Seth Gottlieb has written a great post entitled “Code moves forward. Content moves backward.” that, by strange coincidence, echoes an Alfresco KB item authored by Alfresco’s very own Ben Hagan last year.
What’s interesting to me is that there is an alternative world view that asserts that code and content are two sides of the same coin and hence should be managed the same way in the same management system. This meme seems particularly strong amongst those who are adherent’s of the Boiko school of thought and also those who’ve had significant exposure to certain Web CMS products (that shall remain nameless) that are clearly designed for the blended model, and so indoctrinate users /developers to use a blended model in all cases (whether appropriate or not).
My experience has been that blending code and content management together doesn’t work well in the majority of cases, for two primary reasons:
- Typically very different groups are producing the code and the content – often they’re in completely different divisions within the organisation (ie. IT vs business unit) and sometimes are even separate companies (ie. web agency vs client).
- The releases cycles for code and content are vastly different – code is typically released infrequently (weekly, at best), while the content on any large site is typically changing virtually non-stop.
The net result is that shoehorning both activities together creates unnecessary procedural couplings, between groups who are typically poorly structured (from a communication and coordination perspective) to efficiently manage those redundant couplings.
Anyway, it’s a great post on a very interesting topic, and I’d definitely encourage anyone involved in implementing a Web CMS (whether Alfresco WCM or not) to give it a solid read.