I like gpEasy cms' quick and easy interface : powered by jquery interactivity, gpeasy is full text cms that works without a database. It is in fact a set of includes that can be administered via privilege based backend that implements FCKEditor. Below is a sample of the drag and drop interface for pages ordering, a must.
Drupal's new version (7) is in development and it features many improvements, most of them modules developped within the community. One of them is the Garland theme that allows customization of colors, enabling all theme variations including header shades. Another theme that works like that is the CTI flex theme, based on Zen, only available for drupal 6 as of now.
built as a small project, young but innovative, impress pages cms features inline editing with prototype powered drag and drop feature that allows easy building of pages with multiple components : rich text, simple text, html text, simple form builder, image gallery, amazing and promising ! Try it out on impresspages.org
w-script is a nice example of how a good development framework like codeigniter can deliver solid applications. W-Script is a simple wall paper script that comes free opensource with many functions, one them is the color indexing that allows searching colors in pictures.
Create, publish, enjoy : this is the mission line of ionize CMS, built entirely around Code Igniter, looks very promising as it comes with basic features : drag & drop pages tree, media navigator, permissions...
a lot of expereiences are currently being performed on the Zend Framework platform, but a few are really usable in production environement.
- Magento is obviously the best example of how Zend Framework can bring power and ease of development via a PHP enabled template system. The most popular opensource ecommerce application has been downloaded more that a million times and is still considered a revolutionnary project after 2 years of production.
- Digitalus CMS is a Zend framework based Content Management System. We covered it a while ago
- Joobsbox is a job board application developped on top of Zend Framewor, not quite stable yet (nice implementation of hirearchical tree does not handle sub pages very well yet, worth the try)
- Dodo is a perfect tutorial for starting with the Zend_Application environment, and it is also a good tasks application
- EasyPhpApp is a CRUD generator that can save you time when working with a lot of database tables (see our previous article on Zend framework scaffolding)
and also you can try, tine 2.0, a powerful groupware application that uses extjs beautifully (covered a while ago too on this blog)
At first sight, nothing really exciting comes from the newly released Cahaya CMS, built entirely around Zend Framework CMS : in fact the toolbar that switches the site to edit mode is an interesting implentation of insite edition, that allows page building from selected and editable blocks, as illustrated below. The whole web content management interface is built with ext js widgets including drag and drop, and this looks promising, though apparently quite complex at this early stage. I miss the hierarchical tree for page navigation in the admin, but let's hope it's coming. go to http://cahaya-project.org/ for more.
It's only alpha but I've tested it because I'm still running 1.2 and I'm waiting for serious reason to upgrade : I can tell you I've seriously avoided the basic Magento advice whic is 'never hack the core', and I have a dozen fixes implemented in the app/code/core section of my production install, which means a few hours upgrade. Reading Release notes was not very interesting so I decided I'd for a test drive. Well not much to say except the new tax system which is suited to european complexity, including or excluding shipping costs, reductions and other attributes are available in the system/ admin menu. The most noticeabl imporvement was not indeed produced by Magento but by google : remember at some time Chrome did not work well with the admin. This is now fixed, and thanks to a better cookie management chrome now handles magento admin pefectly, which means faster work. For enterprise users (9000 $ /year), a new video has been posted about private sales that offer special deals to users for a limited time using special member restricted access with invitations. Magento actually works well with emails, including reports on accepted invitations and generated sales. Enjoy.
With new versions coming up regularly, Silverstripe proves to be one of the best and usable Content Management System, including full website page content management fetaures and full relational database content management. Like most opensoruce projects, one big asset missing is a documentation, we hope this is getting better especially with the release of the Silverstripe book english translation, to be published in august. Finding one's way in the plethora of modules and code hacks available for Silverstripe is a rough job, but it pays. Data management in silverstripe is actually, in my opinion, one of the most integrated and flexible solutions available out there. Another good source of information for developers can be found at the newly built ssbits website that develops hacks and tricks.
Two different options exist in Silverstripe for data management
- DataObjectManager is a plugin developed by Uncle Cheese, also known as Aaron Carlino. His dataObjectManager allows the building of data management interafaces within page types, with many features including HTML field, file upload. A good example of the dataobjectmanager is the image_gallery module that improves the standard lightbox gallery that we used in Silverstripe.
- ModelAdmin is the new scaffolder for Silverstripe : it allows the building of data mangement systems within the Silverstripe admin. The documentation is a bit sparse but there's a public presentation that explains it quite extensively.
Jspresso -http://www.jspresso.org- is a free and opensource framework dedicated to building RIAs that offer a desktop-like user experience. Among many improvements, one of the major features of this release is the native support of Adobe Flex as a deployment option.
All Jspresso-based applications will instantly run on the Flash plugin without a single, hand-written, line of MXML or ActionScript in their code base. Nor is there any GUI code generation involved. Jspresso relies on a generic Flex client engine that dialogs with the Jspresso Java backend through Adobe BlazeDS using a generic set of GUI commands. This approach relieves the developer from the DTO pain you usually find in this type of applications while still leveraging the style and power of a Flex client-side and keeping the development server-centric.
Last but not least, Jspresso applications, bootstrapped by a Maven archetype, build entirely in Maven and can be directly imported in Eclipse with full WTP support. The server stack remains unchanged (servlet / Spring / Hibernate) and all the previous frontend technologies remain fully supported.
Remember Wikipedia's table of content, that creates anchors and links automatically from page titles : we've enjoyed the feature on MODX CMS, an old but still efficient opensource content management system for PHP / Mysql. Two plugins are available for this software, free of course : The Automatic Page TOC Generator plugin and the Automatic TOC and Navbar work the same way, via a simple process that parses H1 .. H6 tags, takes HTML within, builds the table of content, and inserts the generated table of contents anywhere in your template. Many options are available that can specify explicitly the area to be indexed or put a navbar before the heading to get bazck up to the top of the page. The result can be as shown above on the ausoleilbreton.com web site (work in progress).
EcontentMag, onlinep publication that reviews content management software, has just issued the result of the eighth annual EContent 100, a list of companies that matter most in a digital content industry that involves many domains : Classification & Taxonomy, Collaboration, Content Commerce, Content Creation-Production- and Digital Publishing, Content Delivery, Content Management, Content Security, Fee-Based Info Services, Intranets & Portals, Mobile Content, Search Engines & Technologies, Social Media. The 12 categories that structure this yearly competition illustrate the complexity of an industry that's slowly growing to the age of adulthood : opensource and proprietary solutions compete in a universe where even the low wage workers of India are quickly switching to western standards. The global economic crisis will certainly highlight the difficulty to maintain costly and complex solutions while simple, efficient and often free solutions will prove stronger as ever. By the way, Worpress 2.7 is out !!
We are actively testing Silverstripe 2.3 rc2, the lastest candidate for imminent new release of Silverstripe CMS / CMF. Among very efficient code upgrade and efficiency improvements, we love the following feature enhancements and definitely recommend professionnals to engage in learning this Content Management framework that fits CMS and website development, including the administration and layout of dynamic image galleries.
- Security new features : possibility to select multiple groups for viewing and administration privileges
What would be nice now : integrate the user import function from the newsletter module (see our post on how to do this for version 2.2)
- Wysiwyg editor new features : possibility to insert predefined template was missing for webmasters wishing to go beyond the single layout for each page type. Editors can now choose between predefined templates where content is structured in various configuration (read on for instructions on how to set that up).
What would be nice now : display a small preview of the layout, like typo3 does. Or integrate on demand page component addition (example : on demand HTML editors, list types, gallery types in one page)
- Other promising features (not tested) : data CRUD scaffolding, Update to TinyMCE 3.2, HTML flash code is now full XHTML compliant!
Developping new functions in Silverstripe CMS is not easy task : documentation of the framework is good enough for most web site development tasks but when it comes to specific functions, we know the potentiality is there but lack specific API documentation. It took me a few hours and a lot of brain energy to find out how to ... duplicate the newsletter recipient import function to have it work for users and groups. Objective was to let my own customer import hundreds of his own customers. Done, tested to a certain extent, click here for more on Silverstripe's dedicated thread.
What is MCMS ?
MCMS is a new acronym used by the developers and marketers of osTube, a collaborative CMS that focuses on video publishing. videos, sounds, photos, documents types are supported in a portal layout that integrates user blogs and comments.
OSTube integrates encoder and flash player
Shipped with 4 or 5 available templates, osTube featuires AJAX based portal layout manager and obviously a powerful uploader linked to command line encoders. CAn be a good application to resell but I wonder about the search engine : will that be as powerful as google 's youtube ?
While EXTJS 3.0 is on the way with a roadmap setting deadlines for early 2009, Jquery continues its path on the way to serious lightweight alternative to the massive EXT : JX extension for Jquery includes the viewport paradigm on which relies every EXT JS application.
Web based interfaces
In spite of huge progress and impressive use of ease, Jquery is not there yet : for the development of applications many developers have chosen the exhaustivity of EXT JS. Have a look at google code hosted project in development : ecartcommerce, CMS jimw, both ext js and zend framework based. In the world of content management systems, mysource is making the news with a new video that demonstrates inline editing, and other exciting Rich Application features.
The world of content management was doing fine with the concept of the usual administration framework or form based edition : some tools integrate front end editing, meaning that connected users can browse their site with a special menu tool bar on top or inside the page. What's even better is in situ editing, as demonstrated on NicEdit Wysiwyg editor demo page : NicEdit instances can also replace any element (divs,spans,paragraphs,ect.) with editor instances without effecting the layout of the page.
I have to admit that the race for the best opensource content management software is an exciting one. Years pass and technology goes ahead but some names have the capacity to stay on track : in 2007 modx was, in my opinion, the best PHP CMS I could implement for customers. 2008 saw an impressive competitor come up as a reliable solution, including a powerful development framework : Silverstripe version 2.2 is a must, with a simple tree based navigation and drag&drop page structure management as most visible features. Automatic image resizing, online image editing, flexible database structure, are features now common in silverstripe, sometimes shared with modx or other competitors (check out JOJOCMS, Concrete5 or even the old WordPress !!). Of course on the development side of the moon, 2008 also celebrated the ever increasing popularity of Zend framework on the server side, and EXTJS on the client side : those 2 powerful libraries have little implementation examples, but that is changing quickly too : the latest pre release version of MODX CMS, code named revolution, is demonstrating the use of EXT JS to an extent that's going to make 2009 a new era for opensource content management solutions !
what is nice about Omeka CMS is not the backend : you will find in the admin sandbox that most sections of the restricted area, while perfectly efficient, lack today's common AJAX reactivity. But on the front end, the result is stunning : websites built with Omeka have all gone throught a graphic design expertise that push the enthousiast to look more into the technology behind (Zend Framework). As such the tool fits perfectly into its mission statement : "web platform for publishing collections and exhibitions online. Designed for cultural institutions, enthusiasts, and educators, Omeka is easy to install and modify and facilitates community-building around collections and exhibits."
wmc is a professionnal web content management tool that does more than just let you write within your won website : it helps you with words via a specific semantic engine that will do its best to optimize your website for Search engines ! From the vendors website : "Semantic analysis is the process of linguistically parsing sentences and paragraphs into key concepts, verbs and Proper Nouns to determine the “aboutness” of content. Using statistics-backed technology, these words are then compared to your taxonomy* (categories) and grouped according to relevance".
This article makes a quick comparison of 3 popular PHP Content management Systems : Concrete5, Silverstripe and WordPress. While Concrete5 and Silverstripe are two real content management frameworks, WordPress is hugely popular as a blogging platform and each new version brings new feature that make it perfectly usable as a CMS, provided you install specific plugins such as PageMash.