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People are finally starting to realize that CMSes are horrible. They got us through a time period where the front-end developer is a scare resource, but now there's enough of them everywhere that we don't need WYSIWYG web content anymore. CMSes are eventually going to be relegated to the sole proprietor who doesn't want to learn HTML but still needs to maintain his / her own content-oriented website.

My company is handcuffed to a legacy custom CMS that's still using Rails 2.3.8. We have no need for it, as we have a front-end guy who would be perfectly comfortable using git, as he has me to ask whenever there's a problem. When you use the database to store content, you lose a great number of useful properties. I had to build a custom tool to search through the entire database to find encoding errors. And I had to keep re-adjusting it every time I found some hiding somewhere. It was annoying and painful. Content is code, not data, it needs to be managed like code.




Couldn't disagree more. CMSs enable non-developers to publish good-looking content, which is basically what the web is. You can have a small army of 10-20 writers and 1-2 front end devs styling templates for them. It scales, and it makes sense.

Content is certainly not code; it does not get compiled, it contains no logic. At best content is a property of an object with its structure defined in/as code.


> CMSs enable non-developers to publish good-looking content, which is basically what the web is. You can have a small army of 10-20 writers and 1-2 front end devs styling templates for them. It scales, and it makes sense.

Assuming that the content you're publishing is primarily writing, then yes, that makes sense. But most companies on the web are not primarily blogs or news. Hell, even the way news is going, a lot of these Snowcrash-type (or what was that famous NYT article called?) articles are too complicated for a template-driven workflow.

The company I work for is a marketing company, it primarily uses the Internet for e-commerce. Our marketing team gives their ideas to our front-end guy, including mock-ups and copy, and he goes ahead and makes all the HTML/CSS.

I think most companies on the web wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a static site and a CMS, because non-technical people won't even touch an admin back-end anymore. There's just too much to screw up to leave in the hands of a non-professional.


The article you're thinking of was "Snow Fall".

http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/


> But most companies on the web are not primarily blogs or news.

Sure, I agree. I've built product sites like magento.com and e-learning sites on CMSs. It's easy to knock out, say, 15 different page templates for different use cases. On bigger sites I build it out so you can customize your page by dragging sub-templates around to build a page out of it.

We've solved/attempted to solve the "don't screw up our backend" problem by exposing fields to fill out on a page. You want a headline, fill out this field and drag it to the top. You want a video background, paste the youtube link here, etc.


Actually the moment we will finally stop treating computers as glorified typewriters and use paper and desktop metaphors, content will indeed be code. Good web content in the future, I believe, should have interactive visualisations/simulations and a multitude of possible user interactions (see for example http://worrydream.com/Tangle/). Publications like the New York Times are already implementing this, I also expect it to happen for educational content (see Khan Academy for some examples).



However that only works at that scale.


It works at small scale too when you download a free theme on wordpress or whatever.


As a front-end developer I still prefer to think of ourselves as a scarce resource.

For selfish reasons I admit.




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