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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 ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.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.


Beta-countdown: May 3rd - Comments

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Beta-countdown: May 3rd

Posted 03 May 2006, 9:21 AM
For ocPortal 2.6 we wrote a huge amount of documentation so that people would have the procedures for setting up ocPortal at their fingertips. In fact, we wrote a tutorial specifically about setting up ocPortal after installation finishes. However, we still get asked things that are in the documentation all the time, and we've come to a simple conclusion:
People don't want to read it

Now we could just shout-out 'RTFM' (you might not want to look that up if you don't know what it means - but it's a common phrase in the Open Source community) to the users who ask this. However, as a company that depends on users for our income (and hence, salaries), we are motivated to be a bit more clever and to get to the cause of it, and we have come to the conclusion that:
Most people are not so technical as to be able to quickly read it, and do not have the time to study it in depth

Now, that conclusion is a lot less rude I think ;). In addition of helping us get a step closer to nirvana, it has allowed us to workaround this problem: we have created a number of usability improvements, and it all starts with our new 'Setup Wizard'.

The Setup Wizard can be launched straight after installation and guides the user through the process of setting up all the crucial parts of his or her website:
  • it does the basic site configuration (site name, header text, etc.)
  • it creates a theme, and a logo
  • it optionally disables a number of default features, such as the default banners and catalogues
  • it can automatically set up the website to have either split welcome and site zones, or not
  • it allows the selection of a set of rules, from three sets we've laboured over (liberal, balanced, corporate)
  • it sets up panel and front page block arrangements

Once the wizard is complete, it links direct into another wizard we have added: the Add New Page wizard. This wizard makes it very easy to add new Comcode pages, linking together both the page and the menu editing.

Keep reading, because tomorrow we're planning to announce one of our the changes of which we are most proud, and that's the new Administration Zone. After numerous reports from people that our current version has a fairly unintuitive interface, we've gone back to the drawing board to bring a fantastic revamped interface, completely redesigning the interface from square one. We've gotten a lot of very positive feedback about the change. Full screenshots will be included tomorrow, so don't miss the big unveiling. :)

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