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#37 2014-09-09 20:59:44

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,909
Website

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Bloke wrote #283591:

Bloke’s health is fine. Nothing a little sleep can’t fix :-)

Oh, that. Good. Well, yeah, I have the problem too.

However, one of the major stumbling blocks is the fact we’re using MySQL exclusively and PHP has deprecated the mysql_* calls (see Issue 426). That means we’re on borrowed time.

That sounds kind of big. Just how much borrowed time do we have? And I guess that means having to install new databases in Mac OS, for example, for localhosting — and at the web host end of things too.

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#38 2014-09-09 21:53:28

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 11,305
Website GitHub

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Destry wrote #283610:

And I guess that means having to install new databases in Mac OS, for example, for localhosting — and at the web host end of things too.

Not at all, sorry if it sounded alarmist. PHP has (errr, had) a bunch of database calls specifically for mysql. Things like mysql_connect, mysql_query and the like. They had two flavours in fact, because they also implemented mysqli (MySQL Improved).

Anyway, long story short, they’ve deprecated the mysql_* calls so at some unspecified point in future when the PHP team decide to drop them completely, any code that uses them — Textpattern — will just stop working. That’s kinda bad :-O We could just use mysqli calls for now, but I suspect that’ll go the same way one day. If we get stuck/caught out, we might do that as an interim measure.

In place of the deprecated calls, they introduced PDO which is a far more robust, and all round better data abstraction layer. The benefits are many: better security from injection attacks, better interface, rudimentary object mapping, and the killer feature is that (in theory) you’re no longer bound to MySQL. If you want to use Postgre or MariaDB or any one of the host of supported back-end storage systems, you just export your database, import it into your shiny chosen database, set up your access credentials in your config file and your application carries on working without any other code changes.

In theory.

Of course, there are minor hiccups like the fact that MySQL have implemented ‘extensions’ (a.k.a. incompatible inconsistencies) to the SQL92 standard, such as being able to order by arbitrary field lists. Since some other databases don’t do that (or don’t do it in the same way), if you do swap out your DB, you may find that some parts don’t behave properly, or error out. It largely depends how the queries are written, I guess.

All this malarky means that the ‘borrowed time’ is effectively the time before PHP decide to pull the plug on the mysql specific functions, plus the lag before hosting providers upgrade to that version en masse. The functions were deprecated in PHP 5.5 (I think) and they’re on 5.6 now so we probably don’t have an awful lot of time to do this, assuming a two-revision cycle from deprecation to removal. It may be longer, given the gravity of the changes.

So yeah, we do need to divert some resource to this fairly soon.


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#39 2014-09-10 04:20:31

maverick
Member
From: Southeastern Michigan, USA
Registered: 2005-01-14
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

jstubbs wrote #283545:

Out of curiosity, which CMS alternatives did you and others try? . . . Actually its good to check on alternatives even if its only to get an idea of where Textpattern currently stands amongst the competition.

Bloke wrote #283591:

OctoberCMS looks interesting. Anything sensible we can pilfer pay homage to in Textpattern?

Speaking of checking out other CMSes . . .

It probably is old news for many of you, but I recently ran across Ionize CMS.

It left me with the feeling that someone on the development team might have come out of a Textpattern background. (Especially w/ their xml style tags).

If someone took Textpattern, re-imagined it with a page tree admin navigation, then added some of the request more frequently discussed (unlimited custom fields, multiple-language publishing capability out of the box, flat file templating (non stored in the database), more capable user management out of the box, you would have Ionize.

Their community is small, the development cycle is on the slower side, and it doesn’t seem to be as capable as Txp. I can see the value in some situations for a page based navigation paradigm, but I really prefer Txp’s approach. I also thought that some of the tag examples felt clumsy. It would have been faster to code it in html or php, or in Textpattern the same objective could have been achieved in a couple of lines. There also appears to be a speed issue once the site passes the several hundred page mark.

On the plus – the interface is decent looking. They seem to have come up with a slick way to handle publishing a multi-lingual site.

fwiw

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#40 2014-09-10 06:56:39

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,909
Website

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Bloke wrote #283612:

Not at all, sorry if it sounded alarmist.

Ah. For some reason I read that (probably because I’m not a dev) as you needed to adopt a new DB altogether. Would doing so help deal with the issues you face? (Probably not.)

Bloke wrote #283591:

If anyone wants to step up and be communications secretary in charge of content, raise your hand and we’ll fold you into the loop no problem.

There was a day (around our London meetup, pre TXP Mag) I would have taken you up on that, but I’m just too busy with several other efforts right now.

One thought on the point of Txp blog posts, however (potential secretaries take note): a lot of the things team Txp posts in the forum could easily be blog posts with the right adjustment (take it out of conversation context and put it into announcement context). Like many of the things you’ve posted in this thread, for example. I think this has always been a problem in Txp’s history… puts every effort into the forum when it’s not the top channel (or least shouldn’t be). Blog first, then start a forum thread in relation. That’s a better model that will reflect to the public more effectively and give you reasons for tweeting, etc. Also a better way to be proactive with communication instead of reactive to people’s gripes about a lack of communication.

To be clear, I’m not talking to just Steph, here. I’m just saying in general.

Last edited by Destry (2014-09-10 07:09:41)

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#41 2014-09-10 09:04:38

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 11,305
Website GitHub

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

maverick wrote #283617:

I recently ran across Ionize CMS

Not heard of that one, thanks for the tip. Wanted to check out the screenshots, but got a 404 from the frront page of their site. Found the right link somewhere else. The features look nice, and the fact it’s multi-lingual out of the box is a bonus. The tabbed language layout is something I was toying with for MLP/some future core i18n support. Might download Ionize and see how they’ve done stuff as it may give me some more ideas.

There also appears to be a speed issue once the site passes the several hundred page mark.

The features page proudly states they use CodeIgniter as a framework. Dandy, but that may be part of the problem. Since they don’t have the excuse of a database back-end for templating, it should be lightning quick so CI might be the blocking factor. CI’s dev team claim it’s agile and has a small footprint but last time I tried it I wasn’t convinced. CI on its own is a third bigger than Txp 4.5.5, and that’s before adding the CMS code, and the framework offers a lot of stuff that a lightweight CMS doesn’t necessarily need (it’s waaaaay better than the bloated Symfony though).

Mind you, Txp 4.5.5 isn’t commented and uses tabs for spaces, so 4.6.0 with its bulging vendors folder, fully documented (errrr, ish) source code and real spaces for indentation is going to be much bigger in terms of file size [side note: I still prefer tabs because I come from a Vic-20 / ZX Spectrum background (save a byte, save the world) but appreciate that spaces make merging patches easier, even if it gives PHP more bytes to read up front].

Destry wrote #283626:

Blog first, then start a forum thread in relation.

Never thought of that as a general approach. We do that for releases, but that’s about it. Perhaps we should adopt that model, it seems too logical to have bypassed me.


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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#42 2014-09-10 09:42:37

gaekwad
Server grease monkey
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 4,154
GitHub

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Destry wrote #283626:

Blog first, then start a forum thread in relation. That’s a better model that will reflect to the public more effectively and give you reasons for tweeting, etc. Also a better way to be proactive with communication instead of reactive to people’s gripes about a lack of communication.

This.

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#43 2014-09-10 09:44:23

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,909
Website

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Bloke wrote #283630:

Never thought of that as a general approach. We do that for releases, but that’s about it. Perhaps we should adopt that model, it seems too logical to have bypassed me.

Granted, the current blog design has a lot to be desired, and the commenting there has always been a pain (for me). From a usability standpoint, the forum is a better place to do the back and forth of commenting.

I’m assuming Phil will eventually revamp the blog, making the reading experience better. At the same time, do away with comments there entirely on new posts and let the forum be the commenting system. We do a similar thing with CSF articles, but use our Google+ for comments instead. A custom field provides the G+ post URL, which then appears at the bottom of an article as a clear sign post (we opted not to use them as actual appended comments, though this tabbed commenting system is very interesting to combine native comments, G+ comments, FB, and even Disqus). You could do the same but swap in a forum thread link instead.

In our case we just use the article excerpt (which was already written) as the G+ post copy, plus the article link (and it automagically pulls in any associated image). So all in all just a matter of two or three manual copy/paste actions and the two locations are inter-linked with little writing effort on the G+ side of it.

The advantage, as I failed to point out before, is that now you have your primary channel (main website) speaking to the world at large (potentials), while you’re also feeding the community watering hole with little extra effort. Tweets could go out automatically from one or the other (better to be from the blog, IMO, the source) using IFTTT or something cool, and you cover three bases at once.

Last edited by Destry (2014-09-10 09:49:57)

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#44 2014-09-10 10:25:40

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 11,305
Website GitHub

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Destry wrote #283634:

you cover three bases at once.

Me likey. Hopefully Phil can pull something out of his magic hat and we can adopt this model going forward. As you say, a few CFs and it all falls into place.


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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#45 2014-09-10 12:05:53

philwareham
Core designer
From: Haslemere, Surrey, UK
Registered: 2009-06-11
Posts: 3,564
Website GitHub Mastodon

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Bloke wrote #283637:

Hopefully Phil can pull something out of his magic hat

Yep, it’s on my list – I’ve already put some of the HTML for the new blog in the Textpattern.com repo – just need to get some spare time to continue with it.

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#46 2014-09-10 14:44:15

bici
Member
From: vancouver
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 2,077
Website Mastodon

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Destry wrote #283634:

A custom field provides the G+ post URL, which then appears at the bottom of an article as a clear sign post (we opted not to use them as actual appended comments, though this tabbed commenting system is very interesting to combine native comments, G+ comments, FB, and even Disqus). You could do the same but swap in a forum thread link instead.

I am not a big fan of G+ I find it a black hole after the initial reading. i.e. no real search function to find older comments, Hopefully something else can be considered.
Perhaps if the Blog gets a fixing the comments area can also be enhanced. ( Your link above has a good example as the does the https://ellislab.com/blog/c/expressionengine blog.)

I love this Forum. it is easy to search and it’s easy to follow.


…. texted postive

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#47 2014-09-10 16:12:11

michaelkpate
Moderator
From: Avon Park, FL
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,379
Website GitHub Mastodon

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Destry wrote #283634:

(we opted not to use them as actual appended comments, though this tabbed commenting system is very interesting to combine native comments, G+ comments, FB, and even Disqus)

I’ve used a similar plugin on one of my Wordpress Blogs – it seems to work fairly well. To me, it came down to the fact that I only wanted authenticated commentors.

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#48 2014-09-10 18:26:26

michaelkpate
Moderator
From: Avon Park, FL
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,379
Website GitHub Mastodon

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

I found an interesting blog post from the creator of another CMS I had never heard of.

Hard Decisions

He talks about his decision to move from CodeIgniter to Laravel and why he isn’t going to now.

p.s. I had never heard of Laravel before a couple of weeks ago.

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