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CMS will die in the transition to responsive HTML5 services

As described in the post about slide transitions in responsive design responsive design for touch screens requires a new system architecture with the back-end and front-end uncoupled.

The current Content Management Systems are all about coupling back-end and front-end. It took 3 years for Drupal to manage 6.0 to 7.0 update, how long will it take for it to redesign its architecture?

The transition in CMS architecture that just needs to happen
The transition in CMS architecture that just needs to happen

The extra benefits of this kind of uncoupling to components is that you can switch the back-end without touching the presentation layer. On the other hand this allows developing new front-end applications and even opening your data to external services.

Avoid half way solutions and prioritize the uncoupling of presentation layer and back-end

Your content based service will no doubt still need a simple out-of-the-box system for non technical people to publish content. And actually the situation is not that bad. The CMSs will have hard time evolving but new uncoupled CMS will be born.

What to do if you have a ‘mobile emergency’ situation NOW in your CMS based service:

  1. If you have muscle power or budget, produce a new responsive presentation layer and a REST API adapter between your current CMS and the presentation layer. Your presentation layer can be done future proof. When the new CMS arrive or old evolve (there is talk about Drupal 8.0 including a proper CRUD/CRAP API for content) you replace your back-end and keep on using your presentation layer.
  2. If you have time, wait for the CMS to evolve. However note that in the end you might still be facing a large project in switching to a new CMS or upgrading your current.
  3. The last, quick and dirty solution, is to start applying the hacks and extensions appearing to the most common CMSs. They add you partial mobile support, paged tablet experience and so on. However in most cases you will have hard time keeping your user experience consistent between devices and in the end you will face a transition to the modern uncoupled architecture anyway.


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