Now that I’ve gotten over the initial trauma of recounting the horrors of dealing with open source content management, I propose a solution: it’s time for us standards-aware, usability-obsessed developers to turn the tide on the glut of bloated, unusable CMS’s. Contact the developers, submit bug reports, or better yet, if you’re up to it, write your own systems. (Do something more than just pontificate from a weblog like I’m doing!)
Two Daniels (1,2) have suggested that I initiate a project, but I have no idea where to start. I do know that WordPress and Textpattern are already out there, filling the gap for usable open source weblog CMS; so now I want to put out a user-centered “portal” CMS which can do things as simple as a flat section-article structure, but also take community-oriented extensions like a user directory and an events calendar; something you could use for a church or an alumni association. (You can see where my project experience is coming from.) That’s a lot to handle for someone still struggling with basic MySQL syntax and user sessions. Baby steps, baby steps.
(While I have many complaints about Mambo and other open source systems, I must cite Mambo for this glimmer of promise: xMambo. News is that they’re integrating xMambo’s standards-based code into the Mambo core. Hopefully this involves fixing some of the screwy interface logic along the way.)