Radiant projects and Rails applications

Whenever I talk about Radiant with developers in the Ruby/Rails community a few things come up in the conversation.

  1. Why does it use extensions instead of plugins?
  2. Choosing Radiant means you're choosing to create a Radiant project and not simply integrating a great CMS into another application.

These are 2 issues that will be addressed.

First, I think it makes the most sense for extensions to become more like plugins rather than do some cold-turkey switch over. Commits like this one make extensions much more predictable for Rails developers. Slowly converting extensions means a smoother upgrade path for developers.

Second, while you currently can't easily include Radiant itself as a plugin, we'll be working on that and I'd love to hear ideas about how to do it. Mislav Marohnic has done some work to update Radiant to Rails 3 and I think the future is bright for an easy to use and extend CMS in your Rails projects.

And there's an extension to Radiant which allows you to alter your controllers to use views defined in the Layouts section of the UI. I haven't personally worked with it in a while, so it might need some tweaks to allow plugins to do the same.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Radiant easily loads application plugins just like a regular Rails app, so you're not entirely restricted in your application development to what Radiant provides.

But even when I talk to people about the project and they find that I'm leading the development, the negative comments become a bit more sheepish. But I'd want to hear the complete opposite. If there are problems or complaints with application integration, the project can't grow to solve them unless they are heard. By all means, complain loudly but if you have suggestions write some code too. Brian Doll wrote about his opinion on CMS development and created some code to back it up. His post is embellished a bit, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease (be it your own, or some from the community) so it's good to hear reasoned arguments for different issues. The problem with this, I think, is that I hadn't heard the complaints, but I don't know if they were mentioned on the email list. On the other hand, Rit seems to be trying to solve a problem that isn't a particular case that Radiant is geared toward so the split in philosophy is just fine.

I'm always looking for feedback at DCRUG and talking to people at RubyNation was great. Everyone at B'more on Rails who comes down to DC are always really welcoming and are happy to offer lots of feedback about Radiant, so I'm hoping to get up there for their events too.

Patrick Peak of BrowserCMS fame and I often chat about the approaches to content management at DCRUG and it's a great way to think about systems in a different way. If you're working on a project that needs a CMS, has a CMS, or might involve a CMS, then give me a call at 571-403-0338.