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Re: What is the purpose of a Docs CMS?

On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 11:02:04AM -0500, Jared Smith wrote:

> Ideally (like you say above), the CMS would be *the* place to author,
> edit, and render official documentation from the Fedora Docs team.  The
> more I thought about it though, them more I'm starting to lean *away*
> from a CMS.  Let me see if I can clearly articulate why.

Well, ideal in an ideal world. :)

> 1)  Revision control.  One of the things we'd like this CMS to do is to
> provide revision control.  So far, as I haven't seen a CMS that handles
> revision control nearly as cleanly as either the wiki or using an SCM
> system such as Subversion or git.
> 2)  Document creation and editing.  Ideally, we'd have a wysiwyg editing
> tool in the CMS that would output perfectly valid DocBook.  I don't see
> this happening any time soon.  This means that whatever we create inside
> the CMS doesn't lend itself well to repurposing or to easy translation.
> 3)  Translation.  This is an area where most CMS systems do poorly as
> well.  How would we make this work with a CMS system?  Check in the
> primarly language version, along with the PO/POT files, and have the CMS
> render the translated versions?  Again, I think our current workflow has
> a proven method that works, even if it's not highly automated.

I agree with you, and I think my clarifications still fall a half-step

<vision role="Just Karsten's own opinion, YMMV, take with usual grain
of salt">

CMS doesn't handle revision control; that is for the upstream SCM on

The Fedora Docs CMS is *not* for authoring content.  The opposite is
probably true for a CMS used for other web properties

The Docs CMS is just a tool to put easy publishing in the hands of the
document writing teams.

Translation happens the same as always.

Document authoring continues as we've done -- some sourced in
wiki/sourced in fhosted.org => SCM => XML + PO => {HTML,PDF,RPM,TBZ,ZIP...}

The CMS should remove pain at the end of all the current processes
that are working fine.  This pain is, "How do I publish and manage a
draft or final version of this document?"


> To make a long story short, what if instead of concentrating on a CMS,
> we concentrate on a system to take our
> "created-in-the-wiki-converted-to-docbook-(and-optionally-translated)-and-rendered-to-HTML"
> documents and easily publish them on the web?  In other words, let's
> not throw out our current system (with it's easy editing, working
> translations, and DocBook XML core).  Let's just take the parts that
> are the roughest (which I'm presuming are the presentation parts)
> and fix those.

It's really the publishing parts that are the roughest, and, yep,
that's what the CMS is supposed to fix.

The CMS is going to have a tonne of tools that we ignore or don't care
about or one day discover and love.  Combined with programming, we may
end up adding to our capabilities.  I don't consider any of that to
be our primary or secondary concern for a while.

In other words, if the CMS' authoring tools are so great that people
want to use them, they do use them, and we have a ton of content in
the CMS that needs translation, etc. ... *that is a good thing.* That
is the kind of problem I'd prefer to solve.

> > Make things clearer?  Muddier?  Slightly filmy but clear enough to
> > drive?
> You certainly articulated the purposes of a CMS much more clearly than I
> could ever hope to.  I'm just not sure I've caught the vision of why a
> CMS would be better than (most of) our current setup.

It's not better than the good parts, it's additive.  It *only*
replaces this:


- Karsten
Karsten 'quaid' Wade, Community Gardener

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