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What is the purpose of a Docs CMS?



I see this come up all the time, it's what you call a 'frequently
asked question.'  People wonder ...

... are we replacing the wiki with a CMS?

... is the CMS for authoring content collaboratively?

... or is the CMS for publishing already completed documents in
    various formats (Oo.org, XML, HTML, PDF, etc.)?

In my mind, the CMS is for putting publishing of formal content in the
hands of people who know and care.  Writers should be able to publish
drafts and completed versions.  Editors should be able to fix and push
updates.  Translators should be able to complete, publish, fix, and
update translations of guides.

Our current system is essentially checking rendered content in to
source control, and an auto-builder puts it on the web.  Historically,
this system was never well adopted, even by people who otherwise know
and understand the tools.  Instead, easier to use tools have drawn the
attention and content, such as wikis and blogs.  The adoption rates
are staggering by comparison.

The original purpose of getting a CMS was to make publishing easy.  We
already have a toolchain and process for getting content out of the
minds of the subject matters experts, on to the wiki, in to DocBook
XML, translated, and rendered to HTML, PDF, etc.  All of that can now
scale very well to larger and larger teams.  The only missing piece is
the ability to take all that content and put it on
docs.fedoraproject.org.

I purposely did not address the idea of people actually collaborating
on content that has the CMS as canonical.  When asked, we refer to the
upstream fedorahosted.com versioning system as the canonical source.
In this way, the CMS is similar to koji -- raw source turned in to
packaged content.

It is possible that a team would want to use the CMS as a working
location.  I'm tempted to cross that bridge when it happens, an idiom
which here means, let's figure out how to make that work when we come
to that decision point.

Our choice(s) and experience with CMS systems is going to inform the
Websites team on possible CMS choices for running underneath
fedoraproject.org.  In that case, the content there would probably
live inside of the CMS as canonical.  People would collaborate on it
directly in the CMS.

It would be great if the CMS or some other tool would give a
collaborative, browser based wysiwyg editing experience for DocBook
XML that is in a version control system.  There are as many reasons
why that won't work as there are to give it a try.  In the meantime
...

Make things clearer?  Muddier?  Slightly filmy but clear enough to
drive?

- Karsten
-- 
Karsten 'quaid' Wade, Community Gardener
http://quaid.fedorapeople.org
AD0E0C41

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