Is the CMS TextPattern worth checking out yet?
March 2, 2004 12:12 PM   Subscribe

CMSFilter: After hearing about Dean Allen's TextPattern on and off for the longest time without being able to actually try it, it's now available in what he calls a "gamma" version that he's been updating and bugfixing for the last week. Is it worth the time to check out or not, or not yet? And what's so special (or not or not yet) about this particular pile of code?
posted by wendell to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
it looks like a plain text markup, very nicely presented, and integrated into a cms. if you're interested in the ideas behing plain text markup, check out restructured text - (i don't know what you're interested in - for me, it doesn't look like anything very new *idea-wise*, but it looks like someone has put a lot of effort into assembling and presenting it, so it could be very important *impact-wise*).
posted by andrew cooke at 12:18 PM on March 2, 2004

I'm moving most of my stuff to TextPattern because two of the sites I'm doing, I've had to "hack" Movable Type to *just* be a news-article backend. It seems that TextPattern is more of a "multipurpose CMS", and will fit into what I'm doing nicely.

I'm waiting for the first non-gamma release to move everything. I like what I see so far and in playing with the recent releases. It's *really* fast, despite the SQL backend.
posted by mrbill at 1:14 PM on March 2, 2004

I've been using Nucleus for CMS for a while, and it's pretty good, but kinda clunky.

When Textpattern Gamma shipped, I jumped on it. I'm still skinning an installation of it.

Textpattern's CSS builder is really cool, and overall, compared to Nucleus, feels more like someone in the publishing industry designed it, rather than someone in the computer industry. This isn't surprising given Dean Allen's background.

So far, Textpattern feels surprisingly mature for being a gamma release.
posted by tomierna at 1:27 PM on March 2, 2004

It wasn't clear to me from the front page, and excuse my ignorance: what version of PHP do you need? Is there a db requirement too?
posted by bonehead at 1:43 PM on March 2, 2004

bonehead: pretty much just PHP 4.x and MySQL 3.x as far as I can tell. I'm using PHP 4.3.2 and MySQL 3.23.56 without a problem on Solaris 9.
posted by mrbill at 2:44 PM on March 2, 2004

This is a very nice tool, I'm in the middle of porting my MT weblog (1800 entries) to it. The few bugs that have cropped up have been dealt with quickly and a nice little support community is being established on the forums. Textile is stroke of genius and alone is worth the price of admission. It's also dang pretty and if you spend as much time in your weblogging tool as I do esthetics are a real concern and all too often overlooked.

As much as I love MT, that sucker just generates too many files for my taste and it's nice to have a dynamic system as lightweight as Textpattern available. Aside from the fact that I actually understand how it works.

If Textpattern appeals to you, Wordpress is certainly also worth a look.
posted by cedar at 2:54 PM on March 2, 2004

good thread people - thanks.

sooo... what is our recommendation for a php based photogallery that is as lightweight and pretty as textpattern? i have photostack installed but am having configuration problems with php 4.x on a MS server .. :(
posted by specialk420 at 3:36 PM on March 2, 2004

specialk - I've always liked album, even though its not PHP-based.
posted by mrbill at 4:10 PM on March 2, 2004

"...surprisingly mature for being a gamma release."

A gamma release is generally considered to be feature complete and is in prerelease testing. It's the term for what's now called a "release candidate." Customarily, software proceeds from alpha through beta to gamma and production readiness statuses.

Textpattern seems to have Textile, a sort of massively overgrown version of TikiText, vaguely in the spirit of YAML. I'm not too fond of Textile in particular (I use a simplified TikiText variant), but the spirit of the Textpattern system itself seems to be that of a Blosxom (which I adore) on steroids.

"What is our recommendation for a php based photogallery...?"

It's not PHP and takes some work to make pretty, but I use Apache::Album and really like it. I throw the photos into a repository, it picks them up, does a little postprocessing with ImageMagick, makes all the thumbnails and resized versions for me, and keeps captions and such in a nice convenient flat text file. It's sort of the Blosxom of photo galleries.
posted by majick at 5:02 PM on March 2, 2004

Response by poster: Wait a minute, specialkbreakfast! I asked the question, I am supposed to thank everyone for the good answers!!

tomierna, expect to get a few more hits daily while you're testing Textpattern. I'm running Nucleus too, and am eager to see how your conversion goes. (You are my Guinea Pig, Bwahahaha!!!)

Now all I need to do is increase my attention span long enough to maintain my blog...
posted by wendell at 7:57 PM on March 2, 2004

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