November 24, 2003

A List Apart Shows What It Takes to Do a CSS Makeover on Slashdot

A List Apart has begun a two-part series called Retooling Slashdot with Web Standards. This is an attempt to redesign Slashdot to use Cascading Style Sheets. Not only is this an interesting exercise, but it illustrates the issues we touched on in the article CSS is to In-Line Markup as American Sign Language is to English, 10 days ago.

Much of the work discussed in the first part of the series consists of breaking down the components of a Slashdot index page into entities that can be modeled in <DIV> tags. Too bad the author didn't go into more of an explantion of what these tags represent.

We have a number of Slash-based sites, therefore, this article is very instructive to us. It would have helped with the design of Operation Gadget because it would have allowed us to see a page we recognized recast into CSS compliance.

This article is highly recommended for anyone who is writing HTML entirely with in-line markup today. It's also extremely useful to people who have spent a majority of their time running Slash-based sites.

November 14, 2003

CSS is to In-Line Markup as American Sign Language is to English

Dave Aiello, "I've spent the last week learning the nuances of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS is a mechanism for centralizing the styling of the pages of a website in a single (or a small set of) descriptive documents. CSS is probably the state-of-the-art mechanism for separating form from content on the web."

"If you know anything about the Slash content management system, you know that use of CSS is the antithesis of the kind of markup used to produce a site like CTDATA. With Slash, there's almost no separation between form and content. In thinking about writing this piece, the analogy I came up with was between English and American Sign Language: you can say the same things, but zealots will tell you that there are big enough differences for each to be considered separate languages."

"Just like when I first implemented Slash, progress during my first encounter with CSS was slow and painful. I had to press on because the value of Movable Type (a web publishing platform which uses CSS) for my application justified suffering through the pain of learning a new method of styling web pages."

"I began working with CSS by taking an existing site style and modifying it so that the website I am working on doesn't look like a blatant stylistic rip-off of any other site. Later on, I extended the modified style sheet so that it would accomodate a type of content that wasn't present on the site where the style sheet originated. This process was pretty easy, and demonstrated to me that CSS is very extensible."

"I'm happy to report that the design of my new site is done, and the deployment should be occurring soon. So, if you are interested in seeing the site that caused me such difficultly, you don't have long to wait."

May 1, 2003

Feedback from Scott Johnson on CTDATA Permalink Labeling

Dave Aiello wrote, "Scott Johnson offered some constructive criticism of CTDATA over on his weblog:"

I like CTData but whenever I want to link to something I have to remember that on that blog "Add a Comment" means "Here's the Permalink". Still its a good read.

"Isn't it nice to have readers who tell you what doesn't work well for them? I wish I gave such clear feedback to everyone I do business with."

"We started using Add a Comment... as the permalink text in a carry-over from a corporate knowledge management application that we did prior to 9/11 at a multinational financial services firm. The client wanted their site's readers to be encouraged to provide feedback."

"As we know from a number of stories posted recently on CTDATA, while commenting back to weblog may not be totally passe, it also isn't something that will be dramatically improved by including 'Add a Comment....' On the other hand, as long as we permit comments, we want to let people know that they can post them."

"The right solution probably incorporates both a comment and a permalink indicator. We'll kick this around for a few days, and see if we can come up with something that improves the user experience for everyone. In the meantime, if you have any ideas, feel free to mail me at dave_aiello at"

April 16, 2003

CNN Accidentally Puts Obituaries for Still-Living Celebrities on Public Web Server

You have to wonder how much credibility CNN has left. Nearly a week after the incredible revelations by CNN executive Eason Jordan that CNN did not tell anything approaching the complete story of the now-deposed regime in Iraq comes the embarassing disclosure of what could best be described as provisional obituaries for major media figures like Dick Cheney and Pope John Paul II. This story was broken by The Smoking Gun and

We have all heard that media organizations prepare obituaries on celebrities in advance, in case they need to be used. But, web-based media organizations like ought to be smart enough to keep those obituaries on a staging server behind the firewall. Right?

The question that probably ties this story together best is: Why didn't they set one up for Saddam Hussein?

April 10, 2003

OSCOM 3 Agenda is Partially Closed to Slash

Dave Aiello wrote, "Last week, I reported that OSCOM3 is being held in May in Cambridge, MA, and Slash is not represented on any of the panels. I wrote to the conference organizers asking if it was too late for Slash to be involved in any formal presentations. Yesterday, I received an email from Elisabeth Balzer representing the conference organizers, who said:"

Unfortunately the program for the OSCOM3 conference from 28-30 May 2003 has already been decided. However, we would be happy to provide you with an opportunity to hold a Birds-of-Feather session during the conference.

If you haven't done so already, please join the OSCOM 3 conference participants mailing list at where we will announce the details for holding Birds-of-Feather sessions.

"Now that we know that a BOF session is a possibility, is this something that would be of interest to the Slash community? Write to me at dave_aiello at if you have an opinion."

April 2, 2003

Why Isn't Slashcode Being Represented at OSCOM 3?

Dave Aiello wrote, "Early this morning, Dave Winer said that he will be making a keynote presentation at OSCOM 3 from May 28-30, 2003, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. OSCOM is the Open Source Content Management Conference, and it has been held previously in Zurich, Switzerland and Berkeley, California."

"Until I saw the story on Scripting News, I did not know that OSCOM was being held again. My biggest question about this conference is: Why isn't the Slash project being represented? Slash isn't even listed on the OSCOM Content Management System Matrix."

"I think that the Slash community ought to try to represent itself at this conference, even at this late date. I am going to try to make contact with the event organizers and see if there is any interest in participation from the Slash community. I will also submit a story to and suggest that the community organize some sort of participation."

October 30, 2002

Yahoo! Makes Room in Its Backend for PHP

Dave Aiello wrote, "Over the last few days, many weblogs have pointed to Michael Radwin's presentation at PHPcon 2002 called Making the Case for PHP at Yahoo!."

"I'm not a proponent of PHP, but that's partly due to the fact I am so heavily invested in Perl. I think Radwin's presentation, however, is excellent. He provides good insight into the history of server-side development at Yahoo!. He also talks about important topics like:"

  • Costs of proprietary languages
  • How Yahoo! ended up picking PHP
  • Why not Perl?
  • Why not JSP, Servlets, or J2EE?
  • So why did we pick PHP?

Dave Aiello continued, "Michael Radwin does a great job of justifying Yahoo's architectural decisions. If you are a web developer, I'd definitely recommend reading through it."

October 29, 2002

Vignette Acquires Epicentric for $32 Million in Cash and Stock

Dave Aiello wrote, "Earlier today, my friend Ed Anuff sent an email saying that Vignette has agreed to acquire Epicentric. I subsequently found out that the deal is an outright purchase, reportedly valued at $32 million in cash and restricted stock."

"At a time when many of us in information technology are doing everything we can to survive, Epicentric got itself acquired by a major web publishing infrastructure company. It sounds like a good deal to me. Congratulations, Ed."

September 10, 2002

Who is the Audience for "Essential Blogging"?

Slashdot has published a suprisingly bad review of "Essential Blogging", a new book from O'Reilly written by no less than six co-authors. The reviewer, Alexander Moskalyuk, asks some fundimentally useful questions:

The only thought that never left my mind while reading this book was "Who would buy it?" Why would you need 264 pages to explain... how to set up your own journal and run it?

At CTDATA, we've made a career of reading O'Reilly books and implementing many of their technical recommendations. Most O'Reilly books are worth the purchase price, but this one may not be. It's refreshing to read a book review that "gives it to us straight".

July 23, 2002

Corante Microcontent Publishes Comprehensive Review of Weblog Tools

In one of the longest, most comprehensive surveys we've seen, Microcontent News has published a Blogging Software Roundup. This article identifies 28 different weblog publishing solutions, and fits all of them into a sort of weblog publishing taxonomy.

It's hard to believe that there are so many different web services, software products, and OpenSource solutions that can be used to produce a weblog. We recommend this report to anyone trying to understand the weblog community from a technical perspective.

June 21, 2002

Jupiter Media Metrix Says Companies are Overpaying for Content Management Systems

In a recently-issued press release, Jupiter Media Metrix announces the key findings of a report that they published on the use of Content Management systems in large corporations. They say that companies are overpaying for content management systems to manage the information published to their web sites. Surprisingly, the report says:

Although just under one-third... of companies surveyed have developed homegrown content management systems, Jupiter analysts expect the number potentially to double by 2004 as companies recover from - and react to - expensive, failed systems. Jupiter analysts advise companies to consider a homegrown system if a content management initiative applies to a single Web property, the parent company has no desire to manage content across an organization, the number of contributors is fewer than 20 and the workflow is no more complicated than a few steps.

This is a justification for looking at web publishing systems like Slash, Manila, or Movable Type if their feature sets suit the content to be published on a specific web site. Most products at this level permit the use of at least one scripting language to modify or extend the functionality of the system beyond the basics.

David Schatsky, Jupiter's research director, encourages this approach when he says, "Web sites with specific content management needs often focus on a platform that will 'do it all,' rather than match specific problems to specific, often lower-cost, tactical solutions."

March 18, 2002

Microcontent Publishes Interview with Authors of "Running Weblogs with Slash"

Dave Aiello wrote, "Microcontent News published a three part interview {here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3} with Brian Aker, chromatic, and David Krieger, the authors of the book Running Weblogs with Slash. After Slashcode linked to the interview, I contributed a series of comments about it to Slashcode. As I said at the conclusion of my comments:"

The Microcontent interview was well done. It's great to see some members of our community recognized for their expertise. This is a positive side-effect of getting a book published about our platform. These happy events will keep occurring if the book sells well, if we keep our development pace high, and if we keep producing high quality web content with the Slash engine. We all have a part to play in making that happen.

February 25, 2002

Dave's Complete Review of "Running Weblogs with Slash" Published on Slashdot

Dave Aiello wrote, "I wrote a full review of "Running Weblogs with Slash", which was published on Slashdot earlier today. This is the first time I have ever had anything I've written published there, and I consider it an honor."

"I'd like to thank my wife, Kathleen, for reading several drafts, and making corrections and suggestions. I'd also like to thank Tim Lord, one of the Slashdot editors, for encouraging me to expand upon the First Impressions of "Running Weblogs with Slash" review that I published on CTDATA two weeks ago."

February 8, 2002

Why Getting Laid Off is Better than Building a Proprietary CMS

You have to appreciate CMSwatch's editor's ability to write a headline that grabs and holds the reader. They published an article by Barry Bealer in August, entitled Why Getting Laid Off is Better than Building a Proprietary CMS. We agree that corporate IT departments starting to build a "from-the-ground-up" Content Management Systems in 2002 ought to have their collective heads examined. Everyone should begin a content management project by building on a CMS platform that has been used in other projects of similar scope and importance.

However, notice that the opinion piece does not call upon all corporations to license one of the expensive, enterprise-level content management systems like Vignette or Broadvision. According to the article: "The more open the solution, the better able you are to complete system maintenance and upgrades and the less tied to a resource you are. The key is to be sure your system is built using industry standards and is well documented."

There are lots of publishing systems, including big, expensive solutions, less expensive commercial solutions like Manila, and Open Source solutions like Zope and Midgard. BTW, how can the folks at CMSwatch leave out systems like Slashcode and Bricolage?

Continue reading "Why Getting Laid Off is Better than Building a Proprietary CMS" »

February 7, 2002

First Impressions of "Running Weblogs with Slash"

Dave Aiello wrote, "Yesterday, I received my copy of Running Weblogs with Slash from our friends at After browsing through it after dinner, I have come to the conclusion that it's a must-read for people who are installing or trying to maintain a Slash 2.x-based site."

"Running Weblogs with Slash seems like a well balanced book. It devotes an equal amount of space to an overview of Slash architecture, installation, community building, look and feel customizations, and advanced administration. These subjects represent about 75 percent of the book. The remaining 25 percent, which is actually the middle of the book, is devoted to basic administration of a Slash site. As far as I'm concerned, this section takes a lot of the trial-and-error out of the process of starting up a Slash site, from an administrative perspective."

"You may know that I run and on top of a substantially modified version of the Slash 0.3 codebase, which we refer to internally as Slash 0.4. I have been waiting for the right moment to embark on The Big Upgrade, and lately, I've been holding off on moving ahead because I thought this book would help us. At this point I have to say that I'm glad we waited."

"I hightly recommend purchase of the book. Practically everyone who has a Slash site or is trying to build one will learn something from it. I will try to post a more detailed review here, after I have a chance to read the book in greater depth."

February 4, 2002 Now Shipping "Running Weblogs with Slash"

Dave Aiello wrote, "I received an email from today indicating that they shipped me a copy of Running Weblogs With Slash. This is the first place I've seen this book available. If you've been waiting for it as long as I have, now may be the time to place your order."

"Once I receive my copy, I will go through it as quickly as possible, and post an initial review here at"

December 26, 2001

ZDNet OpEd Unfavorably Compares Content Management and ERP Software

Over on ZDnet, Eric Knorr wrote an op-ed piece comparing enterprise-level Content Management systems to ERP systems like SAP. We have made similar analogies for some time, calling Content Management systems the equivalent of industrial robots that can be used as key pieces of an assembly line, but largely useless on their own.

Many of our customers in the Financial Services business have used enterprise content management systems like Vignette and Interwoven to deliver major Web Sites. Development of these sites turned out to be much more difficult than expected, because these publishing systems don't work at all if workflow is not created around them.

December 19, 2001

O'Reilly Network Publishes an Article on Web Site Accessibility

Our friends at pointed out this article on The O'Reilly Network that talks about designing web sites for accessibility by the handicapped. We have an interest in this because we know a visually impared person who is very interested in using the Internet, and because we want our sites to be as accessible to all audiences as possible.

Read on for a summary of the article and some thoughts on what we've noticed in looking at our sites....

Continue reading "O'Reilly Network Publishes an Article on Web Site Accessibility" »

December 12, 2001

Linguist's Essay on Weblogs Presented on NPR's "Fresh Air"

Dave Aiello wrote, "Dave Winer on Scripting News pointed out this RealAudio stream of an essay by linguist Geoff Nunberg that was a segment of the December 10 edition of Fresh Air, the National Public Radio program." (Note: The link points to a stream that requires RealPlayer. Here is the text summary of that day's Fresh Air program.)

"This is a really interesting essay because it describes weblogs, a type of news or information-oriented web site., Scripting News, and Slashdot are all examples of weblogs, to one extent or another. Nunberg likens weblogs to a novel called Diary of a Nobody written in 1892 by George and Weedon Grossmith. As far as I know, this is a new insight. I will have to read at least a portion of the book to better understand what he means."

"I found his attempt to explain weblogs to the average NPR listener entertaining. And, I think that his description has contains a number of useful ideas that can be applied to explaining weblogs to other new audiences."

August 30, 2001

OSDN Says Slashcode Plugins Should Not Be Required to be GPLed

Dave Aiello wrote, "In a decision that we consider critical to the future success of Slashcode as a content management system, OSDN has announced that it will not require code written to the Slashcode Plugin Interface Specification to be licensed under the Gnu Public License. The announcement was made by Brian Aker (aka Krow) on the Slashcode Web Site."

"CTDATA is more likely to publish Slashcode Plugins than it otherwise would be as a result of the pragmatic approach taken by OSDN."

June 14, 2001

British Consultant Makes Case Against Enterprise Content Management Solutions

A British Information Technology consultant named Alan Pelz-Sharpe has been interviewed on the Web Site called Lighthouse on the Web. The interview takes the form of a series of refutations of orthodox views within the Content Management software and consulting communities.

His comments reinforce the position of people like us who believe that the enterprise-level content management systems, such as Vignette, Interwoven, and Macromedia Spectra do not represent a complete solution to content management needs. No matter what solution is chosen, a great deal of system integration and workflow design is likely to be needed.

CTDATA actually thinks that all of these products are useful, so long as clients understand what they are buying. Rather than look at these products as ready-made systems throughwhich content flows on day 1, they should be viewed as construction kits that need to be assembled with care. No company can order a series of industrial automation components, place them haphazardly inside a building, plug them in, and call it an assembly line. Similarly, no company can take Vignette out of the box and create a sophisticated Web presence in short order.

Continue reading "British Consultant Makes Case Against Enterprise Content Management Solutions" »

Excellent Piece on FAQ Design in IBM DeveloperWorks

Tomalak's Realm pointed to this excellent article on IBM Developer Works which provides some best practice advice on how to design a Web Site's FAQ section. Web designers generally don't pay enough attention to this issue.

Among other things, the article provides 16 tips for successful FAQ development. Number 7 is, "Spell out FAQ on each FAQ page". In other words, the article suggests closely associating the acronym with its true meaning, Frequently Asked Questions. CTDATA does not do this. To make matters worse, the header of our page templates says "faq" (in other words, the letters are in lower case). This might be enough to throw off the people who really need to see the the information contained in our FAQs. So, we'll be looking at the issues discussed in this article, ourselves, shortly.

May 17, 2001

Article Validates Weblogs as Knowledge Management Tools

Dave Aiello wrote, "Last week, I had lunch with Michael Kolbrener of Automatic Media to discuss the state of development of the Slashcode Open Source Project and the uses that our companies have made of the product up to now. In the course of that meeting, I was struck by the fact that we agreed that the potential of Slashcode extends well beyond the traditional uses of Weblogs on the public Internet."

"For a long time, I have felt that Slash-based sites would be quite useful as Knowledge Management tools inside medium and large companies. So far, CTDATA has participated in the deployment of one such system within a large New York-based financial services firm. That implementation was very successful. In fact, far more successful than I would have imagined when we began the project."

"Earlier today, Scripting News pointed to an article on elearningpost called Grassroots KM through blogging. This article provides a well-researched argument for implementing a Knowledge Management system within a large corporation as a Weblog. It validated our implementation process by explaining its success in ways I hadn't considered...."

Continue reading "Article Validates Weblogs as Knowledge Management Tools" »

March 2, 2001

Learning What it Takes to Edit Digital Photos on Linux

Dave Aiello wrote, "I have spoken a number of times of CTDATA's commitment to the Linux platform. However, our actual use often trails that commitment."

"A case in point is digital photo editing. For a couple of years, I have successfully used a Compaq Armada 6500 running Windows NT 4.0 and PaintShop Pro from JASC Software. This solution has served us well in the past, but now I use a Dell Inspiron 7500 with RedHat Linux 6.2 as my personal machine. What now?"

"Anyone who is paying attention to the Linux market knows that GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a good alternative for image manipulation. But, actually using it productively is not that simple. In order to do 'round-trip editing,' I need to be able to mount the media that my digital camera uses to record images, manipulate those images, transfer them to our Web Publishing platform, and then write the Web Page content. The only really difficult part, for an inexperienced Linux user, is mounting the file system."

"I figured out many of the technical issues associated with doing this last night, in the process of producing RCNJ Spring Dinner Meeting Features Bud Peterson for our Web Site Read on for more details about the things I learned...."

Continue reading "Learning What it Takes to Edit Digital Photos on Linux" »

February 14, 2001

Stop the Presses! Groks the Power of Email - Web Site Integration

We are a little behind in our reading, but we want to point out the February 7 edition of Stop the Presses!. The column, entitled "E-mail Your Audience Anything They Want" really nails the idea behind using email to drive traffic to a news-oriented Web Sites.

Steve Outing wrote, "With e-mail delivery of granular content, subscribers' interactions with the news organization are daily; they see the content and the associated advertising. And each piece of e-mail is a reminder to the online user about other content on the Web site, which encourages more Web site traffic. 'We need to get people to use (news Web sites) a lot better,' Dupont says; e-mail is part of the answer."

This article is aimed at newspaper Web Sites, but, we intend to put many of these features into practice as soon as possible on our most active Web Sites, and We expect that the RCNJ Web Site will benefit particularly from mailing headlines and articles to its users.

Continue reading "Stop the Presses! Groks the Power of Email - Web Site Integration" »

February 1, 2001

Slashcode BOF Session Takes Place at LinuxWorld

Dave Aiello wrote, "Last night, I attended a Birds of a Feather (BOF) session on the Slashcode publishing system at LinuxWorld Expo in New York City. This session was attended by members of the core group of Slashcode maintainers, a few people interested in installing or hacking existing Slash sites, people who maintain Slash 1.x-based sites, and people who have forked from the current or previous distributions. (A lot of people reading this are totally lost now.)"

"I had never been to a BOF before, so I was interested in what they were like. After being at one, I am not sure that they are all the same. At this BOF, the people who consider themselves the maintainers sat or stood in front of a conference room and took questions from the people who considered themselves visitors. The BOF was moderated by Brian Aker who operates under the handle Krow on Slashdot and Slashcode."

"I had never met Brian before, but I thought he did a good job leading the discussion. The other members of the development team who attended chipped in with comments from time to time. In that way, I wish that the session had been more peer-to-peer oriented. It would be nice if I could remember exactly who was there. But, I was not able to associate names with faces to the extent that I had wanted prior to the session."

Continue reading "Slashcode BOF Session Takes Place at LinuxWorld" »

December 13, 2000

Web Techniques Publishes OpenSource Weblog Comparison

Dave Aiello wrote, "Brian Jepson wrote one of the most interesting articles that has appeared recently in Web Techniques. He decided to do a comparison of the costs and benefits of implementing several OpenSource Weblog Toolkits: Slashcode, Squishdot, and Thatware."

"My first reaction when I read this was: Why didn't I think of doing this myself? After all, a lot of people wanting to build Web Sites that have a form similar to that of the classic Weblogs would benefit from some independent, professional advice. Then I thought through the idea and realized how long it would take to be able to do this sort of analysis fairly, and I realized that I never could have devoted the time without CTDATA being fired by its clients."

"I was very impressed with Jepson's analysis, considering the length restrictions that impact on any magazine article. He does an excellent job of pointing out issues that a non-expert would run into right away with many of these packages. In particular, he clearly identifies the Weblogs that require root access for successful installation. He also points the degree to which each Weblog depends upon specific versions of underlying software packages, such as mySQL."

October 5, 2000

Slashcode Publishes Report about

We note with pleasure that, the official Web Site for the Slashcode Open Soure Project, reported on our relaunch of the Rensselaer Club of New Jersey Web Site,

Why do we gleefully point to every mention of our Web Sites on Slashcode? Because the people running the project have been very supportive of our efforts in spite of the fact that we aren't using the same code base at the moment. The "Slash is Slash" philosophy is one of the reasons that we are so loyal to the Slashcode project.

Continue reading "Slashcode Publishes Report about" »

October 2, 2000

Jakob Nielsen: End User Content Creation Key to Evolution of Internet

A lot of companies building Content Management tools have identified so-called P2P (peer to peer) tools as the next area of rapid development. Jakob Nielsen has touched upon that in his latest Alertbox. But, he has done so in the context of a larger question: How can we increase the number of people who contribute content to the Web?

Nielsen believes that a larger percentage of Internet users need to create content in order to maintain the current growth rate. However, a number of difficulties will need to be overcome in order to make this happen.

Jakob has gotten a lot of feedback on this article, both submitted directly to his Web Site and posted to other Web Sites like Scripting News. Read on for our comments.

Continue reading "Jakob Nielsen: End User Content Creation Key to Evolution of Internet" »

September 29, 2000

Presentation on's Content Management System

Scripting News pointed out that Ian Kallen of gave a presentation about Salon's content management system at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference in July.

We think this is an excellent presentation, proceeding from general requirements for a content management system, to tools that can be used to construct such a system, to the way that Salon architected its publishing mechanisms.

Continue reading "Presentation on's Content Management System" »

September 12, 2000

AOL to Delay Results of Olympics, at User Request

Scripps Howard News Service is reporting that America OnLine will offer its customers the option of not receiving news about Olympic event results until after the event is shown on NBC.
According to the article, "The Internet giant decided to give its United States customers the options after
75-percent of more than 1,000 users polled said they would prefer not to find out event
results before getting the chance to watch them on TV and experience the suspense."

We have no idea how the poll was conducted or whether its results are reliable. However, the fact that AOL is willing to consider this in the first place is yet another indication that NBC is acting against the public interest by delaying the broadcast of the Olympic events by 16 or more hours.

Continue reading "AOL to Delay Results of Olympics, at User Request" »

September 8, 2000

Measuring the Impact of a Content Management System on a Small Company

This is the one hundredth article posted to the Web Site since it was converted to a modified Slashcode architecture on June 21, 2000. From May 21, 1998, when we adopted NetObjects Fusion until June 21, exactly 25 months, we published only 33 articles to our Web Site.

Is there any doubt that CTDATA is a more effective organization since it began using a database driven Web Site? We suggest that all small and medium-sized organizations force themselves to adopt some sort of content management system. It is the only way for such organizations to use this medium effectively.

Continue reading "Measuring the Impact of a Content Management System on a Small Company" »

September 2, 2000

Infoworld Articles Expose Contradictions of DMCA

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a cause célèbre in the international Web Development Community. Infoworld appears to have joined the debate with a pair of columns penned by regular contributors to its publication.

Sean Dugan points out the inheirent contradictions in the Motion Picture Association of America's legal position in his current "Net Prophet" column, concisely entitled I Guess the Only Solution if the MPAA Has It's Way is to Shutdown the Internet. P.J. Connolly takes a position somewhat to the right of Dugan in his current piece called The Sharing Debate: When Source Code is Outlawed Only Outlaws Will Have Source Code.

Continue reading "Infoworld Articles Expose Contradictions of DMCA" »

August 31, 2000

James Clark Hands Off Expat XML Parser to New Management

XMLhack is reporting that James Clark, author of the XML parser called Expat, is handing off management of the project to a team of developers lead by Clark Cooper. Cooper is the co-author of XML::Parser, a Perl module that CTDATA uses and recommends.

Expat is a C language XML parser that is used as a component by a number of other products that interface with Mozilla, Perl, Python, and PHP.

Continue reading "James Clark Hands Off Expat XML Parser to New Management" »

August 10, 2000 Provides Good Material on XML and XSL

Linux Today pointed us to a Web Site called which provides a lot of good information and tools to manipulate XML and XSL.

XSL is a particularly important technology to us because it is used extensively in advanced Web authoring and content integration platforms. One of the times where XSL knowledge is quite helpful is when you are running an Epicentric Portal Server.

August 9, 2000

W3C Provides Concise, High Level Introduction to XML

In the course of reading all of the information on, the content aggregator for My Userland, we discovered this concise introduction to XML published by the W3C. Read on if you are interested in why we chose to point to this, and how deep our present XML knowledge is.

It's not a particularly long story, it's just that it's only tangentially related to and somewhat less valuable than the W3C's XML Site....

Continue reading "W3C Provides Concise, High Level Introduction to XML" »

July 24, 2000 Open Sources Its Content Management System

Dave Winer pointed out on Scripting News that has released its Content Management system under a modified Apache license. Their system is called "Tea" and you can check it out at

July 22, 2000

What is the Content Management Section of

Content Management is the term that people in the Web Publishing and Web Site Development businesses use to refer to the systems that they use to create, edit, and publish information to their Web Sites.

Most people who talk about content management are talking about high end publishing systems like Vignette, Interwoven, Allaire Spectra, and similar high cost commercial products. Slashcode and the ArsDigita Community System are a couple of the leading OpenSource products in this space.

There is a lot going on in this part of the industry and CTDATA has some experience in the space. We will put articles and information about Content Management systems and operating techniques into this section of the site.