At the Forge - Bricolage
This month, we took our first look at Bricolage, an open-source content management system based on mod_perl and PostgreSQL. We learned how to install and begin using it and then dove a bit into the data model that Bricolage uses to keep track of the various story elements.
Next month, we'll look at how to define elements, categories, media types and burners, which will let us not only poke around with the system but actually publish documents to our own private Web site. Following that, we will dive a bit more deeply into the system, examining the Mason templates that allow us to move away from the default Bricolage look and feel, toward something closer in spirit to the design we want for our own personal Web sites.
The main source of information about Bricolage is the project's Web site, located at www.bricolage.cc). This site has pointers to downloadable source code (hosted at SourceForge), documentation and an instance of Bugzilla (bugzilla.bricolage.cc for bug reports and feature requests.
Several Bricolage mailing lists are hosted by SourceForge, and the developers participate actively. If you have questions, or want to learn about new releases, you can subscribe at the SourceForge page (sourceforge.net/projects/bricolage).
The Bricolage documentation is generally quite good, if technical. A more user-level introduction to the system was published by O'Reilly and Associates as an appendix to their recently published book, Embedding Perl in HTML with Mason by Dave Rolsky and Ken Williams. You can read that appendix on-line at www.masonbook.com/book/appendix-d.mhtml.
For more information about PostgreSQL, see the project's main site at www.postgresql.org. For more information about Apache, see httpd.apache.org. To learn more about mod_perl, see perl.apache.org. Remember that Apache 2.x and mod_perl 2.x are both unsuitable for Bricolage, although that may change by the time you read this. Finally, you can learn more about Mason both from the Mason book site (www.masonbook.com) and from the Mason home page (www.masonhq.com).
Reuven M. Lerner (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a consultant specializing in open-source Web/database technologies. He and his wife, Shira, recently celebrated the birth of their second daughter, Shikma Bruria. Reuven's book Core Perl was published by Prentice Hall in early 2002, and a second book about open-source Web technologies will be published by Apress in 2003.