The CMS deja vu phenomenon

At the turn of the century it was estimated that there were over 7 million Websites in the world. In October of this year, Netcraft estimates that there are now nearly 50 million active sites on the Internet. However, I can't help but wonder how many of those 50 million sites are actually unique sites?

Sure, from time to time we are all guilty of recycling a post with the same content from one site to another. Increasingly though, I have come across sites that share not just a little bit of content but are almost exact duplicates of each other. On some cases, the only difference between the sites I'm comparing are their domain name. Let me give you an example of the déjà vu we are now seeing.

When IT changes too quickly

As I have mentioned in the past, besides this site I also run a site called "WebCMS Forum" [now defunct]. The forum is a place I started in hopes of bringing users of various content management systems (CMS) together for exciting discussion. While the number of users participating in actual dicussion have always been low, those people that are posting often write something that makes hosting this underused forum well worth my time.

This week I had a user, Anti, talk about frustrations with rapid changes currently happening with the content management system, Drupal. Don't get her wrong, she likes Drupal. However, for the first time in a long while, she is in need of taking a deep breath before absorbing all the new changes into her routine. At the forum she writes:

Using Firefox 2 with Content Mangement Systems

As you can tell from the screenshot below, I am using a release candidate of Mozilla's Firefox 2 while viewing and editing content in my Drupal site. If you look closely at the image or click on the image to enlarge it, you will also see that I don't always focus my browsing on Drupal. Take a look at the tabs and you'll see me taking a look at a number of other open source projects (such as Joomla and e107). I have been known to have 20 tabs open referencing just as many different portals, forums, and blog applications as I can find. What can I say, I'm obsessed with Web content management systems (CMS).

David Baron: New Firefox 2 theme and lessons learned Bryan Ruby Fri, 09/22/2006 - 15:55

I just got done reading an interesting and important post by David Baron of Mozilla. Although his initial focus is on the Firefox 2 browser, he makes some valid points that easily carry over to lessons learned involving software development and general project management.

The post in focus from Mr. Baron is "New Theme, Old Problem" and as titled centers to some problems with the new Firefox theme. Mr. Baron states that he doesn't "really care one way or the other about most of the changes". But what does care about are the changes done to the tabs in the new theme. Mainly that the new tabs no longer blend well from the operating system it is running on. He likes the "old way" better where:

Should Microsoft Financially Support Open Source Projects?

A series of posts and questions on the CMS blogs are asking whether Microsoft should help finance the costs of open source projects. I have no opinion to give that would add value to this topic. However, I'm happy to give the rundown so far of the posts that speak the loudest regarding Microsoft and open source projects.

The thread of blog posts seems to originate with a post at Dave's Tech Shop (blog uses Subtext). In that post, Dave talks about the need for Microsoft to better support open source projects. Dave's reasoning:

Work by day, Drupal by night

Last night, I was up late doing some administrative work for my sites as well as writing some posts. This was my attempt to procrastinate working on an osCommerce site that I promised someone would be done by the start of October.

One of those posts I made was Drupal related and available via an RSS feed for Planet Drupal to ingest. Unfortunately, I found that TinyMCE (a WYSIWYG editor) had changed my absolute links to relative links in the post. This caused references to links and images back to my site to not display properly for anyone aggregating from the RSS feed I provide. This particular issue with TinyMCE and associated Drupal module is not so much of a bug as it is a configuration issue that can easily be corrected.

Proof spammers are no good

A few months ago, I posted that I use Akismet in both Drupal and Wordpress. Akismet is a spam filtering service that can be used in content management systems via plug-ins and modules. The Akismet plugin ships with Wordpress 2, but some setup is required.

While visiting my Wordpress site I noticed the specific number of comment spams the Akismet filter had caught so far and made sure I took a screenshot. The image below was taken by me and I assure you that no altering of the photo was done. I'll let you be the judge whether you agree that spam through site comments represent the evil the number shown implies.

Headaches from security updates for Firefox and Thunderbird Bryan Ruby Thu, 08/31/2006 - 01:02

Sigh...another round of security updates coming from the folks at Mozilla. It looks like version 1.5.0.7 will be at our doorsteps soon.  Now at home, updating Firefox and Thunderbird on the Windows PC is a snap since it is all automatic. However, updating in a secure enterprise environment is a different matter.

In most enterprises, most users don't have administrative privileges and without those rights Firefox and Thunderbird in most cases will not auto install the new version. What would really help is if Mozilla would provide their software in a MSI package. Until MSI packages are provided by Mozilla, it is difficult for me to accept Firefox and Thunderbird as "enterprise software". In a Windows Server 2003 environment, MSI packages are a must for easy deployment, management, and auditing.