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Good, freeware Content Management System (CMS) with version control?

By on November 19, 2009 8:46:35 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Does anyone know of a good, freeware content management system (CMS) with version control I could use on my desktop?  I'm getting tired of slavishly using the old paradigm of a hierarchical folder structure.  What I really want is the ability to associate files with multiple folders, and folders with multiple parent folders (circular relationships are fine) without the need to distinguish between the "real" parent and a shortcut.  Version control is a nice-to-have as well, though I need it for documents rather than code.

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

+9 Karma | 11 Replies
November 19, 2009 9:58:55 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

On further Googling, CMS might not be the right term.  My goal is to not need to organize everything in massive folder hierarchies just to be able to find it.  "Where was that product data sheet?  Is it under Products > Data Sheets, or Sales > Data Sheets, or Marketing > Data Sheets?"

November 19, 2009 10:22:59 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

There was/is a program called 'Info Select'...give it a Google and see if it's what you are after...

November 19, 2009 10:34:30 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Thanks. $250 is out of my price range, though.  It's just frustrating to use nice tools like wikis and Salesforce Content (Libraries and tagging) to manage files in the enterprise, but on my desktop I'm stuck using folders upon folders.  I can't go with a purely online solution because I don't always have network connectivity, though I'd be open to browser-based (that is, I can run a web server locally).

I kind of hope Fences becomes a true file management solution.  I want a Fences view inside of Explorer windows, for example, and the ability to organize Fences into a related network (not a hierarchy...a network, if that makes sense).

All that said, though: thanks for the suggestion.

November 20, 2009 10:37:45 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Sounds more like you're looking for a meta-data based file manager (wasn't Win7 supposed to include that?). A CMS is typically just a publishing system for websites.

November 20, 2009 11:24:31 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Kryo - That's a good description.  After thinking on it some more, I want the ability to:

  1. Tag files (1 file, many tags)
  2. Tag tags (1 tag, many tags)
  3. Possibly have "higher" (parent) and "lower" (child) tags as "types" of relationships between tags.  Perhaps the more generic requirement is just "tag relationships between tags"
  4. Automated version control on all files

I think if I had this, I could get out of the folder metaphor.  Even better, if I opened a tag ("folder"), I could see related tag contents in the form of Fences.

Something like this, for me at least, would revolutionize how I organize my local data.  Free from a rigid hierarchy, I could just categorize files symantically and know I could find them in the same fashion.  If I could remember the precise tag (or tags) for a given document, I could probably find it within 1 or 2 links.

The problem with the current tag model is that it assumes you can always get within one degree of separation of your target.  To truly do this, you end up, over time, needing hundreds of tags.  Then, the process of just selecting the tag(s) becomes too onerous.  Finding is easier, but organizing is harder: the precise opposite of the current problem.

Kryo - What do you think?  Could Stardock build something like this, perhaps incorporating it into Fences?

November 21, 2009 12:19:39 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

This is not my area of expertise but I think what you may be looking for is CVS - Concurrent Versions System which is open source.

Basically it provides a framework for multiple developers of software, firmware and even hardware to work on the same project within their own sandbox totally free to change whatever section they're working on developing and debugging until they're confident that their changes are complete at which point they commit their changes which then become part of the common codebase. CVS also allows you to "roll back" to previous states of the codebase in case some unforseen problem occurs. It also is somewhat "self documenting" and very helpful for large project bug tracking.

Like I said this is not my area of expertise and I expect that my description of it's capabilities doesn't really do it justice, but if you want something to track revisions of files which could in fact be anything (software, firmware, hardware, documentation, etc.) and you want it for free then you might want to check it out.

November 21, 2009 12:46:21 AM from Demigod Forums Demigod Forums

Alfresco is what we are using at the office. Maybe over kill but it works for what you said you wanted it to.

November 22, 2009 8:36:06 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

CVS gets version control, but doesn't address the navigation metaphor.

Alfresco looks promising - I'm going to download and take a look.  Thanks!

December 1, 2009 1:28:06 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Xyplorer is a windows explorer alternative that contains a tagging system, a catalog, powerful search features, and so on. It might fit the bill - I am a technical trainer and always have various documents to keep organzied on my own computer.

I use a catalog which points to whatever docuwent I need for different classes, and if I get a new version I simply point my current catalog link to the new document.

It works for what I need it to do.

In any case you can try it for free and it does not cost a lot of money.

December 1, 2009 10:59:53 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I took at look at Alfresco and another Enterprise CMS.  They're almost too powerful, and gobble up a lot of RAM I don't currently have (stuck at 2GB for the foreseeable future).

Geetop - That looks very close to what I need.  It doesn't look like tags can be organized into a network, but the catalog feature might accomplish the same function, or get close enough to it as makes no matter.  I'll check it out.

Btw, thanks to everyone for the great suggestions.  I really appreciate it.

December 2, 2009 12:58:12 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

The creator of Xyplorer is constantly updating and responds well to user suggestions.

Try it out and if needs to do a little more than I would suggest it on the forums (or drop a note on their forums explaining what you need it to do and a poweruser may know a method to accomplish what you want to do).

It has a very powerful scripting tool as well and that may fit your needs as well.

One of my favorite features that I use all the time is that I can acutally color code my folders - that is really handy to me wvhen I have to make repeat visits  on network drives. I never did understand why Windows Explorer never added such a useful feature.




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