[LRUG] CMS for bespoke API

James Higgs jameshiggs at gmail.com
Wed Sep 11 04:19:38 PDT 2013

Hi Ian,

I'm not sure if this is interesting, but we (Made by Many) have an open source (MIT licence) browser-based rich content editor that we originally made for ITV News and released with their very kind permission. It's called Sir Trevor and it speaks JSON and Markdown for structured text.

A piece of content in Sir Trevor's world is composed of "blocks" and you can use the stock blocks or create your own. You can have a single instance of Sir Trevor per page, or many. Up to you.

We often use Sir Trevor inside a simple Rails admin using Devise for authentication and Inherited Resources to help us scaffold out CRUD functionality. It fits really well in this workflow.

I don't know what kind of content you're looking to capture, but there are built in block types for text, lists, tweets, YouTube videos, images and so on. You can easily create your own custom block types - which we've done a lot for ITV - to create completely tailored editing experiences if the built-in block types don't suffice.

We haven't really launched this officially, but it is in production use at ITV and on our own website.  It's also already being used by a few companies that are not our clients or associated with us. It has been through a fairly intense period of refactoring recently, so it's pretty clean.

There's also a gem that helps you use it in Rails really easily.

Take a look ad see if it might help. It doesn't sound like it's going to solve all of your problems, but it might be a pice of the jigsaw.

JS library: https://github.com/madebymany/sir-trevor-js
Rails Gem: https://github.com/madebymany/sir-trevor-rails

If it's interesting, I can can put you in touch with the guys who maintain it here and they'll provide you with help. Pull requests are very welcome.


On Wednesday, 11 September 2013 at 10:31, Ian Kynnersley wrote:

> Thanks for all the useful responses. I'll definitely look into Active Model Serializer.  
> Most of these replies rely on me creating a bespoke model structure in code which is what I'm trying to avoid. Parse and Helios look interesting but don't give me the admin interface that I need to allow totally non-techie users to be able to manage the content themselves.  
> What I'm after would be a library that I can install in my app (or something hosted like Parse / Helios) that instantly gives me my CMS. Something a bit like Radiant maybe. I would then want to create my model structure within that CMS such that admin users could add, remove and update information easily. However, unlike a normal CMS which would render the output as a website with some templates to alter the look and feel, I want it to provide a JSON API.  
> The reason for all of this is that ownership of this app will be handed over to a different company and they are (rightly) nervous about taking on a completely bespoke application rather than a customised version of an off-the-shelf product.  
> Perhaps I am looking for something that doesn't exist so your thoughts are all very useful.
> Thanks again
> Ian
> On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 3:20 AM, Tejas Dinkar <tejasdinkar at gmail.com (mailto:tejasdinkar at gmail.com)> wrote:
> > On Sep-11-2013, at 7:02 AM, Nick Novitski <nicknovitski at gmail.com (mailto:nicknovitski at gmail.com)> wrote:
> > > There's also https://github.com/rails-api/active_model_serializers  
> >  
> >  
> >  
> >  
> > +1 on Active Model Serializer.
> >  
> > Benefits:
> > 1) Easily testable, and OO
> > 2) Has access to current_user (or any other controller method via `scope'). This makes it possible for you to serialize based on who has requested the object
> > 3) Works seamlessly with respond_with  
> > 4) If you have the same relation object multiple times on your object (say user can be created_by, updated_by, etc…) then you have a way to just `embed' the user once.
> >  
> > Also, +1 on rails-api gem as well :-)
> > --
> > Tejas Dinkar
> > http://www.nilenso.com
> > Nilenso Software (formerly C42 Engineering)
> >  
> >  
> > _______________________________________________
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> > Chat at lists.lrug.org (mailto:Chat at lists.lrug.org)
> > http://lists.lrug.org/listinfo.cgi/chat-lrug.org
> --  
> Ian Kynnersley
> http://iankynnersley.co.uk | +44 (0) 7973 420 829 | http://twitter.com/kpopper  
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