Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

27Oct/04Off

Mismanaging Content Is Job One

I agree with most of what Jeffrey Veen says about open source CMS projects but a good many of the CMS (how in fuck do you make that acronym plural?) systems I've seen are not aimed at end users at least for installation and janitorial work. Most of them are bigger hammers than many really need given what they're used for. I do really like his idea of the progressively complex interface that expands as you need it. Usually installing something (especially in a hosted situation where you're not necessarily root) is one of the more daunting parts of content management systems for end user types. I think most software intended for weblogging fulfills many of his requirements because it was indeed intended for writers, editors, and, lest we forget, the poor fuckers we expect to read all of this crap. There may be a grey area here though that isn't filled by anything at the present. Part of the problem might be that classic split between ease of use and power but I think that smaller than IBM yet bigger than a weblog is still a nebulous void. WordPress is definitely getting there but it remains really geek friendly as well since developers are an inherent part of the equation. I'm hoping that geek friendly remains a dominant part of the plan but not everyone is happy with sheer flexibility and how hackable something is.

I'm not trying to rip Jeffrey's article apart because 1) it's well written and raises valid concerns and 2) because he isn't the first one to become exasperated with the choices available for management systems. I do think that problems like these that are flowing from an explosion of CMS/weblogging tools over the past few years is one that definitely needs to be addressed because you can't always bang what's available into the tool most appropriate for your use. That fucked up tug of war is exhausting for both developer and user especially when neither party has a particular obligation to the other. I hate to continually expect commercial enterprises spring from less all-singing, all-dancing open source projects but I think that's the most likely solution here. Not because they'll necessarily make a better product but because all this frustration can be directed towards someone instead of shouted out into the ether. I do like the idea of separating responsibility to the end user (making it easy to use and administer once it's up and running) and responsibility to the developer (making it a flexible and stable platform to develop on top of) from a single entity because it allows both sides of the conflict to work at addressing the parts of the problem they're most skilled with. I'm glad to see more of this type of symbiosis going on lately because it seems more productive for everyone than the nasty polar split between free/open and proprietary software that everyone expects.

I'm stopping there before I degenerate into naked boosterism. I feel like this has already been argued better and with more clarity elsewhere -- that deja vu/fuck you feeling that I find myself stuck with all too often. Comments are open. Hit me with some ideas and thoughts.

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