Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2006

More blog tuning

Now I had to do some more fixing on this blog.

Turns out the width of the column in the blog really didn't suit my content. I know people like reading narrow columns, but I like stuffing large images and tables into my posts, and given that my posts can be somewhat long, I think thin columns make single posts look too.. long.

So I started fiddling around with the template, and pretty soon managed to mess it up pretty bad. I ended up removing all background images, the blogspot-navbar, left-aligning the whole thing while making the header 100% wide, which is nice, but I still don't like the left-aligned content. So my CSS-knowledge is as crappy as ever, but hey, I'm a programmer, not a designer (which reminds me of another post I have to do soon: "The programming designer; a rare breed of which we are in dire need".

Now I'm adding some feedburner stuff. Took a wee while to find their JS snippets, they've got something called FeedFlare, which I can imagine is…

Moving from blogger to blogger

I have already converted it, but I chose to stick with my old template design because I like it.

Still, I feel like I'm missing out on a lot of nice new widgety functionality, and no better time than my birthday to figure out how it goes.

Logged inTemplate settingsCustomize DesignUpgrade your template!Chose one of the booring ugly templatesSavedQuickly added some javascript components to the template (blogroll and linkroll)Saved
And done. Wow, that was easy.. Still having problems publishing posts from Google docs/Writely with titles, but maybe this one will work?

Edit: Still doesn't work. What a pain in the arse. Manually setting title for the 100th time. But also trying out the tags.

I need to do some brain exercise

I just had to look up how to spell 'ex(c)ercise'. This, among a wide range of other daily examples tell me that I need to mentally exercise more often: Every week there is a math riddle in Teknisk Ukeblad which I have no chance to solve at all. I recently saw a presentation of how the fibonacci formula was solved, and I understood just about quack, even if I used to assistant-teach linear algebra at Oslo's university college some years ago (I used to be great at maths, but never had any use for it in professional life). I'm having trouble with improvisation, both musically and conversationally.

You could consider this blog a mental excersise, but it does little else than keep my English writing skills in order. It could have something to do with the all the festivities (and subsequent hangovers), but I feel my short-term memory is detoriating as well. Already now I have forgot lots of ideas I wanted to put into this post.. perhaps just as well :)

Anyhow, I noticed that…

CMS Requirements

When I wrote the thesis about implications of using open source and open standards in Content Management Systems, I needed a set of requirements that would fit the structure of the rest of the thesis. Now I probably started off with a typical list of Bob Boiko's, but over the months of writing it sort of morphed and evolved into its present state.

I divided CMS requirements into 6 categories:

Technical (the requirements from this point of view, typically formed by the people who have to install and maintain the CMS)
Management (the users, the content managers' needs)
Globalization
Content Delivery (the needs of the audience, the content readers)
CostsExtensibility

Not sure this table will come out right in the blog, but I attempt to paste it in:

Requirement Keywords Technical Deployment Installation, migration, environment Integration Infrastructure, architecture, connection …

Open Source and Open Standards

The previous post finally mentioned open source CMS'es. To supply readers with some update on the discussions of open source and open standards, here are a couple o' paragraphs from my thesis on these subjects. Note that Sun has since the time of writing decided to open source Java.
Open Source Having given some indicators to open source WCM systems, the concept should be properly explained. Open source software refers to programs whose source code is made available for use or modification. This means that open source software is in fact free to acquire [Walli, 2005] and change.A lot of people find this hard to believe, and many presume that such software is produced on a volunteer basis, and therefore lacks quality, security and consistency [Economist, 2006]. This is true for a lot of smaller open source projects, but many projects show signs of the opposite [Raymond, 2000], the most famous of these being the operating system GNU/Linux. There is a prominent case for the use…

Where to start looking for a CMS

A lot of people of around me tend to ask me where they can find a good CMS solution. The most typical question is how they can get started with their own website (where my typical answer is 'Don't. Register a blog instead'). More ambitous entrepeneurs ask where can they buy a total CMS solution solving business requirement X, Y and Z. To these I often end up answering that such a solution does not exist yet, and it will be darn expensive to develop. However, if they still want to see what's out there, I recommend reading the rest of this blog-post and continue the research on their own.

Communities The WCMS market is so large that it is nearly impossible to get a complete overview of solutions. Attempts to explore this market have already been made by some online communities, and in my opinion the best way to experience the market is by following the lead of these communities. There are also a number of annual conferences specifically intended for content ma…

So how about your Web CMS versus your KMS/CMS/Intranet?

Stand-Alone Web Content Management System Many organizations have intranets on which they perform their content management duties. It is natural to propose that the WCMS integrates with the CMS. Parts of the content which should be exposed on the Web already exists somewhere in the CMS, perhaps on the intranet or on a central file server.
It is natural to believe that the best solution is to invest in a total solution where a CMS includes the WCMS by displaying the content with a Web interface. The case for choosing an isolated or singular standalone WCMS is explained below.
When selecting a system to control their web-site, decision makers are tempted to invest in enterprise solutions. These solutions promise to solve many of the corporate IT-problems with a single centralized silver bullet system. However, the projects where these solutions are selected, implemented and deployed often fail miserably, taking too long to complete. If they ever achieve nominal use, the requ…

Alternative Web Content Management Solutions

Seeing as this blog still picks up some traffic, I'm putting a bit of effort in to get some of my pre-historic thoughts into the open. They sounded like a good idea enough to write down (in the thesis), so they're probably interesting to post here.

The last thing I posted about was about the evolution of web content management. Funny, when I wrote that the original title was actually The Levels of WCM, but when I looked over it later it was like I'd written a journey through the 90'ies online publishing; from httpd to lamp.

Now here's the next section I wrote. It's about the alternative forms of WCM, some of which have grown/shrunk into/away from eachother the last few years:

Alternatives to Web Content Management Systems To further explain web content management, one can consider what other web content tools and management systems are used today, and what separates these from full WCM systems [Byrne, 2001], [Junco, 2004].
The definitions in use are not c…

Shameless company promotion!

To all you Oslo-based readers, students at ifi in particular:

Objectware is gonna participate with a talk on http://dagen.ifi.uio.no! And not just any one of them either, but Totto 'imself (president of JavaBin, JavaZone Scandinavia's only Java Champion - in other words, the biggest Java-celeb in these snowy parts of the world). If you are interested in Java, or system development in general, I highly recommend you catch that talk! Øyvind Bø Syrstad (buddy and colleague) will also participate in the talk.

Dagen@ifi is on 26th of October, and takes place at the University of Oslo's Institute of Informatics. I don't have the opportunity to participate on the earlier happenings, but will arrive later in the evening to share a great deal of red wine with the rest of last year's Dagen-crew ;)

The Evolution of Content Management

Edit: Seems Writely doesn't publish images onto here. Argh.

It is challenging to make a clear distinction that separates WCM systems from similar information systems. To explore this one must understand the possible ways to do web content management. Various architectures of implementation exist. One possible categorization is presented here. These four levels are a way to divide the physical management of content. In general one can say that the higher use of web content in a company, the higher level its WCMS implementation should be. The separation is historical and drawn from my personal experience with web development through the last decade, therefore the evolutionary approach.Static files on a web-serverThe most basic strategy is to compose static HTML files and transfer these to a web server capable of serving such files to clients connecting to the web-site. It is possible to apply styles to the pages, for example with the help of cascading style-sheets (CSS).Content wrapp…

JavaZone report, rest of day 1 and day 2

Updated with hyperlinks
Day 1Well, I didn't go to Bjørn's presentation anyway for some reason. Some chaos at the stand, and I dropped into the presentation on Matisse. Long story short, this stuff is Visual Studio five years ago, the live demo botched terribly, and I did a walk-out after about 20 minutes. Geertjan explained why in his blog, and it looked like a dependancy management problem. Snap out of it, guys. Ditch Ant and start using Maven. Still, looking at the state of Swing, I'm glad I'm doing web-apps.

Then I took some time off to handle stand-chaos, and eat with Erling (old student buddy) who I haven't met in a while. I was also in the Meet-The-Gurus: MVC framework smackdown with Arjen Poutsma (Interface 21/Spring MVC), Rickard Öberg (creator of WW) and Kaare Nilsen (JSF). Was interesting to see how the MVC frameworks (or web frameworks as I prefer to call them) could be divided into several channels of motivation, and thus is the reason we have so many fr…

JavaZone report, day 1, half-done

Updated with hyperlinks

Was at Bruce Johnson's talk on Google WTK. Cool stuff, Google, nuff said. Will have to try it out.

Then on to Jevgeni Kabanov's talk on Arenea. Interesting ideas, but I don't really think this is anything ready for prod. I'm an OO guy, so I can really see the use of using more OO in webapps. Might try this out next year if it's still alive.

Took a one session break.

Now in Bruce Tate's Java/Ruby integration talk. So far doing very well being diplomatic towards java (perhaps very wisely). Alotta RoR demonstration, and the ReST stuff was of course impressive. Tate is by the way one helluva talker. Sounds a bit like an American president (scaringly smoothly convincing type), but I think he's Texan, after all :)

Now I've stumbled into Ross Mason's Mule/JavaSpaces . The nickle in his shoe is handling meta-data for web services. but ESBs, or was it WSDLs, don't provide this too well.

Now normally I like to stay clear of the serv…

See you at JavaZone!

Righto, wednesday is the big day! JavaZone really looks to be one of the coolest Java conferences ever, and it's right here in Oslo! Quite amazing. Will try to blog a bit about the presentations I get to see, but will also be hanging around Objectware's stand alot, eating popcorn (come get some, it's free!).

Replacing a repository

They say you should blog about something you like, stick to the subject, be informal, and write something useful. Add subjective knowledge to the community.

My thoughts on the field of content management haven't really evolved much since I began working one month ago, but I have encountered a portal/CMS system which I sooner or later will have to use and develop with, I guess. Now the sorry thing about this portal is that I can't utilize my experience with the Java content repository (JCR) standard JSR-170. The portal vendor *could* implement support for it, but as I guess the internal datastructure is, this would lead to an entire replacement of the existing repository, throwing some years of development and use out of the window.

My gut feeling tells me this would not be worth it at this point. But for the sake of argument, let's wheigh the implications of replacing a homegrown repository with for instance Jackrabbit.

Negative implicationsImplementation. The datastructur…

Summer vacation

Coming up is the last week of work for me before the summer, and as last weeks go, I'll probably be too busy to blog about anything interesting. But I'd like to brag that my entire month of July will be spent mostly offline, doing nothing but enjoying the summer in our family's summer-place, as well as digesting the WebWork- and AJAX in Action books. I'm changing employer across the summer, and these technologies are probably the ones I'll be working with at the new place.

Have a nice summer, everyone!

The Web Content Challenges

Last monday I finally presented my thesis "The Use of Open Source and Open Standards in Web Content Management Systems". Present were my student guide, a small gang of friends and colleagues, and the external examinator who was there by way of tele-conference (or Skype as it's called these days).

The presentation went fairly well, but as the examinator had audio communication only (as well as a copy of my slides), my entire theatrical focus was inside the monitor of my laptop. So the people present in the room weren't really too flabbergasted by the presentation, but the examinator liked it and that's what counts. I got some flame for not having spent too much energy on the academic method, but overall he meant it was a great thesis. So that's the official end of my 17 year long education!

Anyhow, here's another snippet about the reason we developed WCMS-es in the first place:

Web Content Challenges The concept of content in itself seeks to solve the…

The WCMS Alternatives

An interesting way to portrait what a WCMS is, is by saying what it is not. I tried to do this in my thesis, but ended up with too many WCMS-sisters that either
Can be part of the WCMS Can have WCMS bundled inside Is part of the WCM process, or Depending on definition, is a WCMS So I couldn't really say "This is what WCMS is not:", but ended up with the WCMS alternatives (not really a good title, methinks, but still I think the section helps to explain the WCMS):

To further explain web content management, one can consider what other web content tools and management systems are used today, and what separates these from full WCM systems [Byrne, 2001], [Junco, 2004].
The definitions in use are not clear, and some vendors flag functionality which goes beyond their product. To avoid confusion, these are some of the product families which most often are mixed with the WCMS. File system There are various servers or directory services that ca…