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#141 2006-02-26 12:33:02

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

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

1) Extend the project Team to other areas than development.
2) Create a project team board on the forums
3) Have a montly users mailing list

I think that is a good list.
Number 3 would be some kind of newsletter, I suppose.

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#142 2006-02-26 12:35:32

davidm
Member
From: Paris, France
Registered: 2004-04-27
Posts: 719

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

I think that is a good list. Number 3 would be some kind of newsletter, I suppose.

Yeah sorry newsletter is more appropriate !


.: Retired :.

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#143 2006-02-26 13:01:18

alexandra
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From: Cologne, Germany
Registered: 2004-04-02
Posts: 1,368
Website

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

A Project Team
should include members with various skills and focusing on different parts concerning TXP project:

  • centralising resource efforts (international resources)
  • design (with regard to revamping textpattern.com etc. if Dean agrees)
  • marketing / external communication (=> TXP Mag is trying this a bit)
  • code/programming (Programmers)
  • documentation (wiki, Destry)
  • plugins (repository, mailinglist)
  • board admins and moderators
  • internal communication

just some ideas i throw in …

in our initial post, Nils especially suggested the following groups:

  • programmers (core development, plugin development, repository management)
  • designers (logo, website, interface design)
  • writers (manual, faq, localisation)
  • board admins and moderators

Last edited by alexandra (2006-02-26 13:03:11)

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#144 2006-02-26 16:25:27

neutrino
Member
From: East of the Diablo Range
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 134
Website

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

> Anark wrote:

So: how’s about a community map rather than a roadmap? This could be some actual visual carthography that maps out where the stuff is, who’s associated with the stuff in what capacity. That map would work as a visual interface to a wiki on Who’s Who Around TextPattern and a Who’s Doing What Around TextPattern.

I love this. It’s a better idea (and more possible) than reworking all the sites. Goes well with my idea of a TextTOC (Table of Contents).

@Sencer

I only meant that the general “murkiness” of knowledge about direction, who’s in charge of what, etc. etc was (what I perceive to be) the main impetus behind bringing this up. I’ve seen people ask a lot of questions around those issues and get answers like: “That’s just the way it is, we’ve tried to change it and we don’t know what the status is. We haven’t heard yet and either we don’t expect to” This applies to so many things that it “feels” like the “culture” of TXP to me.

@To no one in particular and not meant to start an argument:

It’s ridiculous to suggest that TXP does not have a corporate identity whether it wants one or not, whether it cultivates one or not. Outside perceptions might not concern us, that’s fine, but folks coming from the outside, depending on what they are looking for are going to think “professional” or not. And they are going to make that judgment based on their experience and expectations. What they’ve seen, when they’ve been, what other software they have used.

Expectations might be a great area to address. Is it reasonable to expect TXP to be a CMS as CMSes are known? If so do we need to articulate how TXP will get you there? Saying yes would lend great strength and fire to Destry’s Textbook project. The mapping that he is trying to do is gigantic but would show what TXP is and HOW it is a CMS (but because it’s not “like” “other” CMSes it’s kind of hard to make the argument). Does that make sense? I may know (or sense) it. You may be convinced and can point to your website as a great example but can we, as a community, prove it? OpenSource CMS still lists TXP as a blog tool. Get my drift? I know I’m not very clear. All goes towards direction and vision.

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#145 2006-02-26 18:31:18

Jeff_K
Plugin Author
From: Vancouver, British Columbia
Registered: 2005-08-19
Posts: 202
Website

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

Thanks for this discussion—especially Sencer’s posts above. I think this has been very positive, and the three suggestions posted above by David are good ones.

I came to Textpattern (like many) with the release of 4.0. I was drawn to the software for a number of reasons: 1) I knew and respected Dean’s work through <a href=“http://textism.com”>Textism</a> 2) I saw a number of people in the web community who I also respected like John Hicks and Drew McLellan using and plugging Textpattern and 3) (and most relevant for the discussion here) I saw the strength and growth of the Textpattern community itself.

If I have concerns about “whether Textpattern is on track” they are mainly driven by my ignorance of what is going on behind the scenes. I come to these boards several times a week, but never get a full sense of where things are headed, or what help is needed by the Devs. The fact that I am an avid user of the software (and a total software update junkie) and don’t still have a clue exactly what Textpattern “crockery” entails is a good sign that other members of the community might also be in the dark about the future of the software. (I suspect Crockery is the name (?) of the next version? Scheduled to include nested sections and ??).

Textpattern’s strength (and what originally drew me here) is the talent of the people working on and using the project. I sense that this is also what the posters above has identified as a key obsticle to its further development. Changes like a monthly newsletter (or updates to Textpattern.com) might give the community a sense of what is in the works (and what help is needed). Events like a template competition get lost in the dozens of posts that go up on these boards. A DEV board on the forums would also be helpful for rallying the troops more effectively.

Although it made me a bit nervous at first, I think this discussion is entirely healthy, and one that needs to be had.

Last edited by Jeff_K (2006-02-26 18:38:09)

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#146 2006-02-27 00:28:15

hakjoon
Moderator
From: Arlington, VA
Registered: 2004-07-29
Posts: 1,631
Website

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

Skubidu wrote:
Number 3 would be some kind of newsletter, I suppose.

I actually thought the fairly regular posting that was going on in the development weblog was a perfect form of communication. It revs up around releases and simmers down between them. If you look at the archive you will notice the activity was pretty good through January with it slowing down some in February but that is bound to happen, as other items get in the way. Maybe it doesn’t seem to be an official newsletter just some regular stories on the main site, which already happens.

I would also love to see some of the community activities reported on in the official site. The recent meet up in Utrecht for example would have been great. Also write ups on new sites that are being rolled using Textpattern with maybe some details on teh building process (almost like a postmortem) These are things that I think could help bring the community even more together in the guise of official communication.

I think all of these items could be submitted by the community (not requiring any core team work other then maybe posting the articel) . If you look at the Drupal frontpage not that much of it is about the software but about the community.

Ok now I’m babbling.


Shoving is the answer – pusher robot

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#147 2006-02-27 02:31:03

Anark
Member
Registered: 2004-08-14
Posts: 101

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

It would be pretty hard, I think, to define the role of a “moderator” — what would the scope of that job be? What would the tasks be? What powers and privileges would be invested in that job? Who grants those powers and privileges by what authority? Unless you answer those questions you risk creating a Chief Busibody Officer who’s going to be more hindrance than help.

Let me flog the community map idea some more: it’d be a three-tiered thing, with the topmost tier showing all the different Efforts: sites, projects, groups, each with a very short description. Click on any of them and you get to the second tier: a more detailed presentation: past achievements, future aims, present state of play, the toys being played with and tools being tooled with, who’s involved in what capacity and who’s in charge of the Effort. Then, clickable from the second tier, the third tier would be bio pages with information on who these people are, what they’re doing, which Efforts they’ve been contributing to, and how they can be contacted.

Not strictly necessary, but maybe an interesting design challenge: the upper two tiers could be done visually, say the top tier as a Map of TextLand with DevCity as the capital and all the other Efforts as cities. The cities, second tier, could be rendered as subway maps, each station representing a contributor, different subway lines representing different aspects of the work done. Fanciful. Whatever.

Whereas a moderator would be appointed to engage in hard-to-define social engineering, the mapmaker would be appointed to perform a well-defined task: describe what’s there, keep it up to date, maybe run a blog about new developments; maybe prod people every now and then to update their stuff, but don’t “moderate”, arbitrate or interfere in any way — just provide the clarity that will help the community go about its business on its own.

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#148 2006-02-27 02:47:11

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

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

A contrarian view:

146 posts in, and I still haven’t seen a clear explanation of what the problem is, or what all these proposed solutions are intended to achieve.

Generally (and with apologies to those for whom this is unfair), the people who contribute the most to Textpattern, don’t spend much time talking about it, organizing subcommittees, or posting announcements. An enourmous amount of work has happened on translations, documentation, code, testing, debugging, patching, themes, plugins, and work behind the scenes, with little fanfare or discussion. So much so, that the most ubiquitous complaint is that there is too much action, not enough talk (!)

Many of the suggestions sofar seem to duplicate things that already exist. There are already forums, mailing lists, wikis, portals and so on for documentation, plugins, themes and code. Some of the issues raised here are already answered in the FAQ or on TextBook. We have already asked for volunteers to help with testing, and to investigate and specialize in certain areas.

Please, don’t insult those who have spent time and effort building resources for Textpattern, by pretending that they don’t exist; or, worse, that the thing that is lacking is a steering committee. Spend your time and energy adding to and improving those things, not discussing the selection process for the committee to appoint members of the team to design the process to request a form for approval to submit a request to fix an error on the Wiki. (Exercise a little self-analysis here: are you really trying to get things done, or are you just trying not to feel left out?)

To those who contribute, or are thinking about it, I offer thanks and encouragement. And just one piece of advice. Don’t fall into the trap of inventing new hurdles for yourself: committees, Official Approval, meetings and the like. Nobody ever got more done by implementing a bureaucracy first.


Alex
tstate

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#149 2006-02-27 03:30:09

neutrino
Member
From: East of the Diablo Range
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 134
Website

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

Wow Zem, you did warn us, contrarian. I don’t think anyone was intending to insult anyone else here. There was a perception of an elephant in the room. I know you know that the role of the ivory tower programmer is dead, moved to India, right? There are hundreds of people who post to this forum. Sorry but when societies grow they need different kinds of organizational mechanisms than they did when they were small. TXP isn’t a little tribe anymore. Mankind wouldn’t have come up with “governing” if it wasn’t neccessary. It doesn’t have to be hierarchical or bureaucratic—it can be consensus but then that won’t work if someone is hanging on hard to something. I don’t know you all well enough to know who that might be, if that might be. I do know that the (regular) people on the forum are trustworthy and I believe well-intentioned. There’s always going to be some friction/tension between coders, programmers, artists, users, designers, hacks, visionaries; everybody has different issues, different questions, different goals.

Also I have big issues with “just do it, don’t talk about it”. That’s George W’s philosophy and look where it’s got us!

@Anark—I love the subway map idea. That would be so cool!

Last edited by neutrino (2006-02-27 03:30:37)

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#150 2006-02-27 03:47:35

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

Re: [feedback] How to bring txp back on track ? Let's debate !

C’mon, don’t make me paraphrase Animal Farm.

But, seriously: what problem are you trying to solve? Building a bureacracy, or government, or whatever you want to call it, shouldn’t be an end in itself. What are the desired outcomes? Is the lack of bureacracy the real impediment, or is it that no one is willing or able to do the work?

Regardless of intentions, I can tell you that there are valuable Textpattern contributors who are frustrated and insulted at seeing their efforts being ignored or discarded.


Alex
tstate

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