An Australian startup has created a content management system it says is developer-friendly and offers more flexibility than competing products.
Director of Sydney-based ASP (application service provider) Artelin, Tai Elliot, said he developed the Elf content management system to reduce the tedious tasks developers face when adding content to a Web site.
“One of the main features of Elf is that you can have automatic text images,” Elliot said, referring to the creation of images to display (often navigational) text.
Elliot said creating text images manually was a time-consuming task and a contributing factor to the demise of rushtv, a youth-oriented Web site where he'd worked previously.
“Usually you have to go into Photoshop, create an image, put text in the image, and then export. Then you do it for the next one, and the next one, and the next one,” he said.
Another feature is dynamic image manipulation. Upon adding an image to a Web page, Elf automatically resizes and adjusts the quality of the image for display, which saves on coding, and eliminates the need for multiple copies of an image, Elliot said. Elf can also generate a ‘complete site’ of Web pages automatically, whereby creating a link generates the corresponding page. The Elf service has a 20MB, unlimited page limit.
Users with no technical knowledge can also use Elf via a selection of templates and a simple interface, he said.
However, Elf’s use of XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) templates reflects Elliot’s strategy of designing Elf with developers in mind.
“XSL lets users retain their content [should they stop using Elf]. Content isn’t locked into templates like some other CMSs,” Elliot said.
He said Elf’s templates did not restrict developers, who can configure Elf by adding taxonomy categories, additional templates etc, via an XML configuration file.
“We expect our customers' businesses, and their Web sites, to grow,” said Lorraine Ng, Artelin’s general manager.
Adding to the system's SME focus, Elf can create static pages for Web sites that use dynamic content. This can greatly reduce the workload on a Web server, Elliot said. Developers can also use Elf to output XHTML documents, or make pages standards compliant.
Elf runs on recent versions of the Internet Explorer and Mozilla browsers.
Artelin offers a two-year subscription to Elf for $3000.