Many of you have emailed the webmaster to ask about the software behind Mises.org. Mises.org runs a custom open-source content management system (CMS) based on Microsoft.Net. Anyone can follow the work, contribute code, or use it for their own site using the available documentation. If you are interested in contributing your technical skills, using the CMS for your own site or just learning more about how it works, read on.
The project started in 2004 when I created a new .Net-based site as the basis of future development. Mises.org has never had any full-time technical resources, so the website has always been cobbled together from bits and pieces of spare time and many different technologies. Over 15 years, we have accumulated much content, slowly transitioned to new technologies and usually done the bare minimum to keep everything running. According to ohloh, which calculates the cost of a software project based on the amount of source code, the value of the total time investment in Mises.org is over four million dollars. 16 people have made over 1500 separate contributions to the current site.
So what kind of functionality does the CMS provide? Let’s dive in:
All the management functionality can be accessed from the CMS admin home page, which links to the editors for different sections and integrates with third-party services:
It’s not necessary to use the manager home page, as logged-in admin users see an edit button which takes to the relevant admin page on every page on the site:
Clicking “Edit” takes you to the relevant content edit page:
Here is the user interface for editing a daily article:
Here is the complete page. Note the support for data templates, image upload (multiple sizes are automatically generated), and version history.
Here is the central page for the document/media manager. It’s one of the oldest sections and rather messy:
Here is the UI for editing documents such as books. Note the integration with our store and built-in file uploads:
The CMS knows to show different fields when you edit audio/visual content:
The “Page Content” editor is used for miscellaneous text sections and email on the site:
Here is the editor for the Mises Quotes:
The “Are you an Austrian?” quizzes:
The fellows database (there’s also one for staff):
The tagging system (it detects what Google keywords people used to get to pages and uses that results to suggest related information)
The events calendar editor:
Event registrations forms editor:
Periodical management UI (this is only a small fraction of it)
404 redirect mappings make sure that (in theory) the user is always redirected to the right page, even when the site design or technology changes.
Of course this is just the visible interface. Behind the scenes are automated services which organize and index files based on meta-data.
Editing supported file types:
Organization of books and media:
Finally, the user account management
As you can see, there’s a lot to the website – and this is only a fraction. If you’d like a more detailed look, you can grab a copy of the source code:
If you’re interested in learning more, join the MisesDev list.