Squirrel Notes Issue #45

This issue was published on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.

New Book: My new book has published in both paperback and ebook versions:

Things You Should Know: 25 Lessons I've Learned About Selecting Content Technology and Services

I started jotting down some headings a couple of years ago, while sitting in a CMS vendor evaluation. I had just been through four previous demos, and I started to notice patterns.

Eventually, I thought it might make a decent book. It sat around for a while, but Episerver encouraged me to dust it off and finish it.

As the title suggests, it's 25 short chapters explaining different aspects of the selection process, for both software and services. It's informed by 14 years of selling and consulting in professional services.

It's a mix of cynicism and observations on human nature. If nothing else, I think you'll find it a realistic view of a flawed process can never be made perfect, only better.

I hope you find it interesting.


eZ Rebranding: eZ Systems has rebranded as Ibexa which is long overdue. Their name and its impact on branding was always a weak spot for them. eZ/Ibexa is a well-architected, enterprise-level platform with a name that just didn't fit it.

I had dinner with the Farstad brothers in Oslo a few years ago (at a restaurant next to this really weird statue of Kate Moss). I delicately mentioned to them that the name might be a problem, and one of them (I forget which one) said something like:

We know. To Americans, it sounds like we're trying to be a super bargain.

Well, I'm glad he said it. Perceptions matter, and this was always a weakness.

(For the record, I think the rebranding is just for the company at the moment, but one has to assume that name will filter down to the product eventually. The company used to be called eZ Systems, with the products eZ Platform and eZ Publish.)


Chrome's Deep Linking: Chrome has made a change with value to content publishers. You can now create a bookmark that scrolls people down to the first appearance of a text fragment. So you can deep-link someone into a page of HTML, even if no bookmark has been inserted there.


You can even provide beginning and ending text, and Chrome will highlight the area in between.

I suspect this was championed by Google to improve their own search result pages so they can scroll you down to the snippet when clicking a result.

I think it's a good feature, but there's some concern that (1) it's non-standard, and (2) it apparently opens up some very esoteric attack vectors.


New GraphCMS: GraphCMS has a major new release that introduces quite a bit of new functionality.

GraphCMS is a CMS built around on the GraphQL query standard/language. They have quite a few new features in this release (scroll to "What's Changed?") – there are additionals to editorial workflow, content relations, and their webhook engine.


Online Markdown Editors: I'm teaching an advanced version of my Intro to CMS class this term (I'll make the syllabus available later). As part of this, I have a lecture on Lightweight Markup Languages, and Markdown in particular.

For an assignment, I needed to find Markdown editor options for my students, and I found a couple of really nice ones:

You can edit Markdown in the browser, with preview, and it saves everything you do in local browser storage. When you're done writing, you can export in a variety of formats.

(StackEdit also had a login feature (via Google), though I didn't investigate what it did.)