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The Giant's Drink

Published on Friday, 25 February 2005

In a scene reminscent of Andrew Wiggin in "Ender's Game", Mambo 4.5.x has been applauded with a giant-killing reputation in the web industry coming out of the LinuxWorld Expo in Boston.


The question then becomes.. what do you do when the giant is dead ?

I forsee the following factors affecting Mambo in the times ahead:

  • Standards compliance, and the value and benefit of XHTML 1.1 Strict code. While Mambo 4.5.x validates up to Section 508 standards out of the box on the basic front page, it does not conform to 508 standards for every core component at this time.
  • Accessibility issues, especially in regards to accesskeys, link list management, anchor titling, alt text usage and long descriptors for items. Having accessible forms is also a current issue, and something the core team need to look out for.
  • The proper semantic delivery of content independent of the coding structures behind it. Mambo, by and large, still lacks proper heading structures for content, and what you see before you is a customised work based on Mambo.
  • Clearer, cleaner documentation, both for the new user, and for the developers and designers.
  • The Miro-Mambo relationship growing and changing the way developers and designers do their work. There is a trade off between certification programs and other more needed factors, such as the ability to integrate e-commerce facilities from the core and standardising compontry between builds so that custom versions of Mambo don't break on upgrade. Time will tell which one proves more beneficial.


So, at this juncture, I'm left with a sense of anti-climax. Mambo should be applauded for how far it has come in the last few years, and for the accolades it has one. I hope the road I now travel as a designer for the Mambo content management system will address the needs of my clients as noted in the points above.


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