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Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Suffering from chronic idiocy since 1977


Designer CMS on Rails

Paul Jarvis (of twothirty fame) and I have been dis­cussing an idea over the last few days, cen­tered around this con­cept: many design­ers (espe­cially those who, like us, believe in and evan­ge­lize web stan­dards for our projects, and care about build­ing user-friendly inter­faces) bemoan the absence of a CMS that meets the fol­low­ing requirements:

So we started chat­ting about this prob­lem in more detail, since the only solu­tions either of us have found thus far (for projects requir­ing a CMS) is to cre­ate some­thing from scratch (time-consuming if you are a pro­gram­mer or have one on your team, and usu­ally expen­sive if you choose/need to hire a devel­oper — for design­ers with no pro­gram­ming knowl­edge, the lat­ter is almost always the case), attempt to cus­tomize one of the many open source CMS projects (which seem to have a long way to go), or hack/bend/twist blog-oriented sys­tems (which is a less-than-elegant approach on many lev­els) such as Word­Press, Textpat­tern or Mov­able­Type.

After agree­ing on the poor state of the CMS union, we decided that some­thing needs to be built from the ground up to tar­get these spe­cific require­ments, as well as some oth­ers, including:

Paul and I dis­cussed a com­bi­na­tion of Rails and AJAX as the per­fect com­pan­ions to web stan­dards, and since nei­ther of us are seri­ous devel­op­ers (we can both do a few fancy things with PHP, but that doesn’t really count for a project of this scope), I decided it would be inter­est­ing to find out what I could about the Rails world — being a front-end designer, I haven’t yet been able to ded­i­cate enough time to Rails to really under­stand how to use it, though that’s still on my list (espe­cially after using Base­camp and now Back­pack so suc­cess­fully, such great exam­ples of the frame­work have me sold on its ben­e­fits com­pletely). A brief dis­cus­sion with David Heine­meier Hans­son about poten­tial Rails devel­op­ers resulted in a short descrip­tion of the con­cept on a pub­lic Back­pack page (what else?) which David was kind enough to pub­li­cize on the Rails blog, with the hopes of gen­er­at­ing inter­est from one or more developers.

Is this a project that inter­ests you, either as a user or a con­trib­u­tor? Are you a Rails or AJAX devel­oper inter­ested in col­lab­o­rat­ing with a few of the bet­ter design­ers within the web stan­dards world to design and develop an answer to this missing-link in the web stan­dards devel­op­ment toolbox?

We’d love to hear your thoughts, com­ments, con­cerns, ideas, and any­thing else I’ve left out if you care to share them — I’d love to see this done in Rails, espe­cially as Rails is pick­ing up speed and pop­u­lar­ity day by day, and this kind of project (whether even­tu­ally sold or purely dis­trib­uted for the greater good) would both ben­e­fit from the press Rails is receiv­ing as well as add to it.

This item was posted by Dan Rubin on Friday, June 10th, 2005.


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63 comments on “Designer CMS on Rails”

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  1. Posted by William Stewart on Friday, June 10th, 2005.

    I would def­i­nitely be inter­ested in a script like this. My devel­oper skills are seri­ously lack­ing and I need a easy script.

    If you need my skills from the design end, I would be happy to help!

  2. Posted by Dave Woodward on Friday, June 10th, 2005.

    There is a long page on the Rails Wiki that some other devel­op­ers have started regard­ing a CMS. I’ve been bang­ing out Rails projects recently in my free­lance jobs, how­ever I’ve recently decided to put free­lance on the back burner because I also have a full time day job and the two were start­ing to com­pete for sleep time.
    I would love to help you guys out any­way pos­si­ble, how­ever I don’t have a lot of hours in a week to devote.
    I’ve also been toss­ing around ideas in my head because I was think­ing of writ­ing a Rails based CMS for my own uses (I prob­a­bly still will some­time in the future).
    I’d like to have arbi­trary “blocks” of struc­ture editable through the web inter­face that can then be built up into page and/or sec­tion tem­plates. Some­thing sim­i­lar to Textpattern’s style of pre­sen­ta­tion man­age­ment, but more gran­u­lar.
    By the way I’m pretty adept with Design, CSS & HTML, as well as Programming.

  3. Posted by AJP on Friday, June 10th, 2005.

    As a pro­gram­mer turn­ing to web designer, I’ve been think­ing about when some­body would start tack­ling a CMS on Rails. I think there are too many CMS/frameworks out there that peo­ple are rein­vent­ing the wheel, only so it looks and behaves their way. Most of the ideas and func­tion­al­ity are bor­rowed from oth­ers, only to pro­vide most of the same ideas. As we all know, AJAX, Rails, and great design are the imme­di­ate future of web development/design and I would def­i­nitely sup­port (and prob­a­bly use) such a product.

  4. Posted by Eddie Garrett on Friday, June 10th, 2005.

    Peo­ple are definit­ley start­ing to work on just what you’ve described here. One mem­ber of the TextDrive/Textpattern team is work­ing on such a CMS:

    Text­Thing: http://textthing.com/home/

  5. Posted by garrett on Friday, June 10th, 2005.

    I have very lit­tle knowl­edge of ruby but as rails is an emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy it seems only fit­ting that the most mod­ern of tech­nolo­gies be employed in the fron­tend of any apps designed for the frame­work. I would be very inter­ested in such a CMS and hav­ing seen your pre­vi­ous work would expect it to be very ele­gantly designed.

  6. Posted by avianto on Friday, June 10th, 2005.

    I’ve been wait­ing for this kind of thing and I agree with Dave on the “blocks” issue. Altho I have years expe­ri­ence with design (XHTML+CSS), I am still a begin­ner with Rails and/or AJAX but I’ll be glad if I could help.

  7. Posted by cboone on Friday, June 10th, 2005.

    I’m inter­ested.

    I do design (graphic and XHTML/CSS) and an increas­ing amount of Rails work.

    Right now most of my client sites run on Textpat­tern, which works great in a lot of ways; but since I don’t like cod­ing PHP one bit, I’d much rather be work­ing with a Rails-based CMS.

    Have you guys tried out Typo?


    I haven’t yet, but peo­ple do seem to like it.

    Any­way, send me an email if you do go ahead with this idea.

  8. Posted by Jon B on Friday, June 10th, 2005.

    The idea sounds great, I wish I could help how­ever I am merely an XHTML/CSS guy with design capa­bil­i­ties but no seri­ous pro­gram­ming skills (mod­er­ate JS, not AJAX yet tho).

    How­ever I too am recently really into Ruby on Rails and have been try­ing to find out as much as pos­si­ble and develop a few ‘starter’ apps of my own using it and it’s built in AJAX capa­bil­i­ties — so my request would be to doc­u­ment every step of your design and build process and cre­ate the most com­plete Ruby on Rails project run-through avail­able to date — it’s all well a good build­ing recipe apps or todo lists but a proper project doc­u­mented from start to fin­ish would kick­start a world of new RoR devel­op­ers and also allow you to get opin­ions and sug­ges­tions on your code soit would help you learn it well too — I rec­om­mend email­ing the RoR web­site guys and see­ing if they’ll put a post on their site about it too.

  9. Posted by Bronwyn on Friday, June 10th, 2005.

    I’d be inter­ested as a user, espe­cially if it bor­rows some wiki traits:
    –edit from any­where
    –sim­ple text syn­tax (yes, there can be a rich text edi­tor for those who need it)

    I’m cur­rently using PmWiki, which I like a lot.

  10. Posted by Dan Rubin on Friday, June 10th, 2005.

    Some fea­tures which I’d like to see on a per­sonal level include:

    * Post via email
    * Edit in place (right in the UI of the live site)
    * Tex­tile support

    Since it appears today is a day of Rails CMS posts, I think the tim­ing is just right for this type of project.

  11. Posted by Byron McCollum on Friday, June 10th, 2005.

    My only issue with Ruby on Rails is the lack of avail­abil­ity of Ruby on most host­ing providers systems.

  12. Posted by _Del.Real. on Saturday, June 11th, 2005.

    Great Idea, we need a new CMS for nor­mal peo­ple, blog­gers (like u and me) can use them but peo­ple who we work don’t under­stand it eas­ily plus de bad design of admin­is­tra­tion interfaces.

    Don’t for­get the abil­ity to cre­ate pages (this is new on word­press) is VITAL.

  13. Posted by Ric on Saturday, June 11th, 2005.

    I think you are miss­ing the point here. CMSs (and trust me, I’ve worked on a few in my time!) tend to fall down on the client side, rather than the server side. Rarely does a “Rich text edi­tor” based on MSHTML pro­vide sen­si­ble com­pli­ant xhtml markup (nor­mally rely­ing on you pass­ing the con­tent through a sec­ond parser). And the idea of using “AJAX”, or remote script­ing as those who are not tainted by buzz­words like to call it, to deliver the con­tent on the client is a lit­tle silly. Would you expect every user that came to a site using the CMS to have JS enabled? Let alone that, what if they were not using the main browser (!IE !Moz/FF) what then? Are you just going to feed them some page say­ing “Sorry we are too elit­ist to allow you to see this page”. I am sure those behind com­pany fire­walls, those using PDAs or those using dis­ablil­ity soft­ware would thank you kindly for that.

    You have not found the cor­rect CMS for you because (a) you want some­thing free (b) you have set your standards/expectations of a CMS too high, or © you sim­ply haven’t looked well enough and don’t have the knowl­edge to dif­fer­en­ti­ate the good from the bad.

    Sorry if this sounds neg­a­tive, but the issues you raise here are some­what ques­tion­able to say the least.

    A con­cerned reader of this blog.

  14. Posted by David House on Saturday, June 11th, 2005.

    I’d love to con­tribute. I’m really new to Rails so prob­a­bly wouldn’t be writ­ing much code, but I can write PHP com­pe­tently and would love to use this as a vehi­cle to start learn­ing Ruby and Rails.

  15. Posted by Timothy Gray on Saturday, June 11th, 2005.

    Although it does not meet the Ruby require­ments, Sym­phony should make you pretty happy when it’s released. After read­ing the com­ments here and over at The Big Noob, I am con­fi­dent that the guys at 21 Degrees (the cre­ators of Sym­phony) have already planned accord­ingly and have a six month head start…

    I am all for com­pe­ti­tion though, as it pushes every­one to inno­vate and outperform.

  16. Posted by Wade Winningham on Saturday, June 11th, 2005.

    I think the biggest prob­lem is pro­vid­ing an appro­pri­ate expe­ri­ence for all the var­i­ous user’s of the CMS. You’ve got devel­op­ers, design­ers and end users. Ease of use to one is not the same as for another. Even though I don’t use it, Macro­me­dia Dreamweaver pro­vides a Design­ers and Devel­op­ers view of its work­space. You could almost say that Macro­me­dia Con­tribute is the end user’s view.

    It’s def­i­nitely a challenge.

  17. Posted by Andy Budd on Sunday, June 12th, 2005.

    Sounds Inter­est­ing to me.

  18. Posted by mike on Monday, June 13th, 2005.

    In response to “Ric”,

    I think its peo­ple like your­self who keep the web back in 1996. Have you heard of “degrades grace­fully”. Do your­self a favor and get up to speed before mak­ing com­ments that lack any log­i­cal sense.

    I for one would be incred­i­bly inter­ested in con­tribut­ing in any way possible.

  19. Posted by JohnO on Monday, June 13th, 2005.

    Again, to Ric…

    I think what they meant was that the CMS sys­tem would use AJAX to work, not that all web­sites that the CMS out­puts rely on AJAX.

    Fur­ther­more, I (a pro­gram­mer, with an inkling for design) exhort you to find a Rails guru to lead it. Since most of the com­ments I see fall into two groups:
    1. design­ers who want to help pro­gram (not pro­gram­mers)
    2. peo­ple who want to use this as a start­ing project for Rails.

    No offense to either group. But if you want this to suceed and be easy to main­tain, you’re going to need some­one who knows the details of Ruby and Rails, and has the fore­sight needed. I don’t fit the bill (I would fall into group 2).

  20. Posted by Ryan Thrash on Monday, June 13th, 2005.

    Rails is really cool but it isn’t exactly per­va­sive today. If there was an Open­source CMS built in PHP that appro­pri­ately lever­aged AJAX (which coin­ci­den­tally doesn’t have any­thing to do with Ruby or Rails… David H. just hap­pened to be one of the early adopters doing it right and quite well), then it’d be quite interesting…

    What real­lly counts at the end of the day is the over­all usabil­ity and func­tion­al­ity of a solu­tion, and in my mind the abil­ity to run vir­tu­ally any­where. Make it easy to “brand” as your own and even bet­ter. Using cool tech­nol­ogy just because it’s avante garde may not make the most sound busi­ness sense if you’re talk­ing about broad adop­tion. IBM com­mit­ting to sup­port­ing PHP is cer­tainly telling in this regard.

    The rea­sons that so many PHP-based CMSes out today are mediocre, is because they’re mostly just try­ing to do the same thing the same way, over and over again, each with it’s own “spe­cial twist”. IOW, you rip off a bad pro­gram you get another bad program.

    Just about every­one that offers web host­ing from low-budget-and-no-service to highly regarded shared and ded­i­cated host­ing providers can run PHP+MySQL. Does that make it the most robust/sexiest/coolest/scalable solu­tion. Heck no. But for today and most likely for the next cou­ple of years PHP sure does pro­vide more options.

    If you’re inter­ested in some­thing like the above, you can drop me a line ( ryan (at) vertexworks.com ), as we’re pretty well along with meet­ing the above requirements.

  21. Posted by Jonathan Snook on Monday, June 13th, 2005.

    As oth­ers have men­tioned, the idea of going with Ruby on Rails seems counter to your point that it have “Wide com­pat­i­bil­ity with web servers/platforms” (assum­ing you meant this to mean in regards to host­ing environment).

    You’re shut­ting out a large poten­tial mar­ket because a num­ber of hosts just don’t run Ruby.

    On the other hand, putting together a solid CMS under Ruby would cer­tainly put you in the lead in that mar­ket space. Any­one with the pos­si­bil­ity of run­ning RoR may look to your appli­ca­tion first. You’d essen­tially be get­ting in on the ground floor.

    I think you’d also have to decide if you really want a basic CMS that would essen­tially be just a step up from a blog­ging tool or whether you want to develop some­thing more robust with fea­tures like work­flow man­age­ment and versioning.

    In any case, I’ll keep my eyes on the lookout. :)

  22. Posted by Andrew on Tuesday, June 14th, 2005.

    There’s a rea­son most general-purpose CMS sys­tems suck: it’s an incred­i­bly hard prob­lem. Many smart peo­ple have attempted this before. This way lies madness.

  23. Posted by Teevio on Saturday, June 18th, 2005.

    I per­son­ally would like to see some bet­ter cus­tomiza­tion via the pub­lish­ing inter­face. I’m not exactly sure how this would pan out, but I’ve devel­oped a DHTML color picker that I would love to inte­grate in some way to aid in this. You can check out a work­ing demo at http://www.colourmod.com. And of course, I would love to help in other way I can.

  24. Posted by Dono on Sunday, June 19th, 2005.

    I’m a PHP devel­oper and played with Ruby on Rails ear­lier this year and found it really easy to cre­ate appli­ca­tions with.

    How­ever, as men­tioned by many, the sup­port for Ruby host­ing envi­ron­ments is an issue.

    Also, even though it is said that there are masses of Ruby devel­op­ers wait­ing for jobs, we have a hard enough time find­ing good PHP developers.

    We’re plan­ning to open source the next major ver­sion of our CMS which is based loosely on Rails.

    The sys­tem is object ori­en­tated and sits on an MVC frame­work which can also be used to cre­ate large appli­ca­tions. Con­tent is han­dled as ‘blobs’ so that dynamic con­tent can be dropped eas­ily into exist­ing sta­tic sites.

    It has it’s own tem­plate sys­tem, but the idea is that it’ll be com­pat­i­ble with other sys­tems like ‘smarty’ so the designer has the choice.

    Let me know if any­one is inter­ested in help­ing out with this…

    In the mean­time, there are some other attempts at cre­at­ing Rails on PHP. Cake is one of them:


  25. Posted by Orestis on Monday, June 20th, 2005.

    Check Muravey­Web, you prob­a­bly can use it as a start.

  26. Posted by Kyle Heon on Monday, June 20th, 2005.

    You should check out Rail­Frog (http://www.railfrog.com/) which is just start­ing up and seems to have all your inter­ests n mind.

  27. Posted by Allen Brown on Monday, June 20th, 2005.

    This sounds an excel­lent idea and I’d be keen to help. How­ever, can we merge this ini­tia­tive with what’s going on at Rail­Frog. I’m sure we’d make faster progress as a sin­gle team (even if we might argue for longer about the requirements!).

    I think they have the devel­op­ers there which might fill your request but they’ll ben­e­fit from your design expertise.

  28. Posted by Will Thimbleby on Monday, June 20th, 2005.

    Sounds like a good plan. One other require­ment that should go on your list is sup­port for trans­la­tions. Not every­one speaks Eng­lish. Every sin­gle CMS I have looked at either does not sup­port this or bolts it on very badly as an after thought.

  29. Posted by Jon B on Monday, June 20th, 2005.

    I assume that this project was con­ceived as one or all of the fol­low­ing; an exper­i­men­tal exer­cise in Rails, a for­ward think­ing use of new(ish) web tech­nolo­gies, a show­case of Rails to pro­mote it, I “fun” task using a new and “fun” way to pro­gram, I good learn­ing expe­ri­ence for all those involved.

    Yes the idea of this being com­mer­cially suc­cessly would be grand, but those who sug­gest doing this in PHP or sim­i­lar are, I think, miss­ing the point a bit. PHP is old, bor­ing, messy and tire­some, Rails is new, funky, clean and fast — it’s not meant to be wide­spread yet, it could be soon tho, and that is why it needs pro­mo­tion through projects such as this.

    I have to learn PHP for work, we build most sites in PHP or .Net, no Rails :( I know a bit about both PHP and Rails and to be hon­est I really wish I didn’t have to learn PHP now.

    How­ever there are some projects under­way that are try­ing to recre­ate the Rails func­tion­al­ity in PHP — (cake, and bis­cuit — are two such projects I think). Doesn’t look so cool as Ruby on Rails tho, but we’ll see — maybe one day there will only be Rails for web apps, and the back­end code could be anything.

    I want an IDE for Rails too — I reckon that would speed stuff up even more. Although does kinda miss the point.

  30. Posted by Watts on Monday, June 20th, 2005.

    While other peo­ple have touched on this, there’s a poten­tial con­flict between “easy to inte­grate with exist­ing projects” and “built on Rails.” I think you’d need to think about what you actu­ally mean by “inte­gra­tion.” One of the com­plaints (a valid one, as opposed to the many “it’s new, waah!” whines) about Rails is that a lot of the it-just-works magic inher­ent in the frame­work comes from things like auto­matic nam­ing con­ven­tions that make mov­ing an exist­ing project onto Rails fairly dif­fi­cult. It shines most brightly when you’re build­ing a new project from scratch.

    On a more gen­eral level, though, I’d sug­gest the ques­tion: what is this CMS going to do that makes it dif­fer­ent than other CMSes? I’ve been bat­ting around the idea for a CMS project myself (and it’d prob­a­bly be writ­ten in Rails, no less), and while it’s easy to come up with the answer “this CMS will actu­ally WORK!” it’s a lit­tle too glib. What you’ve described so far is a set of desir­able usabil­ity goals, but not an under­ly­ing design philosophy.

  31. Posted by David North on Tuesday, June 21st, 2005.

    This is a nice arti­cle by Jef­fery Veen on what’s wrong with prac­ti­cally every com­mer­cian and open source CMS around: http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000365.php

    I’ve put together a lot of CMSes in both PHP and Rails and would love to help with this project. How­ever it isn’t clear exactly what type of CMS you have it mind yet.

    I had to com­pare Java CMSes a while ago and came accross http://www.magnolia.info/en/magnolia.html which uses the idea of blocks to build up pages quite well. It’s the sim­plest to use gen­eral pur­pose CMS i’ve come accross.

    Not a CMS as such but a source of some inspi­ra­tion is http://www.jotspot.com/ I think. Its a wiki with struc­ture and logic that’s incred­i­bly flexible.

    I’d like to see the abil­ity to edit con­tent in place per­haps, by dou­ble click­ing a block or para­graph, like Tidlywiki.

  32. Posted by Jem on Thursday, June 23rd, 2005.

    Many Open source CMS tools make edit­ing easy,but tend to fall short in the man­age­ment, work flow,seperation of duties(publisher from com­poser), pre­view and pub­lish, edi­tion­ing, backup and export of con­tent to other envi­ro­ments. Address these issues and they shall come in droves.

  33. Posted by Amy Hoy on Friday, June 24th, 2005.

    Here’s a prob­lem: Blog != CMS. Now, a blog may man­age con­tent, but it’s not a CMS. This is some­thing most peo­ple over­look when they cre­ate their CMSes, which are typ­i­cally either blog-oriented or have blogs as the main com­po­nent (e.g. *Nuke, Textpat­tern, et al). Blog­gers are def­i­nitely a very impor­tant com­po­nent of the online world today, and a pretty large pop­u­la­tion! But you have to decide: Is it a CMS, or is it a blog­ging engine? Is it aimed at indi­vid­u­als, or com­pa­nies? Is it for hob­by­ists, or pro­fes­sional work?

    The prob­lem I see is that almost all of the “CMSes” out there are a) blog-oriented and b) aimed at hob­by­ists. The ones which aren’t, like Mambo, Typo3, etc., are often a) poorly designed in terms of code, b) poorly designed in terms of graph­ics, and b) not actu­ally designed around a sen­si­ble workflow.

    Feel free to steal my ideas! ;) These are some of the thoughts I was think­ing when I started design­ing my arti­cle man­ager (not CMS). Of course, ever since I decided to do it, I’ve had lit­tle time to focus on it. :) And lemme know if I can help in any way. I’m much more likely to find time for open source work when I’m guilted into it by some­one else ;)

  34. Posted by Amy Hoy on Friday, June 24th, 2005.

    I really do know the alpha­bet, I swear. D’oh.

  35. Posted by Jeremy on Friday, June 24th, 2005.

    Have you guys heard of Nucle­usCMS? It sounds like some­thing that you might enjoy! Easy enough that I can even nav­i­gate through it’s cod­ing. And it’s all open source

  36. Posted by Erika on Monday, June 27th, 2005.

    I have searched long and hard for a sim­ple open source CMS that isn’t a weblog engine for my free­lance projects. In addi­tion to what has already been men­tioned, my fea­ture list would include:

    - The abil­ity for the con­tent edi­tor to cre­ate pages and man­age nav­i­ga­tion bars/site structure

    - The abil­ity for the site designer to cre­ate mul­ti­ple tem­plates (i.e. tem­plates with and with­out a side­bar) that the con­tent edi­tor could select when cre­at­ing a page.

    - Com­plete sep­a­ra­tion of user lev­els (i.e. the con­tent edi­tor doesn’t get a “you do not have access” mes­sage when try­ing to edit a tem­plate– that option is hid­den in his interface)

    - Eas­ily cus­tomiz­able back­end interface

    Other than that, keep it sim­ple. No site mem­ber­ship sys­tems or ecom­merce cat­a­log sys­tems or what­ever, at least not built into the basic install.
    Unfor­tu­nately, I’m no good a pro­gram­ming, save XHTML/CSS. I do make a good cheer­ing sec­tion though, so if you ever need moral support…

  37. Posted by PipeDream on Wednesday, June 29th, 2005.

    Yeah, a con­fig­urable CMS for design­ers… next.

    How in god’s name do you expect to con­fig­ure, mod­ify, extend, etc. a CMS (or any appli­ca­tion for that mat­ter) with­out programming?

    Your holy grail will never exist. There’s a rea­son that pro­gram­mers get paid, just as I wouldn’t expect a Visual Design that I could mod­ify with­out hav­ing to use Pho­to­shop, or know any­thing about space, color, typog­ra­phy, etc. you shouldn’t expect a CMS with push but­ton exten­si­bil­ity and a “pretty UI.”

    I knew there was a rea­son I hated design­ers (besides the fact that they’re totally unre­li­able and flakey.)

  38. Posted by derek on Sunday, July 3rd, 2005.

    I’ve started using Instiki with a cus­tomized html export fea­ture. It out­puts ASP files with all the includes exactly as the client needs them to be installed on their intranet web server. It’s turned out to be really great. Text changes are easy for me (Tex­tile and a textbox is eas­ier than boot­ing up Dreamweaver) and imme­di­ate, the client can even do them if they want. It doesn’t mat­ter what CMS they use or if the even have a CMS, the con­tent is nat­u­rally sep­a­rated from the design I don’t end up copy and past­ing text changes into Dreamweaver. It was pretty easy too, just some mess­ing the templates.(I haven’t yet fig­ured out how to make a wiki-editable repeated item, such as nav­i­ga­tion that’s repeated on all pages. Anyone?)

    I’m unclear if you’re talk­ing about cre­at­ing some­thing that, as a designer, my client needs to install on their server? I do work for client’s intranets, get­ting some­thing installed on their server to sup­port my spe­cial needs is unlikely.

    I would LOVE to see some work done with bring­ing con­tent editableinto the actual edit­ing of con­tent, being that the all lat­est major browsers now sup­port it. I would love it if I could cre­ate a design and the client could change the text to what­ever they want, but with no jar­ring textbox dissociation.

  39. Posted by Peter G. on Friday, July 15th, 2005.

    Have you looked at Rail­Frog? It looks like they’ve got a sim­i­lar idea going.

  40. Posted by Karol on Wednesday, July 20th, 2005.

    I’m designer and fol­low­ing link is exactly what I always wanted:
    XUL based Elixon CMS

    I have no pro­gram­ming skills and if I could use the fea­tures they have… I don’t need to learn Perl/PHP/ASP…!!!


  41. Posted by ak on Wednesday, July 20th, 2005.

    id wel­come a designer/developer cen­tric CMS … most other tools are very blog cen­tric — it would be nice to approach the new cms from another angle.

    what do you kids think about:

    http://www.squarespace.com ?

    any expe­ri­ence with this cms?

  42. Posted by termit on Saturday, July 23rd, 2005.

    I pref­ere to use
    Elixon CMS

    Actu­ally I’m one of the first who tested this project and I love it.


  43. Posted by MINID on Wednesday, July 27th, 2005.

    A sim­i­lar idea is great! CMSs fall down on the client side, so i’m inter­ested in your solution.

  44. Posted by Jane Jolin on Friday, July 29th, 2005.

    I’m very excited about your project as I just fin­ished a design theme for csszengarden.com
    You can have a look at http://www.celebrityblog.net/zengarden/zengarden-sample.htm

  45. Posted by Vanessa on Sunday, July 31st, 2005.


    Just brei­fly browsed the arti­cle but thought I would respond because I’m involved with the Post­Nuke CMS as the PM. We would be very happy to work with you guys because we’re highly focused and com­mit­ted to web stan­dards, usablity, and com­pli­ancy so again con­tact me. :)



  46. Posted by Aaron Boeving on Thursday, August 18th, 2005.

    I have been a part of a team devel­op­ing a CMS (over the past year), that is built specif­i­cally for web design­ers. It is sched­uled to launch later this year.


  47. Posted by Scott Burton on Friday, August 19th, 2005.

    I cre­ated a cms which uses tags for the cat­e­go­riza­tion part. I call it a Folksonomy-driven web­site. You can check it out here. The only big draw­back to using Rails to cre­ate a CMS is its inabil­ity to use lay­outs from the db. There may be another way to do it.

    I would glady give out the code I used if peo­ple would be will­ing to help con­tribute. There is a lot needed to be done and a lot done already.

  48. Posted by Charlie Lindahl on Wednesday, August 24th, 2005.

    Excel­lent idea. I’m new to RAILS/AJAX but will try to fol­low this project as it happens.

    I’ve been doing a LOT of CMS eval­u­a­tion lately; Uni­ver­sity of Texas did a great eval­u­a­tion for their campus-wide CMS at

    CMS at Uni­ver­sity of Texas

    EXCELLENT CMS ref­er­ence, IMHO.

    One con­cern with RAILS / AJAX: how does Acces­si­bil­ity Com­pli­ance fit in? From what I’ve seen so far, the whole AJAX inter­ac­tiv­ity things hinges heav­ily on visual hacks with Javascript and the DOM model, and I don’t under­stand how this can acco­mo­date acces­si­bil­ity con­cerns (JAWS screen read­ers and such).

    Please make sure that the project includes some state­ment or at least aware­ness of acces­si­bil­ity issues …

  49. Posted by beza1e1 on Saturday, August 27th, 2005.

    I lately stumpled upon Web­site Baker. It is a sim­ple PHP CMS, but easy to hack if you know a thing or two about PHP. The prob­lem may be the inte­gra­tion part.

  50. Posted by Jukka-Pekka Keisala on Saturday, August 27th, 2005.

    Mambo CMS devel­oper team has sev­ered its ties with Miro Cor­po­ra­tion, the copy­right owner on the GPL’d Mambo CMS.
    Now core devel­op­ers goes their own at
    They are now look­ing for new name for CMS so it will be totally sep­a­rated from Mambo. I think it would be good idea team up with them.

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