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Boris Mann – The 3 stages of dynamic systems

A presentation given at Web Directions North, Vancouver Canada, January 31 2008.

Presentation slides

Session description

Content management systems have all but replaced the former art of publishing static HTML pages. From letting clients edit and add content, to content like calendars and forums that defy the “page” convention, dynamic interactive websites keep visitors coming back. At some point your website goes beyond just a site filled with HTML pages and actually becomes a full-fledged web application.

From these features, we extract three stages of content management — simple content management, beyond the blog, and building your own web application.

We’ll cover some of the products and approaches appropriate for each stage — WordPress, MovableType, Expression Engine, Drupal, and Ruby on Rails will all be familiar terms when we’re done. As well, we’ll explore the following concepts:

  • the challenges of designing for dynamic systems: the need to think about template and interaction design
  • choosing open source: can you afford to choose an open platform?
  • the wild world of plugins and modules: get new functionality “for free” and what that actually means
  • frameworks vs. products: the build or buy decision

Whether you have some experience with content management systems and are simply looking for new tools you can add to your repertoire, or if you’re trying to decide on the software you’ll implement when building new sites, this session will provide a solid grounding in the options available to suit your needs, budget, and level of technical expertise

About Boris Mann

Boris Mann Portrait

A bona fide infovore, Boris co-founded Bryght in 2004 after convincing two of the world’s best Drupal developers to help build Bryght’s solution for turnkey online communities.

Boris is one of the founding organizers of Northern Voice, one of the first North American blogging conferences, now heading into its 4th year. He also is active in many developer communities, helping put on BarCamps and the Open Source CMS Summit on multiple continents.

Although Boris does all that CEO stuff at Bryght, his knowledge of user communities and the intricacies of online publishing also keeps him knee-deep in development and design architecture. He’s inspired by the team of people he works with and is driven by a passion to create “web tools everyone can use”.

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Thoroughly enjoyed Web Directions — met some great people, heard some inspiring presenters and added a whole bunch of things to my to-do list.

Joel Roberts Web Developer