Simple websites need simple CMS

This is just an early stage idea. If the concept will prove useful, we in creator5 will release it as an open source to help everyone, not just us.

Currently most used and beloved CMS solutions, such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla are great, if you’re building a big website for a tech-savvy customer, that is not afraid of using complex administration systems. But if you want to make just a simple few-page website, those systems are huge overkill.

I don’t know, if it’s just our experience, but currently used content management systems are really hard to use for a basic user. Too many options doesn’t make users just confused, it enables them to screw things up and that makes them afraid to use system at all.

We believe, that we can do better.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

What if…

  • What if there was a micro CMS, that you could use for simple websites
  • What if it was really simple to setup and also as easy to extend?
  • What if it wasn’t build from a scratch, but stood on shoulders of giants and took advantage of a well tested and proven framework, so you wouldn’t have to learn new concepts?
  • What if it was fully tested?
  • What if the user interface was so simple and beautiful, that users would enjoy working with it?

We believe it’s possible. And if nothing else, we need it.

Little technical specs

  • PHP backend based on Silex micro framework and tested with PHPUnit. I didn’t choose PHP because I would think, that it’s the best thing out there. There are really strong arguments on side of Ruby or Node.js, but my argument for PHP on this project, is that majority of current internet runs on PHP, many customers now PHP and most hosting companies support PHP.
  • SQLite, so you don’t even have to have MySQL server
  • HTML5 and CSS3 using SASS + Compass
  • JavaScript, jQuery, medium editor with insert plugin, tested with QUnit
  • Grunt, Bower
  • Distributed via Composer
  • Open Source

I’m not saying, that there is no micro CMS out there. There certainly are, but I wasn’t able to find any, that meets the requirements above (if you know about some, please let me know).

Another thing, I’m not saying is, that we want to compete with Wordpress or Drupal. Not at all. They are great in what they do. Our niche is simple websites. Because simple websites need simple CMS.

2 months of my open source project "jQuery insert plugin for MediumEditor"

Two months ago I released my open source project, jQuery image plugin for MediumEditor.

In this short time, it started to gain some initial traction, which proves, that need for this plugin is not only mine (51 stars and 10 forks on Github).

These days I made major changes in the plugin code and the approach. What was previously a dedicated image plugin is now an insert plugin, that handles not only images, but (coming soon) files, maps and more.

With this big changes comes natural renaming to jQuery insert plugin for MediumEditor.

The plugin is starting to attract some first attention, first feature requests, first bug reports and pull requests. Try it out, join us and contribute at Github.

jQuery images plugin for MediumEditor

If you’re a web developer, I’m sure you’ve came through a phase of searching for sufficient JavaScript WYSIWYG editor for your CMS. And I’m sure you’ve ended up with either

  • heavyweight champion, which can not only edit a text, but make you a coffee while controlling a power plant
  • or with some lightweight alternative, which hardly made even simple editing text right

What have these two options most likely in common is a toolbar copied and pasted from MS Word from 80s.

Sadly, that’s what we’re all used to. But in 21st century must be a better way.

medium.com

That’s when I stumbled upon medium.com and fell in love with it’s beautiful editor. Simple, clean, minimalistic and intuitive.

I was even happier when I found it’s free open source clone on github - MediumEditor. Davi Ferreira did a great job preserving it’s beauty and cleanness.

jQuery images plugin for MediumEditor

For me and for using it on creator5 there was only one last piece missing - images. MediumEditor currently doesn’t handle images at all. That’s why I’ve developed the first version of jQuery images plugin for MediumEditor.

The plugin is inspired by medium.com, too and goes further with native HTML5 drag&drop.

jQuery images plugin for MediumEditor jQuery images plugin for MediumEditor jQuery images plugin for MediumEditor jQuery images plugin for MediumEditor jQuery images plugin for MediumEditor jQuery images plugin for MediumEditor

Demo

You can try it here: http://orthes.github.io/medium-editor-images-plugin/

Download

jQuery images plugin for MediumEditor is free, open source and released under MIT license.

You can find it on GitHub: https://github.com/orthes/medium-editor-images-plugin

Feel free to try it, use it and even better fork it and extend it.

Battery Prolonger

I released my first Mac OS X application named Battery Prolonger.

Battery Prolonger is a simple application, that informs you when is the best time to plug in/unplug your MacBook to/from a power adapter to prolong your battery life.

Why?

Battery Prolonger is small utility programmed one evening after reading an article on wired.com about how to make the most of your notebook’s battery.

“Cadex Electronics CEO Isidor Buchmann told WIRED that ideally everyone would charge their batteries to 80 percent then let them drain to about 40 percent. This will prolong the life of your battery — in some cases by as much as four times.”

The article concludes with “Keeping an eye on your computer’s battery level while trying to work can be a pain.” and “A search of Windows and OS X apps yielded nothing that would alert a user when a computer reached both an 80 percent charge and a 40 percent discharge.”.

Well that’s no longer truth at least for OS X. Here comes Battery Prolonger.

How does Battery Prolonger look like?

Battery Prolonger Battery Prolonger

What it does?

This small app simply notifies you:

  • When your battery is charged enough (80%) and you can unplug it from power adapter
  • When remains less then 40% of MacBook’s battery and you should plug it in to socket

Nothing more, nothing less and it still helps to prolong the life of your battery. According to Wired magazine “in some cases by as much as four times”.

How to get it?

Battery Prolonger is a free app released as open source under MIT license.

It could be downloaded here: http://orthes.github.io/Battery-Prolonger/