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#21 2005-10-29 00:22:03

New Member
Registered: 2005-08-31
Posts: 3

Re: [wiki] Documentation: "Clearly beneficial to many users"

Executive summary ; ):

A) All responses still appreciated; and

B) Do you think the message on Textpattern’s home page ought to be changed?

These, to me, are the two main things related to (all of) the above. This is the first thing that page communicates:

“What Is It?

A free, flexible, elegant, easy-to-use content management system for all kinds of websites, even weblogs.”

The second comes from a little further down the same page:

“Multiple Contributors

Sites published with Textpattern can employ unlimited registered contributors, each of whom may be assigned privileges by the publisher of the site.”

In reality, should Textpattern be viewed primarily as content management system or a personal web site development and management tool?

Are you – are many other members of the Textpattern community – using it as a content management system that is used by multiple (not necessarily technically savvy) contributors?

If so, how has it worked for you and how easy have the contributors found it to use?

For one limited example of the kind of thing fueling my interest in Textpattern, in my community, Erika runs a non-profit dedicated to helping business owners make business and practical “How to” sense of recycling as well as other “more sound” environmental practices. Cindi is the director of the local women’s rape and abuse crisis center. Erma and the people she works with focus on lowering the suicide rate among Native American teenagers (it’s three times higher than the national average for all teenagers). Fifty miles down the road to the southwest, Ms. Ray runs a rural arts outpost, and 50 miles to the southeast, Mary runs one of those “whole foods stores” (and, because they’ve been stopping in frequently for years, she’s plugged in with a couple hundred other people in the neighborhood who don’t make a lot of money but are busy living those “more organic” and “artistic” lives and have a lot to offer).

That’s just a small sampling, but some of the main things they have in common is they’re dynamic, interesting, dedictated people who are all working in the non-profit or “more holistic lifestyle” or “arts” world. Without going into the details, a web site with a focus on those sorts of things probably wouldn’t hurt their efforts or the community, all of those people (and many more) would have no trouble contributing content, and an inexpensive, flexible, elegant, easy-to-use content management system could really come in handy in that process.

What do you think? Would it work? Could they handle it with relatively “easy to use” ease? Or is Textpattern (and whatever documentation they’d need to do that, of course), not quite there yet?


#22 2005-10-29 01:56:44

Sock Enthusiast
From: Canada
Registered: 2004-06-27
Posts: 6,235

Re: [wiki] Documentation: "Clearly beneficial to many users"


> “But I do remember that once upon a time Remillard’s ‘TXP 101’ was a great little series of articles that did a lot to help new folks learn their way around Textpattern. That’s really what I was thinking of with the ‘clueless n00b’ documentation.”

Indeed, which is why I wanted to do (or someone should do) video tutorials. Like many people, I learn best from being shown, then doing it myself. Video tutorials are great for quite a lot of things because its just like the teacher is right there with you, showing you how it works. Then you can hit pause and try it yourself, hit rewind or continue on. Making a written equivalent takes a whole lot more time and planning, and also reduces the possibility that it will even be read.


> “They don’t? I must be in the wrong place, then. :)”

You troublemaker. ;)


Have you read the documentation available on user groups and permissions? If you pop over to your site admin tab, you’ll notice you can create new users and assign them to a group. There is help popups that explain how they work. Try it out. Create a new user and then login to see what it is that they see when they log in.

I’ve also included more info on this here (under “Admin-side Specific”), but its staying in that thread because its only really helpful to developers. But, the user permissions are far from complete, they are still being worked on an refined (like making them customizable, and so on).

To anyone that cares

Textpattern is absurdly easy to use for writers, that’s no lie or exaggeration. The problem is that people are assuming the web development part should be easy for those with no experience, but it isn’t, regardless of the cms you use. For the web developer, Textpattern’s forms and pages are also absurdly easy to use.

My mom has a blog. She knows a thing or two about databases and networking. Web development, on the other hand, she’s not too experienced with, never blogged before in her life. I told her about blogging and she started with Blogger. Then a couple months later, I set her up with Textpattern, and she just writes. I didn’t have to teach her, I just pointed her at it, and away she goes, no training, and she finds it easier than Blogger.

Should Txp.com’s text be updated? Likely some info should be stated to make what I’ve said more obvious. But I don’t have control over that. I don’t even know who does, might be just Dean, I don’t have a clue.

For me personally, its frustrating. It isn’t because those in the know don’t realize we need “entry level” tutorials or walkthroughs, its simply a lack of time and or tools. That doesn’t mean we aren’t still actively trying to find a solution. We know it, we’re working on it, what else can we do? I’m not about to start stalking or hounding people to find out who could be doing this or that (I’m not suggesting anyone is saying I should), I can just hope someone will volunteer or lend a hand. As I said, tell us what you can do to help or make a helpful suggestion (like, for example, a Tag Examples forum…). I don’t believe anyone has volunteered and someone said, “No, get lost.”

My email address has changed recently. If you need to contact me, use the forum contact form.


#23 2005-10-29 02:45:27

From: Provence, France
Registered: 2004-08-11
Posts: 1,578

Re: [wiki] Documentation: "Clearly beneficial to many users"

mary wrote:
Textpattern is absurdly easy to use for writers, that’s no lie or exaggeration.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree. Big time. It’s not absurdly hard to use, or worse than other softwares (and in several/a lot of cases, it’s easier) but not it’s not <q>absurdly easy to use for writers</q>.

But that’s a topic for another thread.

As I said, tell us what you can do to help or make a helpful suggestion (like, for example, a Tag Examples forum…). I don’t believe anyone has volunteered and someone said, “No, get lost.”

Look at Davidm about the french Textpattern website. Look for the no tabindex comment patch. And others, and others. Ok, it’s not a “get lost”, but it’s still done and send do null afterwards… There are issues on the other end too.

Last edited by Jeremie (2005-10-29 02:57:01)


#24 2005-10-29 09:09:47

From: Paris, France
Registered: 2004-04-27
Posts: 719

Re: [wiki] Documentation: "Clearly beneficial to many users"

ubernostrum wrote: It’s a tough issue. A lot of Textpattern’s “early adopters”, as most early adopters of this sort of software are, were people who either designed and built websites professionally or as a serious hobby, and could be expected to be fairly knowledgeable and figure a lot of things out on their own or to read what little documentation existed and make sense of it…

We’re exatctly on the same page here :-)

ubernostrum wrote: ….. A lot of this could be helped by a section in the wiki that just says “I’m new and don’t know anything about Textpattern, HTML or CSS, how do I do this?” And I’m as guilty as anyone for the absence of such a section, because I’ve had an account on the wiki forever and I’ve only ever contributed a couple things to it, most of which are almost certainly out of date by now. So… new TextBook section for “clueless n00bs”, maybe? If we could get a couple of wiki authors together to write it, it could probably be done in a weekend or so. Who’s in?

I have been also thinking along those lines a lot lately… starting from the users’ needs is certainly more appealing than a purely technical doc. Like someone said (on this thread or one the other one mentionned above), the officialness of the doc has put off a lot of would be writers. It takes a lot of effort to write structured yet understandable and “not-to-dry” documentation.

@Jeremie : Yeah well about the french forums we have a forum category, at least. Nothing prevents me to go my own way, I think that’s what germans did. I asked Dean how he saw things about french support website, he asked me to wait a little, that this effort would be best integrated into the official textpattern.com. As zem said, contribute, do things : I am and will, but at some point the french community will need a real forum, with categories. I am confident this day will come, as more and more french people come to us :-) Then we’ll see how to go about it….

One thing would be nice right now, and not to hard to set up is a localized textpattern.com page. As I wrote Dean, this would be nice. Plus it’s already done translating, in french for the moment but if a call to spanish, germans and others was launched, this is just a page I am convinced people are willing and able to do it. Maybe they also mailed Dean about this, I don’t know…

Last edited by davidm (2005-10-29 09:50:06)

.: Retired :.


#25 2005-10-29 12:25:06

From: Tarpon Springs, FL USA
Registered: 2005-02-06
Posts: 103

Re: [wiki] Documentation: "Clearly beneficial to many users"

That reminded me that I need to get back to updating my own site’s documentation for my writers. I started an end user tutorial that was specific to my site here back in April, but got sidetracked with baseball season other projects.

It would have been much easier if I could have sent my writers and editors to a site that had a generic version, or if these type of instructions were included with the docs, but it didn’t take that long to make a site specific version, and I learned more about textpattern in the process. I had a lot of time available back then though.

If anyone can use any of my documentation or images to create a tut, go ahead. I’ll probably be updating this in the next couple of weeks though.

Or letting it gather dust as I put it off again. That’s one reason I don’t offer to do things like this on a community wide basis. I don’t want to offer unless I know I can give the continued support it would need.



#26 2005-10-29 13:09:37

From: Alemannia
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 3,300

Re: [wiki] Documentation: "Clearly beneficial to many users"

Thank you, Ren, your words support at least one point I’ve been trying to emphasize about making contributions to documentation availabe for more to assist with.

By the way, I think you mean to say “Content Management System” on your site, not “Contact..”

Last edited by Destry (2005-10-29 13:15:26)


#27 2005-10-29 16:08:39

From: Tarpon Springs, FL USA
Registered: 2005-02-06
Posts: 103

Re: [wiki] Documentation: "Clearly beneficial to many users"

Well that explains why I can’t find my Aunt’s phone number.

Thanks for the community support on that. I’ve read that a dozen times and never noticed it.


#28 2005-10-29 17:54:46

From: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Registered: 2004-10-10
Posts: 3,069

Re: [wiki] Documentation: "Clearly beneficial to many users"

One thing is to use TXP (as end-user that simple wants to write articles or modify a little the content of his site) and the other one is to develope a site with TXP.

Dont expect to reach a very far goal if you dont have some basic knowledge and good predisposition.
But i have read that even mary’s mom uses TXP!
Surely, mary has developed her mom’s site with TXP, and her mom uses TXP.

I have been searching with the Wayback Machine for Textpattern.com*/http://www.textpattern.com/ if I can find that message that I can swear I read at textpattern.com/deanload/ when I downloaded TXP for the first time.
I was very very near to achieve my goal: textpattern.com/deanload at the Wayback machine*/http://www.textpattern.com/deanload. There is a result for April 2004, but when you click on it, you get a page that says that textpattern.com/deanload wasnt archived.

Well, let’s go back to the topic:

I’m searching for that phrase that said something like To use TXP you need skills in (x)HTML and CSS that has been removed from /deanload/.

I dont want to promote that TXP is for a niche or a lodge, neither I want to be egoistic and pedantic with the people that wants to use TXP but dont have a clue about what HTML stands for (because the true is that they can use it to blog just with the default install).

Where am I going?
Textpattern isnt for everybody (please, dont throw me anything solid that may hurt me), or am I wrong?
As I said before: Drupal wasn’t for me, and maybe TXP wasnt for you.

Maybe I’m wrong, but there are always required knowledge/requisites if you want to use a tool.
The tool, in this case, is TXP.

I’m not saying that you have to be a geek of the Web, not even a PHP freaky to use TXP. You dont have to be a professional webdesigner, neither a webdeveloper nor an information architect.

But I think it’s a requirement just to be an enthusiast of:

  1. XHTML
  2. CSS
  3. and the Trial and Error method

I’m of that kind of TXP users!
Before I started to use TXP, I have a basic but solid knowledge in XHTML and CSS. First, I made a static xHTML site, all .htm files uploaded by FTP. Then, I started to look wich was the best way to have a site that can be updated easily and then I found somewhere a link to Textpattern.com. Clicked, downloaded TXP, installed it (with very very basic PHP, MySQL and cPanel knowledge), play with it (trial and error), and felt in love.

If you want to use TXP and dont have those basics, you can simple keep the default installed theme and then start to write articles.
If you want to reach a far goal and develope sites with TXP, just become an enthusiast of XHTML, CSS, the trial and the error.

Last edited by maniqui (2005-10-29 18:10:09)

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