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#31 2007-04-21 19:00:02

Destry
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From: Strasbourg, France
Registered: 2004-08-04
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Re: comments on Reader poll: Textpattern Membership

I can appreciate this kind of subject poking; perfectly understandable. I’m not going to vote on anything but I feel somewhat like Jeremie and ruud on the matter. I don’t see where the existing community stands to substantially gain anything over what they already have, and it would have to be a substantial gain to pay for a membership.

Of course what is “substantial” is subjective, which doesn’t make things any easier. As for myself, I’ve always wanted to have Zem’s contact form as part of core. I would also love to see net-carver’s multilingual publishing as core too (use it or not, but it’s there and ready to go without system mods). I suppose you could throw in a couple of other things too, like wilshire’s DB manager and Inspired’s plugin development platform (I dont’ build plugin’s but I use it for other rather wonderful admin-side functions it provides). If this is what Textpattern Pro is all about, and it’s not outside the market of Expression Engine, I’d certainly buy it.

On the other hand, there is yet to be another Txp community. It’s out there, people come and go, and they have different needs. We’ve seen hints of such folks with their one-and-only forum posts saying “where’s the official user docs? I can’t find my ass from a hand basket.” And that’s despite TextBook or Resources site or FAQs or anything else. That was me in the beginning too, only difference is I tried to do something about by starting the wiki and giving two years of my time to it. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…good writing (documentation or otherwise) is not easy and takes time. That’s likely the number one reason the wiki sits there like a brass Buddha — people can’t write, or they don’t have the time.

I agree that the concepts need to come from the developers, but I disagree that developers are the people who should write the “official” documentation; less words does not always mean easier to understand; it takes a user-centered writer to get it right, but it also takes partnership between developers and writer to make it happen, and that’s the rub in this case. No partnership, no documentation. It’s no different from developers making usability decisions; it’s rarely a good idea because too many assumptions are made about what the new user understands.

In this respect, I’m very curious about the anticipated Textpattern book, if it’s really going to deliver the goods that so many people have asked for (it might cover the bases, but will people understand?). Of course it’s a book, so it will be outdated after a couple new version releases. That’s where a wiki shines, but that’s a virtue this community will never understand : draft a user manual in the wiki, create the glossy print on a routine basis based on the wiki drafts…fundamental, yet so, so hard.

zem wrote:

Seriously: I’d love for some community members to get behind some of the ideas on this thread. Write some “why you should use Textpattern” articles. Write some how-to’s. Write more docs, or find a way to make them more accessible. Organize a gallery of top Textpattern sites, a portfolio of designers, a directory of plugins, or come up with a better idea than those. Let us know when you have a draft ready.

  • Mentioned the brass Bhudda already.
  • I once tried to get a Best Textpattern Sites Gallery going, but it was booed into the ground before the thread reached page 2. Seemed it was easier to just add any old site to Alexandra’s site’s gallery, which never had any real evaluation/screening process.
  • I started some nice easy to understand Plugin tables in TextBook because the Resources site was forever in limbo. I continually maintained a position that I would support a different plugins (and only plugins) repo when one came into existence. I even proposed (many times) that the Resources site should have been reworked to focus strictly on plugins, with a name change and everything, but opportunity has been lost there.
  • People have offered ideas, even “drafted” ideas in the wiki about things (working groups and such), where did that get anybody?

If I sound pessimistic, I am, and I’ve been around here long enough — know the history well enough — to rightfully be so. Hopefully this post should come across as me not being on on side or the other about anything…I’m just sharing facts in the hope we don’t have a lot of brain farts with the false impressions that the ideas are new…they’re not.

I will say this in favor of zem’s ideas: the community has had it’s chance to do things and much of those ideas/efforts have fallen flat. Maybe it’s time more facets of Textpattern (particularly in the resources arena) are “officially” centralized and made to really see fruition via some monetary support.

At the end of it all, I love Textpattern and don’t see any need to switch yet.

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#32 2007-04-21 23:05:24

zem
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From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-04-08
Posts: 2,579
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Re: comments on Reader poll: Textpattern Membership

I once tried to get a Best Textpattern Sites Gallery going, but it was booed into the ground before the thread reached page 2.

I will say this in favor of zem’s ideas: the community has had it’s chance to do things and much of those ideas/efforts have fallen flat. Maybe it’s time more facets of Textpattern (particularly in the resources arena) are “officially” centralized and made to really see fruition via some monetary support.

Yup. We’re not trying to stomp on the community here. We’re trying to help it. Fact is, of all the discussions and objections and assertions and drafts and working groups and ideas about who’s going to do what, maybe one in ten of those ideas actually get anywhere. And consistently it seems to be the individuals who persist in the face of everyone saying they can’t or shouldn’t do something, who produce the great stuff: the clever plugins, textbook, the resources site, themes, etc.

A little known fact: virtually no one has ever contacted the team and said, “I have this new resource or content, can we put it on textpattern.com?”

On the other hand, if I had a dollar for everyone who said “if you put me in charge of x, I will do stuff”…


Alex
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#33 2007-04-22 00:08:11

zem
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From: Melbourne, Australia
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Posts: 2,579
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Re: comments on Reader poll: Textpattern Membership

Is it reasonable to expect people to pay if they want to report bugs? Instead I’d welcome a public bug tracker and am willing to help fix those bugs.
Who will be answering the questions in those additional support forums; just team TXP or other community members as well… and do they have to pay to be able to answer questions?

First up, bear in mind that the items in the poll are rough ideas about things that might happen if there’s enough interest. The details come later. And second, as the intro says, we’re not going to remove or restrict anything that currently exists, including the community support forums, troubleshooting forum etc. They’ll still be there regardless, for anyone who wants to participate.

The support resources question is about whether or not people want a way to get more definitive answers. Maybe it’s an “official tech support” forum, maybe it’s “ask the experts”, maybe it’s bug reporting, maybe something else. We’ll work out the details later. Point being, the answers on the community forum aren’t always definitive, reliable or prompt, because they’re written by people in their spare time. Some people don’t consider that sufficient.


Alex
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#34 2007-04-22 04:35:45

hakjoon
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From: Arlington, VA
Registered: 2004-07-29
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Re: comments on Reader poll: Textpattern Membership

zem wrote:
A little known fact: virtually no one has ever contacted the team and said, “I have this new resource or content, can we put it on textpattern.com?”

Yeah people never do anything.

Last edited by hakjoon (2007-04-22 04:37:16)


Shoving is the answer – pusher robot

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#35 2007-04-22 05:11:02

Jeremie
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From: Provence, France
Registered: 2004-08-11
Posts: 1,578
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Re: comments on Reader poll: Textpattern Membership

ruud wrote:

I agree with most of what Jeremie said about the potential 7 membership benefits, except for one thing: bug reporting and additional support forums:

  • Is it reasonable to expect people to pay if they want to report bugs?

I understood that the other way around. To get detailed and thorough bugs in my mailbox without having anything to do, update on their progress, when and by what it’s fixed, and so on. To be able to reports strange behaviors and have them explained, and if it’s the case flagged as bug, and documented. But, unless there are hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of people willing to pay, the fee would be too high to cover something like that, because that’s a lot of work.

Instead I’d welcome a public bug tracker and am willing to help fix those bugs.

From our external (user) point of view, a real bug tracker would make things so much easier. We know the bugs and features, the community detail them, we know when they are fixed or implemented, it all neat and clear. And it can work nicely with the forums too: the forums are an open space, the tracker is pre-moderated (by some of the community) and pick it’s new content from the forums.

The dev team has Trac, but for some unknown reason doesn’t like it at all. I don’t know about other bugtrackers (like Flyspray, just to quote one of the many) and why the dev team doesn’t like them.

Maybe it would make their life miserable or something. I know there was some move on this like a year or two ago, but it has all fallen flat (and not by the user fault, “for once” it seems).

Again, old topic, hundreds of time asked, never quite answered.

  • Who will be answering the questions in those additional support forums; just team TXP or other community members as well… and do they have to pay to be able to answer questions?

Since we pay for something, the one who get paid have to answer. But again, I don’t see that as an limited business model, works… but I very well may be wrong. We’ll see…

hakjoon wrote:

Yeah people never do anything.

Nope, absolutely never…

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Lazy bastards…

Mary wrote:

Jeremie: You just totally dismissed several existing and in-works stuff right there: Alex just listed only three of them.

a lot of things

There’s no point of starting a flame war here, and correcting your every mistakes in these replies. I’ll just see what you offer, and I’ll pay, or not, based on its real value. You handle the textpattern.com domain, you do as you want. If it turns out to be similar to the Textdrive VC experience, I’ll just move to the next CMS, no big deal.

Last edited by Jeremie (2007-04-22 05:22:50)

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#36 2007-04-22 05:36:31

zem
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From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2004-04-08
Posts: 2,579
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Re: comments on Reader poll: Textpattern Membership

Yeah people never do anything.

I didn’t say people never do stuff – in fact I said exactly the opposite. Please re-read what I wrote: lots of people build great things, but they almost never ask us for help, or to put their stuff on textpattern.com. We almost never hear from them.

Last edited by zem (2007-04-22 05:39:27)


Alex
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#37 2007-04-22 05:45:07

zem
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From: Melbourne, Australia
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Posts: 2,579
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Re: comments on Reader poll: Textpattern Membership

The dev team has Trac, but for some unknown reason doesn’t like it at all.

It doesn’t work on a public web site. SQLite simply cannot handle concurrent access. Anything that requires a write, like posting or editing, takes several minutes or more, or just times out.

I don’t know about other bugtrackers (like Flyspray, just to quote one of the many) and why the dev team doesn’t like them.

We haven’t yet found one that works reliably and does what we need (mainly, allow public viewing but limited posting). Flyspray is the closest, but it’s unstable and buggy and difficult to manage.

Maybe it would make their life miserable or something. I know there was some move on this like a year or two ago, but it has all fallen flat (and not by the user fault, “for once” it seems). Again, old topic, hundreds of time asked, never quite answered.

We’ve put a lot of effort into trying to build a usable bug tracking system. Many, many hours in fact, and cash from my own pocket.

Trac looks great, but it’s unusable as noted above, and easily spammed. I believe I’ve posted about its problems on the forum, several times.

We tried Basecamp for a while. It’s expensive, no public access, and it doesn’t support basic bug tracking operations like assigning tasks.

Fogbugz was awkward, expensive, and didn’t allow public access (we’d have to pay per user). We used it for a while internally, until a server crash lost all our data.

Mantis works reliably, but it doesn’t allow public access.

Flyspray allows public access, but again it’s buggy and unstable.

Show us something that works.

Last edited by zem (2007-04-22 05:53:53)


Alex
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#38 2007-04-22 06:19:48

Jeremie
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From: Provence, France
Registered: 2004-08-11
Posts: 1,578
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Re: comments on Reader poll: Textpattern Membership

At least one good thing came up from this forum thread, we know you’re looking for one.

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#39 2007-04-23 02:24:15

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

Re: comments on Reader poll: Textpattern Membership

Here’s an idea: answer the question asked, or don’t. If we wanted to be insulted, accused and belittled we’d ask.


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