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Building a Better Web

Published on Wednesday, 27 October 2004

Too often, open source CMS systems are seen as the "kid brother" to commercial software. Too often, the commercial pieces of software suffer from software bloat and creeping featuritis.? Now what does this mean for Mambo and how it performs under the software development lifecycle (SDLC) ?

Mambo should aim?to consolidate the core into something simpler, smaller and having the same framework and functionality. There still remains jargon terminology present in the structures of Mambo that limits what new users?can grasp, let alone deliver?out of the box.

What Mambo offers, and markets, on Mamboserver (both the main and demo site) should reflect what is in the core, since the core devs are primarily advertising the core features through Mamboserver.com being so visible on the Net. Search Engine Friendliness features (SEF)?in the core?needs to be?marketed?correctly and with transparency and accountability on behalf of the development team. The core matters and?how?the core developers?advertise what is in the core may gain or lose business with Mambo.

Clients using Mambo?should encounter?usability and functionality, so that the end user can create relevant and content-rich articles with the minimum of hassle. Because, at the end of the day, a website is an ongoing publication advertising the benefits or opinions of a person, company, group or multinational.? A website isn't simply a piece of software, it should market the message and product the end-user wants to see, simply and effectively. This is why I feel pushing back XHTML compliance and other forms of semantically correct coding into 4.6/4.5.x??inside the core may be doing?a disservice to the clients and users of Mambo. With?XHTML compliant, semantic code?inside the core, it becomes a whole lot easier to differentiate content from layout,? minimising server overheads, and allowing even greater search engine awareness.

This is why Absalom Media has sought to provide solutions for existing versions of Mambo to deliver semantically correct, Section 508 compliant, content with minimal modification to the core build. This is also why Absalom Media delivers W3C compliant XHTML/CSS designs; it provides a better experience in the long run for the end user.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that Mambo can deliver what the client wants. Not what the core developers want, not what the project managers?want, the thing that matters is the client. The customers of Absalom Media matter to the business we run, and likewise the customers of Mambo should matter to the core development team.

This has been one of?the issues Absalom Media has raised?with other open sourced CMS systems; sometimes people value the product more than the ideas as to why the product was made in the first place. The Mambo community has some positive aspects to it, and likewise needs to address some?current issues?taken by people inside the community.

These thoughts and ideas on Mambo and where it should go and what it should deliver are based on?this article in?Veen.com and other current issues running around the Mambo community.

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