/ technology

Textpattern: a whole new ballgame

I’m very upset with Dean Allen, very upset indeed. You see, he’s created this application called Textpattern, and it’s just such an incredible manifestation of ideas, such a brilliant application of technology, that it deserves the moniker of… (oh how I hate this term)... a killer app.

But Textpattern is indeed a killer app. It’s the end result of taking a bunch of the best open source technologies available and coupling them with a brain that’s actually thought about the whole content vs presentation dichotomy, from the perspective of someone who can do a bang-up job of delivering either one. And it’s still in pre-release phase. It’s already great, and it gets better on a daily basis right now, the result of a very active user forum and a receptive and responsive Dean Allen (et al.).

I may have mentioned recently that I was looking at this other weblogging software called WordPress. I was. It is a step in the direction of what I was looking for in weblogging software, vs. my current choice of MovableType, and is an excellent choice for a lot of applications. But just as I was hitting some walls with what WordPress could do for me, Textpattern went to gamma, or pre-public-release phase. I had looked at this software a year ago, when Dean first announced its beta availability, but it was too rough around the edges for this barely-literate html/php/apache code spinner. But now, about a year later, it is polished, and ready for a few more folks to take it for a whirl. So I did, and I’m amazed at what Dean has done. I’m also amazed that he still has free time to teach the likes of me how to set up virtual hosting on my computer so I can fully try this out.

In some ways, this application is so powerful I almost don’t want to switch. The possibilities are endless, yet my capabilities are very much indeed “with end”. But I’m very happy with what I’ve been able to cobble together here on my laptop test site, so I plan to switch over Real Soon Now. And the beauty part is, as I change my mind about how my live site should evolve, the changes will be instantaneous, because the nature of Textpattern’s php-based engine is that everything happens in real-time, from homepage, to static page, to image gallery, to link list.

Like I said, it’s a killer app.

Textpattern, coming soon to a website near you. Guaranteed.