Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

My review of e-Spirit's FirstSpirit CMS

In September's CMS-Connected show, I once again had the privilege of being a guest reviewer for their "CMS In the Spotlight" segment. This time around I reviewed e-Spirit's FirstSpirit CMS. Never heard of it? Honestly, I hadn't either until CMS-Connected Producer Gary Eisenstein assigned me the gig. Come to find out, FirstSpirit CMS helps run a number of international sites from companies like Bosch, KLM, Speedo, Sterling Jewelers, and Nintendo of Europe. While doing my homework, I walked away from the demo impressed with the amount of effort e-Spirit had done to improve usability for authors and editors. 

On a personal note, I've heard a number of people praising my performance in this September show. I don't do well with praise so to tell you the truth I think I did just "average" for this one. I'll let you decide on this one. Embedded below is my segment from last month's CMS-Connected. Once you do watch this segment, be sure and check out the complete show at CMS-Connected. I especially encourage you to watch the segment with Sprout Content's very smart Dechay Eaton Watts.

End User Perspective: Drupal 8 Begins Making Headlines

While Drupal 8 has been been under development for two and a half years, I haven't talked much about it. I learned long ago that it doesn't do much good to talk about an upcoming release of a CMS until the software crosses over from what most of us would consider "vaporware."

The software needs to be close to beta, allowing for normal folks to actually be able install for testing purposes with a reasonable amount of certainty we don't need to be a developer. If you're a loyal reader of Planet Drupal, by now you should be getting a sense that the time has come to finally talk about Drupal 8.

There are a great number of changes coming with Drupal 8. So many, that I'm bound not to understand them all at this point. However, if you take a look at the core initiatives you can see where the core developers are working their hardest in improving Drupal 8.

Some of the great things planned for Drupal 8 include better HTML5 and mobile support, improved multilingual features, and setting up Drupal 8 on a modern web development framework (Symfony). Additional focus includes configuration management improvements and support for Views in the Drupal 8 core. While there is still work to be done, the core developers are starting to see the finish line in their sight.

As I mentioned, there are some headlines within the Drupal community that tells me from the user point of view it's time to show some interest in the upcoming Drupal 8. Some of the recent blog posts within the Drupal community I see worthy of mentioning can be found below.

Celebrating People of Content with The CMS Connection

Last week, John Coonen announced that I'll be joining him at The CMS Connection as the new Editor in Chief. In John's own words, I'm there to "zero in on the most intriguing and interesting people in the CMS world, to help you get unique perspectives, advice, 'insider' tips and insights to build your professional skills and make more valuable connections". In my own words, my role at The CMS Connection is to celebrate people.

Over the years, there have been a number of "people stories" that I've had to pass because as a story they seemed out of place for CMS Report. For instance, I've been wanting to write an article about John W. Tuggle from Learning Guitar Now but beyond the news that his site runs WordPress, it becomes an article that is no longer focused on content management systems. As much as I love to write stories such as when Drupal's Dries Buytaert starting up Acquia or my friend Scott Liewehr starting up Digital Clarity Group, I've always been concerned that those profile articles showed bias for a blog intended to report content management news. Yet, I think The CMS Connection has the potential to cover these profile stories very well and allows me to stay focused on CMS as software here at CMS Report.

The CMS-Connected Review of Liferay Video

I had the privileged of reviewing Liferay Portal for CMS-Connected's "In the Spotlight" segment. This is the first time, I've done a show with new co-host Butch Stearns. The end result is what I think is a great question and answer review of Liferay's products followed by Scott Liewehr's analyst perspective of Liferay the company. In the show, I talked about Liferay Portal and Liferay Social Office. I also had a chance to briefly mention Liferay Sync.

From an IT perspective I love the fact that Liferay Portal can serve multiple functions such as a WCM Platform, CMS, integration, collaboration, and social publishing. This ability to bend open source Liferay to meet your needs is what I've found excites most developers. As Scott later mentions Liferay's "be all" software strategy is also Liferay the company's biggest marketing challenge as they try to move up the CMS food chain. That differing perspective coming from IT, marketers, and analysts about a CMS is what I find I value most about CMS-Connected. The Liferay in the Spotlight segment begins about 46 minutes into the video.

 

The entire July show of CMS-Connected is worth the hour of your time to watch. Besides my segment, Scott and Butch look into the importance and role of the CMS integration partner with special guest Jason Crea from Cherwell Software. Additional stories also told includes Google's mandatory Adwords participation, Acquia's new Cloud Site Factory, Adobe buying Neolane, and Digital Clarity Group's new Service Providers Report.

Home Is Where The Network Is

My home's network distribution panel

A couple years ago, my wife and I took advantage of the post-housing bubble low interest rates and upgraded to a larger home. We came across a pre-owned house built in 2006 that came with the price, size, and style that just screamed to us "buy me".  As a family, we carefully reviewed our finances and listed our pros and cons before making the purchase. My wife and I were excited to finally have a bathroom connected to the master bedroom. Our then young son was excited that he finally had a family room that offered him fun and adventure. Secretly though, what sold me on the house had nothing to do with these things. What impressed me most was that this house had a network distribution panel.

Anyone who likes to avoid supporting a "rats nest" of network wiring should insist that their next house contain a well thought-out network distribution panel. In fact if it doesn't and I were you, I would insist to the seller that's why you as the buyer will pay less for the house due to future headaches you are likely to encounter. In my house, the builder and contractors pre-wired the house for phone, data, cable, satellite, cable, and audio. What more could an IT professional want? The best thing of all, the previous owner of the house barely touched those wires giving me the opportunity to hook things up my way for the very first time.