[sword-devel] CrossWire lacks a Content Management System

DM Smith dmsmith at crosswire.org
Mon Nov 8 16:13:38 MST 2010

Late comment to the thread:

Recently, there were two efforts to cleanup the website. Both, IMHO, were good as far as they went.

These two related to the wiki and the front page of the website. It was agreed that the front page should face users of CrossWire Bible Software. And that the wiki was for developers.

First, the wiki was populated with pages that duplicate all (most?) the developers (code and module) pages on the website. It is maintainable by the community and is overseen by a few volunteers for clarity, correctness and value.

We still have duplication. I think we should remove the duplicates, retaining the copy in the wiki. Also, the wiki needs to be more prominent for developers to find.

Regarding the FAQ. It was felt that the FAQ would be maintained on the wiki with a static copy in the front pages of the website.

Regarding the home page, I like it. Thanks Peter! The only suggestion that I'd make is that the top links should only go to pages that have the same navigation and look and feel. This is true for all but "The SWORD Project". Clicking on it appears to be an abrupt change and no real way to navigate back. And for the most part it is a duplicate of the News link on the home page.

In Him,

On Nov 8, 2010, at 4:29 PM, Peter von Kaehne wrote:

> Several attempts to answer got swallowed by some problem in my
> webmail. Now back home a last attempt...
> "Troy A. Griffitts" <scribe at crosswire.org> wrote:
>> Sure I agree our website needs updating, but a CMS doesn't magically
>> update and bring accord to our website.
> No. I would agree. But a well thought through plan for what we actually
> want and need might be a useful thing. We have and remain to have a
> disparate environment which is not helping in the maintenance. 
> The main concerns i have:
> lack of single sign on unnecessarily fractures the site and hinders
> contribution.
> inability to assign without much hassle privileges to users (and remove
> them again if necessary) makes it hard on everyone who is (or
> wants to be) involved.
> I think - for all its faults - the wiki is probably one of the best
> places in the site as it is well accepted by nearly all developers and
> hence seems to grow and "rectify" itself quite well.
> But an ability to integrate that ease of editing and expanding with
> maybe a more restricted but nevertheless easily editable and
> expandable front - this would be quite nice. 
>> We have had a long and notorious history [..]
> ;-)
>> How our website does it's job [..]  is a highly
>> complex task with very opinionated approaches (check the logs).
> :-)
>> A CMS will not solve this problem for us.
> _A_ CMS and _solve_ definitely not. A well chosen environment might well
> help us though. I do like Ubuntu's environment with its integration of
> "commercial" front, the fora, the wiki and Launchpad's bugs +
> translation environment + bazaar integration. It looks unified. It
> looks professional - even though it is all brown... and it has some
> distinct advantages to improve integration. I would not call something
> like this a magical bullet. I most certainly am painfully aware of the
> last attempt and the flamefests associated with that.
>> Project maintainers have access to update their webpages.  Whether
>> they do or not is a different matter and one that a CMS will not fix.
> No. But one problem here is the fixed way we see project maintainers. I
> think the reality is much more flux than we all like and people coming
> and going - including maintainers. Sometimes not going, but certainly
> periods of alertness and absence of such. Some ability to 
>> Having said this, it's been at least a couple years since the last
>> frustrated volunteer took a shot at reorganizing our website.
> He remembers it well.
>> Remember, crosswire.org is meant to be a basic outward facing front to
>> what we do.  If people want to dig in, then they'll need to get to our
>> wiki or api documentation, sword-devel, etc.
> I did of course do an abortive attempt to integrate at least the
> access to the developer's side:
> www.crosswire.org/sword/newpage
>>> On 8 November 2010 09:17, Caleb Maclennan <caleb at alerque.com
>>> I realize this is an issue, but it was pointed out
>>> just last week on this list that the information for diatake on the
>>> site is some ten years old and there is no indication that it has
>>> actually been maintained to this day. Surely that's erring on the
>>> side of not enough up to date information.
> Whatever the framework - we still need someone to actually take
> interest. But maybe there are frameworks which make it easy to take an
> interest. I do not know. The current one makes taking an interest in something 
> casually noticed and easily corrected  pretty much impossible. I think
> we need to admit this. The Wiki is the one big exception. And we do see
> how it is growing into an increasingly useful resource - whatever its
> occasional (severe) faults are.
>>>    Also it was pointed on on another thread that there is a
>>> crosswire wiki. Even new module developers seem to miss that this
>>> exists. I looked and didn't see any reference to it on the
>>> crosswire home page. Furthermore a quick glace at each area shows
>>> massive duplication of content between the main site and the wiki,
>>> usually with the scales tipping to the wiki for being up to date. A
>>> little more poking shows even further duplication and even older
>>> content on the sword specific sub-site.
> The sword subsite was decimated when the wiki came about. Much of it
> was evenm more out of date than what is left. I left what I felt was
> needed as a bare minimum while trying to create a new static front which
> would integrate the lot and age subsequently gracefully. In the
> flamefest I eventually abandoned it, but left the ruin standing as a
> reminder: 
> www.crosswire.org/sword/newpage
>>>    Troy you mention the word involved in "committing to the
>>> maintenance of another framework". From the outside it looks like
>>> there are already at least a trio if not half a dozen frameworks
>>> that don't interact and are in various states of disrepair. I
>>> chimmed in on this thread because it sounded like David was
>>> suggesting getting all of the above under one heading so there is
>>> only one framework that actually CAN be reasonably maintained.
> I do think a single framework with single signon and easy navigation
> forward and backward + resources joint across all parts (search e.g.) 
> would have some advantages. I am frightened by the sheer workload to
> actually transfer everything and to get something _really_ working
> rather than creating another ruin. I do not think that this would do
> anything for us.  
> Peter
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