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File under 'e-Syllabi'

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 8/28/12 (4:23pm)

MPOW: When you're taking a class, on the first day of the term, they hand you a 'syllabus' which outlines the topics you'll be covering, the textbooks you'll need, etc. Traditionally it's been on paper -- though I can imagine one being completely online. That's good since apparently there's nobody else who can put together such a system for one of the bigger schools here. Thank God, I've got nothing else to do...

Sometimes Simplicity is Only Skin Deep.

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 12/27/11 (9:30am)

Some systems have a reputation for being simple, such as WordPress, but only as long as your needs are simple. The moment you need some high falutin' customization -- say, in this article, limiting access to blog posts to certain individuals -- things become way more complicated. I mean, you'd never have to go through this level of complexity in Drupal just to get to the same point. In fact, in Drupal, the capability is built in.

Limiting The Visibility Of Posts In WordPress Via Usernames

Controlling who is able to view a post is a simple task once the system is established. Limiting access to certain users has several applications, such as enabling a design studio to distribute artwork to its various clients, or enabling a small school to arrange for homework to be posted online using a cheap and easy solution.
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UPDATE: Commenter Kyle Jones claims/alleges/would have us believe that there actually is a "plug-in" in Wordpress that achieves the same result. For the moment, we'll have to believe him :-)


Advice on Choosing a CMS

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 5/14/11 (12:29pm)

[I sent out a version of this to the LITA List but I thought it worth posting here as well.]

Drupal and WordPress are the biggies and I'd be happy working with either. There are others and everyone has their favorites but whichever one you pick, it should be widely established and not some obscure boutique item that somebody's choosing because the local script monkey can only do perl or because the chotskies from the sales guy doing the presentation are awesome.


Hunter College Library: Plone? Yuck! We Want Drupal!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 9/27/10 (6:34pm)

Hunter College (CUNY) had decided on Plone as their CMS but Danielle Becker, working in the library, wouldn't have any of it:

drupal_250x250.gif A few months into the redesign project, Hunter College launched an initiative converting all of the college and department webpages to the CMS Plone. However, the library’s systems department didn’t have the same experience with Python, the programming language Plone uses, as it does with PHP. We also felt that Drupal’s features were more suited to the needs of our website. After obtaining the college's approval, we were able to move forward with our redesign and re-create the site from Dreamweaver to Drupal. [Becker, D.. "Adventures in Drupal: Designing a Library Website Using a CMS." Online, September 1, 2010, 19-21.]


The Joys of Content Management - In the Business of Dramatic Improvement

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 3/31/10 (12:28pm)

The best definition of a trade or skill that I can think of is being able, through your 'expertise', to make a significant improvement either in people's lives or in how they get things done. This applies to many things; it even applies to Content Management.


Blogger to End FTP-Blogging - Early Days of Library Blogging

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 2/2/10 (12:38pm)

blogger-logo.pngBlogger is shutting down its FTP service. That's a shame. It's what allowed me to put together one of the early blogs on a library web site -- at the end of 2002.

In fact it was so early that library administration didn't quite know what to do with it. Months passed and I ended up putting up the first post myself on 2/9/2003:

Test Drive the New Version of CUNY+
Sunday, February 09, 2003

(note: many functions are currently not available). CUNY has released a new web-based version of CUNY+, the online library catalog. The new CUNY+ has improved features that were requested by our users. See for yourself by going to the CUNY+ page. - posted by lrk on 11:56 PM

Ah, those were the days!


A Simple Case of Content Management

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 7/30/09 (9:09am)

When people think of content management, initially they think of blog posts and calendar entries and schemes for keeping the content current.

That's what you'd expect any system to deliver. But what I've found, once you get beyond that point, is that the kinds of problems you routinely have to deal with often require customization. And that's a good thing!

I'll give you an example.