If you are more interested in the cogs and wheels behind the BBC News site’s redesign than the end product, a post by their chief technical architect John O’Donovan this week should be of interest.
The BBC has one of the oldest and largest websites on the internet and one of the goals of the update to the News site was to also update some of the core systems that manage content for all our interactive services.
O’Donovan first outlines the reasoning behind keeping with a Content Production System (CPS), rather than moving over to Content Management System (CMS), before giving a detailed look at the latest model – version 6 – that they have opted for.
The CPS has been constantly evolving and we should say that, when looking at the requirements for the new news site and other services, we did consider whether we should take a trip to the Content Management System (CMS) Showroom and see what shiny new wheels we could get.
However there is an interesting thing about the CPS – most of our users (of which there are over 1,200) think it does a pretty good job [checks inbox for complaints]. Now I’m not saying they have a picture of it next to their kids on the mantelpiece at home, but compared to my experience with many organisations and their CMS, that is something to value highly.
The main improvements afforded by the new version, according to O’Donovan, include a more structured approach, an improved technical quality of content produced and an ability to use semantic data to define content and improve layouts.