For those who know me or are familiar with my blog, you already know I am a huge advocate of the Mura CMS. This love for the platform comes hard-won, as I've been previously been jaded by other applications failing to address key requirements of a successful CMS: end-user usability, stability, performance, and extensibility. The Mura CMS has recognized and addressed these requirements with a completeness that is very satisfying, both as a developer using Mura and for the ease it has been in supporting clients who have been using Mura to manage their website (they never call!).
There is a final 'must' requirement in a CMS being truly complete, namely the area of training and documentation. Mura has made some great strides in this area over the last year, including the introduction of the programmer's guide and other dedicated documentation, many blogs, hosted training seminars and the weekly Mura Show live help. Still, there is plenty of room for more documentation, and as a devotee to the Mura community I have decided that 2011 will be the beginning of a personal initiative to further this effort.
I of course have an interest in the number of people who know and use Mura. My new business, Meld Solutions, is based upon developing custom extensions to the Mura CMS. Meld MiniCommerce, Gallery, Forums and the full Meld Ecommerce suite are all custom plugins developed (or being developed) for the CMS. Because of this, and because I believe Mura is a significant tool for ColdFusion and website owners in general, I strongly wish for a strong and vibrant community of users. To this end I will be adding to the available knowledgebase in two new ways: training and documentation.
Training will take the form of series of in-person training seminars. I have scheduled the first of these already (March 7th-9th, in London, England, details available on the Meld Solutions website). Depending upon the success of this initial course, I'll be planning further sessions for locations around the globe. These courses will be "Mura Certified", meaning that the content will be vetted and approved by Blue River Interactive. This first day of this 3-day series will cover the Mura CMS frond end (specifically theming) and back end (administration). Day two will focus upon on development including the Mura API, Events, Renderers, the Mura Scope, and developing extensions. Day three will be all about developing Mura CMS plugins, including the basic architecture of a plugin, events and display objects, data storage via Mura or custom tables and much more.
For documentation, I am organizing (with the help of others) a series of training videos on all aspects of the Mura CMS. These will include basic "how to..." topics, A-Z lessons and focused series such as developing custom themes, administration and (of course) developing extensions and plugins. We'll be starting simply with a couple of 'fast track' videos on topics such as "Installing & Configuring Mura", "Managing Users & Permissions", and "Mura Themeing Quick-Start".
The training, well you can sign up for that now. Look for the training videos to start appearing on this blog before the end of the month.