Squirrel Notes is an email newsletter about CMS and other content technologies. It publishes twice each month.

This issue was published on Thursday, February 07, 2019.

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Hi from UA986, somewhere over the North Atlantic. I'm returning from the Episerver Partner Close-Up in Stockholm where I gave the developer keynote and managed the dev track.

Great people, beautiful city, wonderful event.

Rationality in CMS Implementation Planning. I wrote this blog post for O'Reilly three years ago when my book published in the spring of 2016. It's a look at some of the dumb things we do when planning CMS implementations.

Turns out, not everything needs to be managed.

We do not need to surrender your entire project to a CMS and go to heroic measures to shoehorn everything into it. We need to start evaluating content in terms of ROM — Return on Management. What is the cost of managing Element X or Content Type X or Function X, and ask ourselves if that's the highest and best use of that time, budget, and skillset.

"Return on Management" is assumed too often. We spend time and budget on allowing active management of assets that will probably never actually be managed.

If your company logo hasn't changed in 653 years, it's probably safe to hardcode that right in the template.

Markdown + React = MDX. Here's an interesting flavor of Markdown called MDX that incorporates React components and thereby allows some client-side scripting injection inside content.

MDX is a format that lets you seamlessly use JSX in your Markdown documents. You can import components, like interactive charts or notifs, and export metadata.

The code samples make it seem like something editors would understand. React JSX syntax is pretty clear to start with, and MDX means Markdown looks like text and React looks like HTML.

The idea of mixing code and Markdown has been done before. For example, R Markdown allows for the embedding of R scripts inside Markdown, which allows for code documentation and inline script execution.

(And I swear there's another one for JavaScript, but I can't find again even after about an hour of searching. If you know what it is, please reply.)

I'm quite curious about this, given my experiments with editor-managed scripting. I found MDX via this oddly touching blog post which laments why isn't the internet more fun and weird?.

Vox Acquires The Coral Project. We've talked quite a bit in the last year about media companies productizing their internal CMS platforms. This is led by Arc Publishing, from the Washington Post, but another player has been Vox Media with Chorus.

Vox has just acquired The Coral Project, which makes an open-source commenting system for publishers. Apparently the project will remain open-source, but Vox is clearly making a play for closer integration between it and Chorus.

RSG's Predictions for 2019. Real Story Group has published a quick list of CMS predictions for 2019. I agree with some of them:

  • #6: CDP Profusion Leads to Confusion

  • #10: Cloud Wars Intensify

I'm less on-board with others:

  • #1: Web Content Management (WCM) Scope Gets Simpler

It's a quick list, but there's a lot there to consider.

Distributed CMS Talks. I've made no secret that I think the future of CMS is distributed. In five or ten years, we may look at the idea of powering your website from a single content system to be a little simplistic. Instead, we'll be retrieving, transforming, and combining content from multiple providers to seamless channel output.

I'm passionate about this trend, and I'll be speaking about it at least twice in 2019:

These are return trips to both conferences for me — it fact, it'll be my third consecutive trip to Codegarden. Both conferences are wonderful events.

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