A Content Management System

The Polyhymnia Content Management System was an interesting challenge. The basic concept was that one could develop a website offline which could be run entirely in a browser, so that it was what is known as a Single-Page Web Application running entirely in Javascript.

A GUI management application running on the master machine and written in Java so it could be installed everywhere (the trial project was on a Mac but I was developing, and still sometimes use the system, on a Wintel machine) made all the changes offline. So you could experiment with any look you wanted before submitting the changes to the remote host.

The variation in content was achieved by having a comprehensive site definition in a single XML file, and no changes would become apparent on the “live” site until the updated version of this was uploaded (using FTP). Effectively, the XML file constituted a declarative program specifying the full operation of the website – menus, slideshows, HTML pages, images, everything.

So the site’s Javascript worked in effect as an interpreter running the XML “program”.

The image below shows the main control panel with the local “master” site on the left, the remote or “live” site in the middle and the progress of FTP uploads on the right.