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Nekki company, Moscow, Russia
Nekki CMS � Dialogue tools for web development
Since 1990�s, Web development has been one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Every day the number of web sites and the amount of information grows larger. Requirements for websites and their content also increase. New functions appear, websites become more interactive. Developing them using standard methods becomes less and less effective.
One of the main problems of web development is managing content. As far as site grows, much of the content becomes out-of-date or inaccurate, updating site becomes complex. And if you are not the developer, you should ask your webmaster to make changes, and these updates are piling up in his task list.
The solution for such problems is a content management system (CMS).
�A content management system is a computer software system for organizing and facilitating collaborative creation of documents and other content. A content management system is often a web application used for creating and managing websites and web content.� � Wikipedia
Nowadays CMS systems are used not only for managing site content, but also for fast and low-cost site development. There are hundreds of content management systems on the market, they have their lacks and advantages.
Classical CMS is a set of templates � various site blocks, which can be used by the developer to create the website and manage it�s content. For example, there are templates for news, articles, polls, image galleries, blogs. Such CMS gives an opportunity for any user to create and manage a simple site, without knowing any programming language.
But such sets of templates usually are not enough for big sites. More universal systems have options for the creation of user-defined templates manually, using some programming language, implemented in the system. So you need to find a web programmer, who knows the language of the CMS you are using to create professional website using such system.
The development of complicated websites without using programming languages (by the means of graphical dialogue interface) still remains perspective and interesting researching area.
Nekki CMS (developed by Dmitry Terekhin) is a system, based on these foundations.
Like classical CMS, it has a big set of templates which can be used for website development (website menus, structure management, users and privacy permissions, user groups, news, articles and announcements, working with images, photo gallery, blogs, search, site map, polls, registration, authorization, document workflow, site statistics, advertisement management, forum, guest book, chat, personal mail, sms services, wap-version, files storage, news subscription, online shop, payments system, localization and etc).
The system consists of several modules: content management, forms creation, tables creation, graphics module, database management module. The main features of the graphics module will be described later in this article.
Like universal CMS, Nekki CMS has it�s own XML-based language for easy templates creation. There are 5 kinds of templates: �formatted text� (can be created using a WYSIWYG text editor), �form� (user-defined fields of different types and buttons, sending data to the database), �table� (list of data in user-defined style, getting data from the database), �mix type� of table and form and finally �action� template� (user-defined action, for example deleting of the chosen record from the database).
Dialogue tools for creating templates without using programming languages are the main advantages of Nekki CMS. These tools are based on the structured but flexible format of the templates markup language and can be used either by professional web developers or by the beginners.
Graphical dialogue interface
The graphical interface helps you to manage the site structure. It shows the hierarchy of site menu items which can be moved, added, edited, deleted or translated using graphical icons. Pages and menu items can be added using the dialogue interface where you enter the name and the title for the page, choose the design template, parental menu element, menu position and url.
Site structure management
The content of the page can be edited using the graphical WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. Like Microsoft Word, it has icons for text formatting, adding tables and images.
WYSIWYG text editor
For more complicated pages (interactive or using the database) you can add user-defined templates. These templates (data forms, tables or actions) can be created and edited using a dialogue interface.
Here is the example of such template:
The example of content management form with different field types and localization fields
The template shown is the example of a user-defined form with the widgets of different types: text, string and numeric fields, comboboxes, image upload and editing tools, localization fields, buttons and etc.
One of the main modules of the system is the graphics module. It consists of such tools, as:
<![if !supportLists]>� <![endif]>Image resize
<![if !supportLists]>� <![endif]>Image format convertation and background color change
<![if !supportLists]>� <![endif]>Cropping tool
<![if !supportLists]>� <![endif]>Images mixing
<![if !supportLists]>� <![endif]>Photo gallery template
<![if !supportLists]>� <![endif]>Downloading images using SMS
Image cropping tool
Resizing and cropping are useful tools for media sites, where you use images in news or articles. Resizing is needed, because all images should fit the same width or height, depending on the site design. Cropping tool helps to cut the needed part of the image. It is often used for generating the image preview.
The image format tool is used to change image format from JPG to GIF and back. If a transparent GIF image is converted to JPG, you can choose the color of the background.
Images mixing is a useful tool for adding copyright information to the image, or some design elements.
Image mixing tool
Photo gallery is the Nekki CMS template using the graphical tools described. It supports multiple galleries, images resize and mixing, separating big galleries, storing information about the images name, description and author.
Photo gallery template
Projects already released using Nekki CMS: www.fcdinamo.ru (official website of FC Dynamo Moscow), www.soccer.ru (online mass media), www.butsa.ru (online browser game), www.nekki.ru (LLC Nekki corporate site). The release of Nekki CMS is scheduled for spring 2007.
Website created using Nekki CMS