Squirrel Notes Issue #39

This issue was published on Tuesday, December 10, 2019.

The OpenText Platform Retirement Community: Hang around CMS long enough, and you'll hear jokes about OpenText and the “platform retirement community.” OpenText is a Canadian company with a habit of acquiring old CMS platforms, for whatever reason.

In the past, they've picked up:

This is in addition to other CMS-adjacent acquisitions. Now OpenText has bought the backup company Carbonite, which pushes it further into the enterprise storage space.

For those old enough to remember, seeing Vignette, RedDot, Documentum, and TeamSite consolidated under one banner is remarkable. Add in FatWire, and you have the entire “old guard” of CMS. These companies owned the enterprise market in the late 90s, long before open-source CMS had gotten much of a foothold.

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Content Chimera: My friend David Hobbs is ready to bring Content Chimera out of alpha. Chimera is a tool to assist in content inventory and analysis:

Content Chimera: Content Exploration and Decision-Making At Scale

I wrote a bit about Content Chimera in my post about analyzing 17 years of Gadgetopia content. Chimera offers all sorts of reports, filters, extraction and visualization to help you explore and examine large repositories of content.

David has spent most of his career in the niche of content migration and large-scale website transformation, so I suspect this tool is the result of decades of experience and frustration in that space.

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Headless Releases: Two notes about headless CMS releases and branding:

  • What was “Kentico Cloud” has rebranded as Kentico Kontent. This product is a from-scratch build that bears no connection to Kentico's traditional WCM product.
  • What was “Umbraco Headless” has finally come to market, branded as Heartcore. Umbraco now has a couple non-open-source products. It will be interesting to see how (if?) they build out an internal sales organization to compete with long-time commercial vendors.

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People Moves: Some executive moves to note:

  • Episerver's CEO spot has been empty since Mark Duffell retired earlier this year. Last week, they announced Alex Atzberger was joining as CEO. Atzberger is German-born, based in New York City, and joins after a long career with SAP.
  • Tom Wentworth has left the CMS world ... again. He ended his second stint with Acquia last week, joining security company Recorded Future as CMO. Tom has a storied career in CMS, starting with Interwoven back in the day. I suspect he'll be back.
  • And there's one more, which I'm not at liberty to discuss. Next issue, perhaps.

Random thought: if Dries ever leaves Acquia, will we call that “Drexit”?

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Gerry McGovern on Website Complexity: Here's a link to an ... odd article, by Gerry McGovern.

Static or Database: Our Love of Complexity

It's a polemic against dynamic websites (a category into which CMS would fall):

So, if static websites are better in many situations, why aren’t they used more? Why has the migration been in the opposite direction? Because of progress. Because a database is more “advanced” than a static website, so a database must by definition be better, mustn’t it? We become willing zombies in the march of progress [...]

Gerry is a legend in the digital space. I've heard him speak several times and enjoyed him, but I feel like this article is wildly misplaced, especially since the industry seems to somehow be edging back into static and cached websites. Additionally, I don't think anyone embraces complexity purely for the thrill of it. Some problems are just, well, complex.

When this published, it was passed around on the backchannels with all sorts of commentary. I'll let you be the judge on this one.

Remember, perspective is good.

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