Etomite Content Manager System – Screencast

Our Faculty of Education, University of Regina, will soon release its new website (still under development). The site is being developed with the Etomite Content Management system, and the tremendous support of the Centre for Academic Technologies (especially Trevor Cunningham). Etomite is an open-source CMS with lots of great features.

To give you an idea of how Etomite functions and was implemented in this instance, I put together a short screencast. As for putting together a screencast, previously, I have used Camtasia ($) or Wink (freeware) to create screencasts, but since neither was available for my Mac, I stumbled across a program called Snapz Pro X.

This was the first time I used this screencast software, but it was very easy to use and the quality seemed to be decent. However, I soon noticed that the audio began to lag a bit over the duration of the screencast (less than 6 minutes). Additionally, I had a few problems with the video in .mov format, but these (mostly) seemed to disappear once I exported as MP4. I noticed that if I played the video straight-through, it worked well. However, if I scrubbed forward or backward at all, I got some strange decay in the video quality (in Quicktime). And for some reason, even when I recoded the original video, the screencast will not work in open source players like MPlayer or VLC. This is quite annoying.

If you would like, check out the produced screencast. If you have questions re: Etomite or Snapz Pro X, please feel free to comment/contact me.

So in summary, a HUGE thumbs up for Etomite, but as far as Snapz Pro X, there is great potential, but there seems to be a few issues. I’ll keep you posted.

5 thoughts on “Etomite Content Manager System – Screencast

  1. I love screencasts. I think it is a great way to show how something works, just like if someone were showing it to me right here in my computer. And then of course thanks God -I mean the flying spaguetti monster- I can ask the questions here.

    First, it seemed all pretty nice to me. I have only used Mambo (the demo) and here in my work ( a newspaper) we have a CMS developed right here, so you can imagine… It is slow and ugly. I have losed any hope the IT people is ever going to evolve to another CMS, but some of my readers have expressed their concern about the recent changes at mambo, and they will have to reinstall… the question is, what other CMS´s were considered for this, and why did Etomite won? I have been presented to others, like “plone”. What do you think?

    BTW I have to say, it just happened that I was listening to Beethoven´s moonlight sonata at the moment the screencast opened, and it… interesting :*)

  2. Alec,

    The screencast and Etomite look great, but it sounds like you had some problems with Spapz. Any suggestions for other screencast programs for the Mac?

  3. Alec,

    Same question as the first, why Etomite? We’ve talked before about CMS. Just wondering how you think it compares to Moodle or dare I say BB?

  4. As for “why Etomite?”, well, there are several reasons. If one wants to look for a content manager, a good place to start is … where you can actually test-drive a CMS before you install it. A lot of the CMS’s from my experience, and that are familiar to our co-developers, are very portal-based vs. page-based. We weren’t looking for a portal per se, we simply wanted a website that could be updated easily by a number of authors without having to know Dreamweaver, Front Page, html, etc. Content comes first before a lot of needless plug-ins.

    Etomite is not bloat-ware, but does have the snippet system that extends its functionality. With some CMS’s, you have to struggle with get things the way you want them as they assume built pages will look a particular way. Etomite allows much more flexibility in placement of objects without having to struggle with the code.

    As for things like Moodle or BB, I would consider those tools to build MLE’s (Managed Learning Environments) rather than something to build pages with. Sure, I suppose they could be used, but not without stripping out a lot of things we don’t think are necessary … and we would have had to sacrifice a lot of the design we wanted to accomplish.

    The snippets in Etomite are simply strings of PHP code, that once brought into the system, can be rendered using a simple call within your HTML. These are very easy to use and add functionality to the system when necessary.

    I am not sure if I answered the question … but in a nutshell, Etomite is easy, page-based rather than portal based, not bloat-ware, has a focused developer community, is free/open-source, and you don’t have to struggle to remove items that you don’t want.

    Ohhh … and Heather, as for Snapz, I found it to be the most recommended for the Mac … looked around but didn’t see much. I think I will play with it a while longer and see if I can do anything to get around the lag issues. I will let you know. Cheers.

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