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Thread: Content Management Software / Sitebuilder

  1. #1
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    Content Management Software / Sitebuilder

    Some of you opera/mozilla/whatever fans might not like this one, because it will ONLY work in IE 5.5 or above (due to the functionality that is involved is only possible good browsers ).

    http://sitebuilder.piko-technologies.com

    Can you see where I am going with this? Basically, it will become our new CMS package on Piko Technologies. Hopefully making it amazingly easy for users with no HTML knowledge (or desire to learn any) the ability to create and update their own website.

    There will also be an image gallery where they can drag / drop pictures which they can upload using the upload button which is already there.

    Pages will be saved as HTML files on the server with a copy of their "ID" saved to the database, so the customer can link to them easily (see the "Link to existing page" button).

    Eventually there will also be templates that can be edited (colours, links, navigation etc) but that's a long way off.

    Any thoughts on if this is the right way to go especially usability wise? Remember, the average client from the store down the road will probably not have opera installed or want to learn HTML or CSS.

    Thanks in advance for your replies,

  2. #2
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    Okay, I'm looking at it, and it seems like a good idea off the bat. There are many content management systems, but this appears to be a WYSIWYG editor/CMS combo. Interesting. However, the assumption that the average user who doesn't know much about computers will use IE is a dangerous one. Firefox, I know, has been on a major upsurge. And I'm not talking developers, I mean average users. Many companies have switched to Opera/Firefox for security concerns. These people are told that these browsers are safer, and that IE isn't as safe. So they get it. Then you've got the whole "Mine's better than yours" where people brag and switch and all. I now know a lot of near-computer-illiterate people using Netscape, Mozilla, or Opera.

    So, what I'm curious about is, what language is this being done in?

  3. #3
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    Oh come on, look at the REAL number of IE users. Still the most popular browser BY A LONG WAY. Is that good or bad? I don't care. I just care about what is being used most and how I can work with it best when it comes to something as difficult as this.

    Plus anyone who will end up using this I will be working with on a face to face level quite a lot so I can always remind them to use IE to update their site if needed.

    Well so far it's all JavaScript. I have built a much better version for the company who I work for although (due to contracts) I can't show it, or copy the code. So look like I have to start from scratch.

    Uploads will be done with wish ASP upload. Apart from that IE actually does the rest for you. There is talk about a similar patch being available for Mozilla which allows users to take advantage of the ContentEditable attribute (that's what it uses) although with only limited functionality.

    Perhaps once everything is up and running with IE, I can look towards other browsers and the functionality I can give to them.

  4. #4
    server side javascript?

  5. #5
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    Nope, though "server side javascript" is kinda possible would you belive? It's something we've been playing with for a while now.

    If anyone wants a basic description of how it works let me know.

  6. #6
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    IE may be most popular at the moment but it is falling, in ten years time you'll have to account for thoose using proper browsers.

    Maybe if more of it was server-side then it would be easier to make it compatible?

  7. #7
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    The fact that it's JavaScript is what's really got me intrigued. I could easily see it as being something like a Java applet, but I didn't know that JavaScript had that kind of functionality/power. What exactly makes this IE only? I'm no more than a novice at JavaScript, but looking through that WYSIWYG source, the only thing my novice eyes can spot that's IE only is document.all (Which, as of Firefox 1.0 PR, the latest release, is supported in quirks mode, which is when the document has no DTD)

    This reminds me of AOL hometown's EasyBuilder. It was a Java applet, but very similar in idea to yours. It was for people with no knowledge of how to make websites. Except it was online, and when saved was directly available. Very interesting indeed.

    You are going to make sure, however, that it outputs valid markup?

    Edit: Ah, yes, I'm very interested in how it works. I'm a new technologies geek and this intrigues me. However much you can say...

  8. #8
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    MstrBob,

    Okay this stuff works on what is called the ContentEditable attribute (which is an M$ thing that only works in IE). It allows you to modify the contents of part of a page (e.g. a DIV with the ContentEditable attribute). Or the whole page (if it was in the body tag).

    You from there use JavaScript to capture the new HTML that is on the page once your users has finished updating, then upload it to the server or whatever.

    This is no java applet, purely JavaScript at the moment, and nothing is server side as it stands.

    For those of you wanting to learn more about ContentEditable (which is rather easy, and is at least 3 YEARS OLD in some forms), please visit this linke: What, a link to Microsoft? On this site?.

  9. #9
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    Okay now for the server side JavaScript which has nothing to do with my original web page at all (read above post).

    But it is quite possible, infact GMail uses it. Haven't you ever wondered how you can click onto something and a new page doesn't seem to load, yet when you click for the new are (e.g. Sent Items) there is new content in here, like a message you have just sent.

    Okay how it works: Though it's nothing really amazing, just quite cool when you get it working.

    Basicly you have a piece of JavaScript which will call a server side script within it, then ONLY send through the requested info (e.g. the updated table for the sent items). The JavaScript then posts the new HTML that has been sent to it by the server side script, to the page you are viewing (e.g. it will update the content of a particular table, etc).

    Might sound confusing but when you see it working I wouldn't say more than 50 lines. If anyone wants a QUICK and SIMPLE demo, please let me know.

  10. #10
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    Hrm, interesting. I have always been of the belief that there's nothing wrong with creating new additions to HTML, JavaScript, CSS, ect. As long as it keeps in mind with the purpose of the technology. Some things move on to become W3C standards after all. I'm just not sure if I'm comfortable with it being so proprietary.

    But something like this does seem very interesting, and adds a whole new layer of functionality to web pages. Unfortunately, your MS link is broken, it returns an Error 404 page.

    So is this system intended to just be a WYSIWYG? Is it also a CMS combo? I know your company offers hosting, so will this be your means of allowing customers to easily create pages? Similar to the Yahoo!PageBuilder?

    Edit: Ah, you have a quick trigger finger. Like the tech hog that I am, I will clamour for a sample if possible. For the gmail system has also intrigued me...

  11. #11
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    Okay, I have carried on this part of the thread over in the JavaScript boards.

    New thread at: http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/sh...threadid=45307

    Anyone else got any comments about my original idea?

  12. #12
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    i think that's its kinda been done already see here.
    also after I saw that a few years back I wrote my own version of microsoft powerpoint, as it sucks, so you can do a lot more than just change the font!

  13. #13
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    make the whole layout and basically everything in css piko. This will save you a lot of hassle in the long run when you work on the layout modding and skin feautres. I started on a cms but did not get far due to a lack of motivation. They are not terribly complex, but are a lot of work.

  14. #14
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    artemis,

    Of course it's been done before. As I say, ContentEditable has been around in some form for years now. It's what you do with it that counts.

    Originally posted by PeOfEo
    make the whole layout and basically everything in css piko. This will save you a lot of hassle in the long run when you work on the layout modding and skin feautres.
    Sigh. Seriously, I can understand you guys here love your accessibility, formatting, etc etc. But in another post I hear you all telling people to write tables in CSS rather than HTML.

    Oh come on, yes, CSS would be good for making my templates (and to an extent I will use them). But writing tables in CSS because HTML tables aren't as accessable? You tell that to Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and god knows how many other millions of websites (even view the code of this forum, the fonts sizes are "hard coded" ie not using CSS, granted they my come from a database, but they sure as hell aren't CSS).

    Originally posted by PeOfEo
    I started on a cms but did not get far due to a lack of motivation. They are not terribly complex, but are a lot of work.
    I have to agree with you there however. Lack of motivation often stops me in my tracks for a few weeks, or at least slows down progress somewhat. Quite annoying really.

  15. #15
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    Going all css still uses html. You just do not use html for layout. Html is kept for the structure of the page, while css styles that structure. We never tell people to write actual data tables in css, if the data is tabular it should be done with a table. But for example if you have something like this http://quasi-ke.servebeer.com/design/index.aspx that can all easily be acheived with css and is.

    http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#tables

    If you see it in lynx (I might take some screen shots later) all of the rows just jumble up and it makes everything impossible to read.

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