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Showing posts from May, 2007

Easy web services with eZ Publish

One of the things I love about eZ publish is that it's so configurable and often settings can be used in ways that were not thought of when introduced.

In version 3.8 the ability to add and override HTTP headers was introduced (from what I can tell to allow for fine tuning of cache related headers).

In the most basic terms a web service is the ability to provide machine readable data (typically XML) over a network.

eZ publish has the ability to provide RSS feeds which is contained within it's own module. However this is quite limited. eZ also come with a SOAP library that would allow the coding of services.

The introduction of the httpd header overwrite feature allows for eZ Publish to use the templating system and the content within the site to produce any data you require, i.e. no php coding required. It also allows for the data feeds to be dynamic and relative to the existing web content.

The process in a nutshell is:
create a layout for the webservice (layout.ini)
overwrite the…

11 usability principles for CMS products

James Robertson of Step Two Designs has published an article titled "11 usability principles for CMS products"

The article discusses indepth the following principles:
minimise the number of optionsbe robust and error-proofprovide task-based interfaceshide implementation detailsmeet core usability guidelinesmatch authors' mental modelssupport both frequent and infrequent usersprovide efficient user interfacesprovide help and instructionsminimise training requiredsupport self-sufficiencyI think thats it's a pretty impressive list and one that any CMS on the market will have trouble meeting today.

eZ Publish while not perfect meets many of the principles at least in some aspect. When I have a bit more time (yeah right) I may evaluate eZ based against these principles in more depth.

Making something as complex as a CMS especially one as feature packed and complex as eZ Publish usable is a huge task but in the end it is a tool that has to be used and usibility is important.

W…