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Moving forward with Composr

ocPortal has been relaunched as Composr CMS, which is now in beta. ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.

Head over to compo.sr for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.


What hosting environment do you use for ocPortal

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What hosting environments do you use to host your ocPortal installations?
Linux for live site
Windows for live site
Linux for test site
Windows for test site
Other (Please explain below)
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Community saint

This is just to get a sense of what hosting environments people are using so we can better understand what needs to be touched on in the ocPortal book. Please cast your votes to give us a clearer picture.

Bob
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O

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Do we even go down the prescribed test site route?  I appreciate that we might want to mention that it's useful to have a test site, and a few ways of doing it, but is any more than that necessary?

Shouldn't we just concentrate on building a site?

Test sites, etc, could be left for more advanced material.
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O said

Do we even go down the prescribed test site route?  I appreciate that we might want to mention that it's useful to have a test site, and a few ways of doing it, but is any more than that necessary?

Shouldn't we just concentrate on building a site?

Test sites, etc, could be left for more advanced material.

This was not meant to determine test site, just the total installations on Windows and Linux to determine which we establish as the typical installation environment.

I am assuming it is Linux but want to see the actual numbers.

Bob
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Actually I kind of like the idea of covering test site setup because some users don't realize the best way to keep a test site in sync with live and how to utilize that for upgrading etc. It is not a bad idea to cover it at least briefly. But not completely necessary either if there is a need to trim fat this is an area that can be trimmed
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Duck said

Actually I kind of like the idea of covering test site setup because some users don't realize the best way to keep a test site in sync with live and how to utilize that for upgrading etc. It is not a bad idea to cover it at least briefly. But not completely necessary either if there is a need to trim fat this is an area that can be trimmed
I see this as an advanced topic that does not need to be covered in the basic book. I really think we want to focus on a step-by-step that allows a newcomer to ocPortal to get their site up and running while explaining the various options available that they can choose to implement.

Bob

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BobS said

Duck said

Actually I kind of like the idea of covering test site setup because some users don't realize the best way to keep a test site in sync with live and how to utilize that for upgrading etc. It is not a bad idea to cover it at least briefly. But not completely necessary either if there is a need to trim fat this is an area that can be trimmed

I see this as an advanced topic that does not need to be covered in the basic book. I really think we want to focus on a step-by-step that allows a newcomer to ocPortal to get their site up and running while explaining the various options available that they can choose to implement.

Bob



Concur. The newbie just wants a step-by-step process. Synchronizing demo and live sites is indeed an advanced topic.
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Just to point out that while I believe we need to consider the newbie I think that Advanced topics are more pertinent because I believe the more common user (especially ones interested in a book) will be intermediate on up. Many of those while they understand the basics of FTP etc may not know good cloning practices etc.

After all most of the people who find ocPortal will know what a CMS stands for where a complete noob will not even know what that is and is not likely even to be discovering ocPortal or the book in the first place. That does not mean we should ignore this segment but what I am saying is you need to know who your largest base of users is and cater to them first. That is the Intermediate to Advanced user base. Improving their knowledge and skill should be priority.
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Duck, I concur. I believe that a newbie to the "CMS world" will be a bit overwhelmed by this CMS.

I just had a thought. Should references to other CMS systems be included as well, to point out the differences? I would think that most of us here have tried other CMS systems and forum software, to include Joomla, Drupal, Mambo, SMF, PHPBBB, Wordpress, and a host of others. Not too many details should be given, other than what is provided for in OcPortal includes the functions of the other software platforms.
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BobS said

Duck said

Actually I kind of like the idea of covering test site setup because some users don't realize the best way to keep a test site in sync with live and how to utilize that for upgrading etc. It is not a bad idea to cover it at least briefly. But not completely necessary either if there is a need to trim fat this is an area that can be trimmed
I see this as an advanced topic that does not need to be covered in the basic book. I really think we want to focus on a step-by-step that allows a newcomer to ocPortal to get their site up and running while explaining the various options available that they can choose to implement.

Bob


I think it's an advanced topic that needs to be addressed at the beginning of the book. Starting the noob out with proper tools could help end the "Somebody please HELP!! I've made changes to my live site and now I get a 'Critical Error' and I can't get in."

 The chapter should start out being basic for the n00b showing how to set up a server and using it as a sandbox while learning about ocPortal. Then moving to more advanced items such as syncing, cloning, applying hotfixes, creating backups and maybe even lightly touching on moving to a different server with references to a more advanced chapter on moving to a new sever. Let the n00b decide his comfort level.

Steve
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Just to add my $2,000 worth, (inflation you know),…I think it might be a good idea to include both a noob and advanced section to the book. I know from personal experience, a detailed guide on theming would attract many more users. The out-of-the-box look of the OCP leaves many of my hosting clients cold.
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psydoc said

… a detailed guide on theming would attract many more users. The out-of-the-box look of the OCP leaves many of my hosting clients cold.
Keith, it has been discussed recently, and the conclusion (I think) is to offer a bog-standard default, plus one other 'themed' template. The latter is problematic inasmuch as it is difficult to 'anticipate' the requirements of prospective new users.

But, as a long time user of ocP you already know that a few clicks of the mouse in the presence of a client can certainly demonstrate the flexibility of the software, and probably 'sell' it even easier than advising a client to go look for a theme to download and bolt on!

That said, I think it is already agreed that a comprehensive chapter (or even chapters - 'starter' and 'advanced') has/have already been planned. Should work.

Good to see you back …!!

 :thumbs:

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Thanks, Terry. I lurk a lot, and find solutions to problems. I don't like to ask for answers that have already been answered. I hope to have a bit more time soon.

I have several themes that I show to prospective clients, and that usually does the trick. The "few mouse clicks in the presence of a client" is an execellent suggestion.

I think I missed your birthday this year. Do you have a fund-raiser going, yet? What did you do with the RAF for 36 years? I am full of questions lately. :lol::lol::lol:
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Fletch said

psydoc said

… a detailed guide on theming would attract many more users. The out-of-the-box look of the OCP leaves many of my hosting clients cold.
Keith, it has been discussed recently, and the conclusion (I think) is to offer a bog-standard default, plus one other 'themed' template. The latter is problematic inasmuch as it is difficult to 'anticipate' the requirements of prospective new users.

But, as a long time user of ocP you already know that a few clicks of the mouse in the presence of a client can certainly demonstrate the flexibility of the software, and probably 'sell' it even easier than advising a client to go look for a theme to download and bolt on!

That said, I think it is already agreed that a comprehensive chapter (or even chapters - 'starter' and 'advanced') has/have already been planned. Should work.

Good to see you back …!!

 :thumbs:
I think we are agreed on that.

One point to consider is that v9 will be helping to make theming more approachable and consistent. These may, in fact, be some of teh biggest differences from v8.

Just something to keep in mind.

Bob


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curtisbrew said

I just had a thought. Should references to other CMS systems be included as well, to point out the differences? I would think that most of us here have tried other CMS systems and forum software, to include Joomla, Drupal, Mambo, SMF, PHPBBB, Wordpress, and a host of others. Not too many details should be given, other than what is provided for in OcPortal includes the functions of the other software platforms.

Some Blockquote style highlights of "This section is the same in ocPortals as this other section in Drupal" type thing would be a cool idea if we have some of the authors knowledgeable enough of the other systems to write them but I don't think our limited manpower will be strong enough for that kind of research if they don't have the knowledge. Would be cool though if we could. But I doubt we will.
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Duck said

curtisbrew said

I just had a thought. Should references to other CMS systems be included as well, to point out the differences? I would think that most of us here have tried other CMS systems and forum software, to include Joomla, Drupal, Mambo, SMF, PHPBBB, Wordpress, and a host of others. Not too many details should be given, other than what is provided for in OcPortal includes the functions of the other software platforms.

Some Blockquote style highlights of "This section is the same in ocPortals as this other section in Drupal" type thing would be a cool idea if we have some of the authors knowledgeable enough of the other systems to write them but I don't think our limited manpower will be strong enough for that kind of research if they don't have the knowledge. Would be cool though if we could. But I doubt we will.
I would personally like to see this addressed briefly in the introduction where we address ocPortal's strength's over the competition. Perhaps I am being naive, but I think we have more to gain by explaining ocPortals' cohesiveness and other strengths than by comparing things feature for feature. The blockquote callouts have some benefit but have the huge disadvantage of proving marketing for your competitors. I truly think we need to explain ocPortal's many advantages in simple and direct language in the most general of terms. I am thinking that this might be a chapter I may like to write (which will, no doubt, come across a little marketing-heavy but will drive the point home).

Bob


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BobS said

… introduction where we address ocPortal's strength's over the competition … comparing things feature for feature… we need to explain ocPortal's many advantages in simple and direct language in the most general of terms.

My first disagreement.

Making comparisons gives the 'opposition' unsolicited advertising space.

Can we simply stick to the bit about "ocPortal's many advantages …", and then allow the prospective user (who has probably already downloaded and installed the software, otherwise why is he/she reading this?) to get on with investigating the areas that concerns them?

 :o

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Fletch said

BobS said

… introduction where we address ocPortal's strength's over the competition … comparing things feature for feature… we need to explain ocPortal's many advantages in simple and direct language in the most general of terms.

My first disagreement.

Making comparisons gives the 'opposition' unsolicited advertising space.

Can we simply stick to the bit about "ocPortal's many advantages …", and then allow the prospective user (who has probably already downloaded and installed the software, otherwise why is he/she reading this?) to get on with investigating the areas that concerns them?

 :o
Fletch-

When I wrote this after a very long day yesterday, I think I was not too clear. When I meant comparing to the competition, I did not mean by name but, rather, something like "other CMS software" while driving home the cohesiveness of ocPortal and the fact tht the "add-ons" are not really add-ons but, rather, well-integated add-in functionality that are kept in sync with the base software.

As someone who has spent years in marketing, I know better than to give the competition any "play". ocPortal toasts the competition and we just need to deliver that message along with a brief explanation that ocPortal's immense capabilities may take a bit of time to master but that that is what this book will do.

Bob
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Fletch said

BobS said

… introduction where we address ocPortal's strength's over the competition … comparing things feature for feature… we need to explain ocPortal's many advantages in simple and direct language in the most general of terms.

My first disagreement.

Making comparisons gives the 'opposition' unsolicited advertising space.

Can we simply stick to the bit about "ocPortal's many advantages …", and then allow the prospective user (who has probably already downloaded and installed the software, otherwise why is he/she reading this?) to get on with investigating the areas that concerns them?

 :o
Spot on!  :thumbs: From a marketing standpoint, we don't want to give people ideas that they may find another CMS that is easier to use. Once they get past the initial learning curve with OCP, they would not consider another. imo

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BobS said

… rather, something like "other CMS software" while driving home the cohesiveness of ocPortal and the fact tht the "add-ons" are not really add-ons but, rather, well-integated add-in functionality that are kept in sync with the base software.
So, I guess we are in agreement on that point.

I don't know if Chris&Co would consider not referring to "add-ons", but in future state that what may be considered as "add-ons" by other CMSs are core features of ocPortal that can be activated or de-activated at the users' will. Something all we current users are aware of!

I am no 'marketeer', but as a consumer I know what I am prepared to put up with, despite the marketing blurb.

I reiterate my earlier point - the prospective user has already downloaded and installed the software, and is now looking for an 'easy' reference manual that can step them through various changes that we can only begin to guess at. My question as a prospective 'new' user would probably go, "How do I change this little thingie here, and will it break the display and, ooooeeeerrrrr, how do I rescue it?"

As a seasoned user and screwer-upper of ocPortal from way back when (even psydoc considered jumping ship in the early days), I know that there is some fundamental BASIC advice that should be included right from the get-go.

For example, when I first started using ocPortal I completely missed the advice that one should build an alternative theme (even if it is a copy of the default) that will carry all the edits so that one can return to 'safe-mode' using the default theme when everything goes screwy! As a result I butchered my default theme, just like I did on my previous phpNuke sites. I ended up not taking any upgrades for a couple of years, and when I was so far behind, I found it easier to abandon ship and defect to WordPress rather than go through the headache (heartache) of rebuilding the site from scratch!

Of course, I had my epiphany and returned, but you get the point!

Let's not START by discussing how to build a 'test' site or a 'clone' site. I would prefer that we start out by advising how not to screw up the initial installation. And thereby hangs the conundrum! Are 'experienced' users able to actually write for a newbie?

And if you (not personal - anybody) don't think this manual ought to be aimed at the newbie, then what the hell are we doing attempting to write it in the first place?

I hope that hasn't come off too negative …!!

 O_o

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Fletch-

We are in absolute agreement on many points in your post.

I really wish I had not written the other post so late as I may have had my wits about me. This books serves to both market ocPortal and inform the newbie how to get a basic site up. Beyond that, there are numerous possibilities but I do agree that heading off problems is indeed a worthwhile effort that is easily covered, perhaps in "thought bubbles" or callouts.

As for the question of "add-ons", I think this one reason Chris wanted to rename them "apps". Perhaps that decision should be revisited or maybe we should consider "add-ins" which, to me, is not something bolted on but rather something "stirred into the mix."

Thanks for all the suggestions – in one way or another, they all lead us forward on this project.

Bob

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