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#1 2005-11-21 14:19:24

pepelsbey
Member
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 15
Website

Administration interface

Textpattern is a modern and actively developing system of publication that has a lot of advantages, no doubt. But, as anything, it has weak points too. And one of them is the administration interface.

A lot of functional improvements have been made in the last TXP versions, but not so many changes that improve the usability of administrating.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Issues:

• two-level navigation: first the top level page and then the one that is needed.
the quick drop-down navigation has all the shortcomings of a drop-down menu and small size that makes the navigation even less convenient.
• inaccessibility of some functions with images of JavaScript disabled
• obsolete table-based framework, without logical structure of data, that makes the code larger in size because of all those useless things; as well as things that affect usability of the admin interface:
• • fixed font size, a very important thing especially when editing text
• • extremely inconvenient work with styles disabled in text mode
• • modest use of all methods that improve usability of work with forms – the base of admin interface.
• not perfect graphics of the main menu, very small font size in tabs

Very likely you won’t agree with some of the above, but some of that is too obvious not to take the problem seriously.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
My suggestion:

• To put the developers’ attention to the development of the admin interface that is very much left behind the functionality.

• To rebuild the admin interface framework basing on well thought-out mark-up:
• • improve the convenience of the admin navigation (see example at the end of the message)
• • reject tables as the base for the framework
• • move all the elements of design to the CSS to separate content and presentation that will enable creation of color schemes and even skins for admin interface
• • improve usability of forms by using tags LABEL, tabindex attributes and others, systematize placement save/cancel/navigation buttons, and the appearance of tables.

As an example of the beginning of such work I would like to present a set of pages that imitate admin panel navigation:

Main navigation sample

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Features of the example:

Only main navigation for now.
The code doesn’t use tables and presentation is described with CSS.

The navigation is coded as a two-level unordered list and corresponds to the actual structure of the admin panel.
Top level navigation is performed by a simple JavaScript, and in case of JavaScript disabled the navigation is performed in traditional way, with each click loading a page.

The most important to me now is to understand how interesting these propositions are for the developers of the Textpattern.
If it is interesting for them I will continue the work.

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#2 2005-11-21 14:36:51

jsoo
Member
From: NC, USA
Registered: 2004-11-15
Posts: 1,730
Website

Re: Administration interface

A minor point, but I don’t find the font size to be a problem, as my browser’s text size controls allow me to set this how I like. This includes the font size of the tabs—the only thing that doesn’t scale is the Textpattern logo at the top of the page.


Txp tags not doing what you expect? Learn to use a tag trace. And the Tag Reference.

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#3 2005-11-21 15:25:15

Skubidu
Plugin Author
Registered: 2004-10-23
Posts: 611
Website

Re: Administration interface

May I point you to this thread: Txp Admin Mini-Facelift

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#4 2005-11-21 15:26:12

pepelsbey
Member
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 15
Website

Re: Administration interface

You said it: in my browser… and what about full compatibility with modern browsers?

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#5 2005-11-21 15:28:41

Jeremie
Member
From: Provence, France
Registered: 2004-08-11
Posts: 1,578
Website

Re: Administration interface

The trouble is, there is no backend templates. TO do a (needed, yes) rework of the backend HTML, one need to convince the dev team to freeze it for a couple of days, then navigate through a lot of PHP to edit the HTML in it, then convince then dev team to implement it.

In theory, it’s easy. In practice… well.

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#6 2005-11-21 15:49:04

pepelsbey
Member
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 15
Website

Re: Administration interface

May be don’t freeze anything? Make new branch… and then merge them?

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#7 2005-11-21 19:52:18

Mary
Sock Enthusiast
From: Canada
Registered: 2004-06-27
Posts: 6,235

Re: Administration interface

A freeze isn’t necessary, but changing the admin is a drastic update, so it’d first be implemented in an svn version to be tested before releasing it to the public.

Pretty much everything you mentioned is covered in the aforementioned thread, Txp Admin Mini-Facelift. I haven’t heard anything from any of the developers on this subject, so I don’t know whether the work is in vain, or not. I’ll try personally contacting them to see what they think.


My email address has changed recently. If you need to contact me, use the forum contact form.

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#8 2005-11-21 19:56:19

Case
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2004-02-25
Posts: 20
Website

Re: Administration interface

I hope to have some free time to work on an a design for an admin facelift soon. I’d love to get rid of the tables, inline styles and get everything coded properly to enable administration interface style switching using CSS.


Forget your dreams

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#9 2005-11-21 22:03:26

pepelsbey
Member
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 15
Website

Re: Administration interface

In Txp Admin Mini-Facelift topic i just sow some PNG-screenshots(?)…

Case, some free time for a design or full-redesign?

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#10 2005-11-21 22:21:21

zem
Developer emeritus
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-04-08
Posts: 2,579
Website

Re: Administration interface

To put the developers’ attention to the development of the admin interface that is very much left behind the functionality.

Low priority. We’re busy doing other things.

ps, this is a good example of the type of thing where user contributions can really help. Mock up screenshots, example forms, HTML, css, etc. Do the things that don’t require a PHP or Textpattern expert, and free up the developers for the difficult stuff.

Last edited by zem (2005-11-21 22:29:35)


Alex
tstate

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