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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Normalization of Content Durable Link to this BLOG
Normalization of Web Content

I define normalization of content as a way to break a story into its constituent parts for the purposes of better management.

Of course, I am influenced by other normalizations in the software industry -- like the normalizations of relational databases and normalization of software requirements, which serve similar purpose.

I first felt the need to normalize content in 1999 while importing an existing website into a Content Management System (CMS). This phase becomes necessary to interoperate, and even to populate a CMS due to the different ways the different CMS handle annotation, hyperlinks, and templates

By providing normalization filters the CMS vendors can give freedom to to the authors to use whatever tools they need to write the story. In our case, we use Microsoft FrontPage to write the content, and the normalization process gets rid of all the custom tags and junk Microsoft inserts into the document. Any look and feel elements (page margins, non-standard formatting) are also eliminated this way.

What to do with the links

The processing of external elements (like images, toolbars, hyperlinks, JavaScript functions) poses a problem in content normalization. Like everything else, the Kamat Content CrowBot uses rules to handle the links. If the link points to an existing, valid, internal resource, it is maintained, otherwise it is tagged to indicated a link that might become available in the future. The separation of links from the story has turned out to be a great feature in the production of Kamat's Potpourri. Our customers (who may or may not have licensed a linked story) with a lot of content (hence linkable stories) get a richly annotated story while print customers will not get any hyperlinks.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Wednesday, September 5, 2001
Last Modified: 1/29/2003
Tags: cms

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