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#1 2010-03-21 17:19:58

monkeyninja
Plugin Author
From: Sheffield, UK
Registered: 2008-10-14
Posts: 239
Website

[mention] Drupal from a Textpattern developer's perspective

At the beginning of the year I started a new job with a company that mostly works with Drupal for client websites. Seeing as I’ve been working and developing with Textpattern for a number of years now I thought it would be worth me attempting to share my thoughts of Drupal from my Textpattern perspective. You can read my article over on my website. I’m not brilliant at writing, so sorry if it is not the greatest article in the world, but I’d be interested to hear other’s thoughts and experiences.

Oh, and I am definitely not giving up on Textpattern. Drupal is just the day job!

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#2 2010-03-21 17:30:45

maniar
Member
From: Hamilton, Ontario
Registered: 2010-01-04
Posts: 66
Website

Re: [mention] Drupal from a Textpattern developer's perspective

Congratulations on your new job.

I’m a Drupal user as well but I’ve been using it longer than TXP and I agree with all the negatives and the good stuff you point out !

The number 1 reason I was attracted to Textpattern was the ease of building templates and customising any way you like.

I do miss CCK though.


اردو میں بھی دستیاب Textpattern آپ کے لیے اب

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#3 2010-03-21 18:39:04

els
Moderator
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2004-06-06
Posts: 7,458

Re: [mention] Drupal from a Textpattern developer's perspective

Interesting article. I’ve been meaning to give Drupal a try for ages, but every article I read about it convinces me that to really get to know it, I need time ;) And that is something I don’t have much of, at the moment…

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#4 2010-03-22 10:12:19

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,568
Website GitHub

Re: [mention] Drupal from a Textpattern developer's perspective

Nice, thanks for the write-up. Having never even sniffed Drupal, let alone installed it, I’m intrigued by this part of your article:

You can define unlimited vocabularies of unlimited terms that can be ordered into hierarchies. This is something more than your average CMS’s categories or tags.

Would you mind explaining this a little further please — mail me directly if it’s too OT to post here. I’ve skimmed the obvious article about taxonomy and like the sound of it.

TXP’s categories have the capacity to be used in this way (kind of) but as you say they are a little (well, ok a lot) restrictive:

  • We can only assign up to 2 to articles and can only assign 1 for all other content types
  • They are already effectively tied to content type; the restriction being that they can only be used within their respective types and cannot be shared, without creating duplicates
  • Free tagging (as it’s called in Drupal land) is fairly simple to implement from the Write tab, although it should probably be an option: a textbox below the category dropdown to add a new one (or more, separated by commas) when you Save the article
  • Adding an optional ‘description’ to each category would help, and is probably fairly easy to do
  • There’s no concept of vocabularies, terms and sub-terms but you could generate this hierarchy yourself by nesting categories. The downside is that you can’t have two of the same name and a category can only have one parent, so the same sub-cat has to be created more than once with a unique name if you wish to do this kind of thing (messy)
  • Assigning a ‘weight’ to items in the list is not possible. It could be added, though I’d have to be convinced of the usefulness of allowing someone to determine how ‘important’ a category is. Perhaps automatically weighting them based on most-used (or something) if you wish?
  • Synonyms and related items are an interesting idea that we cannot parallel right now

I’d like to find out how all this flexibility is configured in Drupal and if it’s untuitive. If not, how can it be streamlined or improved?

I’m not thinking so much in terms of the core here (yet) but if this sort of thing really is useful, then smd_tags is already poised to take a lot of the strain away from tagging if I could give the interface a bit of love and really make it sing. I’ve already put tentative support in the plugin for generating URL-based tag lists from multiple items, and last time I looked at the code I was making inroads into enhancing this. If Drupal’s implementation of taxonomy is such a big draw to the product then I think plagiarism (in smd_tags) might be the most sincere form of flattery :-)

Last edited by Bloke (2010-03-22 10:13:47)


The smd plugin menagerie — for when you need one more gribble of power from Textpattern. Bleeding-edge code available on GitHub.

Txp Builders – finely-crafted code, design and Txp

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#5 2010-03-22 16:13:09

mrdale
Member
From: Walla Walla
Registered: 2004-11-19
Posts: 2,215
Website

Re: [mention] Drupal from a Textpattern developer's perspective

Yay, Bloker!

After I saw drupal’s CCK, I took the logical step of conceptually applying the idea to my favorite CMS and putting out feelers… This exentually turned into the first attempt at Xpattern, content-type agnostic Textpattern with stronger taxonomy.

Unfortunately, it seems like you can’t just come up with an idea and have other people magically code it to spec for free in their spare time. bummer. Not sure where I got that idea.

One thing that I really like about Drupal’s db scheme is that the equivalent of the “textpattern” table is a routing table for whatever kind of content you want to set up, which is stored in it’s own table.

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#6 2010-03-23 18:36:20

monkeyninja
Plugin Author
From: Sheffield, UK
Registered: 2008-10-14
Posts: 239
Website

Re: [mention] Drupal from a Textpattern developer's perspective

Here is part of my response to Bloke’s question about taxonomy (part of a long-ish email):-

In terms of the interface, new vocabularies are created and associated with relevant content types (multiple types can be defined). At the vocabulary level you can provide descriptive text and define behaviours such as whether they behave as tags (users create terms via comma deliminated lists), posts can have multiple terms, and whether or not are enforced. Terms can be added to a vocabulary in a hierarchy (terms can be repeated within a vocabulary) through the taxonomy admin, or whilst posting in the case of tagged vocabularies. Terms can have related terms, parents and synonyms. Terms can also be given descriptions (as I believe some have been requesting for Textpattern categories). Posts can have multiple vocabularies/terms.

At the database level there are a number of tables associated with the taxonomy. Tables exist for vocabulary and term definitions. Term hierarchy is stored separate to term definitions (possibly unnecessary). Relations and synonyms are stored in a couple of tables; and finally node-term relations (where nodes relate to a specific piece of content) in another. It may sound like a lot of tables, but this is in part what makes the taxonomy so flexible.

mrdale wrote:

Yay, Bloker!

After I saw drupal’s CCK, I took the logical step of conceptually applying the idea to my favorite CMS and putting out feelers… This exentually turned into the first attempt at Xpattern, content-type agnostic Textpattern with stronger taxonomy.

Unfortunately, it seems like you can’t just come up with an idea and have other people magically code it to spec for free in their spare time. bummer. Not sure where I got that idea.

One thing that I really like about Drupal’s db scheme is that the equivalent of the “textpattern” table is a routing table for whatever kind of content you want to set up, which is stored in it’s own table.

What’s the deal with Xpattern? Is it still alive? Taking a step away from Textpattern’s article-centric behaviour and towards a CMS where multiple content-types can be defined would be a good move in my opinion. I love Textpattern for many many reasons, but always find the article structure limiting for what I really want to do with it.

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#7 2010-03-23 20:54:26

hakjoon
Member
From: Arlington, VA
Registered: 2004-07-29
Posts: 1,634
Website

Re: [mention] Drupal from a Textpattern developer's perspective


Taking a step away from Textpattern’s article-centric behaviour and towards a CMS where multiple content-types can be defined would be a good move in my opinion.

If someone wants to code it, I have the whole thing mapped out in my head.

I just don’t have the time to do it right now, and I don’t dare get Dale all excited again. ;)

Last edited by hakjoon (2010-03-23 20:55:56)


Shoving is the answer – pusher robot

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#8 2010-03-25 08:20:45

JimJoe
Member
From: United States
Registered: 2010-01-30
Posts: 525
Website

Re: [mention] Drupal from a Textpattern developer's perspective

I just couldn’t get drupal to do what I was looking for in a web site.

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