In-depth insights on content, code, and creativity
In the world of books, book publishing and bookselling, the metadata exchange format “ONIX” is the preeminent method of communicating information about a book. In spite of the fact that ONIX is a rather flawed standard and protocol for exchanging bibliographic information, it is the standard which everyone has settled on. Mugo has been working with ONIX since 2003, first building a freely available ONIX management system as a proof of concept for the Centre for Canadian Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University and most recently building a turn-key system for an ONIX website - that is - an ONIX powered website.
Open source communities rely very strongly on the community to advance the software in question. eZ Publish adds the "enterprise" part to "enterprise open source content management system" by not only targeting larger enterprises but by also adding a company vendor -- eZ Systems -- behind the software. This helps spur development forward on a consistent pace. However, there is still immense value in having the implementation partner companies contribute their code and insights. Contributing back might not be a natural thing for the partner companies to do; if you're such a partner company, here's why you should and how to do it.
As a web development company, we spend a lot of time deep in code, implementing solutions. However, essential to our success is the proper use of additional administrative and communication tools to keep organized, to run smooth projects, and to interact with clients. Skype, Dropbox, GitHub, and Google Apps are ubiquitous in the industry and embedded in our daily work. An additional set of less obvious tools are also just as important to our work.
Rasmussen Reports runs a contest where visitors have to guess what an upcoming public opinion poll result will be. Participants get points depending on how close they are to the actual result. A new question is asked every week, making for a fun, recurring way for visitors to interact with site content. Here's how we developed the contest on top of an eZ Publish extension called eZ Survey.
Over the years we've worked on many websites in the publishing industry. Each has a unique set of requirements and challenges, but we've been able to refine and re-use a set of tools and best practices. These make up what can be called a "publishing package" built on top of the eZ Publish framework.
Optimizing the editorial experience in a Content Management System is a continuously evolving task. The challenge is to make the CMS an enabling tool to help editors publish content as efficiently as possible. In many organizations, specific requirements at each publishing step can be complex and dynamic. Here are 10 built-in tricks, ways to extend the interfaces, and ready-made custom extensions to unleash the power of eZ Publish content management.
Having multiple projects stored in one Subversion repository is a challenge if you want to move one of the projects to another repository. Also, over time, moves and deletions can bloat the size of your repository with obsolete, unused data. In this article, we will show you how to extract SVN projects to their own repositories, preserving full commit histories.
For those who write long-running scripts in eZ Publish to perform operations (move, rename, update, and so on) on many content objects, here are a couple of quick tips to speed up the scripts and make them more efficient.
I noticed a while ago on a client's website about Canadian books that some of the book nodes would have their url_alias broken and the url /content/view/full/<node_id> would be shown instead of the nice url. Running the updateniceurls.php would not solve the problem so I had a look at it and tried to see what could cause the problem and realized that the two tables ezcontentobject_tree (containing the node information) and ezurlalias_ml (containing the url_alias path parts) had different data for the same node.
We recently implemented two different designs where the menu remained fixed to the edge of the screen as the user scrolled. One case involved vertical scrolling and the other involved horizontal scrolling. Each had a subtle challenge and both were fun to work on!
4 years ago, in 2008, we first met what is now one of our longest ongoing clients, Rasmussen Reports. There was some stress and urgency to their problem, as their site was crashing leading up to the most important time of the year for them -- the US presidential elections. We managed to stabilize their site and imagined a time in the distant future: a less stressful 2012 election period! The month leading up to November 6, 2012 turned out to be a record-breaking traffic month for a couple of our clients, including Rasmussen Reports. This time around, we had no website hiccups during an election season that saw more than twice as many visits in the peak month and an almost 3-fold spike in pageviews from the previous major election's 1-day peak.
Here are some of the site performance best practices we implemented in advance of the 2012 elections.