Future Ideas for Content Server
By Brent Simmons, firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 27, 1997
Content Server is approaching version 1.0. Right now I'm listening to bugs and feature requests as they come in. Bug reports are infrequent now, which means we're getting close.
What we have now
Content Server is a solid framework for allowing multiple authors to publish on the web nearly instantly. It ensures that every page looks the way the web site designers want.
Set up and management is largely menu-driven, and is fairly easy, particularly for a sysop already familiar with Frontier's web site building technology and familiar with mail and FTP server software. The documentation walks one through the process sequentially.
As a Frontier suite the framework is highly extendible, and we've built in a number of hooks so that people can create custom applications such as archiving mailing list messages. The custom applications are limited only by the ability, imagination, and needs of the individual sysop.
The future: managing workflow
It is possible now to set up Content Server to adapt to one's shop's workflow. But future versions will contain more workflow management features. That's what I want to think about for the future.
A basic example: a news story comes in to the server, and it should be edited by a copy editor and a section editor before being published. This can be done now, but it requires more work on the part of the sysop than it will in the future.
Another example: multiple authors or editors collaborate on a news page. To add a news item, one should ideally be able to the new entry rather than have to re-submit the entire page with the new entry.
We're getting to a place of great synergy with Frontier tools. With Net Events and Fat pages, we have easy transport mechanisms to move content around, to get it to flow from writer to editor to web page.
Other in-progress suites will allow for multiple authors of individual pages.
With Content Server we'll be able to apply these tools to build groupware with a purpose -- creating, building, and managing web sites.
If you have thoughts about workflow -- suggestions, requests, implementation ideas -- email them to me at email@example.com.