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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 ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.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.


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Posted
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#68900 (In Topic #14617)
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Fan in training

... inamely introducing GeorgHuber to the ocPortal Community.

Dear Madams / Sirs,

I stumbled over ocPortal when searching for an alternative for Drupal 7 as a CMS for a website which is a mixture of a wiki, a news-blog and a downloading repository.

Said website is concerned with science, engineering, housekeeping and cats.

I am a freelancing physicist who tries to make ends meet as contractee in industry (optics, medical equipment) writing a little software (VBA, C#, AutoIt) and training computer users in Office Products (Open Office, Microsoft Office, Softmaker Office). I have little to no experience in PHP, but I hope to grasp the basics fast…

Up to now I only set up static HTML websites. But recently a local club asked me to set up a web presence which needs a CMS in autumn 2011. Needing experience I started out to set up a website of my own to gain knowledge of the processes involved.

First I found a server software to run on my laptop: "The Uniform Server" (starting with version 5, now I upgraded to version 7). This WAMPP (it also got Perl) works wonderfully with WordPress 3.1, WebsiteBaker, Drupal 7, Joomla! 1.6.3, SilverStripe and - of course - ocPortal 6. The Uniform Server and Concrete5 as well as TikiWiki seem to be incompatible (I gave up trying to make them cooperate).

The next step was finding out what I need as a CMS. WordPress wasn't enough: I need a more than a blog (but I learned a lot of CSS when I set out to configure the themes Atahualpa and Suffusion - great themes by the way).
After a brief flirt with Joomla! (I found it rather inflexible because "good" add-ins where hard to find for the latest version) I tackled Drupal 7 (here the situation was better, but not perfect). I built the website I wanted based on the content-type called "book" and was planning to start modifying the Zen theme. But Drupal was rather slow on my local server, much slower than WordPress or Joomla!. Thats why I started to searching for simpler CMS and found a lot: FrogCMS, WebsiteBaker, Concrete5, SilverStripe, and many, many more. But some are "underconfigured", others lack certain plugins, some lack documentation, some have almost no community, some lack community and documentation (WebsiteBaker), some won't work with "The Uniform Server".

I was about to realize that I'm stuck with Drupal 7 (which isn't such a bad destiny) when by accident I found ocPortal. Dabbling with it for about four days made me bold enough to say: Ok, when I can work out how comments can be integrated within that CEDI-stuff and learn how to make the CEDI-tree to start in a "non-expanded" way then I might have found a CMS I can rely on and don't have the hassle to find  plugins, because everything's already on board.

And to find out whether these two things are manageable I joined this forum. I hope there are members who might be wanting to help me. I will try to do my best to help with my feeble knowledge as best as I can. So if you have any questions concerning physics, chemistry, cats, optics, sleep stages, biophysics, ultrasound, atomizers, questions in electronics or such - oh, yes and AGW - please let me know. That's why I need more than a blog on my website: users should have a way to find information and give a feedback to certain "posts", "nodes" or whatever these content-atoms are called.

Thank you for reading that far!
Best regards,
GeorgHuber.
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Posted
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#68902
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Community saint

Willkommen, Herr Huber.

(I am only guessing that you are German, and I have to say immediately that that is about the limit of my German language skills!)

But you are more than welcome to ask all the questions that spring up when using this CMS. Somebody here will pick up on your question(s), but you will also find that the staff (the developers) are constantly in attendance here and usually jump in first.

You can't get better support than that.

 :thumbs:



Last edit: by Fletch

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
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#68906
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Fan in training

Dear Mrs or Mr Fletch,

thank you for your warm welcome to this forum.
You are quite right: I'm german. To be more specific I'm a bavarian living in a small village near Lake Ammer (Ammersee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) which is about 40 miles north of the Alps. The nearest town is Landsberg am Lech (Landsberg am Lech - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) which is some 35 miles west of Munich. Landsberg appeared two times on the global stage: Hitler was imprisoned there in 1924 (and unfortunately released …) and Johnny Cash was stationed in Landsberg (1954 - 1954).

I beg your pardon, if this seems stupid: what means ""? Is this real code which has to be put somewhere on the CEDI-page (where?) or is it just a short form for classifying my inquiry?

By the way what did you do to become "hallowed"?

Best regards,
GeorgHuber
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Posted
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#68909
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Fan in training

Dear Mr Fletch (I hope I'm doing nothing wrong here),

I just have been visiting your website and was about to ask you how you achieved such an advanced level in mastering ocPortal when I clicked on "Meet the Staff". Then I knew. (That's also why I think "Mr" is the correct form to address you.) It may even be helpful in explaining your degree of holiness.

Your website looks great and - as far as I've been able to test it (or am capable of interpreting the behavior of your site) - works wonderfully.

How come that there is no CEDI-type navigation on the CEDI-Pages? There a many, many tricks to be learned!

It's a pity, that there's no "Getting started with ocPortal" book to be found on the internet. If the documentation were improved, ocPortal would be one of the best (or simply the best) CMS. I would even consider to translate such a book into
German. But right now I have still to come to a decision whether sticking with Drupal 7 or switching to ocPortal. I have only a few days left so I'm going back to do some trials (and producing errors).

Best regards,
GeorgHuber


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Posted
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#68910
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GeorgHuber said

It's a pity, that there's no "Getting started with ocPortal" book to be found on the internet. If the documentation were improved, ocPortal would be one of the best (or simply the best) CMS. I would even consider to translate such a book into
German. But right now I have still to come to a decision whether sticking with Drupal 7 or switching to ocPortal. I have only a few days left so I'm going back to do some trials (and producing errors).
We're always eager to listen to our users' suggestions regarding our documentation. If you have any specific suggestions, please let me/us know! :)


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Posted
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#68913
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Community saint

GeorgHuber said

  • The nearest town is Landsberg am Lech

  • what means ""? Is this real code which has to be put somewhere on the CEDI-page (where?) or is it just a short form for classifying my inquiry?

  • By the way what did you do to become "hallowed"?
Hi Georg. Fletch will suffice as a greeting (others have called me worse things!) as it is my username.

To answer your queries:
  • I am slightly familiar with the Landsberg area having served with the RAF for 36 years and as a part of NATO on a few occasions.
  • The code snippet {$,page hint: no_wysiwyg} should have been removed as it refers to my preference when using the editor to make a post. I prefer NOT to use the WYSIWYG editor as it sometimes screws up the final display.
  • The 'Hallowed' bit is not as important as the 'customer' bit. I was on-board the ocPortal bandwagon when it was a commercial product. That's how impressed I've always been with the product!

I will tackle your other post with another response …

 :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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Posted
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#68915
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Community saint

GeorgHuber said

  • How come that there is no CEDI-type navigation on the CEDI-Pages? There a many, many tricks to be learned!

  • It's a pity, that there's no "Getting started with ocPortal" book to be found on the internet. If the documentation were improved …
Your second question has already been answered by Robbie, so I won't comment any further on it, other than to say that there is a VAST amount of documentation available (in English) on this website. But I get your point that perhaps something like an "ocPortal for Dummies" is long overdue. Unfortunately, that is beyond my capabilities, although I would be willing to share my 'trials and tribulations' with anybody that wished to author such a book!

The way I display my CEDI feature is a personal choice, and is tied strongly to the few articles I've included in the CEDI section that I wish to use to showcase the reason for the website. These articles were submitted by registered users, and I decided they needed to be arranged in a 'special' section that would remain accessible for all time and not disappear into the archives, never to be seen again. I've actually displayed them as links under the generalised CEDI navigation, so a user can go directly to the article(s) without having to navigate several pages, or do a search:




I hope that makes sense …

 :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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Posted
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#68919
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Regarding questions…
What's your feeling on the Copenhagen interpretation, Georg? I'm sure this forum could benefit from some more physics discussion  :lol:.

Regarding the {$,...} thing that is actually a small bug. We just upgraded this site and I can see why this is happening, fixing it now.


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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#68926
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Community saint

Hello Georg!

Your introduction makes for a very interesting read, especially about your tribulations across the CMS Theater. Many here have been through similar experiences before deciding that ocPortal was their best choice.

Your interest and expertise in many disciplines will certainly bring a good perspective to our discussions. I’m looking forward to these exchanges.

Welcome to this community Georg!
Jean:)
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Posted
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#68933
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Community saint

Hey there Georg! Welcome to the ocPortal family here. You had mentioned interest in the CEDI module of ocPortal and I will be interested in how you end up using CEDI. Some time past I had asked for some ways members had used CEDI which you may be interested in reading.

I was most impressed with the CEDI pages at Legends of NorOva by a member we know as MYTHUS. The link takes you into the website so if you look at the menu links starting under the heading Character Creation and also the lower 2 menus links also I believe are CEDI pages.

I am really excited you are considering ocPortal for powering your new website. Hands down I am sure you will find ocPortal superior although there is a learning curve. The learning curve is minimized greatly by using the resources of the ocP forum where members and ocP staff come together to make your ocPortal experience successful. You have already meet several very active members as well as some of the ocP staff they all are good to the bone and extremely helpful when you have questions or encounter problems.

All the best in your personal ocPortal journey.  


Art and Imagination
of David L Friend

http://davidlfriend.com

  My Art Gallery
powered by ocPortal
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Posted
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#68935
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Fan in training

Dear Robbie Goacher, Fletch, Chris Graham and Jean (Roger Moore?),

thank you all for your feedback. It seems that the community of ocPortal is quite lively and - very important! (no CSS-pun) - friendly.

Concerning the answer of Robbie Goacher (1:33 PM):
I would like to write such a primer if I only could! I'm lacking right now even the most simple pieces of information: I can't get a foothold in ocPortal. The only thing I think I have resolved is that there are features which require Java Script and others which don't. On the whole one seems to be able to build a ocPortal website which runs on Browsers which have Java Script switched off.
Most "Getting started"-tutorials explain a lot about the philosophy behind the software, which is for somebody who has to read about 10 such programs rather tiring and fruitless. What a stupid beginner (like me) needs is getting simple things done (setting up pages, posts, menus, comments and maybe integrating Google Adsense). Best would be a step by step explanations with lots of screenshots, downloadable as pdf. If a stupid beginner has mastered these simple things he graduates as a less stupid beginner and can reach out to more ambitious tasks feeling a little more confident.

Concerning the answer of Fletch (3:58 PM):
Wow! Where have you been stationed? At Penzing airport (some 5 miles to the north-east of Landsberg) or Lager Lechfeld airport about 10 miles to the north of Landsberg? One of my friends here is a pilot who was flying missions in the Kosovo war, maybe you were once on the same NATO team - fancy that! I was also in the german army (about 30 years ago) serving in an  antiaircraft regiment in Munich.
The part about the snippet "" was beyond me (thats why I call myself a stupid beginner). I still don't know what to do.
The religious allusion I think I got.

Concerning the answer of Fletch (4:22 PM):
Here you lost me altogether: those png-images are screenshots from your website, so much I understood. OK. But how did you achieve this functionality and avoiding the expanded tree-structure appearing in the middle section of a page as happens to me when I try the same?

Concerning the answer of Chris Graham (4:36 PM):
Regarding the Copenhagen interpretation of how to deal with the old particle-wave dualism, I can only state that

a) the quantum mechanical calculations based on (differential) operators acting on functions (which represent certain properties of particles like position or momentum or charge or … have to obey constraints imposed by the situation at hand) can be tweaked so that they agree with experiments within ten significant decimals (e.g. in quantum electrodynamics, when one shifts the "infinities" into the next higher approximation and using tricks like rapidly decreasing e-functions to make the integrals representing actions converge). These infinities arise from e.g. the self-energy of the electron being as far as we know point-like, but having mass and charge. But a point-like object with a non-vanishing fixed charge has an infinite energy (think of a charged spherical capacitor).
This means we can numerically reproduce and forecast experimental findings. Not more not less.

b) the real "understanding" of the "true" workings of nature are still missing. What "really" happens in the famous Young  double-slit experiment conducted with electrons, nobody knows. Maybe David Bohm is right and there is such a thing as a "guiding field" or a "pilot wave". But then these fields or waves must somehow act like trailblazers reconnoitering what is going to happen in the future and transferring information to the electron. (This experiment shows that electrons behave like waves and also that they "know" whether there are two pathways or only one, see Double-slit experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

In my opinion, if anybody's saying she understands everything about it, she's simply just showing off.
Physicists can't even explain what time is, only how you can infer that some parameter exists which makes things happen in sequence (it may be connected to entropy and the expansion of the universe. That depends in which theory you tend to belief. Oh yes, and there is also the Energy-time uncertainty relation which leads us back to Copenhagen. Time is tricky, especially in quantum mechanics, where e.g. a positron can be interpreted as an electron coming form the future [see Feynman the Great].)

The part about the snippet "" is still beyond me.

Concerning the answer of Jean aka Roger Moore (6:58 PM):
Thanks for your kindness, but if I don't quickly get a grip on how to deal with ocPortal then my stay in this forum won't be for long. You are all very friendly and responsive but another day nears its end and I still see no way forward. Trouble is I must reach a decision which CMS to use and I can make Drupal 7 do most of the things I want it to do. What I don't like about Drupal 7 are the huge amount of additional modules and the accompanied versioning problem (that's solved with ocPortal). So either I accept the problems with Drupal 7 and simply go on CSSing the Zen theme or I come to grips with ocPortal in the next days (my wife would prefer tomorrow or better still: yesterday [time again, really tricky, not only in physics]) and start anew. That's a hard decision which is unfortunately very far reaching. By the way, is this a picture of you or of Mr. Moore? And why is a stylized haloed stick-figure pointing at you or Mr. Moore? Not only physics leaves a lot to be explained…

Best regards,
GeorgHuber

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Posted
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#68936
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Fan in training

Dear friendly (if I may make so bold in addressing you like this),

I want to use the CEDI-pages to mimic the book-content type of Drupal and getting also something like a wiki-style feeling to my website which shall be knowledge-based and -driven. The contributors will be at first only my wife and me but the we want to expand it to our families and friends (them being chemists, religious scientists, philosophers, craftspersons [capenters, my next-door neighbors], balloonists [the pilot at Penzing mentioned in my last post and his wife], and others.

I will look into the link [Saga of Ablution Forums - Legends of NorOva you mentioned in your post or comment or answer (you see, I even don't know how to call these quick reply fields once they are released into the wild wild web).

Wherever my hands are (right now on the keyboard) I'm still not sure I can scale the mountain of knowledge fast enough on that learning curve trajectory to really utilize ocPortal.
Don't get me wrong: I will try and ocPortal looks fine but so does living in Australia. Time is hurrying on and another day went by without visible progress (my wife gets nervous, we must someday show our customers an example website).
That's what I like about Drupal: there are printed books out there. OK, these books have hundreds of pages, but I can look things up. Here with ocPortal I feel like somebody in front of a glass wall (surrounding a house), seeing wonderful things inside but finding no door to let me in. (Maybe the door is also made of glass and seamlessly integrated into the wall or there is no door and just an opening at a certain hight in the wall which I can't see because the glass is coated with an anti-reflecting layer making it indistinguishable from the air. The only thing I know somebody, you for example, was able to get in. Or the walls were built around him…)

So please: how can I get a comment- or quick-reply-field with user-definable HTML-Tags (or buttons or however in ocPortal the functionalites are called) below a CEDI-post? (Achieving what the WYSIWYG-module in Drupal 7 does.)

Trouble is, when you are new to something you don't even know what to ask for because you don't have names for it.

Seeing my post or "quick reply" from 11:00 pm I find the content between the ""-characters missing.  So anything enclosed in curly brackets seems to be (including the brackets) interpreted as code. Did I get that right? But why did these characters then show up in post or quick reply #68913?

I know next to nothing.

You are into dinosaurs. Well, I'm also interested in history but not going back that far in time (time pops up again! Time is not only a problem in physics, time is also of historical dimension. OK, that wasn't that funny, but still…). My interest focuses in the mathematical, scientific and engineering advances of humankind in the past (and present as well, but we're talking about history here). I once gave a small series of lectures in Landsberg, starting with the Sumerians and ending in the late Middle Ages. I still think that the ancient Greeks and Chinese were in terms of innovation and ingenuity far more advanced than we are today. They were good at finding things out. It's like the 1960's in the USA (Space Program, Lasers, Solid State Computers all
started the in the USA) but going on for hundreds of years (having no Space Program but inventing rockets, having no Lasers but light based communication devices, having no electronic chips but the Antikythera mechanism [Error and a kind of reaction steam engine [Error comparable to a rocket motor, and giving geometry the structure we still teach today! And much, much more…)

I just realized I know more about the Sumerian number system than I know about ocPortal. That says a lot about my ignorance.


Best regards,
GeorgHuber
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Posted
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#68937
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Community saint

Hi Georg,

Welcome to the community. I hope you decide to stay.

Regarding better documentation/beginner tutorials I believe everything any one would want/need to know is here and then some….But maybe it is just not clear enough where to find it for someone who is new.

if you click on the learn more link at the top of the page there is an overview of all the available features and content types available.

If you click on the support link among other useful things you will find the tutorials which cover everything you want to know about how to use ocPortal and even tutorials on unrelated things that are very helpful. Everything is covered from installation to advice on what content type to use and how to use it to publish your content.

And further adding to that every page in your admin and content management zones contain a brief paragraph of advice on how to use what you are looking at and a direct link to the full tutorial on how to use it.

I see it quite often here and on other forums were I recommend ocPortal people saying it looks good but is lacking the documentation explaining how to use it. Or lacking a feature they are looking for. It is all here but maybe needs to be more clearly visible. For example maybe the learn more link would be better as 'feature list'. And maybe a link at the bottom of feature descriptions to the related tutorial. One of the first things people look for is what can this software do and how hard will it be for me to make it do it. Those suggestions may help make that more clear to people.
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Posted
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#68940
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Community saint

GeorgHuber said

Dear friendly (if I may make so bold in addressing you like this),

So please: how can I get a comment- or quick-reply-field with user-definable HTML-Tags (or buttons or however in ocPortal the functionalites are called) below a CEDI-post? (Achieving what the WYSIWYG-module in Drupal 7 does.)
Georg, I must attribute some kinship with your statement "I know next to nothing" as your interest has centered on the CEDI function of ocPortal. I have hopes of using it in the future but I have not employed it as of yet, which you could deduct from my previously recommended topic so I too know "next to nothing" about it but I realize your pending deadline looms near.

I am hoping that one of the more enlightened wizards here will throw you a lifesaver to keep you afloat with ocPortal.

But in the meantime I went in and played around with the CEDI module and saw how easily you can create pages and order them. Easily add posts and even provide down-loadable content there. I did not see a built in commenting process as in the Forums provide but I was able to use the ADD BLOCK button (when you EDIT the page) and add a Feedback Block (called main_comments). This will allow persons to comment on the page and will leave a copy of the comments on your page as well as place them in the FORUM at a place of your choosing.

Right not I've got to go but I hope this is a help of some sort. You are an interesting character and I get a lot of enjoyment from you comments and interesting take on things - I can tell you are an interesting fellow - hope it works out for you well.

..and yes just call me friendly :P


Art and Imagination
of David L Friend

http://davidlfriend.com

  My Art Gallery
powered by ocPortal
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Posted
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#68941
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So please: how can I get a comment- or quick-reply-field with user-definable HTML-Tags (or buttons or however in ocPortal the functionalites are called) below a CEDI-post? (Achieving what the WYSIWYG-module in Drupal 7 does.)

I would advise that you click the main 'Edit' button on CEDI to edit the page and tick 'Hide posts'. That will do what I mentioned the other day, make the posts work more like comments. Which I think is what you are really wanting, to have a page with comments.

Generally though, I would advise considering this tutorial:
ocPortal Tutorial: Drinking from the feature pool - ocPortal
Going in with knowledge of a specific interface design, or what some other software does, and trying to work out how to do it exactly in ocPortal isn't going to work unless you're a programmer. It'd be the same if you liked a feature in ocPortal then went and asked Drupal people, "okay, how do I do this exact thing in Drupal": all these projects have feature sets that weren't necessarily designed to any shared concepts. You have to think about your overall goals, and what the software can do, and marry those together. The functionality you mentioned seemed very specific to your personal end goal, but for a non-programmer without a budget and a very short schedule, you'll have to think more realistically about what is the simplest thing you can do to match the overall intent. So if you consider the essentials of your requirements (which I believe is having a structured content tree, and the ability to comment on each page), that is what CEDI will do for you out-of-the-box.
CEDI in ocPortal does have WYSIWYG, but it's not an inline posting form; but this kind of exacting requirement that I mean isn't so feasible to hold, because likewise you might have decided you like some aspect of CEDI and look for it in the Drupal Book module, and not find it. Your situation requires flexibility and starting simple.
I think I repeated myself quite a lot there, but it's late/early ;).

Seeing my post or "quick reply" from 11:00 pm I find the content between the ""-characters missing.  So anything enclosed in curly brackets seems to be (including the brackets) interpreted as code. Did I get that right? But why did these characters then show up in post or quick reply #68913?

This isn't really anything to do with the topic, and we could go on for weeks about the many features in ocPortal so I wouldn't worry about it. But I fixed the bug that Fletch's post reflected, and thus the code no longer shows (it was never meant to be visible), except that he put it in in Comcode 'tt' tags (teletype tags) to show it explicitly.


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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#68942
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Regarding ocPortal guides, it's virtually impossible for the ocProducts staff to do this unfortunately as we can't put ourselves in a newbie's shoes, and we're never sure exactly what combination of features people will want to use and in what way. And of course resources are limited. So we rely on users to contribute this kind of documentation. There are loads of Drupal books, but those weren't written by the Drupal developers, it was people from the community who took the initiative, and it's the same here; to be honest I think the fact that ocPortal has a small close development team kind of leads to people relying on the team too much, whilst because nobody really takes any responsibility for Drupal (or Joomla, etc), individuals muck-in themselves much more readily. We need to work out how we can build that kind of environment here.


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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#68945
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Fan in training

Dear Brian Hay, friendly, Chris Graham,

thank you very much for your answers.

But now it became clear to me that I have to stay with Drupal 7. It may be slow and and I may need a lot of modules, but I have a structure there which already works and in the same time I spent with ocPortal I had found my way around in Drupal 7.

By now I have spent a weeks worth of trial and error with ocPortal and I still can't figure out how to allow visitors of my to-be website access to WYSIWYG-Editor with filtered output for commenting. With the Drupal module "WYSIWYG" I can easily choose which editor(s) I want to install and which of the features of the installed editor(s) should be available for visitors and which should be disabled. For every type of user I can enable or disable certain features.

To find out and utilize this feature in Drupal took me about a day. In ocPortal I spent now three days of searching, reading and trying - all to no avail.

This is sad, because you all give the impression of being wonderful people trying to be helpful. ocPortal may be great if you are somehow initiated to its workings, but a CMS which is just promising isn't enough for me. Either I can make it do things I want in a relatively short amount of time or not is all that is relevant to me. ocPortal will still be on my agenda, but for my pilot project (and therefore the big one in autumn) I will have to use Drupal. There I already got things going.

But this circumstances may explain the success of WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, MODx, Typo3, …: they have managed somehow to get users (and staff) to compile a critical mass of "How-To"-tutorials. From there on things start to evolve from their own impetus.
By the way: some of your tutorial videos are quite huge: 70MBytes! Some of them I could download, but I couldn't get them to play (I use VLC-Player and KMPlayer, which usually can cope with everything I throw at them).

Farewell, so long, good-bye,
GeorgHuber

As an afterthought;
Using complex software such as used for CMS or Computer Aided Design is like writing a book on a given subject.
Developers of software often think in the way that providing "grammar" and a "thesaurus" is all the aspiring user needs, because "everything is there, isn't it?" Well, yes.

But what the writer of the book needs is "How to get a TOC, how to create a glossary, how to build chapters." And lots and lots of examples.

Best regards,
GeorgHuber



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That's a shame, but if Drupal addons have the features you need it does make sense to go ahead with that.

ocPortal simply doesn't have the WYSIWYG-configurability feature you're looking for. I don't recall it coming up before as a request either. I think the problem has been assuming that because ocPortal has a lot of features, it must have all of them, but really nobody should assume this – all website requirements are different, and we get too many feature requests to fill them all in the core product.

So it really does come down to relying on users to make new addons as well as tutorials. The "somehow" bit you mentioned here is the problem. We've tried really hard to incentivise it and explain it needs doing, and make an infrastructure for it, and seed the process, but somehow a critical mass is not developing because it requires a huge community to get one with enough writers/programmers in (due to percentages) and is somehow chicken&egg. Frankly it's very frustrating, because the developers do so much more work and take so much more responsibility than the developers of the other CMS projects, in benefit of the users, but somehow it ends up working against us.

Of course, we can meet all requirements through our support service, but most users don't have budgets for this so the point doesn't make much difference.

So practical suggestions that don't just mean throwing money at the problem or developers cutting out on sleep are extremely welcome.


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  • 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.
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Community saint

Dear Georg,

I’m sorry to read that you will not take the time to create your website with ocPortal. It is an illusion, enforced by the vast potential of this software that it must be complicated to setup. Right out of the box, by selecting all options, and after less than 5 minutes with the right “Server”, anyone can enjoy this software. What else can you ask for?  It is often a misguided practice to start by picking up bits and pieces to change before actually using the features to their full potential. Most of the included features are self-evident, requiring simple form fillings to perform their intended tasks. I find that the best way to setup a website is by offering something stable and solid to the intended audience and build upon this. Trying to please every potential user with something that might be considered overcomplicated, will often have the effect of turning-off those looking for a simpler approach. The K.I.S.S. method is probably the most desirable way of introducing a website.

If you are interested in looking at one more example of the CEDI feature, you can look at the way I’ve used it for my Virtual Classroom, teaching to potential computer technicians: HERE.  The students have very limited knowledge of this kind of tool in this developing country, but are familiar with the way Wikipedia works and are adding their commentaries as posts to the subjects I’ve setup for them. These subjects form the children or branches to the central theme.  Knowledge of English is limited here, so the use of pictures to make the story is much easier. With time and experience this approach might resembled a real WIKI.;)

As for the Roger Moore’s enigma:
Since I belong to ocPortal’s Community saint group, I had this crazy idea to use as an avatar one of my favorite TV actors, Roger Moore who played ‘Leslie Charteris’ Book The Saint in a TV series in the early 60’s as Simon Templar, alias the Saint. I don’t blame anyone for not understanding the allusion, for that’s how old I am.:lol:
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Fan in training

Dear Chris Graham, Jean,

I couldn't resist seeing how this thread goes on and I found your replies to my farewell note.
In this note I wrote "ocPortal will still be on my agenda, …" and that's the reason why I will come back from time to time to your forum. Your forum is one of the most welcoming I have experienced on the internet so far. That alone is reason enough to pay a call.

I hope I explained why I want to switch from Drupal 7 to a different CMS: the reaction time on my local server is rather slow. But running it online at Drupal Garden it performs a lot better, which came unexpected. Additionally I found (simply by reading in the book "Visual Quickstart Guide: Drupal 7") how to not being dependent on the modules "Views" and "Search API". This helps a lot for I can also ditch CPanels and some other plugins, making updates and uploads less extensive. I think there is also a way of getting around using the book content type by replacing it with taxonomy terms.
All that I found out within four hours. That's the advantage of printed books. So getting something comprehensive written about ocPortal as pdf-file or printed book should have a very high priority  to get "the ball rolling" and becoming recognized as a major contender on the CMS market.

Chris Graham wrote "I think the problem has been assuming that because ocPortal has a lot of features, it must have all of them, but really nobody should assume this - …" Well yes, that was a mistake I made. I was making that assumption after seeing a comparison of ocPortal to Drupal on The CMS Matrix - cmsmatrix.org - The Content Management Comparison Tool, and the result was very much in favor of ocPortal!
Being I freelancing developer (hard- and software) among other hats I'm wearing, I know what you mean by "throwing money at the problem or developers cutting out on sleep…", if you are a small team you can't walk every street to find the right way to success. But still: we have to try, either that or giving up.
If I have an idea to help ocPortal I will let you know (for one I will write an article and post it on my to-be website).

Thank you very much for enlightening me about Roger Moore, Jean. I have seen some Simon Templar films, but then I only heard german dialogues and only german texts were displayed, so I didn't know about the saint. About your remarks concerning ocPortal, I can only agree: I try to keep things simple, because I'm stupid. And I'm also sure I can set up an ocPortal driven website within 5 minutes. But that kind of website wouldn't be much of an advertising for my services. Your website [Hard Drives - Web 2.0 looks great and I hope you didn't get me wrong: I feel attracted to ocPortal and its community (why else should I still write something in this forum?).
It is as I wrote before: I grabbled for purchase but I found no foothold with ocPortal. That only shows two things: I'm rather slow in the uptake and ocPortal is lacking a fool-proof beginner's tutorial.
And I won't give up wrangling with ocPortal, it's just that it isn't the highest of my work priorities any more. I simply have to get things done and the best means at the time is using Drupal 7.
I don't know anybody of you, but the way you write and try to be helpful endears you all to my heart. Maybe the circumstantial evidence that ocPortal is engulfed by the flair of the British Isles is part of the attraction, for I love the UK and Eire. (I've been six times abroad and three times to England and Wales, one time to Ireland, once to France, once to Italy. Southern Tyrolia, Austria and Switzerland are - from a bavarian point of view - not "abroad", the culture and landscape, even the language are to close to home. Hamburg or Berlin are for me more foreign than, say, Pembroke.) Arthur Charles Clarke (my favorite of the big three of Science Fiction [the other two: Isaac Asimov and Robert Anson Heinlein] was one of the reasons for my studying physics, especially his novel "Glide Path" was very inspiring. By the way, did you know that the lower bavarian term for foam is … foam. I kid you not.)

So thank you very much for your encouragement,
best regards,
GeorgHuber
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