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

This issue was published on Wednesday, April 03, 2019.

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Tom Wentworth Looks Back. I've known Tom Wentworth for a lot of years. He worked at Interwoven back in the day, and then spent some time at Ektron.

I still remember a big PR disaster at Ektron where everyone was arguing in a public forum, and someone said, "They should all just shut up and let Wentworth talk..."

He finished his last CMS run at Acquia, and then departed to become CEO of RapidMiner, a data science company. But the pull of CMS is strong, because he just returned to Acquia, and has written a wonderful blog post about his experience in — and return to — the CMS industry.

There and Back Again

So many great stories:

In early 2000, I joined Interwoven, a pioneer in a new type of application called Content Management Systems. Interwoven had recently held one of the most successful IPOs of the dot com era and was so desperate to hire it offered a free two year BMW Z3 lease to new engineering hires.

[Insert tired threat here about starting a "CMS Back in the Day" podcast...]

Using Rules to Sort Through 17 Years of Gadgetopia. I've been blogging at Gadgetopia for almost two decades, and I've decided to make a purge. However, there's just too much content to sort through (some 7,000+ posts).

So, my friend David Hobbs and I put together a post about using rules to manage the inventory:

Words, Links, and Centrality: Evaluating 17 Years of Gadgetopia Content

While it's primarily about inventories and analysis, it also looks back on how the goals of a site change over time. I'll admit to getting a little nostalgic.

Magnolia's Updated Card Game. In a past Note, I discussed "RFP ASAP," a sales-training card game from Magnolia. They've recently created "Epic Win," which is a card game for Magnolia developers.

I've uploaded some pictures here.

I still think this is just the neatest training device, and it's so well-executed — someone at Magnolia is clearly a frustrated game designer.

Block-Level WYSIWG Editors. Medium ushered in mainstream acceptance of the "composite page" model, where editors created rich content by stacking structure "blocks" on top of each other. (Yes, yes, I know — they weren't the first, but they were the best, and they made it popular.)

I feel like client-side editors in this space are getting better, and opening this up to a whole new level of CMS. Here are two options:

  • Editor.js, scroll down to see the JSON representation of the rich content

  • Alloy Editor, which appears to have been built by LifeRay, of all people

Maybe I'm just slow to catch up here, but the functionality of these tools might signal a change (simplification?) in the paradigm of page composition.

(I do want to point out this 11-year-old post from Gadgetopia: Composite Pages and Embeddable Content. I was talking about composite pages before it was cool... /hipster.)

Library, a Doc System Powered By Google Drive. The New York Times has open-sourced what they call Library — a documentation system which is powered by Google Docs.

To add a page to Library, you simply create a new Google Doc, or move an existing document into the folder or team drive that powers Library. Existing pages feature a convenient link that enables quick access to the Google Docs interface for any particular document, and editing the Google Doc makes changes to the page in Library.

While writing in Google Docs generally drives me nuts, its collaboration tool are almost impossible to match, and integration with GSuite makes so much sense for so many organizations.

Here's the Github repo (which, ironically, has a bunch of documentation...)

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