Squirrel Notes Issue #31

This issue was published on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

“Headless” Pushback: A couple of times, recently, I've seen headless vendors push back on usage of the term "headless." I wonder if we're reaching an inflection point where “headless CMS” is considered pejorative, like "page-based."

The reasoning in both cases was that they were “more” than headless. They saw headless as the type of CMS that just powers some JS frontend, where they were trying to position themselves as a "content hub" or more enterprise/backend content provider.

Additionally, “headless” implies removal. The "-less" suffix says, “There was something here, but we took it out and you don't get it anymore.” So, at the risk of totally abusing language, the industry is "headful normative," meaning that a CMS with a delivery tier is the norm, and headless is going against that grain.

There are some people who want to see this perspective change – that, even if headless never becomes “the new normal,” it's seen as an architecture alongside the traditional, coupled CMS, and doesn't need to be called out or qualified as something notable.


New Squirrel Book Site: This week, we launched a new site for the Flying Squirrel Book.

The site has three goals:

  1. Promote the purchase of the book (hint, hint…)
  2. Be the home for the Web Content Management Glossary
  3. House the Squirrel Notes archives

It's that last one that's cool, because we now have Note permalinks – for example, here's the direct link for the note you're reading right now.

This is going to be helpful in the future as I started to string Notes together, and implement some organizational system (tags?). I talked about those plans a bit in this blog post about the origins of Squirrel Notes, from earlier this year.


CodeGarden 2019 Talk Video: The video for my Codegarden 2019 talk was released:

The Future Might Be Distributed

If you've ever wanted to watch me drone on about the future of CMS for 45 minutes, this is your day. I geek out so hard that the “E” falls off background, which means we can launch the newest Silicon Valley startup: "CodeGardn."


WordPress Emoji Fix, Take 2: I got several responses to a note in the last issue about a WordPress patch delivered via “new emoji support.”

Josh Levinson pointed me to this article, which details the problem, and includes a video from LoopConf which discusses it.

In WordPress 4.2, approximately 1,000 lines of code were inserted into wpdb.php under the guise of emoji support, but were really for fixing this vulnerability.

Additionally, Automattic VP Paul Maiorana tweeted at me:

Squirrel Notes reader here. Re: the WordPress/emoji security fix, just wanted to confirm it was patched in the open source software (not http://WordPress.com ). That happened in version 4.2.

So, there you go.


Wither the Portal?: Here's a small note from Real Story Group that portends a larger shift in WCM – they are ending their dedicated research category for “portals” and just folding that over into a single scenario in their WCM stream.

[...] the Portal market has largely gone away. Witness IBM selling off its venerable WebSphere franchise to HCL.

We'll write more about this trend in subsequent posts, but for now, I'll say a short requiem for RSG's decade-long Enterprise Portals evaluation stream: it was fun while it lasted. Except most Portal technology licensees would utter a different word than “fun.”

Especially with the trend towards page composition, is the market for portals being consumed by WCM with a few specific capabilities? Which vendors are positioning themselves specifically as a “portal” these days?