Forum OpenACS CMS: Work on CMS features for OpenACS

Posted by Dave Bauer on
Continuing a discussion of coordinating CMS efforts from the dotLRN forums.

I think anyone considering CMS features needs to take a good look at the existing CMS package. THe UI generally just exposes the content repository apis to the user. Which is powerful, but confusing.

I suggest removing most of the UI parts from CMS, and putting most of the functionaly into the tcl library. This would end up making CMS more of a service package with a minimal administrator UI.

Then anyone who needs CMS type service could build a custom user interface on top of this. Looking at other open source web toolkits, this seems like a common way to handle it.

Duplication of effort is not good, but alternative user interfaces to CMS geared to specific types of publishing, exposing just the parts that are needed for an application is a good idea.

Let's make the OpenACS toolkit better by improving the tools.

Posted by Jun Yamog on
What Dave has stated above is already existing and running.  Although I wish I can get some help to move it foward.

Here is how one of the UI looks like

You are free to register and try out the site.

This is the public site that it builds.

(The template is a bit screwy, the top gray nav are the 2ndary navs, Left Nav are the main nav, no link to home page)

There are 3 packages:

BCMS (Basic CMS) - the tcl service package that Dave is describing above.
BCDS (Basic Content Delivery System) - the one that serves the content and merges content with the template
BCMS UI Wizard - a UI package

Anyway I was able to put a little time on it a few days ago, so I am now cleaning out the API.  What I hope to achieve is to have a UI BCMS package to just setup (an admin page perhaps) its folder that it wants to manage in the CR.  And give a context like say public, intranet, etc.  Have a BCDS package serve the folder that is setup for it serve and its context.  So a single instance of OpenACS can have different CMS UI and managing different CR folders or the same folders.  Also different BCDS serving the CR folders.

I still consider the code as alpha or pre alpha, but the client of Musea is happy and running it on production for a couple of months now.

Right now I will be cleaning out the API, taking really long since my day job is not OpenACS.  After that I will make another UI package.  Any help would be appreciated especially on the high level direction/design.  I am looking at hiring some help so I can move things forward.

A bit more info here:

Posted by David Kuczek on
I am still a bit confused about the oacs cms/etp/lms strategy. Who is actively working on what, who is planing to work on what and how should the future look like?

A client of mine might want to switch from MS to oacs and would like to start with a little cms and although I somehow know about the features of cms and etp I would like to see a more streamlined effort. I encountered one thread that wants to enhance etp with wiki functionality and this thread that states activity on the cms module.

Posted by Dave Bauer on

Eventually I want to rewrite ETP using the content repository features to assign templates etc.

I sent the wiki code to interested parties because I don't have any time to work on it.

I think an organized effort to move the useful bits from CMS to CR is the best thing to do. Then build custom CMS apps on top of it.