Changing the MiaCMS, Mambo and Joomla! Landscape

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Link exchange between the sites just don’t cut it anymore. “Cross-site information sharing” paradigm is growing into a greedy monster requiring new ways to expose your content. RSS has been holding up really good in that front. Given that you can put together – mash up- a website filled with thousands of articles in a matter minutes; it seems like, RSS over-accomplished its task. So what’s next ?

Today, core Mambo and Joomla! are both lacking good RSS facilities. You can only share your “Front page content” via RSS in Mambo (probably the same for J!). If you are keeping only one content item with some “never-updated-flashy” short content, your RSS feed is technically useless to the rest of the world. You can find a good RSS extension, which would cover that scenario.

Question

What if you want to expose more from your CMS site ?

Answer:

With the addition of the Brilaps REST API, MiaCMS, Mambo, Joomla! will allow for advanced external interaction. Meaning that interaction with the site and its content no longer has to occur directly through normal browsing methods. For the first time you can start to consume Mambo’s internals as external services via the data type of your choosing (i.e.) JSON, XML, or Serialized PHP.

How?

Brilaps REST API, MOStlyREST provides the com_rest as a base library that takes care of the message receipt and packaging back to the caller. Brilaps also released a few other goodies that goes along with the base implementation that the other 3rd party developers can use as samples or extend from those. com_rest_content and com_rest_stats components sit on top of the base component(com_rest) and expose your “top ranked”, “most popular” articles, or articles for certain sections/categories, or your site stats to any application that’s capable of parsing some simple XML.

Why?

Why do want to REST enable your Mambo or Joomla! site? One simple answer to that is, larger audience. Larger audience is both audience as in visitors and utilizing applications.

A few examples:

  • You can have one MiaCMS site as a content repository, and expose parts of content to multiple other sites that you own. See the sample application, SMRC, to imagine different possiblities.
  • You can have a widget like Bridget, that you can distribute to your visitors to track or search your site at the comfort of a desktop application.
  • this list can go on and on, but I leave it up to the implementers and site owners imagination :)

Next?

I believe, REST enabled MiaCMS, Mambo and Joomla! sites will change the landscape of the content management landscape covered by MiaCMS, Mambo and Joomla!. Indeed, that’s a pretty large landscape. I guess, we just sit back and watch what’s gonna happen next…

For questions and comments about the REST API for MiaCMS, you can visit http://forum.brilaps.com

*Same article is also posted on Chad’s site; http://www.opensourcepenguin.net . If you’d like a take a peek at some other cool stuff, browse on.



MiaCMS Interview on OpenSourceCMS.com

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

As the MiaCMS Team, we recently gave an interview at OpenSourceCMS.com.

Here is a tiny excerpt from the interview;

Chanh:
7) There is a plethora of open source CMS’s available out “there” for people to choose.  Why should people consider MiaCMS?

MiaCMS team:
Chad:  The MiaCMS team is focused on producing an simple, yet powerful content management system.  The team is focused on stability, security, innovation, web standards, performance, and our users.  We are community focused and take pride in our product.  MiaCMS is not a toy, an experiment, or a hobby.  It is a robust CMS which can be used for sites of all types and sizes.  Furthermore, MiaCMS has a very powerful extension system which can be used to develop custom extensions to enable functionality not found in the core by default.

Cem:  One of the good things that we inherited from Mambo is the mindset of “simplicity”. Can we make it simpler, yet better! We are working on it.

You can read more a http://www.opensourcecms.com/index.php?o…….08&Itemid=188

If you’re in the quest for an Open Source CMS, and don’t want to download/install a bunch of them till you decide, I would surely recommend that you visit OpenSourceCMS.com, play with the demos that they refresh hourly.



moseasymedia 2.0.1 for MiaCMS, Mambo, Joomla!, WikkaWiki Released

Friday, April 18th, 2008

moseasymedia, a sort of well known video embedding extension in the Mambo Joomla! community, has a new release. moseasymedia 2.0.x version is released in mid April with a few neat features.

I’ll try give some highlights from the readme.txt that’s in the zip package.

Please read on,

(more…)



Unavoidable Fork Happened. How and Why ?

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

In the last month I had a few blog post about the “possible outcomes of Open Source projects in turmoil”. Indeed, all those messages were referring to Mambo CMS project, and the very Mambo Foundation. After refraining myself from all the Mambo Foundation duties (Core Team Lead, Translation etc.) in April 2008, I wasn’t planning to get my hands dirty with the core Mambo code for a while, but instead we (Chad and I) tried to revive the project externally by adding cool features like REST interface, Bridget the RESTful Yahoo Widget and such. Unfortunately, those didn’t fly well with the existing Mambo structure.

Seeing all our recent efforts go down in flames was one thing, and seeing a collective effort exceeding 10 years Mambo experience is another. The latter hurts more. So happened MiaCMS fork on May 11th, 2008.

mia cms logo

Mambo’s most recent release 4.6.3 was on December 25th, 2007, and a few important bugs were immediately reported a few days after the release. Mambo Team fixed those in a short time, and Mambo 4.6.4 had been “release ready” since January 2008. And the Mambo wheels spun and spun and spun. The code has been in a stand still since than. Don’t ask me, I still don’t get it; and I was a part of that team. I am sad to admit, I was not able to make a difference with in Mambo Foundation. Too many battles to fight to make the product better. Unfortunately, I personally don’t have the time and patience for it. Plus, what’s the point?

Some insider information on how the fork happened. After Chad and I split from the Mambo Foundation, we’ve been going back and forth with the idea of the “fork“. Everytime one of us brought it up – after getting fired up on something happened in the Foundation- the other one shotting it down. The main reason for being indecisive about the fork was that; it is a pretty big thing to bite. During one of those discussions at the end of April, somehow we got on the same page, titled “let’s fork this thing”. Convenient timing indeed; Al Warren resigns from his new Mambo Core Team Lead position and Richard Peter Ong hops on our fork train. Rest is yet to be history.

April 29, 2008, we grab a snapshot of Mambo 4.6 from Mambo SVN (rev. 1688), roll our sleeves and start coding inside out. In 10 days, we have 200 commits in our SVN:fixed numerous issues, bundled the REST API, added a Sitemap Component and a Social Bookmarking module, revamp the entire Administration console based on Y! UI, (yes it validates almost in all Admin pages), added a new validating template based on Y! UI Grids, a brand new WYSIWYG Editor, probably many more that I don’t remember now. All those needed to be done for ages, too bad we just couldn’t do it with Mambo. At some point, we were so fired up on the outstanding silly validation issues, we even fixed the Installer.

Here we are on May 11, 2008, and I am a proud participant of the MiaCMS project. I already upgraded all my personal sites to Mia, and didn’t bi^%@#!ch about any problems back to the developers (I personally know the dudes who worked on it). Anyways, I love it. And I hope, Mia will grow into a big project with a loving and caring community.

You can find more information about MiaCMS at http://miacms.org (you’ll see the documentation, screenshots, forum links over there

*Chad also has his musings on http://OpenSourcePenguin.net



Vote for MiaCMS! Would you please?

Friday, July 25th, 2008

2008
Packt Publishing
Open Source
Content Management System Awards

Most Promising
Nominate the Most Promising Open Source CMS Award Winner

Please nominate MiaCMS for the following categories too;

Overall The Best

Best PHP

*The whole thing takes about 30 seconds. Type MiaCMS as the “Project Name”, and “Its Website” is http://miacms.org