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Seybold Seminars '97 was a lull before a storm. There really wasn't much in the way of news relating to Web site management, in contrast with the past two years, when link checkers and site managers seemed to be cropping up all over the place. Has the market matured already? Hardly.
ased on undercurrents at the conference, what's happening is that both users and vendors are struggling to define what the core Web management product looks like. Yes, a robust one that handles collaborative authoring and design needs a database, but what does the application layer look like?
Last fall, we thought Vignette was on the right track with SiteBuilder. We still think Vignette has potential, but the company is in the midst of rewriting its product, and the rewrite wasn't ready for the show.
So this time the limelight falls on HexMac and Inso. Can these companies take their Quark and sgml expertise and parlay them into a system that works for the general Internet publishing market?
HexMac previews editorial system
HexMac previewed its new publishing system software, which runs off the HexBase database. The system looks rather like an online editorial system, and we imagine HexMac is targeting both the prototypical audience for this sort of product (e.g., newspapers) and online developers who are looking for an integrated, database-driven authoring system.
To create pages, the publishing system calls html templates stored in HexBase. (There are no provisions for creating the templates within the application; it is assumed that these will be generated separately.) Authors using the system can then enter relevant information, such as headlines, bylines, slugs, captions and text. The system also includes a built-in newswire archive and an image archive, as well as an online dictionary that will automatically link to selected terms in a document so the user can easily look them up. Each field in the page editor is a database field, so everything is automatically archived; there are no static html pages anywhere on the system.
The publishing system includes support for a number of new features, including …