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#51 2005-01-25 13:08:21

Destry
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From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,473
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Re: [wiki] User Manual

To anyone who might be coming to this thread for the first time (or not in a while), don’t pay anything but mild regard to the previous two posts; we are waaaaay past that now, as you might surmise by this much more recent thread, <a href=“http://forum.textpattern.com/viewtopic.php?id=5759”>%{color:gray}right here%</a>.

Now to the present, I offer this notion: With the recent take-off of the <a href=“http://txpmagazine.kbbu.de/all_sites/”>Textpattern Sites</a> collection, and with itâ

Last edited by Destry (2005-01-25 15:14:20)

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#52 2005-01-25 13:37:32

Matt
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Registered: 2004-02-28
Posts: 92
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Re: [wiki] User Manual

As I’ve said before, I like Destry’s idea very much.

Since the purpose is to demonstrate some “best practices,” rather than just cool features or nice design, I think that site designers ought to nominate themselves based on whether they feel their sites can serve as clear examples for new users. After all, the rest of us have no way of knowing how simple or complex a site might be under the hood.

Here are the conditions that would make a site serve the purposes of this tutorial:

  • No mods to Txp code
  • No unused forms or pages
  • Predictable, familiar, and easily classified format (meaning if the site is a weblog, it has all of the expected features, like comments, an “About” page, and archive page, a list of links on the side, etc…)

This should be a way to get new users past the initial hurdles that so many face, like “how do I make an archive page,” or “how do I show content on a single article page but not on the list of articles.”

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#53 2005-01-26 12:30:47

Destry
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From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,473
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Re: [wiki] User Manual

Good suggestion, Matt, and I like your ideas about <em>conditions</em> for a site, the nature of which fits in well with the whole point of the early <em>TextBook</em> chapters, which is to be relevent to the default package and targeted to new users.

May I ask a couple questions that might be on the minds of our listening audience…

First, can you expand a bit on the “no mods to TxP code” condition? Do you mean no hacks, no plugins, etc? I’m afraid most sites will be so modified, especially by knowledgeable designers, that no one will step forward because of this condition alone. Maybe we need a few more parameters to clarify this a bit.

Also, clarification on “no unused forms or pages;” I think it’s as simple as it suggests, but just want to make sure. Basically, hide/delete the stuff you’re not using? (This would make sense; you would want the supporting screenshots of backend to be clean. Good foresight.)

The last condition is crystal-clear to me, and should be to our listening audience as well. Furthermore, it’s critical for a usable model write-up. Excellent point!

Last edited by Destry (2005-01-26 12:35:04)

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#54 2005-01-26 13:31:13

Matt
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Registered: 2004-02-28
Posts: 92
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Re: [wiki] User Manual

“First, can you expand a bit on the ‘no mods to TxP code’ condition? “

I mean no hacks to the default code. Basically, I envision a system in which a new user could download a SQL file containing the entire database for a tutorial site (with or without articles), feed it into his or her own database, and reproduce the example. Since plugins are stored in the database, plugins are no problem in this regard

You’re right to point out that some of the best sites have been put together by people who aren’t afraid to hack at their txp code, but hopefully the community can come up with a few nice, unmodded examples.

Yes — when I say “no unused forms or pages,” I mean what you think I mean. Delete from the backend any form that’s not used on a page, and any pages that aren’t used in a section.

Here are the first few examples I’d suggest:

  • The basic weblog: No plugins or css background images. Just the default install plus an archive section, an about section, and a custom search results section.
  • The intermediate weblog: Demonstrates a few of the “must-have” plugins like ob1_title, zem_article_image, rss_suparchive, perhaps even the mdp_automatic thumbnails hack, etc…
  • The portfolio: Instead of picking just one way of the many many good options for this, how about one site with several different sections, all displaying the same set of images with different gallery plugins? A section for imagepattern, one for jmr_gallery, etc. Here’s a compiled list of image gallery plugins
  • The corporate site: an example of mostly static pages, perhaps for a fictional company, with sections such as: products, clients, news, and contact.

There are obviously more advanced applications of Txp than anything I’ve listed above, but by the time someone’s up to a really challenging site, he or she is probably past needing tutorials like this.

Thanks again, Destry, for your efforts.

Last edited by Matt (2005-01-26 13:32:04)

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#55 2005-01-26 14:58:43

Destry
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From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,473
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Re: [wiki] User Manual

Wow…this is evolving quick! Excellent.

My vision all along has simply been with producing a manual (as in written text) about how to do things. What you are suggesting is paralleling that with actual working demos, as written about. This is cool.

I will continue forth with my initial objective, which is simply getting TextBook written (a community effort, by the way), and steer chapter 3 along the lines of what you are suggesting to do with actual, shall we say “hands-on learning installations.” If someone else wants to create the <em>learning installations</em> in parallel with the writing, that would be fantastic. In a sense, one would be the documentation for the other. Then we could simply link to the installations directly from the relevent TextBook sections.

Your good examples also make me think that it’s not necessary to use someone’s existing designs as they are (which was my original thinking, and why you would need a site owner to be involved to begin with), but now hearing your thoughts (especially the “fictional” idea) it seems to me that these could all be done from scratch; all we need to do (as you’ve nearly done already), is pick which features to discuss, and then build a working model with those selected pieces; a wonderfully simple approach. Well done Matt.

If you don’t mind, I’ll use your suggestions exactly for the approach of the write-ups. So what we really need to think about then is what features to include in each model. I’d say you covered the basic Weblog model just fine. That would leave just selecting <em>exactly</em> the features (functions, plugins, whatever) we want to create in the other three. Specific ideas, anybody?

EDIT: If the manual keeps going in an <em>interactive</em> direction like this, we may just have to include a <a href=“http://forum.textpattern.com/viewtopic.php?id=5937”>tag and plugin selector</a> for the relevent appendices too.

Last edited by Destry (2005-01-26 15:10:35)

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#56 2005-01-27 16:22:11

Destry
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From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,473
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

Well, the TextBook wiki just got attacked. Someone actually signed in and completed wiped the home page clean, replacing it with some spam links to prescription shit.

Only an administrator can roll back the wiki to a previous state, and as far as I know, that’s Remillard and Dean.

Being that Dean has better things to do, and being that Remillard has been a bit scarce these days, maybe we need to consider some other backup measures. Obviously another admin or two would be appropriate, but perhaps further we need to think about the platform itself.

Maybe we need to port this effort sooner than later to a TxP install and think about how authoring contributions will be handled that way. The nice thing about this idea is we could also use Textile and style it up nice and petty.

UPDATE: Both Dean and Remillard have been notified. Haven’t heard from Remillard, who is really the admin for the wiki, but Dean is trying to look into the problem.

Moderators: Any chance of retitling this thread to “TextBook: The Textpattern User Manual” or something with TextBook in the label? It’s matured enough to probably need it.

UPDATE2: TextBook is restored. But I still would open things up for discussion about what we should do in the future, because this could happen again (I suppose) and try the patience of the gracious.

Last edited by Destry (2005-01-27 16:33:02)

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#57 2005-02-11 09:59:47

Destry
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From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,473
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

zambaroo…done.

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#58 2005-02-12 19:44:00

cboone
New Member
From: the north country
Registered: 2005-01-25
Posts: 6
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

I’d like to be able to write for / edit the wiki. Can someone please hook me up?

Thanks…

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#59 2005-02-14 15:50:01

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,473
Website

Re: [wiki] User Manual

cboone….done. Sent info via your forum account (behavior was a bit odd, though, so if you didn’t get it, let me know).

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