Content Management System

Michael Ekstrand michael at
Wed Mar 29 16:16:06 CEST 2006

Water Cooler v2 wrote:
> So, again, where are the boundaries? What about non-public content?
> What about access rights? Do you have seperate users on CMS's having
> their seperate folders as well, where they could put their own private
> content? Or, is the idea behind CMS about "sharing" and so they put
> only that which they need to share and not the private stuff.
> Do CMS's also allow access rights or authorization levels *per*
> resource/file/unit of content that is uploaded on to them? Or, are they
> role-based - e.g all users of this group will be able to access all
> files, and users of that group will have read-only access to this
> website.

A CMS is just a general category of tool or infrastructure. Many things 
can be used as a CMS. All a CMS does is provide a means for managing 
content so that it can be made available - it can be a huge thing, 
storing everything in databases and providing fine-grained permissions 
control and workflow management. Or it can be built on the file system.

I'm on my way toward using Subversion as a content management system. 
Right now, I write a new page in my working copy, add it to the list of 
pages for that section (that will hopefully be automated sometime), 
check it in, and do an update in the Web public root. Voila. Published 
content. It lets me track historical versions of my content, does 
automatic templating (mod_perl and HTML::Mason pull the data through 
templates live).  Soon, the website should automatically update any time 
I check a new change into the public branch of the Subversion repo.  A 
system quite unlike things typically billed as CMS's, but in my mind, it 
still qualifies - it's a CMS that works with the way I work (simple file 
manager, terminal, and Vim).

I don't know if this helps or muddies the water more. There aren't 
really boundaries IMHO - anything that does the job of managing your 
content (storing it and providing access to it) qualifies as some form 
of CMS.  Frequently, they provide a nice, user-friendly Web interface, 
and many mechanisms to allow non-technical users to edit content. But I 
don't think they have to.

So yes, I believe your network file system would qualify as a form of CMS.

- Michael

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