Almost two years ago, Markus and I started writing about RedDot CMS. First, both of us on their own, then together in Markus’ blog. Pretty soon the idea emerged to found a blog specifically about RedDot, as public available documentation and discussion was nonexistent at that time. Soon other developers joined in making the RedDot CMS blog a huge success.
For over 5 years now I’ve been working as a RedDot expert, fiddling around with almost every nut and bolt of that system. Those were quite interesting years and a lot happened to the small software company “RedDot” based in Oldenburg, Germany. First the acquisition by Hummingbird, then the absorption of both of them by Open Text. In my opinion, this was a huge turning point, and not everything is turning to the better:
RedDot CMS was once ahead in the game, providing techniques like WYSIWYG editing, e.g. the famous red dot, which made it easy – even for untrained editors – to see, what the published page will look like. RedDot missed out important user interface trends and Open Text continued to do so. Even the smallest Open Source CMS today has features like quick interface response through AJAX and similar techniques, quick in-place editing, drag & drop support, etc. They have clean, well thought out interfaces and most important: They are fully cross-browser compliant. Up to OTMS v10, the CMS had none of this and the recent changes are more desperate efforts to catch up, rather than leading the business.
The software platform itself is in desperate need of a major overhaul. Big parts are still written in classic ASP (VBScript), if you ever had a look at the code you know it’s really messy. With Open Text, the main goal became to integrate the rest of the company’s software products. Basically, this is just fine but when you look at the roadmap for the next versions (up to 2012), they list 7 (seven!) products/technologies which are about to be stuffed into the system. With the recent acquisition of Nstein, I guess you can increase that number once more.
Besides that, if you saw some Open Text presentations lately, the buzzword machines are working overtime: Instead of talking about Social Open Enterprise 2.0 Web Cloud thingy stuff™, take care of the product foundation you want to base your visions on. Before buzz-talking about Web 3.0, learn to master Web 1.0 first!
Last but not least, I’m deeply fed up with the way Open Text (at least in Germany) treats their long-term partners in a quite unpartner-like way. Period. I won’t go much into detail here, as this is a long list of annoyances and I don’t want to get personal. But don’t get me wrong, there are still some cool guys there I know from the old RedDot days, I had the opportunity to work with them on some projects and had great conversations and discussions – thank you guys!
So it’s time for me to move on, there are still so many interesting things to explore and new projects to work on. A big “Thank you” to all of you, who read this blog, who contributed and made this blog a tremendous success. I learned a lot, and we definitely have the coolest blog crew around. It really was a great time, guys!
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