Go to main content

Textpattern CMS support forum

You are not logged in. Register | Login | Help

#1 2021-03-16 09:22:32

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,753
Website

Textpattern Language

This isn’t about shortcodes, specifically, but about Txp tags overall.

I think it would be worthwhile to start thinking about, and referring to, Txp tags as a language for Textpattern, and figure out a few terms/vocabulary for putting that into dialogue and documentation.

Since Txp themes landed, this has become appropriate, I think, and would be a nice talking point in Textpattern marketing/promotion. But it needs a little consideration from the top. Namely, what should be the written out name of the language? And what should be the acronym for it? Once you have that, putting it into oral and written circulation is easy.

Marios had noted ‘.txpml’ (Textpattern Markup Language) in his TextMate bundle for the language started in 2007 (which will be edited to harmonize with modern trend). And I’m just finishing up my article about the Textile bundle and find myself wanting to refer to Textpattern’s tags as a language too.

‘Markup’ is not right in this case because it’s not really a markup language; rather, it’s a kind of alias of php scripting, so we can definitely drop the ‘m’.

If we look at it backwards, from the acronym first, then we should probably recognize what is currently being used in theme packages, because that is really the focus now of putting the language to work, and the extension used there is a nice and simple ‘.txp’. The only problem with that, in my opinion, is that it does not distinguish enough the language from the CMS, and especially as many people are in the habit of using things like ‘Txp’ and ‘TXP’ to mean the CMS overall. But we clearly have need and purpose for talking specifically about tags, all the time, and that is where it might be nice to formalize it a little more around a ‘language’ and ‘grammar’, as so many text editors do.

An extension of ‘.txpl’ is not bad; and along that line, TXPL as an acronym. The ‘l’ is a good distinguisher of language from CMS, and four chars is not unusual. The extension for HTML is four chars, .html, and was always recommended by the purists over Microsoft’s attempt with ‘.htm’. Remember FrontPage?

Then it’s an easy fit to use ‘Textpattern Tag Language’ as a proper noun, and expressions like ‘Textpattern’s native (tag) language’ in doc descriptions, etc.

But that would suggest changing the extension in theme packages to ‘.txpl’ for the sake of logic and harmony.

What does the top say? How man cans of worms does that open?

Last edited by Destry (2021-03-16 09:50:10)

Offline

#2 2021-03-16 17:37:43

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,515
Website GitHub

Re: Textpattern Language

Naming our tags as a language is definitely something that would help in docs. It also disambiguates terminology because it’s going to get mighty confusing when we offer “tagging” in core:

To display a tag, use the <txp:tag /> tag.

Ugghhhh!

I’ve already begun adopting ‘Tag language’ today in my posts as I like the idea.

Whether we can alter the file suffix to .txpl I’m not sure. It makes sense. Just not sure of the potential upheaval and fallout. We’d have to have a period where we can allow both for some time to come. Let’s keep this discussion going and see what comes out.

Last edited by Bloke (2021-03-16 17:42:24)


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

Offline

#3 2021-03-16 17:58:08

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,753
Website

Re: Textpattern Language

Bloke wrote #329303:

it’s going to get mighty confusing when we offer “tagging” in core

Oh, that was another point I wanted to hit but forgot… The less we have to say ‘tags’ in reference to code, the more meaning ‘tags’ has in reference meta grouping/searching labels. Or are those #hashtags? Or is that something else entirely?

♪♬ Tags, tags, tags, baby. 🎶

There’s a song in there.

Offline

#4 2021-03-16 18:04:35

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,515
Website GitHub

Re: Textpattern Language

Destry wrote #329304:

The less we have to say ‘tags’ in reference to code, the more meaning ‘tags’ has in reference meta grouping/searching labels.

Agreed.

Or are those #hashtags? Or is that something else entirely?

They could be. Or keywords. Or categories. Or however you want them to be used as a taxonomy to allow people to find related content in a sea of posts.

We don’t have to call them tags. After all, we’ve completely undermined the use of the word ‘Form’ hehe. So, y’know, open to ideas.


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

Offline

#5 2021-03-16 18:20:46

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,753
Website

Re: Textpattern Language

As long as you don’t mind adopting ‘language’ in docs and whatnot, the extension issue in themes is probably not an immediate worry.

I’d like to see more of something like this working into descriptive material:

‘Textpattern’s own language, TXPL, brings the power of server-side scripting to front-end design. The language’s grammar is patterned after familiar XML/HTML syntax, making it immediately intuitive to those with familiarity with general web standards. The fun begins when learning the power of attributes!’

Not a single use of ‘tag’ in there. Of course, that won’t always be easy, but anywhere we can cut down on the word for sake of clarity and loft, it would be good.

Offline

#6 2021-03-16 18:26:12

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,515
Website GitHub

Re: Textpattern Language

Adjunct: our <txp:...> tags are really only called ‘tags’ because they look a bit like HTML tags and we’ve borrowed the terminology. But functionally they’re not the same thing: nowhere near. They’re placeholders for where you want to inject dynamic data/content at runtime (a.k.a. page view, visitor view, render time, browsing, etc).

So if we wanted to break tradition completely we could come up with something else. Like, I dunno, Dynamic Data Tag, if only DDT didn’t have negative connotations. Or Dynamic Content Adder. The delicious coincidence of the acronym being that of Textpattern’s founding father wouldn’t be lost on 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

Offline

#7 2021-03-16 18:28:52

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,515
Website GitHub

Re: Textpattern Language

Destry wrote #329306:

As long as you don’t mind adopting ‘language’ in docs and whatnot, the extension issue in themes is probably not an immediate worry.

Cool with me. I mean it’s not really a ‘language’ as such – not a natural language and not a programing language – but it is semantic and syntactic to a degree so could arguably be like a language. Loosely. Kind of.

Textpattern’s own language, TXPL, brings the power of server-side scripting to front-end design. The language’s grammar is patterned after familiar XML/HTML syntax, making it immediately intuitive to those with familiarity with general web standards. The fun begins when learning the power of attributes!

Love it. Let’s aim to get something like that in the docs pronto!


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

Offline

#8 2021-03-16 19:03:07

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,515
Website GitHub

Re: Textpattern Language

Further musings…

Any of the following terms might be considered worthy of being used to describe what happens when you add a <txp:...> marker in your templates:

  • dynamic content replacement
  • context-aware content
  • content injection/insertion
  • marker replacement
  • database content fetching
  • placeholder/content replacement
  • runtime content inclusion
  • content embedding

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

Offline

#9 2021-03-16 20:38:22

Vienuolis
Member
From: Vilnius, Lithuania
Registered: 2009-06-14
Posts: 270
Website GitHub GitLab Twitter

Re: Textpattern Language

Destry wrote #329277:

it does not distinguish enough the language from the CMS, and especially as many people are in the habit of using things like ‘Txp’ and ‘TXP’ to mean the CMS overall.

The ‘l’ is a good distinguisher of language from CMS

No, AFAIK we are strongly urged not to call our Textpattern CMS as TXP or TxP, for SEO and many other usability reasons.

Offline

#10 2021-03-17 09:13:39

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,753
Website

Re: Textpattern Language

Vienuolis wrote #329310:

AFAIK we are strongly urged not to call our Textpattern CMS as TXP or TxP, for SEO and many other usability reasons.

Correct. And I have that in the project style guide (which I’ve been negligent on getting posted), though it excludes serial use of such abbreviations in forum posts.

I was just making the poiint that those pet abbreviations are used and cause problems, and now potentially in another way.

The only time or context ‘TXP’ should be used, imo, is when talking about TXP Magazine, because that’s an actual proper noun. Any other time it should always be ‘Textpattern’ — and never TextPattern, what is with that‽ — and if it runs the risk of being monotonous, switch up with things like ‘the CMS’, ‘the software’, or whatever. Once the context is clear, it’s not a problem. It’s actually better for readers.

Offline

#11 2021-03-17 09:22:33

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,753
Website

Re: Textpattern Language

Bloke wrote #329308:

. . . it’s not really a ‘language’ as such – not a natural language and not a programing language – but it is semantic and syntactic to a degree so could arguably be like a language.

Yes, I recognize that. I mean, I don’t really think Textile or Markdown are real languages either, but TextMate treats them as language grammars in its bundle makeup. I only propose that we take similar liberties if it provides advantages. :)

Offline

#12 2021-03-17 09:32:16

Bloke
Developer
From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 10,515
Website GitHub

Re: Textpattern Language

Destry wrote #329313:

I don’t really think Textile or Markdown are real languages either, but TextMate treats them as language grammars in its bundle makeup. I only propose that we take similar liberties if it provides advantages. :)

Absolutely. I’m fine with calling it a language if it allows us to disambiguate. And I can’t think of anything else to call it without being too wordy or obtuse.

Anything that’s better for clarity is a win in my book.


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

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB