Dieter Petereit December 29th, 2012

Create.js – InPage Editing for Content Management Systems Using HTML5

Thinking about strategies of how to best edit web content, we will rather quickly agree that the so-called inline or inpage editing is the best way to do it. Inline editing means the editing of web contents right inside their original layout. Still this best way is supported by only very few systems. The project Create.js provides a module for almost every CMS out there to relatively easily implement exactly this, inline editing of any content.

Create.js - Already Available For Several CMSes

Create.js decouples editing, framework and content, thus establishing another layer to the formerly two-fold website concept. The advantages of such a modular system are obvious. As long as the modules stick to established standards they can be changed easily. Innovations are accelerated, at least potentially, as no market participants can gain lead over one another, simply by being in a pole position.

Create.js works with RDFa annotations to define the editable areas and uses a RESTful API to store the edited content on a remote server. This way, the whole process is transparent and conforms to given web standards.

Drupal 8, TYPO3 Neos, Symfony CMF and OpenCMS already decided to integrate Create.js. WordPress’s core team has not taken position here, at least as far my research tells me. Are they afraid of the technical efforts necessary or are they just comfortable with their ever-rising pole position in the CMS market? I don’t know…

Licensing problems are not at stake. Create.js uses the Hallo editor, optionally Aloha is available, too. Create.js and Hallo are available under the very liberal MIT license.

At the server-side Create.js relies on Backbone to populate its Models and Collections with the edited contents, then generating Views from it. This way front- and backend stay synchronized. Besides of Backbone, Create.js relies on jQuery, jQuery UI, Underscore and VIE.

Lead developer of Create.js is Henri Bergius. The development is partially funded by the European Union in the context of the IKS project. The IKS project is supposed to make semantic technologies available to common CM systems.

The following video taken at Codesprint 2012 in Copenhagen covers TYPO3 Neos in general, but also takes into account the integration of Create.js. Developer Henri Bergius has his say as well:

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Dieter Petereit

Dieter Petereit is a veteran of the web with over 25 years of experience in the world of IT. As soon as Netscape became available he started to do what already at that time was called web design and has carried on ever since. Two decades ago he started writing for several online publications, some well, some lesser known. You can meet him over on Google+.


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