CMS Revolution (Part 1)

3/27/2012 6:41:19 PM

CMS Revolution (Part 1)




Tom Arah thinks that web designers should not consider data management systems as a threat but an opportunity.


With the birth of Rich Internet Applications (RIA), you will be forgiven for thinking that HTML web is approaching its end. This is not completely true. HTML Web is still here existing, but it does not make HTML immune to changes – in fact, web authoring is currently experiencing the revolution. According to W3Techs, in 2011 April, 1/4 millions of websites were created by using Content Management System (CMS), increasing nearby 7% compared to the same time last year. In addition, customized websites were led by datas; crafted website seems to start its days. If it is true, what does it mean toward web designers to focus on the traditional pages?


The publication based on static pages has already been the basement for web development since the end of 1980s decade, when Tim Berners-Lee dreamed about information space in common and then realized the only way to achieve that is by using HyperText Markup Language (HTML) based on the document named ASCII. HTML-based websites are the gift from Berners-Lee to humankinds, to careers they generate, and web designers. By using a simple text editor like Notepad – or more specialized HTML editors later on as Dreamweaver – web designers create their own pages in web language. By FTPing file HTML results (together with any related graphics) on the web server, with a link to it from the current page, your new page automatically becomes a full member of the World Wide Web, which enables you to access to anyone by a browser.


Accessing in common like that is very great but how can users know about the existence of your pages? An invincible strength of HTML – a combination between ASCII document and hypertext links connects the fixed URL – which allows searching emgines like Google not only to compare all contents from billions of websites but also to rank them, leading to very precise access, almost instant to web space.


This publication model based on static pages is simple, effective, flexible, opening, easy to access and research. Web as we know was built up by it; therefore, the clear question is why a change occurs. Why do they throw away such a successful formula and transfer to CMS? That is really a hard question, to the best of my knowledge. Several years ago, I wrote a blog’s entry titled “I am worry but Dreamweaver is dead”, I thought that anyone who was taking web designing for granted should learn 1 CMS like Drupal rather than following the route of page-based publication by using Dreamweaver.


Thank to Digg and Slashdot, this article created a storm, and after a few months, my mailbox was full of angry comments. Reminding, I could understand their feelings; clearly, many designers find that CMS appearance represents for a big step-back, basically. Why do you choose to change the content from an opening page to a closed database? Why do you choose to lose the simplicity of HTML directly to replace by a complication of scripting language and database management? Why do you throw away the flexibility of the customized pages to be bound to CMS?


Movement to CMS in my proposal is considered to be a double threat: an attack to the web’s basic characteristics, and the role of web designers. This has never been my intention. I believe that HTML and web designers would focus on the current pages, because web would not work without them. However, that is another question different from questioning what the best way to create these pages is. Web designers have to prepare to adapt and accept that the publication model based on static pages is expired. Once this reason is highly appreciated, I think web designers will look on the brighter side of CMS. Thus, is there anything wrong with the traditional model?


Web 0.0: Content is king

Description: Web 0.0


At first, you have to realize that web was not built up in this way. When Tim Berners-Lee created HTML, he did not intend to invent the ideal and modern publication environment. In detail, he focused on helping the bosses in CERN solve a major problem – information loss along with staff replacement. The outcome is a “simple, cooperative, and independent from performance” CMS, or a “generally associated information system”.

An excellent illustration about how he succeeded in this mission is that we still have web-based access to the original concepts about the web, and specifically on how the sites should be created. Quite interestingly, HTML-authoring packages and dedicated publishing model create and post notably by their absence from the list of the methods he proposed. He said, "you can, if you really want, create separated hypertext documents by hypertext mark-up language", implying that, instead of nature, a similar approach will almost excessive. Instead, he said web is "a collaborative environment, one place where we all meet and read and write", and the key to handle reading and writing like that is the fact that web authoring will be done directly in the browser. To achieve this, the first web client, Berners-Lee's WorldWideWeb, was designed to act as a "hypertext browser editor."


Using WorldWideWeb, you can choose the documents in any current pages and type “Link to New” to create hyperlink and a new page simultaneously, which is simpler and more effective than setting up separated pages. It is also easy to paste the content card to create a new page because HTML is built around with some structure tags, to mark the titles, lists, citings and so on, especially the essential of the complex authoring packs.

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