June 4, 2020

Simpla Redefines Content Management with Editable HTML and Polymer.js

With so many frameworks and libraries it’s almost unreasonable for a developer to start any project completely from scratch. But sometimes this can be worthwhile if you’re unable to find exactly what you’re looking for – like for instance, a CMS which lets you edit content directly in the browser. Sound a little far-fetched?

Simpla is working to change all that. It’s based on the WebComponents Spec and runs on top of Polymer.js. It’s a truly dynamic application that could redefine what we think of in regards to “user-accessible” CMS’.

Simpla CMS engine preview

Currently the Simpla team has created a Kickstarter for the project with close to 50 backers already supporting the idea. Developers are continuing to work on the project with a tentative release schedule as follows:

  • Late October 2015 – Developer preview(Kickstarter backers only)
  • November 2015 – Private beta(Kickstarter backers & waiting list users
  • December 2015 – Full public beta

There is only a tentative schedule for releases and there is no word as of yet regarding when the v1.0 release would hit open source websites and repositories. But the hope is by early 2016 we’d be hearing a whole lot more about Simpla and how it makes content management simplah!

Here’s a quote from Simpla’s press overview explaining how it’s meant to work:

For users, Simpla is instinctive. The best user interface is one that barely exists, and Simpla has no admin areas, no forms, and nothing to learn. We leverage devices’ native input tools, so everyone gets a seamless experience everywhere. You can try the prototype at simpla.io.

Simpla is not a website builder. Rather than bury the problems of the modern web under graphic abstractions or one-size-fits all platforms, Simpla extends the underlying technology. So anyone can build modern, dynamic experiences with just HTML and CSS.

Where this will go is anyone’s guess. Simpla is just in the early stages of life and has plenty of time to reach its potential audience.

As more info becomes available(along with a beta) we’ll be sure to keep you posted.

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Jake is a creative writer and UI designer by trade. You can follow him on twitter @jakerocheleau or learn more at his personal website JakeRocheleau.com.

3 Comments

  1. Sean King Reply

    Thanks for the great writeup Jake (might have to steal that ‘makes content management simplah’ pun haha). I’m one of the cofounders, would be happy to answer any questions anyone has, or hit us up on twitter @simplaio 🙂 We’re at over 80 backers and almost halfway funded on Kickstarter now, still with 18 days to go. So it looks like Simpla, and dynamic-content HTML, is going to be a thing that exists!

    1. mmmeff Reply

      How do you plan to address more complex content? For example, a button that appears when items are selected, maybe reading “Delete X items,” where X is the count of items?

      Here’s another one: a search results page for used cars where each result lists the distance from the user’s location: “X Miles” – and what if I need to support other languages/localizations, even ones that use the Metric system? Now we’re talking deeply embedded logic for nothing more than the word “Miles”

      I love what you guys have so far (and just backed you on KS), but I’m curious yet skeptical about if and how you’ll tackle problems like the one I describe. Being able to effectively manage content for more than just a content-silo/blog is what most developers are interested in, and they are where your true long-term adopters can be found (I’m talking enterprise).

      Just my 2 cents. Wish you the best of luck – as a dev, I’m getting tired of adopting klunky form-based CMS’ (looking at you, Prismic) or building *yet another* in-house solution in backbone/ember/angular/whatever.

      1. Sean King Reply

        First of all, thanks for the feedback, and the backing! Glad you like it. In terms of embedded logic, a simple solution to this (and one we already plan on supporting) is wrapping the portion of text in a span with a class/ID. We’re planning on having an optional control for this on the toolbar in , so you can easily style text within the element (beyond the basic formatting controls). So with this in place, you could just target that selector with js to apply any extra logic you need. There are issues with this approach – it means functionality is dependant on specific formatting, which goes against the notion of structured content and makes things fragile, but if you can live with that it’s a clean fix.

        Otherwise all I can say is that we’re going to build out a really strong plugin architecture for Simpla, so you could easily extend (for example) with any custom tools/controls you might need, and also transform data before it gets output to DOM (eg: for localisation). We might also look at doing auto-localistaion on our end in the future, since it’d be a neat feature to have, but nothing concrete in the pipeline yet.

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