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Should we create a companion site that demonstrates the outcome of our site building?

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Should we create a companion site that mirrors the site we build in the book?
Yes - Create the companion site
No - This is not really neeeded
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Community saint

I am thinking that we should do a companion site the shows what our finished site looks like. We could post blog entries to talk about specific transformations. I feel this will be especially important for theming, CEDI and e-commerce. What do others think? Please respond in the poll.

Bob
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Community saint

Who will administer the site? There will be upgrades, bug fixes, keeping the theme fresh looking, etc. An ignored site could have a negative impact on someone looking at ocPortal.

Keeping the site updated could throw it out of sync with the book after a period of time making things a little confusing.

Just some thoughts to think about.

Steve
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Posted
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Community saint

I was thinking that we would only upgrade the site when we update the book (probably at major upgrades) so that there is consistency between the two. We could cover new features in minor upgrade in CEDI which would pretty much just need to be absorbed into the the book update.

In the "Team roles" topic, I mentioned this as a possible position for volunteering.

Bob


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Posted
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Community saint

A companion site is a good idea. In the 'old days' this be on the CD accompanying the book. People need to be able so see what the end result will be before committing to going through the whole book.

From a maintenance point of view the site should be locked down with only security patches being allowed. Nothing worse then seeing something in the book which does not match the site.

Even the forums should probably be locked down.

Do you have a Samsung Galaxy S / Galaxy S II ? If so, why not check out my ScreenFree FM Radio .
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temp1024 said

A companion site is a good idea. In the 'old days' this be on the CD accompanying the book. People need to be able so see what the end result will be before committing to going through the whole book.

From a maintenance point of view the site should be locked down with only security patches being allowed. Nothing worse then seeing something in the book which does not match the site.

Even the forums should probably be locked down.

This sums up my thoughts exactly. Should people have questions about something, they should visit the this forum.

Bob
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Posted
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Community saint

hmm Locked down might be good but allowing people to play or interact with the site might be better.

I mean this way they can actually see the site in action and better understand how features work.

This is why I had suggested a Clan site because my Clan (gaming community) site has been in operation since 2005 and although getting a little dusty I intend to keep around for a long time to come. As I posted in another thread I can also come up with scenarios within this structure to showcase pretty much every feature of ocPortal that can easily be translatable to another type of site.

The only thing is I have never used my clan site as an advertising medium (though many clans do) and this is where perhaps a different site may make sense because if we intend to use real Adverts and/or real saleable items in a store. Revenue from this could be better directed to ocPortal if it were not a current site in existence. I have a couple domains though I can donate to the project that fall under the gaming category that I am willing to both donate the Domain but also help setup so any incomes that can be made from it end up in ocPrtals coffers.
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Duck said

hmm Locked down might be good but allowing people to play or interact with the site might be better.

I mean this way they can actually see the site in action and better understand how features work.
I totally agree, but I don't think its practical.

You can't give users admin/edit access to a shared site as they will clobber each others work. And without that there really isn't too much they can practice/play with. And even if you were to allowing say just forum posts you would want to have a moderator.

Having said all that. My original idea was to either have something like
ocPortal version 8.1.1 Demo - opensourceCMS , or direct users there to have a play. Not ideal because users can be tripping themselves while learning, but still valuable.

And, and before I forget, all online resource references should be directed to an ocportal.com CEDI page which can be maintained to ensure all links are current. The book would reference it as say:

  ocportal.com/book/resources#playpen
  ocportal.com/book/resources#ftp

Do you have a Samsung Galaxy S / Galaxy S II ? If so, why not check out my ScreenFree FM Radio .
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Posted
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Non-joined user

Quite a few software sites have a totally unlocked try-out sites that automatically reinstall after a few hours or so.  It allows users to play away and break it, and it'll be fixed for the next users.

For example:

Demo - Fork CMS
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Posted
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O said

Quite a few software sites have a totally unlocked try-out sites that automatically reinstall after a few hours or so.  It allows users to play away and break it, and it'll be fixed for the next users.

For example:

Demo - Fork CMS
Chris mentioned this to me as a potential option in an email. It's worth considering but I think we need an authoritative site that mimics exactly the book so that there is less confusion.

Bob
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temp1024 said

Duck said

hmm Locked down might be good but allowing people to play or interact with the site might be better.

I mean this way they can actually see the site in action and better understand how features work.
I totally agree, but I don't think its practical.

You can't give users admin/edit access to a shared site as they will clobber each others work. And without that there really isn't too much they can practice/play with. And even if you were to allowing say just forum posts you would want to have a moderator.

Having said all that. My original idea was to either have something like
ocPortal version 8.1.1 Demo - opensourceCMS , or direct users there to have a play. Not ideal because users can be tripping themselves while learning, but still valuable.

And, and before I forget, all online resource references should be directed to an ocportal.com CEDI page which can be maintained to ensure all links are current. The book would reference it as say:

  ocportal.com/book/resources#playpen
  ocportal.com/book/resources#ftp

As mentioned above, I think practicality dictates a locked-down site that mirrors the book. We can also potentially set=up personalized demo sites but I consider that a stage 2 requirement after we get the book launched. If we pile too much on our plate, we'll end up getting nothing done.

I agree with your comments regarding using CEDI to create landmark pages with links.

Bob
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Community saint

I have an idea that we should seriously consider. The companion site should be a real site. We should start with a goal to make the site functional and real with a set of goals and requirements and actually build it to be real. The book can document it's building and it can still be used as a reference but I don't think we need a second STATIC DEMO site. One Demo site is all that is needed of ocPortal. The Book site should be real. Then the income we wanted to make from the book could be made from the real site via Ads and or Product sales and Donations etc. We can grow the site to a a couple hundred a month in revenue easily and then the site could be sold for a few thousand in 6 months to a year to pay for the book and the book can then remain FREE for all cause ocPortal will have generated enough revenue from the site we set up to cover some development costs.

We don't have to worry alot about moderation and administration if we do it right because if we grow a community in it then Moderators and volunteers will join up and help out and the thing can become self sufficient (at least enough for a moderate success), I mean we got to do all the initial leg work anyway after that is just a little promotion of the site to get it popular. Once it starts rolling it will mostly take care of itself. $100 per month revenue shouldn't be that hard of a target to reach with it and that is more than enough to create the resale value needed to more than cover Chris's estimated development cost of the feature as promised.

I would like to see the book remain Free or very very cheap if possible to encourage ocPortal widespread use. I think ocPortal needs to start hitting the masses to attract more Developers and hopefully more Investors to encourage its growth. I think the time for a paid book will be down the road when ocPortals user base is much much larger.
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Duck-

While your proposal is certainly interesting, I think it fails in one part: it does not serve as a identically rendered version of what is in the book. I really think we will need to lockdown the site so that it is page-for-page a mirror of what is in the book.

We've not yet priced the book and can't really until we have some notion as to what it consists of. My personal thoughts are that it should be relatively inexpensive as an ebook with a higher cost should we decide to do a hard copy.

My current thoughts are that this might be a stage 2 project should we decide to up our game after we release the first book.

Bob
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Posted
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Community saint

I see no purpose for an IDENTICAL locked down version of the site. There is plenty pics in  a book to look at why look at a static site with it? A live site shows the system works and for an unchanging demo that is what demo site is for and ultimately should be what is referenced in the book for someone who wants to browse and test not the book site. The book site is for subject matter to prove it works. A locked site proves nothing.
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Community saint

I registered a Domain today that I found available. (I had a couple other decent ones available as well but I thought this one would work well with the book).

MachoMotors.com

If this is going to be a live site as suggested I am willing to immediately transfer ownership of the domain to Chris (or ocPortal) freely so it can be used and any proceeds from it can be directed to ocPortal. If we are going to stick with a static site then we can just use a subdomain of ocPortal for that in which case I'll keep the domain and maybe plop up a car site of my own to sell sometime.

Anyway as the name suggests we can focus the site on cool custom cars (and trucks etc) and make niche community site with it.

I really think the live site for sale idea is a good one because it deals with a real entity that can be chronicled. As I have said I don't see a point to a static locked site that mirrors the book so people can go there and say "Yup that looks like the picture I just saw in the book. Too bad I can't join or play with the site or anything?"
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BobS said

Chris mentioned this to me as a potential option in an email. It's worth considering but I think we need an authoritative site that mimics exactly the book so that there is less confusion.

There's no reason why it cannot match the final book site - it doesn't have to be a clean install.

That way people could have full(ish) admin access to the site the book creates, and any mess they make will be gone after 2 hours.
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I've been on the fence about this, and still am. So my vote has not been recorded yet.

When I'm learning something I like to learn by seeing what the result should be and actual working examples of how it was accomplished along with doing it myself. When I started with ocPortal, the first thing I wanted to do was to give the theme a working over. The videos were great for this as I could watch how it was done and as the video was playing I could make changes to mine.

The only difference I see between a static site and pictures in a book is the static site is a 3-dimensional view of the book. Very limited as to what it can do to help someone learning.

The other end of the spectrum is a live site where someone can interact with to see what tweaking this or tweaking that will do to the overall site. This type of site would be difficult to allow several people tweak at the same time.

Maybe somewhere in between would be a static site with short videos in each area showing how to "tweak" that area. Also a chapter in the book showing how to set up a test site, along with cloning the db and site for fast recovery if it gets botched up and let the reader then use his/her test site for actual tweaking while they follow the book examples. Maybe even providing the images used on the companion site for downloading from the companion site to use in the reader's test site.

The purpose of the book should be to give the reader the ability to have hands on experience setting up and modifying their live site. A static site will not allow that hands on experience, but a test site the reader sets up will satisfy that requirement.

I see no problem of setting up a live site for the purpose of selling it later to benefit ocPortal. But I don't see how that type of site would benefit the book or it's readers other than showing what can be accomplished.

Steve
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O said

BobS said

Chris mentioned this to me as a potential option in an email. It's worth considering but I think we need an authoritative site that mimics exactly the book so that there is less confusion.

There's no reason why it cannot match the final book site - it doesn't have to be a clean install.

That way people could have full(ish) admin access to the site the book creates, and any mess they make will be gone after 2 hours.
If someone makes a mess of the site (and there is still 90 minutes before it resets), the next person coming in would come into a complete mess and I think that would leave the wrong impression.

If there was some way to spawn a sandbox for each login then it wouldn't matter how messed up someone would make it because the sandbox would disappear when they logged out  or after 15 minutes of inactivity.

Steve
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sholzy said

I see no problem of setting up a live site for the purpose of selling it later to benefit ocPortal. But I don't see how that type of site would benefit the book or it's readers other than showing what can be accomplished.

Well I was thinking that by producing the live site we can chronicle what we do to produce it and this is the content of the book. For instance:

Introduction:

Hi I am Bob. Several ocPortal users and I got together to create a car website that would be fully functional and utilize as many features found in ocPortal as possible. This is our Story.

Chapter 1 Installation:

Hi I am Duck and I was tasked at the installation of the site.

So where do I start?
What are ocPortals requirements?
Where do I even download a copy of it?

While I did know some of the answers to these questions some of them I didn't know so here is what I found:

You can download it from here:  (LINK)
The Requirements are listed here: (Link)

Wow this is cool ocPortal has an Auto Installer so I don't even have to do that FTP stuff. So I clicked the link and here are the steps it took me through.

Pic
Pic etc etc…

But hey what if I did want to FTP?

Ok I thought I would try that out to to show you how that is done and it went well. Here is how I did it:

Blah Blah Blah

Oh I also learned that you can install ocPortal from your hosting company using Installatron so check this out:

Blah Blah Blah

etc etc etc.
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Duck said

sholzy said

I see no problem of setting up a live site for the purpose of selling it later to benefit ocPortal. But I don't see how that type of site would benefit the book or it's readers other than showing what can be accomplished.

Well I was thinking that by producing the live site we can chronicle what we do to produce it and this is the content of the book. For instance:

Introduction:

Hi I am Bob. Several ocPortal users and I got together to create a car website that would be fully functional and utilize as many features found in ocPortal as possible. This is our Story.

Chapter 1 Installation:

Hi I am Duck and I was tasked at the installation of the site.

So where do I start?
What are ocPortals requirements?
Where do I even download a copy of it?

While I did know some of the answers to these questions some of them I didn't know so here is what I found:

You can download it from here:  (LINK)
The Requirements are listed here: (Link)

Wow this is cool ocPortal has an Auto Installer so I don't even have to do that FTP stuff. So I clicked the link and here are the steps it took me through.

Pic
Pic etc etc…

But hey what if I did want to FTP?

Ok I thought I would try that out to to show you how that is done and it went well. Here is how I did it:

Blah Blah Blah

Oh I also learned that you can install ocPortal from your hosting company using Installatron so check this out:

Blah Blah Blah

etc etc etc.


That can be done while building a static site. If you build a live site while writing a book, once you complete the site and sell it, it can no longer be used as an example from the book whereas a static site can always be referenced.

As I said before, I have nothing against doing either or both. I'm just playing the devil's advocate trying to flush out all possible reasons why to do one or the other or even both.

Steve
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Posted
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Community saint

Well my thought is the site is for the purpose of creating the subject matter not as a reference. I don't think there is many books in existence that reference a static site anywhere. The book is the reference. You don't really need a site to back it up. The photo's in the book are all that is needed especially if there is no interactivity at the site.

Why would I need to go to a site to see that it looks just like the pic in a book I read?

The only reason to have a site that I would like to see beside the pics if I were to play with that site but that is not what we are talking about anyway and even then a simple demo site is sufficient there is no need for it to match the book.

I don't think I am explaining it properly, sorry.

I see it as we wanted to create a book and the style (or subject matter) of that book is to mimic the process of creating a useful site that utilizes as many features as possible of ocPortal. In order to help us build the books material we are thinking about building a site to take pics of for the book. Since we are going to build it anyway, why not make it functional? Once built it is pretty much useless (if it's not functional) except to confirm that all the pics you saw in the book match the website, but, who needs that? People need to play to learn. The Demo site is perfect for that there is no need for the book site to be used for that purpose but it would serve a better purpose if it were used for that then a static site for sure. I just think that would be redundant though.
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