A flexible, elegant, easy-to-use content management system for all kinds of websites, even weblogs.
When it comes to publishing on the internet, beginners and experts alike are met with a bothersome paradox: word processors and graphics applications allow anyone to do a pretty good job of managing text and images on a personal computer, but to make these available to the worldwide web ? a seemingly similar environment of documents and destinations ? ease of use vanishes behind sudden requirements for multilingual programming skills, proficiency in computer-based graphic design, and, ultimately, the patience of a saint.
Those who soldier on anyway may find themselves further held back by the web’s purported inflexibility with written language, with its reluctance to cope with all but the plainest of text, or by the unpredictable results brought about by using ‘WYSIWYG’ web editors.
Textpattern is a web application designed to help overcome these and other hurdles to publishing online, and to simplify the production of well-structured, standards-compliant web pages.
Text, Textile and XHTML
Built into Textpattern is Textile, a simple syntax for nudging plain text into structurally sound and stylistically rich web content. Ordinarily fussy text amendments such as headers, hyperlinks, image tags and tables are created with one or two simple markers. Compared to navigating the tag soup of markup, writing and revising with Textile is much more intuitive, being closer to working with ordinary text. Once you’re ready to publish, copy marked up with Textile is automatically converted to valid XHTML, and because Textpattern stores both versions of each article, revising and updating is a snap.
When composing or readying articles for publication in Textpattern, you can switch between three views of the article:plain text, XHTML (the code with which a web browser renders the article), and a rendered preview.
Sites published with Textpattern can employ unlimited registered contributors, each of whom may be assigned privileges by the publisher of the site. Five levels of privileges (publisher, managing editor, copy editor, writer and designer) are provided, and each reflects different access to article creation, approval, editing and deletion, and to image uploads, page design and CSS, and of course adding more contributors.
Working With Style
The Cascading Style Sheets standard is a slim, powerful language that allows you to centralize site-wide control of content presentation. Everything from fonts and colours to sizes and positions can be governed through CSS.
Ordinarily CSS data appears in the head section of an HTML document, or is stored in a text file linked to the document. Modern browsers parse this data in advance of displaying a page, and then cache the data for use on subsequent pages or site visits. As such, CSS can greatly reduce the download size of web pages: just one of many improvements CSS formatting offers over older web design methods. Textpattern offers two modes of maintaining style sheets for your pages.
In Manual CSS mode, you can create (or paste in) any style sheet information you like, right in the Textpattern interface. This allows for quick editing of styles without the clumsy bother of FTP uploading. Style sheets can be generated from scratch or by WYSIWYG website editors, and are found all over the web.
In Automatic CSS mode, style sheet editing is taken to a sophisticated new level, using an editing interface and organizational method intended to make CSS parameters more readable and logical. Any existing style sheet can be ‘poured’ into the editing interface and modified indefinitely.
Installing and managing plugins that extend Textpattern's abilities is straightforward. Once installed, plugins can be turned on and off from within the Textpattern interface, where detailed help and access to parameters used by plugins is also available.