CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Questions and postings pertaining to the development of ImageMagick, feature enhancements, and ImageMagick internals. ImageMagick source code and algorithms are discussed here. Usage questions which are too arcane for the normal user list should also be posted here.
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whugemann
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CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Post by whugemann »

Dear all,

I've been corresponding with Anthony during the last months. In principle he told me, that he is not going to work on his Usage branch of IM's website any further. I proposed to transfer the entire Usage section into a CMS, such that it can be maintained be a set of persons in the future. My vision is that a handful of persons will try to keep the information up to date instead of just preserving the status quo. So questions are:

1) Are there enough persons willing to do this?
2) What CMS should be used? (I would suggest something user-friendly such as WordPress.)
3) Who would administrate this CMS?
4) On which server should it be run and under what kind of license (for examle CC-BY-SA)?

One might even discuss if one needs a CMS at all. So far, my contributions were plain HTML code, which Anthony included in the Usage section. However, it is quite difficult to follow design rules in such an approach, and it needs an administrator looking over all contributions.

Me and a friend of mine (Jürgen Kneifel) could make a demo on a German server that we run, in order to demonstrate what this could possibly look like. But I think that the technical aspects are probably the easiest to handle. The most important question is whether several people would take part in such a project.

My personal opinion is that it still makes sense to gather web-information centrally, like in Wkipedia. This is why I placed my remarks on running IM under Windows in the Usage section of IM's website rather than setting up my own website. However, a possible shortcoming of this approach is that you don't get honoured for your contribution that much. I understand that this can be an important aspect when you don't get payed for the work that you are investing. (For me it's not, as I am working in a completely different field.)

Any opinions in regard to my suggestion?

Wolfgang Hugemann
Wolfgang Hugemann

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magick
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Re: CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Post by magick »

Enhancing / extending Anthony's ImageMagick usage pages is on our schedule right after ImageMagick version 7 is released sometime next year. However, if someone else would like to maintain them, great. We can offer hosting of Wordpress (or some other CMS) on the ImageMagick server if that helps.

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Re: CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Post by snibgo »

Some of the usage pages are out of date, and it would be good to make them current.

A collaborative system for documentation should work well. But administration could be a major headache: keeping out junk, ensuring examples continue to work, and so on. I don't have time to assist with admin.

Or it could be a free-for-all system: contributors do their own admin, deleting spam, checking each others work, etc. I would be happy to contribute.
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Re: CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Post by Bonzo »

Like my php example site there is a lot of information and a lot of links and I have put a post onto a web design forum about which CMS would be good to use. I am not a fan of CMS and do not use any so can not comment on any particular one.
I can see the reasons for going down the CMS path in this case; as some contributors may not be used to html etc. But the IT guy at worked used to have problems with Wordpress not doing what he wanted!

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Re: CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Post by snibgo »

I'll mention a technical aspect: given the way that IM grows and develops, I think it's important that documentation keeps up. This is helped when documented commands create the actual images shown in the documentation. I don't know how this could be organised in a user-contributed Wiki or Wordpress or whatever. It seems to me that these would be static -- users would upload commands and images, and these would be frozen in time.

I modelled my web own pages on Anthony's concept: the actual code shown creates the images. This is fairly simple to organise as I am the only contributor. It would be more difficult with multiple contributors.
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Re: CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Post by Bonzo »

I modelled my web own pages on Anthony's concept: the actual code shown creates the images.
That is the way my website is built now; all the code and text is in a database.

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Re: CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Post by whugemann »

I think that we should restrict the editors of this website to just a few people, so junk will (hopefully) no problem. This would be a problem if running it as a wiki, as I had to found out myself in another project. But in this case, we will just restrict the access, I guess.

Jürgen and I have thought about it, and we think that even in a CMS it might be possible to let the code create the actual example images, although probably not on-the-fly. But this would have to be tested further.

And yes, a CMS sets up restrictions in comparison to something that you set up your own, but my experience is that there is a workaround in most cases, at least with WordPress or Wikimedia. And if there is a handful of people contributing to such a website, a (small) CMS does make sense. Alternatives to WordPress would be Joomla! or Drupal. I have (very limited) experience with the first mentioned.

If the CMS could be run on the IM website, all the better. So administration would be handled by Christy, at least on the long run?
Wolfgang Hugemann

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Re: CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Post by Bonzo »

I have had one response from the other forum about a CMS to use and that was:
Pelican? It is built using python, but you can tie it so your data/content is stored within GitHub. Then you grant access to the GitHub repo for the devs that need it "Ta Da, you have a way for them to update it, and you have a history of who changed what"
I am not sure a CMS is up to displaying all the data in a useful form, as there is a lot of it. From what I gather about Wordpress it has a large amount of code and probably 50% or more would not be used. The problem with not using a CMS is who has the time and skill to write some custom code?
I think that we should restrict the editors of this website to just a few people, so junk will (hopefully) no problem. This would be a problem if running it as a wiki, as I had to found out myself in another project. But in this case, we will just restrict the access, I guess
That makes sense as there are too many spammers and people trying to screw up other peoples information/sites.

As you said whugemann a test setup would be interesting to see what problems there might be.

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Re: CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Post by whugemann »

OK, I'll try to produce a small demo, i.e. transfer a small amount of the Usage section into WordPress or alike and see where this will lead me. And in a few weeks we may have something to discuss about. You are probably right: Theoretical discussions are of limited use, one has to try to make things work within a certain software framework.
Wolfgang Hugemann

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Re: CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Post by whugemann »

Hi all,

today I took the time and drew two mindmaps what the logical structure of a to-be CMS could look like.

The single pages must definitively become shorter to keep them maintainable by several users. The current structure is very flat. There are two logical groups on the root page and each page starts with a link list that establishes two levels.

In order to break the pages down, one needs at least three levels as demonstrated in the "Filters > Image Transformations > Art Filters" branch of the Future mindmap. I re-ordered the pages in the Future mindmap, while mostly keeping their names.

The mindmaps were produced with Freemind and can be downloaded at If the response to this draft is positive, I will transform a branch of the entire logical tree into WordPress, so that you can see what it could possibly look like.

I would suggest that we keep the text of the single pages as it currently is, i.e. Anthony speaking of himself in the first person singular. We could point out that these portions stem from the original website and are "cited". Text passages inserted in the future should then be kept in a more neutral language.

I would like to stress that I am not planning to perform the entire work alone. The transformation of the Usage section into a CMS will only make sense if several persons are willing to work on this project and maintain it in the future.
Wolfgang Hugemann

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Re: CMS for the Usage section of the IM website

Post by snibgo »

Good work.

The division of IM into topics is necessarily arbitrary, and depends on an author's perspective: graphics creation, or photo manipulation, or image analysis, and so on.

An important concept in IM is that of colour spaces (which would include both "-colorspace" and "-profile"). This could be topic under "colour".
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