Skip to main content

New background-introduction

I went through my intro and have started to rewrite the whole thing. Posting it here to show A. The difference is that this intro takes a more top-down, basical approach.


The last ten years have seen revolution after revolution within information technology and telecommunications. The rise of the Internet, the success of the World Wide Web, the availability of personal computers and server performance, more recently the circulation of mobile devices and the distribution of broadband Internet are all trends of the new technological infrastructure which supports the world of modern assets which is electronical or digital data and information.

As to illustrate the increase in digital capability in containing data, one might consider the fact that the information estimated lost in the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria would fit on one single DVD. As storage space has grown, and network bandwidth has widened, the mass of digital information has exploded, both internally on intranets, and on the Internet. Users of the Internet have been most significantly effected by the increase in e-mail traffic and the amount of documents and pages available on the World Wide Web.

The value of information is only equal to that of its use. To use information, it must be found, recovered, formatted and presented. Information which is stored but never used is worthless. Digital information is enabled by the use of Information Systems. Before one can define the particular kind of Information System referred to as the Content Management System, one needs to define content itself, and seperate it from data and information.


Data, information. content and knowledge are four ambigous concepts which are regularly applied in Information Systems. If allowed to delimit the definition to digital representation, we leave out the definition of knowledge for now, focusing on the other three. These terms have various meanings, and are potential candidates for extensive ontological discussion. To avoid confusion, the meanings of these terms as used in this paper are defined as follows:


The basic unit of digital representation which can be used to construct information and content with more value for the consmer. Data is raw and granular. It does not inherently have any meaning, meta-data is not self-contained.

Data is a set of symbols, ranging from a numeral value to a string of words, or even a large series of encoded symbols that compose a binary value representing sound or picture. One often mentions data processing, feeding data as input to a program or algorithm, the output being either new data, information or content. Imagine calculating the mean of a hundred numerical values into one number. Data has been processed, but no meaning has been added. Had the value been wrapped with the context that this is the average temperature for the last three months, it could have been considered information.


One definition of information is data with meaning (Davenport and Prusak, 1998 [fix]). The same information can be conveyed with different data. Pieces of data combined with meta-data to form a package of meaning that can be conveyed. Bob Boiko includes all the common forms of recorded communication. Liz Orne ([Boiko 2002]: Orna, E (2004) Information Strategy in Practice, Aldershot: Gower, p. 7). describes it as knowledge transformed into a transportable format, visible or audible.


This is perhaps the vaguest term which we must define. Ideas include

  • Information put to use [boiko 2002]

  • Information with human meaning and context [wikipedia]

  • Information with an intended consumer, artificial or real [personal note]

  • Information with a purpose (the now disbanded ContentWatch organization's definition [Boiko 2002, p. 8]) .

The definition used in this paper is streamlined for how content can be handled by an Information System. A collection or subset of information intended for a given audience or non-human consumer with a context of location, period and situation.

Content management

Now that the definition is in place, the segment of Information Systems known as Content Management Systems can be defined. Note that in the industry of content management, the use of the term is indeterminate. Some CMS vendors claim their services feature knowledge management or enterprise content management. On the other side of the scale, many lightweight web applications claim to do content management when they actually are providing what is by most percieved as web content management, or perhaps merely weblog or wiki functionality.

Content management means different things for different actors. The basic lifecycle of content is production and consumption. For the producer, the processes of content management includes creation, formatting, structuring and integration of content. For the consumer, it includes search, export, and display. The sum of these processes make out content management. A content management system (CMS) is a suite of tools designed to assist and support these processes.

Web content management

As pointed out earlier, the explosion of digital information has been most significant on the World Wide Web. To manage this mass of online content and use, a new breed of information systems has evolved; the Web Content Management System (WCMS). The responsibility of such a system is similar to that of the CMS, only it is delimited to content which consumption is done by way of the World Wide Web. [See “Why only a web content management system” to see how WCMS has become detached from the CMS].

Popular posts from this blog

Encrypting and Decrypting with Spring

I was recently working with protecting some sensitive data in a typical Java application with a database underneath. We convert the data on its way out of the application using Spring Security Crypto Utilities. It "was decided" that we'd be doing AES with a key-length of 256, and this just happens to be the kind of encryption Spring crypto does out of the box. Sweet!

The big aber is that whatever JRE is running the application has to be patched with Oracle's JCE in order to do 256 bits. It's a fascinating story, the short version being that U.S. companies are restricted from exporting various encryption algorithms to certain countries, and some countries are restricted from importing them.

Once I had patched my JRE with the JCE, I found it fascinating how straight forward it was to encrypt and decrypt using the Spring Encryptors. So just for fun at the weekend, I threw together a little desktop app that will encrypt and decrypt stuff for the given password and sa…

Managing dot-files with vcsh and myrepos

Say I want to get my dot-files out on a new computer. Here's what I do:

# install vcsh & myrepos via apt/brew/etc
vcsh clone mr
mr update

Done! All dot-files are ready to use and in place. No deploy command, no linking up symlinks to the files. No checking/out in my entire home directory as a Git repository. Yet, all my dot-files are neatly kept in fine-grained repositories, and any changes I make are immediately ready to be committed:

    -> ~/.atom/*

    -> ~/.mrconfig
    -> ~/.config/mr/*

    -> ~/.tmuxinator/*

    -> ~/.vimrc
    -> ~/.vim/*

    -> ~/bin/*

    -> ~/.gitconfig

    -> ~/.tmux.conf    

    -> ~/.zshrc

How can this be? The key here is to use vcsh to keep track of your dot-files, and its partner myrepos/mr for operating on many repositories at the same time.

I discovere…

Always use git-svn with --prefix

TLDR: I've recently been forced back into using git-svn, and while I was at it, I noticed that git-svn generally behaves a lot better when it is initialized using the --prefix option.

Frankly, I can't see any reason why you would ever want to use git-svn without --prefix. It even added some major simplifications to my old git-svn mirror setup.

Update: Some of the advantages of this solution will disappear in newer versions of Git.

For example, make a standard-layout svn clone:

$ git svn clone -s

You'll get this .git/config:

[svn-remote "svn"]
        url =
        fetch = project-foo/trunk:refs/remotes/trunk
        branches = project-foo/branches/*:refs/remotes/*
        tags = project-foo/tags/*:refs/remotes/tags/*

And the remote branches looks like this (git branch -a):

(Compared to regular remote branches, they look very odd because there is no remote name i…

The Best Log Viewer Ever

This is what it looks like when I want to have a look through the logfile, to see what a user did on one of our machines one day:

Read the whole story about how it works on the Viaboxx Systems blog (and upvote on DZone!).

Microsoft ups their Git efforts another notch

This week Microsoft announced first class Git support embedded in the coming version of Visual Studio.

Now, it's not completely shocking. We could have seen it coming since Microsoft started offering Git repos on CodePlex, and more recently offering a Git client for TFS. In any case, these are some big news. Scott Hanselman weighs on some features and some more background here.

For those who are a bit unaware of what the Git situation on Windows looks like these days, I've dotted down these notes:
Some explanation on these:

msysGit has long been The Way to use Git on Windows. It's basically a port of Git itself, so it's a command-line tool.GitExtensions (includes Visual Studio integration), TortoiseGit, Git Shell, posh-git and most other tools are powered by msysGit.libgit2 is a native library for doing Git stuff. It is developed completely separate from Git itself. The above tools could (and should) probably use libgit2 instead of hooking onto and around msysGit.Github…