Reverse detail from Kakelbont MS 1, a fifteenth-century French Psalter. This image is in the public domain. Daniel Paul O'Donnell

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Textpattern

Posted: Nov 19, 2006 20:11;
Last Modified: Nov 19, 2006 20:11

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My new (2006-) version of this site is built using Textpattern. This is an open source Content Management System (CMS)—in other words, software that allows one to organise material in a website.

I’d investigated a number of CMS systems before choosing Testpattern. My main user criteria were

Over the past few years, I have experimented with a number of different ways of working with my web space, from basic HTML to TEI XML, and found all far too complicated for the type of work I am doing in this space. For my teaching space, I needed a system that would allow me to edit documents with a minimum of fuss from anywhere in the world. I did not want to use specialised editing software—not all computers on campus have a program as good as Oxygen —and, more than anything, I was tired of walking my way through table markup in order to change the date of a test.

Textpattern answered most of my needs. It was very easy to set up (a process quite similar to that for setting up Mediawiki) and much easier to set up than Drupal (on my system at least). I was also impressed by the quality of the stylesheets that accompanied it. Textpattern seems to produce very standards-based output.

The main problem with Textpattern from my perspective is that, while it claims to be “A free, flexible, elegant, easy-to-use content management system for all kinds of websites, even weblogs,” it is really much more a content system for managing weblogs that can even be used for other kinds of websites.

In my next posting on Textpattern, I’ll discuss some tricks you can use to make the program more suitable for the kind of relatively static website many of us have.

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