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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 ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.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
Rating:
#105414 (In Topic #20558)

Non-joined user

Hello everyone, My name is Kanan and I am thinking of getting ocportal to use for my website. I tinkered around with the demo a little bit but it all seems so complicated but that is probably due to me being so unexperienced in a system like this. I have admined a weebly site and it was so easy to customize it but now I have bigger plans for my site and I feel ocportal makes a great fit for what I want the site to do. That being said I was wondering does it ever get easier learning how ocportal work and does customizing it become easier because right now I can't make sense of anything under the templates/CSS sections but I'm willing to learn. Also I have visited the themes in the addon section and majority of them seem to have the same fixed design with a few background changes. Is that all I can really do with a system like this?  If not where should I start when it comes to learning responsive theming? One more thing, for the wiki + is it possible to make it function like mediawiki or a wikia? Thank you for taking the time to read my post and answer :)
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Posted
Rating:
#105418
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Hi Kanan,

Tools like Weebly are very different from more serious CMS tools like ocPortal.

Weebly's had about $40mil invested in it for them to make a small pre-determined set of tasks very easy. On the other hand, ocPortal is a system where you need to learn some core technologies, and then you can do just about anything – so we're more targeted against a smaller set of people (relatively speaking) who want to do much more with their sites, and are willing to learn/invest to achieve that.

(If someone wants to come along and invest millions in ocPortal, without asking us to heavily restrict what the main product can do or to only make things appropriate for large companies, they should get in contact with me :lol:)

The case of 'responsive themeing' is a good example of how the world of simple point-and-click tools would differ from a more serious tool. ocPortal is far more flexible for themeing than Weebly would be, but you'd be expected either to learn CSS and HTML, download a third party theme, or pay someone to make a theme for you. 'Responsive themeing' isn't really a thing or a process when you're at the level of knowing CSS – it's just a part of the CSS language (specifically, media queries) that you could deploy when you're editing your CSS. It's more likely a marketing department would use a term like that than anyone who works with CSS – it would be kind of like a painter saying they were 'circle painting' when painting a circle, it'd be kind of weird.

Regarding wiki's…
Wikia does actually run mediawiki too. What specifically is it in mediawiki that you want (even if it's a few things)? There is an option to make things more wiki-like and less forum-like, if that's what you're looking for. If you're looking for templates, you can essentially achieve that using Custom Comcode tags. Comcode has some of the syntax that Mediawiki uses, such as the table syntax and linking syntax.



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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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Posted
Rating:
#105431

Non-joined user

Chris Graham said

Hi Kanan,

Tools like Weebly are very different from more serious CMS tools like ocPortal.

Weebly's had about $40mil invested in it for them to make a small pre-determined set of tasks very easy. On the other hand, ocPortal is a system where you need to learn some core technologies, and then you can do just about anything – so we're more targeted against a smaller set of people (relatively speaking) who want to do much more with their sites, and are willing to learn/invest to achieve that.

(If someone wants to come along and invest millions in ocPortal, without asking us to heavily restrict what the main product can do or to only make things appropriate for large companies, they should get in contact with me :lol:)

The case of 'responsive themeing' is a good example of how the world of simple point-and-click tools would differ from a more serious tool. ocPortal is far more flexible for themeing than Weebly would be, but you'd be expected either to learn CSS and HTML, download a third party theme, or pay someone to make a theme for you. 'Responsive themeing' isn't really a thing or a process when you're at the level of knowing CSS – it's just a part of the CSS language (specifically, media queries) that you could deploy when you're editing your CSS. It's more likely a marketing department would use a term like that than anyone who works with CSS – it would be kind of like a painter saying they were 'circle painting' when painting a circle, it'd be kind of weird.

Regarding wiki's…
Wikia does actually run mediawiki too. What specifically is it in mediawiki that you want (even if it's a few things)? There is an option to make things more wiki-like and less forum-like, if that's what you're looking for. If you're looking for templates, you can essentially achieve that using Custom Comcode tags. Comcode has some of the syntax that Mediawiki uses, such as the table syntax and linking syntax.


Hi Chris 
First I would like to say thank you for takin the time to answer my post. I realize from quickly that Ocportal is completely different from weebly but I'm ready to get to using it to it's full capabilities. As for theming are there any other third party themes that are not in the add-on section and if not do you know any really helpful tutorials that could teach me how to work with CSS and HTML. If there isn't any theme that I can use then I would like to get started right away :)

As for the wiki, where do I go to make it like a wiki and less fourm-like. 

Thank you for all your help

-Kanan
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Posted
Rating:
#105446
Avatar

Fan in action

Kanan said

Hello everyone, My name is Kanan and I am thinking of getting ocportal to use for my website. I tinkered around with the demo a little bit but it all seems so complicated but that is probably due to me being so unexperienced in a system like this. I have admined a weebly site and it was so easy to customize it but now I have bigger plans for my site and I feel ocportal makes a great fit for what I want the site to do. That being said I was wondering does it ever get easier learning how ocportal work and does customizing it become easier because right now I can't make sense of anything under the templates/CSS sections but I'm willing to learn. Also I have visited the themes in the addon section and majority of them seem to have the same fixed design with a few background changes. Is that all I can really do with a system like this?  If not where should I start when it comes to learning responsive theming? One more thing, for the wiki + is it possible to make it function like mediawiki or a wikia? Thank you for taking the time to read my post and answer :)

Just going to express my opinion here…I think that ocPortal is strictly UNMATCHED in its capability as a CMS. You can compare any other popular CMS out there, and ocPortal offers a lot more of the features required in a "community/social" website. The components to create an amazing site are here in the infrastructure and code, but it does require some effort to develop a unique look and feel. Out of the box, ocPortal provides a generic but robust software that allows even non-programmers to create great websites to bring people together. I think the only reason some other CMS options have more popularity is because of advertising dollars. Functionally, ocPortal beats every other CMS option. If someone created a module that allowed ocPortal admins to theme (in a BIG and thorough way,) their site, it would cause/see the rise of ocPortal as a dominant CMS, regardless of how many advertising dollars other CMS options spend to skew popular opinion. If it was as easy as right-clicking a menu or right-clicking a background and being able to change the background color or image, that would propel ocPortal to the top. Another great idea would be a book that helps admins theme ocPortal. Either of those would propel ocPortal to the top.
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Posted
Rating:
#105499

Non-joined user

Malatesa said

Kanan said

Hello everyone, My name is Kanan and I am thinking of getting ocportal to use for my website. I tinkered around with the demo a little bit but it all seems so complicated but that is probably due to me being so unexperienced in a system like this. I have admined a weebly site and it was so easy to customize it but now I have bigger plans for my site and I feel ocportal makes a great fit for what I want the site to do. That being said I was wondering does it ever get easier learning how ocportal work and does customizing it become easier because right now I can't make sense of anything under the templates/CSS sections but I'm willing to learn. Also I have visited the themes in the addon section and majority of them seem to have the same fixed design with a few background changes. Is that all I can really do with a system like this?  If not where should I start when it comes to learning responsive theming? One more thing, for the wiki + is it possible to make it function like mediawiki or a wikia? Thank you for taking the time to read my post and answer :)

Just going to express my opinion here…I think that ocPortal is strictly UNMATCHED in its capability as a CMS. You can compare any other popular CMS out there, and ocPortal offers a lot more of the features required in a "community/social" website. The components to create an amazing site are here in the infrastructure and code, but it does require some effort to develop a unique look and feel. Out of the box, ocPortal provides a generic but robust software that allows even non-programmers to create great websites to bring people together. I think the only reason some other CMS options have more popularity is because of advertising dollars. Functionally, ocPortal beats every other CMS option. If someone created a module that allowed ocPortal admins to theme (in a BIG and thorough way,) their site, it would cause/see the rise of ocPortal as a dominant CMS, regardless of how many advertising dollars other CMS options spend to skew popular opinion. If it was as easy as right-clicking a menu or right-clicking a background and being able to change the background color or image, that would propel ocPortal to the top. Another great idea would be a book that helps admins theme ocPortal. Either of those would propel ocPortal to the top.

Those are some pretty great ideas. A book which goes into detail and answers frequently asked questions would be extremely helpful but the tutorials on the site could be enough. Right now I am currently following the designer theme tutorial in an attempt to theme my site and so far it's going good :). I like how it has videos to go along with it because it really helps me understand  each individual process of theming. I will post updated on it every now and then :) 

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Posted
Item has a rating of 5 (Liked by Chris GrahamLiked by OneRingRules)  
Rating:
#105803
Avatar

Well-settled

Go with it, Kanan - for my quite complex and very detailed requirements, ocPortal has been a dream come true from the word "go"! 

As regards learning CSS and HTML, other CMSs I'd laboured with, all told, left me still pretty much in the dummy class. On moving to ocPortal, thanks to its wonderful set of intuitive, brilliantly designed "contextual editing" theming-tools, I was able to get comfortably to grips with the fundamental theoretical principles of both CSS and HTML within my first couple of weeks - during which I had my CEDI/ Wiki+ pages looking exactly like MediaWiki's plus a whole ton more. By nature I'm easily daunted by stuff of that sort and hesitant to experiment, but with ocPortal's tools, I found I could scarcely keep pace with the number of ideas I wanted to try out and tinker with. It was a real "fun" learning experience I'll always remember with pleasure.

In addition to really useful and easy to use features you can include on pages (explore the WYSIWYG text editor's Tag Assistant and Dynamic Blocks tools!) there's a truly spectacular back-end arsenal of power-user functionality packed into ocPortal you can learn  if you wish, as and when you come to recognize a particular requirement - there isn't a single important thing I've not been able to accomplish to date - and, one year in, there's still a mountain of such stuff I haven't begun to explore. A lot of it, frankly, does involve a certain learning curve to master, and sometimes the tutorials, which altogether provide a really comprehensive documentation library, can seem a little too concisely worded to directly answer the particular question you're asking, but they are only one of many equally recognized sources of help. The Community CEDI offers plenty more, while Arvixe.com's blog has a bulk of beginner and intermediate level tutorials written by Steve Jarvis, and another newly started set by jimd which promises to be superb. ocPortal deploys a lot of standard technologies that are fully documented on their official websites. And these forums are first class, continually patrolled by an avid core of devotees - to say nothing of Chris, ocPortal's CEO and chief programmer, who is unfailingly quick to reply and unstinting in his help to all. You'll never find yourself despairing with all that on hand.

Enjoy!
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