Squirrel Notes is an email newsletter about CMS and other content technologies. It publishes twice each month.
This issue was published on Monday, August 27, 2018.
Non-sequiturs from the world of content management.
MediaWiki book. I read a wonderful book on MediaWiki, the open-source software behind Wikipedia. More valuable than the actual instruction was a deep-dive into a CMS platform which has tended away from UI. Rather, MediaWiki is driven by a "secret menu" of text commands you can insert in the body of a page.
Truth: MediaWiki is the Emacs of CMS. (I actually Googled for the phrase "the emacs of cms," and I'm proud to report that we just broke new ground... :-)
Additionally, MediaWiki has depth of functionality you probably don't know about. Did you know you can model content beyond just pages? Did you know you can embed forms and external data? MediaWiki can emulate a traditional CMS to a much greater degree than you expect.
The book is here — you can order it or read it for free online.
The Blurry Lines of a "Digital Asset". Here's a discussion of the "The 10 Characteristics of a Digital Asset Management System." (This is actually a recap of an article from the now-defunct DAM Foundation, but the 10 characteristics are listed there.)
The line between DAM and CMS is getting blurrier. I recently spent the better part of a day with a DAM vendor discussing how their system could be used to manage more generic ideas of "content" than just rich media.
This is an over-simplification, but we're just managing and transforming sequences of bytes. Is the basic concept of rich media transformation and management that much different than the same thing applied to text?
VuePress. Vue.js is one of the few JS frameworks that's made sense to me. I wrote an non-trivial Vue.js app in a single morning, I've never needed to change it, and I'm still using it multiple times a week.
Now we have a static site generator based around Vue.js in VuePress
VuePress is composed of two parts: a minimalistic static site generator with a Vue-powered theming system, and a default theme optimized for writing technical documentation.
Watson Content Hub. A few issues ago, I noted that IBM was in the Magic Quadrant, and I was a little confused by it. Coincidentally, it turns out their CMS product manager is a reader.
David Strachan and I had a good conversation about Watson Content Hub which is an impressive headless CMS bundled with a site manager. David was kind enough to put together a video showing show Content Hub can be used to manage web content. It's a nice demonstration of how a vendor can integrate a headless CMS with web delivery.
Editorial Scripting Precedents. I continue to be interested in precedents for editorial scripting and command line-esque functionality in CMS. To this end, I've updated the list of precedents in Why Do This page on the Denina wiki.
If you know of other things that might fit here, please drop me a note.
Regarding this subject, my friend Karen recommended the Neal Stephenson essay In the Beginning Was the Command Line. I read this 20 years ago, but should clearly read it again.