintainable. Creating pages ad
hoc on your desktop can lead to variations in a website depending on
when and who made that page. That can cause problems as a site expands.


I hope your fellow programmers here know about separation of concerns
already (!). But I suppose it's useful to start by pointing out that
the rest of the world rarely thinks about that.

Still, the OP was instead asking about what distinguishes a "CMS" (a
term in danger of meaning all things to all people) from just about
every other database program ever written for a non-techie audience,
and you go on in the rest of your post to sensibly explain the
concrete details.

I guess what people most often mean by it is (maximally condensing
what you wrote, really):

- generic framework + tools, NOT designed for a specific field or market

- the hope is that somebody dragged at random off the street will be
able to use it (because nobody else in the office wants to do the
data entry, presumably ;-)

- web-based (duh)

Common and necesary features are:

[...snip appropriately concrete details...]

Looking at it another way, a CMS is a trap-door for your
organisation's valuable data <0.75 wink>
John

Mar 31 '06 #10

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