David Wheeler Interviewed on Online Tonight
David Wheeler takes to the airwaves
Bricolage maintainer and lead developer David Wheeler appeared on the Online Tonight® with David Lawrence radio show this evening. The subject of the installment of the daily technology talk show was the history of Bricolage, how Wheeler came to contribute to its development, and how it compares to the current trend in blogging applications.
How it all Started
Lawrence began the interview by asking Wheeler how he started out working on content management. This took things much deeper into history than anyone expect, as Wheeler recalled that he wrote his first content management system as an anthropological archaeology graduate student. His first CMS (and to use that term is to really blow it out of proportion) was a simple CGI script that allowed his fellow graduate students to create bio pages for themselves.
After leaving graduate school, Wheeler reveals, he spent a number of years working in traditional IT settings before landing a job as a developer at Salon.com. There he worked on a Mason-based content management system custom developed for Salon called
MPS. This CMS, which generates the pages of the Salon site to this day, was the proof-of-concept that led to creation of yet another new CMS, later named Bricolage.
With reference to Salon.com, Lawrence said,
there's an awful lot riding on these things. He added,
It all seems to boil down to the ability to deliver something to an audience in a timely fashion, that makes sense, that is enjoyable reading...that links aren't broken...the content management system is sort of the unsung hero of making that success possible.
The conversation then covered the difference between, on the one hand, a workflow and publish system like Bricolage, and, on the other hand, community-building sites like Slashdot and blogging tools.
A curious part of the interview involved what Lawrence termed,
CPAN Hell? Wheeler asked incredulously.
It's Nothin' like DLL hell, let me tell ya, he riposted. But Lawrence's point was to highlight how the Bricolage installer, which handles the installation of all CPAN dependencies for Bricolage so that you don't have to.
Bricolage vs. Blogging Tools
This is like the difference between, where something like Blogger or Movable Type is a match, Bricolage is a very flexible atom bomb.
Blogging being the big trend these days, Lawrence kept coming back to it, asking how Bricolage compares to blogging applications.
The blog systems are designed to fill a very specific need, David replied.
And when we designed Bricolage, we did it from the ground-up thinking that we can't anticipate all needs. So, on the one hand, Bricolage is extremely flexible, because you can design it to have whatever fields you want and to publish whatever data you want in whatever format you want, but then you've also gotta do the work to design the system, your document types, and then write the templates to do it.
If that all sounds complex (and it is!), when Lawrence asked Wheeler how he made money, considering that Bricolage is free, Wheeler replied that his company provides consulting and support services for Bricolage.blog comments powered by Disqus