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#41 2008-05-16 04:57:59

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

Re: Blog platforms design critique

Er, now you’re trailing off into the front-end defaults that ship with Textpattern, whereas I thought the discussion was about textpattern.com (although the title “Blog platforms design” is a little misleading)? I don’t think the two should “match” at all, and they each have their own specific considerations; one is for a live site documenting the cms, the other is a site wireframe that you get with the cms when you download it.


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#42 2008-05-16 05:39:06

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 5,017
Website

Re: Blog platforms design critique

hcgtv wrote:

This whole thread is about asking the developers for control of the front end of Textpattern.com.

Hi Bert… Well, not really.. I think that this thread is about discussing the review. I am yet to jumb to conclusions where this will lead. I keep an open mind:)


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#43 2008-05-16 06:37:05

maniqui
Moderator
From: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Registered: 2004-10-10
Posts: 2,989
Website

Re: Blog platforms design critique

I’m reviewing current TxP.com homepage content.
I think it’s the first time I read it since many years, if I ever read it, hehe. No, yes, I’ve read it before, some chunks at least.

Current content is pretty good! But there are some paragraph that doesn’t deserve to be there on year 2008.

What is it?


A flexible, elegant and easy-to-use content management system aimed to web designers/developers. Textpattern is both free and open source.

When it comes to publishing on the internet, beginners and experts alike are met with a bothersome paradox: word processors and graphics applications allow anyone to do a pretty good job of managing text and images on a personal computer, but to make these available to the worldwide web – a seemingly similar environment of documents and destinations – ease of use vanishes behind sudden requirements for multilingual programming skills, proficiency in computer-based graphic design, and, ultimately, the patience of a saint.
This could be made short, or moved to other place.

Those who soldier on anyway may find themselves further held back by the web’s purported inflexibility with written language, with its reluctance to cope with all but the plainest of text, or by the unpredictable results brought about by using “WYSIWYG“ web editors.
idem

Textpattern is a web application designed to help overcome these and other hurdles to publishing online, and to simplify the production of well-structured, standards-compliant web pages.
Maybe a sentence about TxP being an empty canvas?

Text, Textile and XHTML

That section is pretty clear. Maybe it can have two or three quick Textile examples, or even a little textarea (hidden with JS/jQuery, show on click) to test it.
What about adding something about <txp:tags />, and how they work and make your life easier?

Pointing Elsewhere

That one really deserves to move somewhere below. In my opinion, linklist, blogrolls, etc, aren’t that important today, and they are something more “blog-centric” than a feature CMSs really needs. It isn’t that great feature, although, of course, it’s good to have it :).
But, again, highlighting that feature make TxP look a bit out-dated, and un-textpatternish. C’mon, we have better things under the sleeves!

Multiple Contributors

That one is pretty good too. It’s short and well written.

Working With Style

Another one pretty outdated. We all already know what CSS is, and if someone doesn’t, a link to the Wikipedia will do a better job explaining him/her than that paragraph on the homepage of TxP.
I would emphasize that CSS is saved on database, and even talk about rvm_css (ruud’s plug-in for improve CSS downloading performance), for those newcomers that always say: “css being saved on ddbb is bad, retarded, whatever”.
CSS saved on database -> no FTP needed to edit your style sheets -> just a webbrowser

In Automatic CSS mode, style sheet editing is taken to a sophisticated new level, using an editing interface and organizational method intended to make CSS parameters more readable and logical. Any existing style sheet can be “poured” into the editing interface and modified indefinitely.
Did Dean write that one? Is the Automatic CSS mode so important? I think I’ve used once or twice, like 4 years ago I would bet even CSS newbies won’t need it. I would remove that paragraph. Again, it makes TxP un-textpatternish, and if as wet said, TxP is aimed to web developers, such a tool isn’t really needed.

Expanding Textpattern

This one should really go above, on second or third place!!! Plugins are Txp playing-cards under the sleeve.
A list with some cool plug-ins, or random plug-ins, or some examples of what can be done with plug-ins will really help promoting TxP power and flexibility.
Currently, there is no emphasis on the easy installation process, that is, explaining that in most cases it’s just copy/paste, no FTP involved, etc.
I would do some mention about the MLP (maybe on another section, in this case), zem_contact_reborn and other cool plug-ins, so newcomers get an idea about what a plug-in could do.

What is missing on homepage?

  • there is not even a word about TxP supporting clean URLs on default installation (if mod_rewrite is available). Clean URLs are very important/required feature nowadays…
  • the thumbnails don’t say absolute nothing… Yes, there is a large version if you click them, but in year 2008, having better/bigger thumbnails (and even large versions when clicking) is possible. We could use some jQuery plug-in (jQuery.serialScroll) to have a cool alternative to lightbox/thickbox, both for thumbnails and chunks of text content.
  • wet said he wouldn’t like too big fonts on home page. But, really, I would love to see a bigger version of TxP logo on homepage. Really, the logo deserves a better respect. It’s very textpatternish, it’s TxP brand, it’s different to most other CMS/blog tools logos out there. And bigger logos rulez these days. Does anyone have it on vector/hi-resolution png?

Last edited by maniqui (2008-05-16 15:24:43)


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#44 2008-05-16 08:42:49

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 6,000
Website

Re: Blog platforms design critique

Mary wrote:

don’t think the two should “match” at all, and they each have their own specific considerations

OK, sorry for confusing things. I’ll leave this discussion to those who understand design and purpose :-)


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#45 2008-05-16 10:18:49

uli
Moderator
From: Cologne/Köln
Registered: 2006-08-15
Posts: 3,152

Re: Blog platforms design critique

Mary wrote

[…] front-end defaults […] textpattern.com […] I don’t think the two should “match” at all

The desire to have both, website and templates, look like made from one mould is absloutely justified. There are all these confusingly different designs of the sites around TXP, so one wouldn’t need even a fifth (eighth?) different brand design inside the package.


In bad weather I never leave home without wet_plugout, smd_where_used and adi_form_links

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#46 2008-05-16 10:32:48

wet
Developer
From: Lenzing, Austria
Registered: 2005-06-06
Posts: 3,119
Website

Re: Blog platforms design critique

The stock templates serve one primary purpose: To educate on the use of said blank canvas. There’s no need for branding at all.

People who need obviously CMS-branded websites are advised to go here.

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#47 2008-05-16 10:47:15

uli
Moderator
From: Cologne/Köln
Registered: 2006-08-15
Posts: 3,152

Re: Blog platforms design critique

TXP does have a “brand” design, even inside the package. And the process to come shouldn’t leave less as is right now.


In bad weather I never leave home without wet_plugout, smd_where_used and adi_form_links

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#48 2008-05-16 11:16:18

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 6,000
Website

Re: Blog platforms design critique

I know I said I’d shut up. One more…

wet wrote:

The stock templates serve one primary purpose: To educate on the use of said blank canvas.

Which was Stuart’s point, I believe, and one I think should be looked at while we’re thinking of “marketing” TXP — to use a loose term. While the templates themselves do indeed give clues about tag usage when compared with the markup they produce, the first article reading “Lorem ipsum…” could perhaps be more helpful if it welcomed the user and said a few words about TXP. The first thing I clicked was View Site when I started using TXP; maybe I’m alone here.

Perhaps even have a few direct internal links as a list (e.g. “set your prefs”) in the 1st article or its associated Links; or even the world’s quickest rundown of TXP terminology/hierarchy (section / page / form would do, and/or a link to a Textbook article that explains more on how TXP’s naming convention works). To me, ‘form’ was a little misleading until I got that it was just a reusable snippet of stuff that tags can call to replace content.

That was all I meant when I said to make the message the same; not necessarily to have the colours and branding stamped on what you see when you click View Site, but just to gently lower new people into the TXP way of working. Perhaps a separate thread for this…

Last edited by Bloke (2008-05-16 11:18:14)


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern.

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#49 2008-05-16 11:52:52

wet
Developer
From: Lenzing, Austria
Registered: 2005-06-06
Posts: 3,119
Website

Re: Blog platforms design critique

Bloke wrote:

the first article reading “Lorem ipsum…” could perhaps be more helpful if it welcomed the user and said a few words about TXP. The first thing I clicked was View Site when I started using TXP; maybe I’m alone here.

You are perfectly right. Time to leave discussion mode and enter document mode. All, please join us here and co-author the new first article (There’s a secret you must know over there to participate: txp407. Shhh.)

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#50 2008-05-16 12:29:13

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 6,000
Website

Re: Blog platforms design critique

Brilliant start, wet: that’s the ticket!

I’ll go and put my thinking trousers on…


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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