Content Management Systems (CMS) are everywhere. If you really wanted me to, I could absolutely list over 100 different CMS systems that exist on all sorts of platforms from PHP, ASP, Python, Perl, Ruby, and even Cold Fusion. Here, it’s easy, visit: Wiki Comparison of CMS’s.
It seems that we have re-written the same exact code, ACL’s, User Management / Registration, Groups, Posts, WYSIWYG, Comments, Discussion Boards, etc… And, we continue to re-write all of this same code with every new project that we take on. It’s absolutely fascinating to see how we are so far away from our common programmatic goal of “Don’t Repeat Yourself” and here we see it with CMS systems.
Why do so many systems exist out there? My theory has a couple parts: evolution, style of implementation, and ownership.
Evolution: Think about Joomla and where it came from. Joomla forked from the open source project Mambo, which began around 2001 in an effort to help manage sites. The term Content Management System didn’t even exist on the web back then. Joomla was a new direction in order to encourage and enhance the management of content and modules.
Style of Implementation: Style is now slowly beginning to become consolidated. With the development of all these different types of management for content, similarities commonly applied in Windows applications emerged as web scripts grew. The concept of complete Model-View-Controller (MVC) implementation is now becoming standard. Although so many current MVC’s claim purity, often they are far from it. Ruby on Rails is one of the better implementations of MVC out there.
Ownership: Naturally, the concept of property comes into play and if the code is written from scratch, while completely owned, there is a lot of profit in CMS development. The downside is the time it takes for this development, and that is the reason that CMS Systems as a Service (SaaS) have now become all the rage.
CMS’s have only been around for around 10 years on the web. It’s still new, and we are far from consolidation. There may even continue to be a surge of solutions built for enterprise and small organizations. Older CMS systems will continue to evolve to meet more MVC style technology. As companies and organizations continue to expand into the web world market share will continue to grow, which means more diverse ownership. Open source will continue to challenge private companies, while social media implemented into content management will morph CMS into something we may not even recognize 10 additional years from now.
Just a little-bit about CMS’s today.