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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 ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.

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A curveball right over the plate - v10

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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Chris Graham)  
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#87568 (In Topic #17842)
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Community saint

I checked with Chris regarding including the multi-categorization feature in v9. Unfortunately, that window has passed. Chris is wasting no time and he is already looking toward getting v9alpha ready for a beta release. I actually commend this decision as v9 is laying a great deal of foundational support.

In the course of our discussion, Chris mentioned that he would like v10 to focus on speed and performance. These are areas which benefit every user of ocPortal. They might also have the advantage of making ocPortal attractive to larger clients who will have the deeper pockets to fund additional changes in ocPortal going forward. You can see Chris's proposed changes by searching the issue tracker for all items tagged with "performance". I am also fully on-board with this plan.

Chris put forth two plans to fund v10. First, he is willing to provide a 50% discount (thus assuming the portion at his expense). This would still require that we raise US$2800 (you might as well call it $3000) or so to fully fund this. Based on my past experiences, I suspect that this might be difficult to raise in this economy.

This brings us to plan B which I think is most generous. Chris will provide 100% of the funding in exchange for the community writing a Creative Commons ocPortal book with a no-royalty rights assignment. Having this book available will further legitimize ocPortal as a CMS solution and will help to attract new users to further strengthen our community, so this proposal is a win-win bargain for ocPortal that should spur both Chris and the writers on. By transferring the rights to ocPortal, they could potentially pull in a modest income on the sales of the book which they can plow back into future development. Both writers and an editor will be needed to create the copy and keep it tightly edited. We might also need a project manager depending on how comprehensive the project is. Please consider participating in this valuable project and process which will make the already great ocPortal an even better product.

Since many here are either retired or currently in a situation where they have more time then money due to the economy, I believe Chris's second proposal is the way to go.

So where does that leave multi-categorization? On hold. As much as I would like to see this feature implemented, I sincerely believe that Chris's plan provides more substantial benefits than a single feature and will offer a number of positive outcomes. In other words, I am willing to wait for multi-categorization and, during the meantime, see if there is a possible workaround using some of the new features provided in the catalog changes implemented in v8.

All multi-categorization sponsorships will stay in place as they are now. We have raised 36 credits for the multi-categorization feature and still need to accumulate another 66 credits for this feature to be full-sponsored.

It seems to me that Chris has given this a great deal of thought and concluded this is the best possible direction for ocPortal at the current time. Chris has demonstrated again and again his willingness to listen to outside input so please feel free to add your comments here. I feel pretty comfortable that I have gotten this all right but there was a lot to digest, so questions are certainly appropriate.

Based on Chris's explanation, I am looking forward to a higher-performance ocPortal which moves the ball that much further ahead of the competition and which helps to build an even stronger community.

Bob


Last edit: by BobS
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Posted
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#87572
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So, who wants to become a published author :)?

I figure that I want to keep pushing ocPortal forward as hard as I can, and super-fast performance will be a big leap, and a popular one. I want ocPortal to be faster than Wordpress – for you to click around and get almost instant page loads.

That is a huge challenge – ocPortal is not Wordpress – it is a very sophisticated system that allows non-programmers to manipulate just about any part of the site structure – it's very dynamic and it's very general purpose, very flexible. All this means that it is hard to optimise, we can encode few assumptions, things aren't coded in such a direct linear fashion where we can optimise the sequence of what is going to happen in the output of a page.

I don't know if we can actually beat Wordpress, but I now have worked out how we can make some big improvements. It's taken a lot of thinking for me to work it out. Already a lot of time has gone into optimising ocPortal, and trying out various techniques over the years (some have worked, some have not) – so finding a fresh wave of techniques that will make a big difference has taken some real thinking.

This is serious engineering, serious computer science. We're talking compiler technology and some degree of artificial intelligence, to allow the very general and dynamic ocPortal, to optimise down close to as if it was hard-coded direct to purpose.

As this means basically taking a month, I can't just go on a bender and do it on a whim. So that is where the book thing comes in. It's not really about money – likely the book won't really make any – but if I'm going to take a big chunk of my time giving ocPortal another leap ahead, I need the community to match it so we can do a second leap at the same time. New users have long wanted/needed a good ocPortal book that is step-by-step, unlike our official 'tutorials'. Besides, the book situation is something we could never really do internally as that is something that absolutely requires an outsider's perspective.

I see a number of people (4-9) collaborating. I imagine a project manager laying out a book structure, then dishing out chapters to authors according to how much they can take on. I then imagine an editor pulling it altogether to a good quality, and then probably another edit by Robbie, and a final edit by myself. At that point we can put the book online as a PDF for people to access for free.

I want to make sure that the licensing situation is clear from the start. As mentioned earlier the end isn't really to make money, it's to make a book. If we are going to try and get it published and into actual bookstores (or at least Amazon) though, we need to make sure that there is no roadblock in the form of a need for individual negotiations and sharing out of likely very marginal revenue. If it does make some money, great, ocProducts will get it (hey, I am offering to donate a full month of time and to guide the community through all this;)).

So I say it again, who wants to become a published author :)?


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Chris GrahamLiked by BobS)  
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#87601
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Community saint

I am willing to volunteer to be Project Manager for it and to also commit to writing 1 chapter for it.

It is something I had considered anyway and have some thoughts written out on the subject already. I will share those thoughts this week.

If your willing to write 1 or some chapters please respond here. I will put up a collaboration site this week.

Current List of Book Collaborators:

Duck - 1  Chapter.
Hamburgler - 1  Chapter.
Felipe - 1  Chapter.
SoccerDad - 1  Chapter.
Fletch - 1  Chapter.
Bob - 1  Chapter.

I know the above list is only possibles and not guarantees but we need a list of possible resources to begin estimating.


Last edit: by Duck
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Chris GrahamLiked by BobS)  
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#87610
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Well-settled

Hi great news on three fronts, V9 is pressing a head aiming for Beta will help me personally as i want the next site redesign i do to be done when v9 is out. The improvements for V10 sound great too and thirdly the book as has been said will help add more legitimacy to ocPortal.

I am willing to volunteer if possible which will depend son the technical level of the chapters and what they need to achieve. Failing that i will also volunteer to help project manage the project or help in any way i can. as long as it can be done out of work hours

Hello I'm The Hamburgler and if you want to know more please visit my website, The New Hut All your Burgers are belonging to me!
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Chris GrahamLiked by BobS)  
Rating:
#87611
O

Non-joined user

Unfortunately I'm time poor so not in a position to help.

However, I think the book is a great idea, as long as it is done right.  I suggest it is aimed at a '… for Dummies' level, rather than try to be an OCPortal reference bible.  I believe the priority is to increase user numbers, rather than increase the knowledge of current users.  The book therefore needs to be simple and approachable.  

(It might actually be worth each author buying a copy of any 'Dummies' book, and following the writing style closely.  Chris and Robbie can always tweak it when it's all finished, if it turns out too similar.)

Instead of a free pdf, I'd actually make it available on ebook stores for a small cost, as paying even a little bit for it makes the whole system feel more 'heavy weight'.  (I'm sure you'd get a good few positive reviews from users of this forum too, to boost its ranking on Amzon, etc.)

And there's always www.lulu.com or www.createspace.com,so people could get hard copies too.
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Chris GrahamLiked by BobS)  
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#87612
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Well-settled

Duck said

If your willing to write 1 or some chapters please respond here. I will put up a collaboration site this week.

I'm in. Short on ocP real experience and time right now but I think this needs to happen.
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Chris GrahamLiked by BobS)  
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#87614
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Community saint

Time constraints will be an issue for me as well, however, I do want to help out here in order to give something back to OCP. Please keep me in mind as the project rolls out and I'll contribute where I can.

"no violence, no hate, no pain, no enemies
just peace, unity, tolerance and love" - The Beloved

OCP V7 | Advocating monetary reform - FreeOurMoney

Need OCP friendly hosting? Look no further:
Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and Dedicated Servers w/cPanel - Elief! - Official hosting partner for ocPortal.
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Chris GrahamLiked by BobS)  
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#87615
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Community saint

I am prepared to participate, and would like to see an example from Duck as to layout. In fact it would probably need a 'loose' template for authors to follow in any case. It really must appear as a comprehensive single-author manual.





PRINTED BOOK & EPACK Bundle @ $19.95 (postage and packing worldwide included - this needs debating as postage can often exceed the price of the item), EPACK Bundle downloadable immediately on confirmation of order.

EPACK Bundle consits of;
  • Kindle
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • PDF
  • A.N. Other

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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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by BobS)  
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#87616
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Community saint

Well some of the thoughts I had written out before were to have actually 2 books. One for Developers one for Admins. The one we are working on is the Admins one.

Simplicity is key but I am not a huge fan oh the idiots guides. Parts of them I like and parts I don't. But something close in proximity is what I was thinking also.

I think bringing in real world usage examples is a must. In other words, we should work out the most common tasks a website admin would need to do and organize the book in that fashion.

One thing that worries me is that the book should be written for V9 and since it is not actually released yet contributors knowledge of it will be limited.

However my thought is to collaborate for the book on an ocPortal site itself so we can all experiment with features and also use that premise to show how useful it is from the collaboration standpoint.
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Posted
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#87617
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Community saint

It's great to see this initial positive response. I hope we can get this book rolling soon as I see it as a huge positive for ocPortal.

I tend to agree with O that it should be something like the "…for Dummies" books as that is where it is needed most. We see lots of people sign up in the forums only to disappear. Is it because ocPortal is more than they need or is it because they find ocPortal's many options and features intimidating?

I also agree with O that there should be a major emphasis on getting the book into e-book stores where it will raise awareness of ocPortal and also offer some small return to ocPortal.

I like Fletch's idea, as well. $20 is a small price to pay to pave the potholes in the road to familiarity with any piece of new software.

I will be happy to participate in some capacity with the caveat that I need to find out from my doctor tomorrow what's what and what the plans are for my treatment. I may or may not have time to write but I can pitch in with other efforts.

And I must comment that this demonstrates to me that ocPortal's community is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure to participate in.

Bob

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Posted
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#87618
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Community saint

Duck said

Well some of the thoughts I had written out before were to have actually 2 books. One for Developers one for Admins. The one we are working on is the Admins one.

Simplicity is key but I am not a huge fan oh the idiots guides. Parts of them I like and parts I don't. But something close in proximity is what I was thinking also.

I think bringing in real world usage examples is a must. In other words, we should work out the most common tasks a website admin would need to do and organize the book in that fashion.

One thing that worries me is that the book should be written for V9 and since it is not actually released yet contributors knowledge of it will be limited.

However my thought is to collaborate for the book on an ocPortal site itself so we can all experiment with features and also use that premise to show how useful it is from the collaboration standpoint.
This should definitely be written for v9 which we can all download from github currently. As soon as Chris is able to post the beta, that will be even better and maybe Harry-S can once again create a site for testing and familiarizing the the writers with the software.

The "… for Dummies" books have been extremely successful in helping people to get started with new software. While I am not personally a fan of the books, I think we need to think in terms of those who are more challenged by the software and its many capabilities. We can always cover more advanced features in later chapters. Illustrations and use cases are a definite "must have". In my opinion, it also needs a troubleshooting section at the end of each chapter (or maybe the book) so people can quickly be directed to solutions for the most common problems.

The goal really needs to be directed toward those users who frequently come to the forum asking many questions to just get their site up and running.

Bob



Last edit: by BobS
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Posted
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Community saint

I was really hoping to see Tempcodes name in the volunteer list because we sure could use his expertise in the area of tempcode programming! ahem hint hint!
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by BobS)  
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#87622
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Consistent style - yes. The editor(s) would need to enforce that.

For admins - yes.

Simple - yes.
Like idiots/dummies guides - yes, exactly my thoughts too.
May be structured as a scenario.

Got lots of people here now, this is really pleasing. I'm going to take a very hands off approach here. I would suggest BobS be the overall manager seeing he is good at repeated touch points and creating pace, and that's going to be really key. felipe is a professional editor, I think he should introduce himself fully ;).

v9 - functionally very close to v8. Key is in getting screenshots correct. I suggest drafting everything with very basic screenshots, and then nearer completion screenshots would be taken again, all from the same site to agreed parameters (resolution, OS, browser, etc). Perhaps someone should also be responsible for turning draft illustrations into final ones, using some template styles.

Commercial - worth discussing separately. My suggestion is maybe a half-way house. Give a crappy one for free (e.g. no screenshots), and we sell an ebook that is more decent.

Discussions – need a forum, one is now made. Book - ocPortal.com

BobS didn't mention that I can't jump right into the performance work, as I have a lot on my plate that I am responsible to do. So my part will be coming when I don't have any outstanding commitments I need to meet.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by BobS)  
Rating:
#87629
O

Non-joined user

The main part of a Project Manager's role is sitting on people's shoulders, 'reminding' them of deadlines….

I think Bob might be quite good at that.    ;)

The first task will be to define format, tone, language (US English over English English, I'd suggest) etc., followed by slicing the system up into individual work packages, which in all liklihood will correspond to chapters.
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Robbie Goacher)  
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#87630
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US English over English English

A colorful debate, the result of which everyone will need to honor.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
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#87631
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Community saint

Chris Graham said

US English over English English

A colorful debate, the result of which everyone will need to honor.
British (English) English.

I would not want someone reading about 'catalogs' only to find that the only thing close is 'catalogues'.

Bob


Last edit: by BobS
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Community saint

O said

The main part of a Project Manager's role is sitting on people's shoulders, 'reminding' them of deadlines….

I think Bob might be quite good at that.    ;)

The first task will be to define format, tone, language (US English over English English, I'd suggest) etc., followed by slicing the system up into individual work packages, which in all liklihood will correspond to chapters.

Yes, I am good at nagging people.  lol

Bob
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Chris GrahamLiked by BobS)  
Rating:
#87633
O

Non-joined user

I'd still pick US English.

Non-Americans are much more comfortable with reading 'color' and 'prioritize' than Americans are reading 'colour' and 'prioritise', in my experience.

The exception would be when referring to named items in OCPortal itself, at which point the spelling used in the software would tae precident, as in Bob's example.

The fact OCPortal's in British English could make for a fun 'Did you know' bubble smoewhere in the book.
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Posted
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#87638
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Community saint

Let's have some others weigh in to get a better idea of what current users think.

@Chris - Do you have any demographic information for recent signups and such?

Bob
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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by BobS)  
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BobS said

Let's have some others weigh in to get a better idea of what current users think.

@Chris - Do you have any demographic information for recent signups and such?

Bob

Peak of English-speakers, and within that, peak in the US. I agree with O, and would add that US English could be considered a broadening/diversification, for those who might be concerned the British English thing makes the project appear insular to them.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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