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High Volume Open Source CMS Sites

Sent by J Graham Zahoruiko on 13 January 2004 19:07

I think that "in-context" "edit this page" editing is completely the WRONG

While browsing and/or searching a staging or production site to find the
desired content to edit has significant ease-of-use and productivity value,
subsequently editing the content within that context, however, has many
pitfalls and false economies.

These pitfalls / drawbacks include:

- In a properly implemented CMS, a viewable page on a Web site may actually
contain many content assets. A single asset may be reused many times on a
Web site. 

- To fully enable in-context editing of a staging or production site, a CMS'
components need to be installed on the staging and production servers.  This
blurs the line between a CMS system, the content itself, and how the content
is consumed, introducing many unnecessary layers of complexity. 

- The staging and/or production server would need to be fully aware of
workflows in process, users, roles, versions, and editions. This requires
un-necessary overhead to the staging and production servers. Further, the
Web site now also becomes the CMS system with edit menu systems, etc. This
violates the integrity of the implementation of the content on the Web site,
no longer providing an accurate preview of the content. Moreover, all of the
benefits of searching and browsing for content within context is now moot
since the CMS and the actual implemented Web site are one - providing for an
unwieldy, confusing CMS user interface and experience. Supposedly true
in-context editing's biggest win is the usability, however, the polluted Web
site with CMS toolbars overlays, becomes the opposite of useable. 

Because of the first and third bullet, a page in a staging environment
containing multiple assets may display each asset in different stages of
their independent workflow process. This causes confusion to the end user,
and also provides challenges when deciding what should happen after an asset
is changed and submitted to the next step in the workflow process. Does the
staged page show the latest version of the asset but indicate it cannot be
edited due to being in-process? These questions and more show that
in-context editing complicates the 'user interface' and significantly
detracts from the supposed usability gains desired by true in-context

Maintaining an Asset at the Web page level does not give a proper
representation for other places where that Asset is being consumed, so
changes appropriate for the Web medium may not be appropriate for the print
or wireless medium. 

Keeping in mind that the SiteRefresh CMS application can be completely
decoupled from the production/publishing environment, SiteRefresh does
provide the ability of the site developer / SiteRefresh implementer to
enable all of the pros of in-context editing (site search/browse for desired
content) and the providing a link to directly launch into SiteRefresh to
edit the desired content.


J Graham Zahoruiko 
President & CEO 
Refresh Software Corporation 
51 Middlesex Street 
North Chelmsford, MA  01863 

P: 978-251-8870 x221 
F: 978-251-8872 

SiteRefresh - Core Content Management 
When Success Matters

-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Robert Koberg
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 8:09 PM
Subject: Re: [cms-list] High Volume Open Source CMS Sites

J Graham Zahoruiko wrote:

> Or, don't even use the CMS for publishing.  The CMS should be used for 
> managing content (Create/Workflow/Version).  The database or file 
> server for storage.  And your preferred application servers and Web 
> scripting languages for publishing.
> CMS scalability problem solved & eliminated!
> Graham

I agree that the CMS and the final product should be separate. But, you 
can publish out to that final product -- whatever that is. For example, 
  for one project we are publishing out to a large scale portal 
application that makes use of Jive Forums and a number of other dynamic 
features. The CMS is used to create the portal as 'statically' as 
possible, sent through the staging process (the CMS manages promotions 
in this case). The live version has nothing to do with the CMS.

I have never understood why pages have an 'edit this page' that I can't 


please trim your posts.

please trim your posts.
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