WordPress: The long and winding road to become a content management system

3. September 2012 - Uncategorized

(comment: as with wordpress 3.5, the below described situation has changed. Please refer to this article)

After two years of work with WordPress I’m still in doubt to what this big piece of software will evolve: a bigger and better blog-system or, eventually, a CMS.

Up to today, WordPress is not a CMS. It has some features of a CMS (<joke>a database </joke>), of course, but the rest is underdeveloped.

Let’s look at the recent discussions about hacking the „window.send_to_editor“ Code. If you don’t know what that magic words mean: the „window.send_to_editor“ Code is part of the complete upload strategy that moves videos, images, pdfs and the rest into the WordPress editor that originates from moxicode, sweden, and is called tinymce.

There is a standalone tinymce editor, but there is no standalone media uploader.

But a  CMS needs a stand-alone media uploader, bound to an input box, connected to a database, from which we can draw references to images or videos or pdfs , when we build our websites.

A CMS needs lots of input-boxes: a box to store the title of article,  a box to store the subtitle, a box for the main image of the article, a box for the text, a box for the subtext,  a box for additional media, and so on.

WordPress has the tinymce Editor. We, on the other hand, want the particels of our website neatly separated in tables in our database because each particle needs a special formating. We don’t want to leave up to the user to format the site with tinymce  as he likes.

Back to hacking the „window.send_to_editor“ Code.

If you got to have a standalone media uploader, that works in the reasonable way, the standard WordPress media uploader works, you have got to hack the code. WordPress and it’s affiliate programmers don’t like that.

I can understand that. But „don’t touch kernel source code“ is ok, but „business is business“ should be ok, too.

We don’t hack code because we like to do that, but we hack, because we must. When the project’s deadline is near and new requirements roll in every day, you must. You can’t start over with Drupal.  Not in that situation.

I know about custom fields, about hiding the main editor, but that is near to hacking and not wholeheartedly supported by WordPress. I never managed to change the article’s side of wordpress by custom fields and ordering fields in this and that order and hiding fields without side-effects on the page side of wordpress.

Don’t get me wrong. Tinymce is mature product and supported by nice and hardworking people. But it should be an option. The other option schould be something like magic fields.

I would feel safer with wordpress, if WordpPress would support magic fields instead of Hello, Dolly.