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Content Management Forum

What New Content Management Tool Have You Discovered Lately?

 4:37 pm on Apr 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

I fear this thread will bring all the spammers out of the woodwork to pimp their latest product. I wish there was a way I could make this visible only to people who already have 5 posts under their belts, but I can't.

Anyway, this last year has seen me heads down in Drupal projects and it's been a while since I've had a chance to pull my head out of the sand and survey the landscape.

I know some notable things have happened - Joomla included an update built on Bootstrap 3, which means responsive out of the box.

The Wordpress default 2014 theme is also mobile-friendly.

Drupal is lagging a bit - there are several topnotch mobile-first themes now (all the most popular contrib themes are now mobile first), but out-of-the-box responsive will await the release of Drupal 8, probably later this year.

But those are the big ones that get all the press. Is there a new tool that a couple years ago you didn't know about but now find essential for managing content or managing a CMS?

It could be a CMS (Perch?) or a dev tool (git, Jenkins, SeleniumIDE) or, I don't know, a new way to use Notepad that has changed the way you work and manage content or run your CMS.



 2:17 pm on Apr 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

A bit off-topic and yet at the same time I think it can apply -- SASS. We started using the SASS CSS pre-processor within our own custom CSS a few years ago and find it invaluable. We wish we would have got on board earlier, like when it was first released.

So, although it is not a "content management" tool, per se, it certainly adds to your CM tool set!


 8:51 pm on Apr 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've switched to Compass + SASS in the last year. I find it great too.

It isn't content, but it does make your CMS more maintainable. I don't worry about having 50 files in 10 directories to organize things. So each component, for example, can get a file and then it helps keep the CSS organized.

compass watch --output-style compressed --force

and voila, minified CSS.

In a similar vein and similarly off-topic, but a great help in developing with or without a CMS: front-end frameworks.

I used Bootstrap a fair bit last year, but I've been leaning toward Foundation lately.

They have large developer communities and you get so much "for free". In other words, I might need some sort of plugin for carousels, tabs, accordions, modals, lightbox, responsive menus, not to mention testing your own CSS and JS across a zillion devices and sizes.

With Foundation or Zurb, all those plugins come packaged in. That means that your designs are more portable and not dependent on a plugin for a given CMS that will go dormant if people lose interest. It also means a large community of developers testing over a huge set of use cases.

When coupled with SASS (Foundation) or LESS (Bootstrap), customization via variable reset files gives you a lot of flexibility.

Some people complain of the bloat, but you can always choose not to load components you don't use.


 9:04 pm on Apr 18, 2014 (gmt 0)


And yes, it is indeed Compass here too, not just SASS. I wrote an Ant Build for Eclipse that monitors the project(s) I'm working on so I don't have to run the watch command to monitor my directories or sub-directories. The Ant Build recurses automatically and discovers changes and then executes to create both a full source version as well as a minified version all in the proper target directories. Works slick. I put the SassCompassCompiler out on github for anybody to use if you're interested.


 4:20 pm on Apr 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've never been able to grok Eclipse. I have tended to use NetBeans if I need a debugger and Notepad++ if I'm just firing up something for a quick edit.

BTW - the Brackets project does a good job as a fairly light SASS editor. It will be interesting to see how that develops.

I have GUI tools for git, but I find them confusing, so I always have a couple of command line windows open anyway, so I don't mind just setting "compass watch" in a command line and letting it chunk away in the background

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