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#73 2014-09-22 18:43:42

philwareham
Core designer
From: Haslemere, Surrey, UK
Registered: 2009-06-11
Posts: 3,559
Website GitHub Mastodon

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

gaekwad wrote #284059:

fluxbb.org/resources/mods/like-mod/ – it’s doable.

Sorry, we don’t modify the forum codebase in any way because it breaks upgrades, so it’s not doable (not until FluxBB has a proper plugin/extension system anyway).

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#74 2014-09-23 09:15:52

gaekwad
Server grease monkey
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 4,065
GitHub

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

philwareham wrote #284070:

Sorry, we don’t modify the forum codebase in any way because it breaks upgrades, so it’s not doable […].

No worries, Phil – I’ve edited my post.

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#75 2014-11-15 15:47:17

kno
New Member
From: Munich
Registered: 2014-11-15
Posts: 4
Website

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Hi there,

coming a bit late to this discussion, I would like to add some thoughts of mine:

My background: I’ve built a couple of websites, as a hobby (or call it ambition); my first CMS was textpattern. Over the years I’ve had a look at a couple of others, but there was always something missing (e. g. elegance, community or developer support, documentation, features etc.). Professionally I’m doing business development, sales support and marketing stuff (blogging etc.) for a software integrator in Germany.

One of the best contenders of textpattern in my view is statamic. A couple of days ago I’ve had a look at metalsmith, which is cool, but some of the promoted essential plugins are not even working. I don’t like to fiddle with pure PHP in templates, but besides that I have some sympathy for Kirby, ProcessWire and Perch.

I’m the admin and one of the main authors of this wordpress blog . Security and performance is a mess! You need too much plugins for a proper blog. “Code is poetry”? – not with wordpress. But for the authors it’s great.

My view on textpattern from the outside

I want to be honest, but don’t want to offend anyone. Let’s start:

One official blog post per years is disappointing. When I had a look on the contributors’ websites a year ago or so, they where almost dead (as far as I remember it). This made it difficult, to decide whom to donate some money, to become a patron and support the project (one has to decide that).

The Wiki is great, put the plugin directory sucks. You never know, whether the plugin (still) works, information is scattered among the directory, forum, plugin authors’ websites etc. Which one should I take? Time for an overhaul, or?

You have to buy the textpattern book, to get some hints on best practices (which are nice to know, because with textpattern there is always more than one way to do or start things.

There should be one simple, clear and well maintained hub of information. This would need more than four people, I assume.

It seems to me that there is lot to do – e. g. the mysql change, functional enhancements and the overall accessibility of correct information. If we truly believe, that the world needs textpattern (and I do!), why not kick of a crowdfunding campaign?

All the stuff needs time and dedication which obviously has some friction with other obligations. And it would be good for greater visibility as well, if done well. With a clearly defined scope of enhancements…

From the inside

Textpattern has a clean back-end, which is nice. But essential workflows for authors are too clumsy OOTB. We have to keep them in mind…

  • image handling for authors is awful
  • txp:image or txp:images should be available on the articles tab with a click (if you keep the image handling like it is today)
  • I really like textile, but syntax highlighting would be great for articles (actually for all edit areas) – rah_textile_bar is a must as well then
  • why do I need the smd_browse_by plugin to browser assets by category – this should be part of the core
  • arc_meta is great (and was overdue), but again: SEO should be part of the core (even Wordpress fails there)
  • As a developer the custom fields are great, but as an author you have to know which to fill where (and which not) – bot_write_tab_customize is a great help there, and makes it easier to guide authors – it feels like an essential plugin as well
  • Unlimited categories? I’m fine with the category hierarchy and two main categories, but: tags suck! As far as I know one still needs a plugin to make the keywords become real tags. This should be part of core. The tag plugins seem to challenge performance (I’ve had a look once at tru_tags but it didn’t feel right)
  • Import / export of “templates” (all the bits and pieces) should be part of core – and I’m not talking about Wordpress end-user style, just that the developers can handle it better (cxc_template is fine)
  • Something similar to the craft matrix would be great, because this is a very contemporary way of creating content; I don’t know enough about the textpattern internals, but I imagine, that the custom forms could possibly be extended somehow (filled with content instead of code) in combination with a sexy drag&drop interface. “Body” and “excerpt” aren’t enough anymore. Perch seems to do a nice job in this regard (Statamic as well), but this would very likely need a different data model, or?

Finally: Thank you all!

Core developers, plugin authors and all the textpattern lovers. Textpattern is still worth it. I’m happy to help, wherever I can.

All the best
Kai

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#76 2014-11-15 17:21:48

philwareham
Core designer
From: Haslemere, Surrey, UK
Registered: 2009-06-11
Posts: 3,559
Website GitHub Mastodon

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Thanks for the input kno!

Some of the points you raise are being addressed… slowly. The .com website and improved documentation I have a fairly clear idea and designs for – just need to slog through it.

Same for the admin UI – a few (but not all) of the admin workflow changes are built in mockup form or in a branch in GitHub. More of that is coming next week as Bloke and I are working on it right now.

Images in the write page is one area I’m in early days of improving.

Other projects are ticking along with updates.

I’d personally have liked to release 4.6 by now with less overall changes than it currently has (which are overall much nicer than 4.5) but a large push was made to modernise the codebase at the same time which we need to complete before the next major release.

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#77 2014-11-15 17:23:55

philwareham
Core designer
From: Haslemere, Surrey, UK
Registered: 2009-06-11
Posts: 3,559
Website GitHub Mastodon

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

And I agree the Craft CMS way of dealing with custom content is very well thought out.

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#78 2014-11-15 19:17:34

kno
New Member
From: Munich
Registered: 2014-11-15
Posts: 4
Website

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Sounds good!

Additional thoughts on plugins: GitHub would probably be a much better place to maintain them. The old unique developer paradigm isn’t suitable anymore (visible in their naming, among other things). It’s nice to get notified about updates as an admin (like it is done in WP). This of course would be a major change… but a good one. The move to GitHub would be a good chance to sort outdated plugins out ;-)

Cheers
Kai

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#79 2014-11-18 09:50:09

candyman
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 684

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

I agree with kno that image handling from authors is old-fashioned nowadays, anyway I believe that TXP community is still live and powerful like shows this thread.

If I were the CEO of the TXP Inc. anyway, I would improve the advertising sector: take a look at the CMS mentioned by kno: they are all well-packaged. Doesn’t matter if they have a modern, minimal ,b/w graphic or a coloured style with a funny mascotte: they all seems more modern than textpattern homepage and, from my point of view, they make appear TXP less appealing.
I agree that, maybe, a kickstarter campaign or a fundraising to improve the packaging box could help the TXP brand.
I understand that making graphics and docs will need much time and efforts: we can’t ask this too to our actual developers. Maybe we need an external designer to assign this work.
Actually we have a modern formula 1 engine on chassis from the seventies: sure, if we could compete we’ll win hands down but we can’t find any sponsors to race (if we want to, naturally).
The only lack of TXP, according to me, is that is too dependent from a few gurus: if, for any reasons, they get tired all the castle will go down: for this reason I think it’s necessary to improve the communication and make it more popular without changin its style, obviously.
For all the rest, I think there’s nothing better around.

It seems to me the same case of ProVUE’s Panorama database (anyone uses it, here?): the casual customer that get into its simply homepage and has no time to give a try to it will never discover how powerful in comparison with most famous and well presented competitors.

Last edited by candyman (2014-11-18 10:00:26)

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#80 2014-11-18 11:49:51

kno
New Member
From: Munich
Registered: 2014-11-15
Posts: 4
Website

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

I agree with candyman – marketing is one major issue. BTW: Image handling is an issue since a while. I’ve found this discussion from 2006!

I’ve started a different kind of research: Google Trends and textpattern over the years….

“Textpattern CMS” (blue) vs. “kirby CMS” vs. Statamic

“Textpattern” (green) vs. the above ones:

Popular searches for “Textpattern”

“Wordpress Textpattern” used to be a quite popular search phrase… (see here).

To me (and probably others) this doesn’t look very convincing. Textpattern would need a real re-launch to turn this trend around…

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#81 2014-11-18 12:52:18

gaekwad
Server grease monkey
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 4,065
GitHub

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

kno wrote #285886:

Textpattern would need a real re-launch to turn this trend around…

I respectfully disagree. Textpattern needs more hands on deck to bump up the metabolism, and the rest will fall into place.

This is my interpretation of the current state of the union with my Textpattern consumer hat on. With a hat-tip to Destry, formerly of this parish, I will be blunt without being overly rude:

  • there are three developers (Robert, Stef, Jukka) and one designer (Phil)
  • Robert is a busy professional, Stef is a busy professional, Jukka is a busy professional and Phil is, you guessed it, a busy professional
  • Robert is enigmatic and mysterious, Stef is helpful and asks questions of folks around here to see what might work, Jukka’s whereabouts are currently to be confirmed after some career changes earlier this year and Phil has a to-do list that appears to be ever-growing and stretches outside the remit of a graphic designer (documentation, for example)
  • the keys to the Textpattern domains are ultimately held by Dean, a guy who birthed Textpattern a bunch of years ago and now lives in France somewhere. Probably. If he decides to not renew any of the domains, or transfer ownership to someone outside of the Textpattern project, that’ll mean jostling with domain squatters or game over for textpattern.com-net-org domains.

Textpattern is a flexible, solid content management system that powers many thousands of sites. It has little no marketing. It has little to no financial support outside the occasional ad-hoc donation and the year-end/Christmas tip jar. The patience and commitment of the core team amazes me.

Comparing Textpattern with Brand X CMS is a counter-productive exercise, unless you factor in the people and processes involved with creating and maintaining it. I remember when Textpattern was essentially Robert-only for a considerable time. Developers come and go, such is the nature of the project. Right now, three of the four people on the core team are accounted for and these three people are actively contributing.

Honestly, I’m excited to be a part of this project, even as a lowly consumer and forum helper drone. It’s never dull and yet sometimes so mind-boggling frustrating that it drives me to despair. Yes, I have a shopping list for things I’d like to see, but on the grounds that the software source is readily available at no cost there’s nothing stopping me contributing code back. I could also, for example, throw up a bounty for someone else to code it for me since I’m not a coder and — to date — I haven’t made it a sufficiently high enough priority to learn.

@kno: I agree with many of your points in your first post and the way you presented them. There appears to be no shortage of smart, willing people around here who could be involved in some fashion. There’s apparently little to no organisation of that, though — at least that’s my interpretation. I’m guilty insofar as I’ve had ideas and not followed through with them in a reasonable time, and I’m hoping to be able to clear that list by spring 2015.

It’d be great to have someone who’s privy to the development team changes that is tasked with passing that information to the masses here, and elsewhere, which would take some of the pressure of the annual blog post. It’d be great to have a documentation person team to wrangle the Textpattern words instead of a graphic designer. It’d be great to have this, that, the other, two of these, one of those, a faster thingy, a cleaner doodad and so on.

How is this achieved? More bodies. Recruit a docs co-ordination person. Recruit a liaison to co-ordinate the development and consumer sides of Textpattern. Recruit another developer to work on the project; the counter-argument about Google Code being a barrier to contributions is moot now that Textpattern has shifted to GitHub. Pick an issue from the GitHub issues list, take dibs on it, work on it, and raise a pull request. Don’t like the way the Textpattern project is run? Fork it. I got annoyed at the Textpattern demo linked from the website effectively being abandoned, so I made my own. It’s by no means perfect, and there are improvements being worked on, but it’s a whole lot better than what’s currently linked.

Aside from the super-keen weight loss and herbal supplement spammers who run riot most days, there’s a bunch of people around here who want Textpattern to be great and evolve — I count myself among these people. How about we all make 2015 better than 2014, eh? How can you as Textpattern-er actually help the project progress outside of forum support?

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#82 2014-11-18 13:23:56

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 11,124
Website GitHub

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

Regarding the annual blog post issue, I’ve taken it upon myself to highlight any interesting developments that go into core and point people back here (or to G+ for as long as Google deem it worthy) for discussion.

For example, the current admin-layout-update branch in Github is a hotbed of activity as we thrash out some of the alterations that’ll ease people’s admin-side workflow. Also, if we can nail down a solid implementation of the first-class plugins concept, that’ll be a big deal for site admins, saving typing and making template logic easier to follow. Again, when/if that lands I’ll write a post about it.

In the meantime, I agree with the majority of the sentiments here in this thread, and subscribe 100% to gaekwad’s newsletter. More bodies = more visibility = more evangelicism = more bodies = …

Anyone who can help out in any regard, be it documentation, coding, marketing, improving awareness, blogging, etc, is encouraged to do so. If access rights are required to do that, just shout and we’ll sort something out.

txstyle.org came about because the old Textile reference manual was out of date. As Pete says, the old demo site was pants and the new one is spiffing. The plugin repo needs modernizing and hooking into Github / composer so we can change the plugins panel to allow notifications of out-of-date plugins directly in core, with a long-term view of permitting auto-update or one-click-updates. The move to Github has prompted some great interaction, pull requests and discussion of the code base. The .com site is being revamped as time permits. Moves are afoot to ease Textpattern into a far better state for multi-linguality. The list goes on.

In short, lots of dominoes are poised, but we need people to help knock them down in a timely fashion, otherwise we continue at the same pace we always have.


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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#83 2014-11-18 13:52:58

kno
New Member
From: Munich
Registered: 2014-11-15
Posts: 4
Website

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

I respectfully disagree. Textpattern needs more hands on deck to bump up the metabolism, and the rest will fall into place.

Gaekwad – It’s about resources, right! And I definitely share your feeling, that there is a lot to do in different areas – beyond marketing.

Textpattern [..] has little to no financial support outside the occasional ad-hoc donation and the year-end/Christmas tip jar. The patience and commitment of the core team amazes me.

Agreed. That’s why I’ve brought up the crowdfunding idea…

Comparing Textpattern with Brand X CMS is a counter-productive exercise, unless you factor in the people and processes involved with creating and maintaining it.

I see the partial feature comparison with other projects as legitimate. Not so much in terms of website design (although important for the 1st impression; I’ve seen a number of crappy CMS’ with posh websites…). It’s worth a look, if something works fine in an other CMS and would fit into textpattern’s design, or?

Not invented here should not be the argument.

There appears to be no shortage of smart, willing people around here who could be involved in some fashion. There’s apparently little to no organisation of that, though — at least that’s my interpretation.

I think overall we are on the same page :)

The most important change in my view would be to take the users more into account: the website developers in terms of overall information architecture and first-class-plugins, the authors in terms of back-end usability.

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#84 2014-11-18 14:39:08

gaekwad
Server grease monkey
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 4,065
GitHub

Re: Is the development of Textpattern at the end?

kno wrote #285897:

Agreed. That’s why I’ve brought up the crowdfunding idea…

+1

I think overall we are on the same page :)

Yes, absolutely. My opening line wasn’t intended to be quite so linkbait-y or antagonistic, I apologise if it came over that way. I’m from a marketing background, too, and I want to make sure there’s objectivity and common sense in what I say. I see many well-intentioned hey, Textpattern should do X – that’d be AMAZING requests and it all goes back to yeah, there are three or four people and a biiiig list. It’s cyclical, of course; the lifeblood of a project depends on its creators, maintainers, users and the interaction (I actively avoided saying synergy here because I’d die a little inside) between all parties.

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