Midgard Weekly Summary for September 14, 2000 (#47)Sep 15, 2000, 08:35 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ken Pooley)
Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2000 03:09:11 -0500
Current versions: Stable: 1.2.5 'Mad King' Devel.: 1.4beta.5 Oracle: 1.2.5 Oracle 8i
E-mail the webmaster As we work towards making the Midgard-project.org website more accessible and reliable, a number of changes are being contemplated. I have volunteered to act as the webmaster for the site, providing a contact point for the community as well as a content watch dog to make sure we keep information current. We are discussing a number of additions and redesign projects. I specifically want to renew my call for sites to be listed as examples of Midgard in action. I also want to start to collect a reference list of ISPs, programmers, and consulting firms that provide Midgard-based solutions. If you are currently using Midgard for customers, or want to be included in a service provider directory, please e-mail me with a contact name and e-mail address, as well as a short description of the services you provide. If you have other features you would like to see included in a new Midgard site drop me a note. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Knowles, HKLC, and a new administrative interface.
While most of our attention has been occupied with the completion of Version 1.4 and plans for V2, there is a lot of other work going on across the Midgard landscape. In Minsk, Alexander Bokovoy is polishing off a new administrative interface named Asgard which will see its debut in the next few weeks with the last beta of 1.4. On the other side of Asia, Alan Knowles independently introduced a new administrative interface that should do a lot to redefine how we think about interacting with Midgard.
Alan Knowles is a principal with Linux Center HK ltd. of Hong Kong. HKLC is a Linux consulting and services group that tries to make a living out of GPL. Like many who have moved to use Midgard, Knowles' interest in the project started about a year ago when he started looking at content management systems to drive his website. Using a strong content management system usually leads to the realization of the potential of such software in real-world applications, HKLC was no different. The experiences that Knowles and his organization had in the field informed the direction they felt the software needed to go. One of the goals of HKLC is to encourage its members to become involved in the software projects it uses. The Hong Kong team put together a good "Introduction to Midgard" presentation for marketing and general education purposes. True to the GPL spirit the presentation is freely available as long as it retains the HKLC logo. It is available at: http://www.hklc.com/images/midgard_movie.swf
Driven by idealism -- and, in part, by customer demands -- Knowles took on the challenge of putting together a new backend interface for Midgard. Currently available as a beta, the new interface is a great addition to the ongoing dialog about the development of the new Midgard versions.
"The admin site started of as a result of a meeting where we demonstrated the current admin site; although the more technical people could understand the power it offered, it was a hard sell to the more non-techy, content people. Our idea was to go up against the big boys, vignette storyteller, etc. So a more attractive, quick, and powerful interface was needed."
Visually the interface is very appealing and easy to understand. It also reflects the new features found in Midgard 1.4 like blob serving for attachments and images. Perhaps most interesting is the inclusion of a WSYWIG in-line text editor with basic formatting functions. Anyone who has dealt with a wide range of content contributors, who often have vastly different experience levels, will appreciate the opportunity to give those editors the type control they demand while allowing them to remain blissfully ignorant of basic HTML. The current implementation of the editor is based on a Microsoft DHMTL editor which works only with IE 5.01. Knowles is hopeful that a Mozilla DHTML implementation will prove more reasonable and more ethically acceptable.
Aside from bringing a new take on the way endusers can interact with Midgard, Alan Knowles and his crew have brought a wealth of real world experience with Midgard and its applications in new contexts. Contributions like these are coming from all over the Midgard community and bode well for the future of the project.
The HKLC Midgard Framed Admin beta can be found at: http://www.hklc.com/projects/
Midgard is a freely-available Web application development and publishing platform based on the popular PHP scripting language. It is an Open Source development project, giving you the freedom to create your solutions in an open environment. Midgard is the tool for creating, modifying and maintaining dynamic database-enabled web services.
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