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ryan/toya/zapata's imc-cms letter

From: boud
Subject: ryan/toya/zapata's imc-cms letter
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 23:08:52 +0100 (CET)

hi samizdat-devel,

One of the imc-cms volunteers, after discussing with 2 others and
after giving only half a day to the other 20-30 of us to comment,
i.e. without waiting for the letter to have any even minimal
legitimacy from the group, emailed out the following letter to some
cms groups - it seems bitweaver (not on the indy cms list) and

If someone (or some people) wants to reply for samizdat, feel free.

i think some people from local collectives will look at samizdat and watch the debate - there are many lurkers. Just because they're silent
doesn't meant they're not listening.

One person from an indy group has replied in a double role as indy activist
and software developer, so i don't think it would hurt if some samizdat
people answered.

boud (just one individual, not representing the whole imc-cms collective :)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 14:36:15 -0800
From: ryan <ryan at>
To: imc-cms at
Subject: [imc-cms] A way we could quickly move forward...

Hi, Toya, Zapata and I are together in person right now and we've been
discussing the CMS project. Since Brad Will was murdered, which took a
lot of our time, through the loss of Ahimsa, the loss of CCCP, the
birth of SFCCP -- well, CMS has been pushed down in priority.

However, we had an idea here which I'm excited about and would like to
get going right away.

The idea is to send a survey out to the development teams of the
various codebases we are evaluating. They would be asked to answer in
part or in full and we would directly ask them some of the things we
are wondering about.

The advantages are:
1) We begin having real world interaction with the development teams
and we can see what it would be like to work with them,
2) We can hear directly from the developers their opinions on some of
our concerns,
3) We can even just see which development teams are active enough to
have people reply from them,

Below is the survey I have drafted. I would like to send this out
relatively soon unless there is a huge objection. If we thought of
more questions to ask later, we could always send a followup
questionnaire to people who have already responded.

I would volunteer to organization the letter and have it sent out to
the different development teams on our list. The responses would come
directly to this list.

So, here it is -- cover letter & survey:

(cms dev team survey cover letter) -------------------------

Dear <insert CMS here> development group,

We are writing on behalf of a working group within the Indymedia
network which is tasked with researching content management systems.
We are contacting you as part of a survey we are conducting of
development teams of active CMS software projects.

Indymedia is a global network of websites which acts as a
clearinghouse of independent media. We've been successfully deploying
real world applications of user networks and user-generated content
websites since 1999. There are over 100 IMC groups around the world
who meet in real life and operate these websites.

Over the years, we have internally created a number of CMS projects
with varying success. An overview of those projects can be found here:

In 2006, a conference of Indymedia developers was held in Sao Paulo,
Brazil. Indymedia programmers from all over the world came together
and met about the state of Indymedia CMS'es. A resolution was adopted
that we should abandon our miscellaneous and scattered projects, find
a mainstream open source CMS and dedicate all of our resources to
customizing that software and contributing to that project.

The first step in that process is conducting a survey of active CMS
software projects. As part of that, we are contacting each CMS
developer team with this same email and survey. We are asking that
anyone who is an active developer for a particular CMS project respond
in part or completely to the questions listed below. The information
and insight we get from your responses will help us find the perfect
match for our development plans.

Some of the questions are simple and we already know ("what language
does the CMS use?"). However, we believe we'll find value in getting
answers like this from everyday developers on the project.

We thank you in advance for your time. When we find the right
project match, we hope there will be a mutual exchange which will
greatly benefit both Indymedia and the CMS software teams.

imc-cms working group
imc-cms at

(cms dev team survey) -------------------------

Please fill in as many questions as you can. When you are completed,
you should email your responses to imc-cms at

1) Survey Part 1 - Personal Details
   a) Your name?

   b) Your geographic location?

   c) The CMS you are responding about?

   d) How long have you worked with this CMS and what work do you do
      with the project?

   e) Do you work on any other CMS projects?

2) Survey Part 2 - CMS Basics
   a) What programming language is the CMS written in?

   b) What is the backend database used by the CMS?

   c) Are there other servers required (application server, Tomcat,

   d) How do you describe the overall software design of the CMS?

   e) Can you give details about real-world scaleability
      considerations for the CMS software?

3) Survey Part 3 - CMS Functionality
   a) A core feature of our software is the ability for anonymous
      users to post media to newswire on the site. Is this easily
      added to a site using the CMS?

   b) Can you describe the site search functionality available?

   c) How is RSS/XML/RDF support included?

   d) We would like to have one server per site which allows many
      instances of actual websites, each with different admin logins
      and different websites altogether. Is this easy to set up with
      the CMS software?

   e) Can you describe the multimedia support in the software? We
      allow users to upload and manipulate online all types of media -
      mpeg, mp3, ogg, jpg, pdf, etc.

   f) Internationalization is very important to us. Many of our sites
      support 2-3 or more languages. Can you describe how this is
      accomplished in the CMS?

   g) What types of anti-abuse or anti-spam measures are in the code?

   h) Is there a calendar included in the codebase?

   i) How do you describe how a user would edit a given piece of content
      on the website, or briefly describe the model used in this part
      of the functionality?

   j) How do you describe any type of user moderation system that
      is built into the CMS?

   k) What types of integration is there with P2P networks?

   l) Another important feature for us is networking between the
      websites. If we want users from one website to have rights on
      another website in the network, how could we do this?

   m) We are concerned with the ability to easily rsync pages from a
      website to other servers and setup a type of mirroring scheme.
      How would this be accomplished with the CMS?

4) Survery Part 4 - Miscellaneous
   a) What do you believe are the top selling points for the CMS?

   b) From what you know about the Indymedia network, how well do you
      think IMC would mesh with the development community for the CMS?

   c) What are the top 3 areas you believe the development team for
      the CMS needs to be improved?

   d) Where do you see the CMS in five years?

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