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#1 2018-10-27 17:22:56

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 6,911
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Textpattern allure

A review of textpttern on www.ctrl.blog/entry/textpattern-allure


Yiannis
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neme.org | hblack.net | LABS | State Machines | NeMe @ github

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#2 2018-10-28 01:10:02

bici
Member
From: vancouver
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,315
Website

Re: Textpattern allure

colak wrote #314778:

A review of textpttern onwww.ctrl.blog/entry/textpattern-allure

i personally would summarize it this way:
“I continue to find Textpattern quite appealing and my go to CMS, but I’ll never bother with WordPress .


…. texted postive

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#3 2018-10-28 08:52:19

Destry
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From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,020
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Re: Textpattern allure

Bici, I guess you’re talking about yourself, not the author of that article (in which case you wouldn’t quote yourself in this context), because he doesn’t say that at all.

In fact that’s a pretty odd article, right from the title. He praises Txp, but he doesn’t. He says he’s always wanted to use it, but problems with Txp have always prevented him from doing so. You wonder what makes him suited to even write this article, if he has no experience with it.

This is one of those great opprtunities for Team Txp or anyone else to write response article that kindly but systematically goes through the authors points and corrects or elaborates on the facts where he was ill-informed to say anything.

As it is, that article hurts more than helps.


The text persuades, the *notes prove。

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#4 2018-10-28 09:04:05

Destry
Moderator
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,020
Website

Re: Textpattern allure

I can’t respond to his plugin claims. I simply don’t know enough about that tech to do so. He sounds like he’s a developer. But he does make it sound like Txp plugins tech is lagging.

I also can’t speak to the claims of deficient images handling. That might be a valid gripe, but I don’t use many images. I’m not a photogragher. I don’t do galleries. So Txp is not hurting in that respect, as far as I’m concerned.

Those were two of his main setbacks, but not the only ones.

Maybe a co-authored response, with at least the insights from one dev.


The text persuades, the *notes prove。

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#5 2018-10-28 10:33:30

jakob
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From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 3,159
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Re: Textpattern allure

I dunno, I kind of understand where he’s coming from having used WP as well, though my level of experience with WP is probably similar to his with TXP. The article is fairly old too, so I see little purpose in answering it now. Some of the criticisms can be dealt with with plugins, others are still valid today. Perhaps when some aspects are dealt with as part of the planned TXP roadmap, invite him to revisit TXP?

Destry wrote #314787:

I also can’t speak to the claims of deficient images handling. That might be a valid gripe, but I don’t use many images. I’m not a photogragher. I don’t do galleries. So Txp is not hurting in that respect, as far as I’m concerned.

I think he’s referring more to responsive images and the automatic handling of srcset where images in several sizes of image are required. That applies in theory to any site, not just (though especially) to image-heavy ones. Wordpress themes can define a set of thumbnail sizes that WP automatically creates thumbs of and then assembles into a srcset tag. It’s good for newbies, definitely, but in my experience can often result in huge filebases. I’ve seen sites that have 10+ different sizes of images, sometimes quite similar, because different plugins or themes define their own sizes, alongside WPs own image sizes, without taking account of each other (each plugin is, of course, tailored to ensure it’s own method works). Various add-on plugins exist that send the images through smush-it to optimise them which brings some improvement.

That can all be done with smd_thumbnail in txp (in txp 4.7, it’s become much nicer in its handling, too) but as a site designer, you still need to decide which sizes you want and define the sizes attribute for srcset which depend on how you’re using images in your layout. The theme authors do that in WP so the average user doesn’t see that. I don’t see any easy way to handle that in txp automatically as it depends on the layout. But something like smush-it – or better a server-side image optimisation routine – would be great for Textpattern.

(from that article) My one gripe with writing content in Textpattern is that the preview article button doesn’t show the article using the site’s design.

The “view” button as admin user does now allow the temporary previewing of a page in situ but I’ve never succeeded in being able to show that link to someone else who’s not logged in. In WP, I believe, the theme authors can produce an extra css file for the text editor preview to look ‘similar to how it is styled on the front end’. That would be possible in txp, too, by using custom.css in the respective admin theme to set the css for the write tab preview pane to match the front end ‘look’. That’s not part of the current front-side theme setup, though, so it’s an extra step for a site developer.

plugin architecture / scalability

I can’t say all that much about the plugin architecture or scalability… WP’s update notifications from within the back end are certainly good as well as the compatibility notices. The ability to package them up as flat files too is nice when keeping your sites in managed repositories. Jukka kind of tackled that with his composer manifest files and rah_blobin. Maybe Phil’s been thinking about that in conjunction with GitHub.

Otherwise I find WP plugins and its architecture often run roughshod over efficient website design practices resulting in sometimes huge numbers of http requests and duplicate or even unused javascript, css and fonts being loaded on every page. A lot of developers, especially those using all-singing-all-dancing theme frameworks, forget to disable what they don’t use and I’ve seen sites that load 3 slider scripts, multiple different versions of jQuery and sometimes even rafts of unused font files from google fonts or multiple iconfonts because they are a theme option or came with another plugin but are not actually used on the site. The go-to solution there is to using caching to reduce the performance hit but if you ask me that’s not tackling the actual problem, just putting a big plaster over it.

The long and short – for me at any rate – is you need to get out the wrench and get your hands a bit more oily with Textpattern than you do with WP’s push-button approach but at the same time, you don’t need to be a full-blown mechanic. That makes it not quite as easy for ‘regular users’ to use but the flip side is you can have a more tailored, more efficient and more optimised site with less effort. As the author of that article says – Textpattern’s tags makes it way easier to tailor than Wordpress where you invariably have to go straight to php and start learning their system of WP callbacks.


TXP Builders – finely-crafted code, design and txp

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#6 2018-10-29 10:26:50

philwareham
Core designer
From: Farnham, Surrey, UK
Registered: 2009-06-11
Posts: 3,093
Website

Re: Textpattern allure

Image handling is something I’d love to see improved in Textpattern, we have issues open for some of that…

Issue 922

Issue 913

Issue 8

For the image grid, I’ve already done a proof of concept but it directly relates to issue 913 too. Unfortunately I need the help of someone with PHP chops to tackle these issues. I can only do the UI that houses it. If anyone is willing to contribute code I’d be very happy to help get this ready for Textpattern 4.8.

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#7 2018-10-29 11:13:17

Destry
Moderator
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,020
Website

Re: Textpattern allure

jakob wrote #314788:

The article is fairly old too…

I guess a calendar year is a glacial age in this domain? ;)

In any case, I don’t want to open the old ‘the project needs more blog posts’ can of worms. But I guarantee lack of exposure is still one main reason Txp’s user numbers are down, which was another point he made there.

Young people do not know about Txp. I mentioned it a couple times in M’don once on a different instance — not long after that article was written, in fact — and people were like, ‘never heard of it’. That being off the radar is far more impactful than its current feature set, I’m guessing.

Older generation folks, our lot (well, me and few others), Txp has all it will get at this point. We lost many and they won’t be coming back, that’s for sure. Life moves on. So the new/young entrants to website building, whether hobby or business-oriented, is where Txp’s future is, if it has one beyond 20 veteran users. ;) So this project (again, at the risk of singing the old song) must market.

Static file generators are all the rage with the young (and Linux-y) folks these days too. I see the arguments made for them again and again in the fediverse (Hugo and Pelican being two often mentioned). Old school people dipping their feet into these more too. The more techie types even scoff at AMP stacks, in fact. Mind you these are people who think in terms of the classic blog model; single author, simple site structure, posts under 700 words, etc.

If Txp gets an intuitive hybrid flat-file thing working, that will make it more interesting for that crowd.

I like the idea of static generators for the data portability and archival aspects, but, I tried to get my head around Jekyll’s Liquid stuff once and I did not like it at all. I don’t know what other site-generator projects like Hugo, Pelican, etc use, but hopefully not Liquid.


The text persuades, the *notes prove。

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#8 2018-10-29 11:38:00

Destry
Moderator
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,020
Website

Re: Textpattern allure

Destry wrote #314797:

So this project (again, at the risk of singing the old song) must market.

I should probably add… Marketing and community reach needs a stab at something more creative and with the times, not the usual B.S. of the last ten years. Centralized social media like Twitter is not what I’m talking about.

More blogging is still essential. Good, quality content is essential. From Txp and the community.

Setting up a community-vetted instance on the fediverse is another kind of tactic to be thinking about, though. A dip into the new trend. You had a Google Minus community, a Fakebook group/page, a LockedIn group… Regrettably I vouched and played in them all once upon a time. So at least give the new trend consideration. Centralized isn’t the end-all anymore; it’s starting to stink, in fact, and even the billionaires know it. Smart people — including hackers, designers, are increasingly writers — are getting into the fediverse. I know Phil created a Txp account on m.s (and since unused), but that’s not what I mean, exactly. I mean the project making its own home there, for it’s own community.

And that’s just one facet to focus on. Another is introducing something fun again, like a themes contest. Need a place for that though. That spirit has been lost in the community. It’s all heads down business now. There’s no fun in the vibe anymore. That could be looked at. Humans like fun. But don’t let us old fogies get in the way of that. We, like me, have had our days in that pie already. Let the new/young folks take that bull by the horns. That’s what’s needed.

Oh, Pete’s idea for having regular remote meetups about Txp using open-source tech. That’s a good call.

What other new/creative ideas to get attention?


The text persuades, the *notes prove。

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#9 2018-10-30 03:30:13

bici
Member
From: vancouver
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,315
Website

Re: Textpattern allure

Destry wrote #314786:

Bici, I guess you’re talking about yourself, not the author of that article (in which case you wouldn’t quote yourself in this context), because he doesn’t say that at all.

In fact that’s a pretty odd article, right from the title. He praises Txp, but he doesn’t. He says he’s always wanted to use it, but problems with Txp have always prevented him from doing so. You wonder what makes him suited to even write this article, if he has no experience with it.

This is one of those great opprtunities for Team Txp or anyone else to write response article that kindly but systematically goes through the authors points and corrects or elaborates on the facts where he was ill-informed to say anything.

As it is, that article hurts more than helps.

i did indeed quote my imaginary self. i sometimes do that…


…. texted postive

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#10 2018-10-30 03:34:43

bici
Member
From: vancouver
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,315
Website

Re: Textpattern allure

Destry wrote #314797:

If Txp gets an intuitive hybrid flat-file thing working, that will make it more interesting for that crowd.

that would be a huge feature


…. texted postive

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