On March 26, 2019 we launched new MODX Forums. Please join us at the new MODX Community Forums.
Subscribe: RSS
  • @Jason : I love those nuggets about the future... I love Contexts already grin

    Quote from: Neutrogeno at Nov 02, 2006, 05:46 PM
    Regarding the hyerarchical thing, many Textpattern user could explain to you that they like sections.

    As it happens, I have been a long term Textpattern user, and yes I can tell you what I like about sections. Yet, I don’t miss them ever since I switched over to MODx.

    Section’s benefits are easily replaced with @INHERIT. You can have children document of a folder inherit layout elements for instance smiley

    Quote from: Neutrogeno
    The problem with TXP is that it doesn’t have sub-sections; moreover categories and custom fields are only site wide and can’t be restricted to a specific section.

    And that’s exactly why I looked elsewhere. Don’t be mistaken, I love Textpattern but it lacks in several areas which make it unconvenient to build corporate websites (which often require a directory like structure, and many depth level, not to mention custom fields).


    Quote from: Neutrogeno
    However friendly URLs in TXP can be arranged as section/category/title to simulate a hyerarchy. The concept of section is the same as weblog in Expression Engine probably the best CMS around (unfortunately it is not an open source project). I share your dislike of flat sites organized only with categories or tags but I think you can get an organized and hyerarchical site without the visual aid of a windows-like folder/file tree.

    As it happens, I am also a long term EE user (check my blog wink )
    I would not say it’s the best CMS around, it’s an hybrid of sort between blog and CMS and just one of the most flexible tool around along with Texptattern, CMS Made Simple and MODx. I had written a comparison between txp, EE, CMS MS and MODx on txp’s forums, if you’re interrested...

    And no, it’s not weblog which is the same as section, but template groups wink
    Weblogs in EE are really more like subsites.


    Quote from: Neutrogeno
    In my opinion MODx is a little underrated in the CMS world sad

    Won’t be for long, believe me those who underated it will be surprised by what’s coming... and they’ll have missed a hell of an exciting ride tongue

    Quote from: Neutrogeno
    Most people form their opinion at the first sight and many friends of mine don’t like MODx simply for the look and feel of the admin panel (especially in the old version hosted by opensourcecms: please replace it as soona as possible with the new release!). The admin panel can be perceived as overloaded and Windows-like (the culprit is again the hyerarchy tree) by cool sophisticated people cool used to live in a world full of clean 37signals-like iterfaces. As you can see I’m a sort of MODx evangelist among my friends wink

    I know.

    I couldn’t agree more that the admin had to evolve, and it has.

    There has been a lot of talk and thinking for the future of MODx once we break the ties with the Eto-legacy with the 1.0 "jump" (though there is less an less of Eto in the MODx code, 0.9.5 has made quite a leap already smiley ).

    We have enough talent onboard (and coming to us) to bring to you a 37signalish admin when the time comes grin
      .: COO - Commerce Guys - Community Driven Innovation :.


      MODx est l'outil id
    • As a non-programmer (though one who started down the road, long, long ago) and one whose CMS experience is very limited and only limited to Drupal and MODx, I guess you can take these comments at merit.

      A way to view files/documents in multiple ways would be great, but I’d be cautious about totally discarding hierarchial ordering... this is just a natural and organized way for most people to view and relate to things.

      I have to say that I share some of the views on documentation though. And it should not be easily brushed aside.

      Reality, regardless of what you are selling, developing, providing, etc., is that the "best" doesn’t always win out. One may succeed in creating the best product around, that has every feature you could ever want, implemented in the very best way possible, and still be beat out by a product half as worthy. In the end, it isn’t about features, and in some ways, it isn’t about benefits, it’s about delivering solutions.... and the initial solution is how to tap into those features to reap the benefits.

      MODx is at a very interesting point in time.... lots of development at the core level, and the secondary level (snippets, modules, etc.). Excitement is shared by many about the future, and the present. The team wants to present the next greatest thing, and many posts talk about 1.0, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Of course, if the team had more resources, time, could spend less time dealing with the same questions over and over again in the forums, 1.0 might come sooner. And because this is in such a development stage, documentation can be hit or miss... in some ways documantation is excellent and I commend the efforts so far.

      But part of that reality isn’t about what MODx is going to do for anyone tomorrow, it is what MODx can do for you today. And even after a short time working with MODx, I think it can do a lot already. But much of the future, I feel, lies in how well MODx can help people get up and running, understanding, and putting MODx to work. In the script world, no one is too impressed with what will be... I think we’ve all dealt with scripts that have been promising things for years. Not saying that is the case with MODx, but remember that it is perception, and as MODx grows and gains more attention, much of that perception will be quick and immediate, and quite possibly incorrect, but words spread quickly on perception regardless.

      I’m still hoping that the wiki will help address some of this "up and running" issue by serving as a "final and up to date" repository of information. I’m sure many a newbie has already spent countless time reading through forum posts 7, 10, or 20 pages long on this or that, only to find by the end that 1/2 of the issues, hopefully, that had been brought up are now resolved... hoping that we can remember which are which, but still feel no closer to actually understanding how to implement something, and in some cases, may still be trying to figure out just exactly what it is for.

      While it may seem like a bit of a waste to put more effor into documentation at this stage, I think it can pay off in the end. It will help more people get up and running faster, some of which may start creating their own solutions to add to the mix if they are capable, others may just help spread the gospel. It will also help free up the countless questions about how to simply implement this or that, which will hopefully free up everyone else to continue moving towards the future. In many cases, hopefully much of that documentation can simply be amended, updated, or otherwise for the future, rather than entirely scraped and pitched.

      I think the team has done a great job, and I’m certainly not out to belittle the work or the effort. But I also look at how much time has been spent by myself and my impressions of others just in trying to figure some things out to get a better grasp on things. But mostly, I just want to raise the caution, as we all know, software is a constant "work in progress" and it is all to easy for the documentation aspect to be a perpetual "next release" since so much will be outdated anyway, that it never happens.

      And coming full circle, the best apps will be those that provide the quickest and easiest solution, not necessarily those with the best features, and the first solution is understanding and implementation. I just don’t want to see MODx not receive the full grace of adoration and respect that I think it deserves... and will deserve.
        | Identity Developments delivers SEO focused web design and web presence services
        - it's not about websites, it's about your identity. |
      • I really appreciate the feedback here tremendously, and it is 100% accurate. Hopefully the wiki will help address the documentation gap. With that said though (and I hate to beat a dead horse), but MODx is (at this time) squarely NOT aimed at newbies primarily because of the documentation and some of the pending changes that have been alluded to on the forums. While I appreciate your skepticism over the future, I think you’ll have a great opportunity to either say "I told you so" or "oh my gosh!" in 2007. I’ll leave it at that. smiley

        MODx is for developers and technically inclined individuals. MODx is for web professionals who’ve got a bit of experience. MODx is not for everyone! If you can open up a snippet, read the source and comments about the parameters, and pretty much figure out what happens within the code there’s a good chance MODx makes sense for you. From the pending 095 release announcement:
        MODx is ideal for web development companies, technically inclined independent freelancers, and in-house internet departments that need a secure and customizable environment they can confidently turn over to their ultimate end-users to run...

        We’re definitely more than happy to have "newbies" who’re willing to dig in and get dirty and push through a learning curve, in fact we have at least one of those on our core team now! However, we ask for patience and acknowledge things are not as they should be with documentation. That will change though in due course; there’s still some legacy baggage to shed before we’re ready to start put concerted effort into proper documentation. wink
          Ryan Thrash, MODX Co-Founder
          Follow me on Twitter at @rthrash or catch my occasional unofficial thoughts at thrash.me
        • I’ve just discovered another great plus of MODx: its very active and smart community wink

          In fact I share the opinion that MODx is ALREADY a solid and powerful app. Instead of adding a ton of new features I would concentrate on 1. documentation; 2. redesign and simplification of the admin panel (use a white background: it inspires cleaness and rationality); 3. massive bug hunting and performance enhancement (especially in large scale websites).

          The availability of a stable, powerful and well documented release will give a definitive boost to MODx popularity.

          As for the wiki I don’t like this form of documentation; I would prefer a traditional online beta book with a table of contents and inline comments. So the documentation on your web site is a good starting point. I especially like the new Django (beta) Book.


          @davidm: your comparison between TXP, EE, CMS MS and MODx is really good.

          P.S. Suggestion for the manager redesign: free FAMFAMFAM Silk Icons (of course on white background)
          • I`m with you on that one, the features already are great and with the extra modules/snippets etc you can do most things. Keep it simple, otherwise we end up with a mambo clone. I`m also not a fan of wiki docs, keep it on the site in one place gets my vote.

            I’m using the system becuase its clean and simple - end of story

              I made my first site with modx
              ------------------------
              http://www.shop-bright.com | Uk shopping blog
            • Quote from: Neutrogeno at Nov 03, 2006, 10:08 AM

              I’ve just discovered another great plus of MODx: its very active and smart community wink

              In fact I share the opinion that MODx is ALREADY a solid and powerful app. Instead of adding a ton of new features I would concentrate on 1. documentation; 2. redesign and simplification of the admin panel (use a white background: it inspires cleaness and rationality); 3. massive bug hunting and performance enhancement (especially in large scale websites).

              The availability of a stable, powerful and well documented release will give a definitive boost to MODx popularity.

              As for the wiki I don’t like this form of documentation; I would prefer a traditional online beta book with a table of contents and inline comments. So the documentation on your web site is a good starting point. I especially like the new Django (beta) Book.


              P.S. Suggestion for the manager redesign: free FAMFAMFAM Silk Icons (of course on white background)

              Have you seen 0.9.5 beta? go check it first please! http://modxcms.com/beta.html

              Quote from: straty at Nov 03, 2006, 12:39 PM

              I`m with you on that one, the features already are great and with the extra modules/snippets etc you can do most things. Keep it simple, otherwise we end up with a mambo clone. I`m also not a fan of wiki docs, keep it on the site in one place gets my vote.

              I’m using the system becuase its clean and simple - end of story

              Thanks for your kind words.

              regards.

              zi
                Zaigham R - MODX Professional | Skype | Email | Twitter

                Digging the interwebs for #MODX gems and bringing it to you. modx.link
              • Let me start by saying I have enjoyed reading this post a lot ! Great stuff in there, this is exactly the kind of input I need to push the MODx marketing effort to the next level smiley The way I am wired I am an enthusiastic person and I have some talent at playing evangelist, and some marketing training but it’s not my primary field.

                Therefore it’s very interresting for me to get a fresh and professionnal look at positionning and marketing MODx. Plus, I am at my best when I have someone to debate about ideas with. Especially those who challenge me into clarifying my arguments grin

                Now let’s comment on your excellent post...

                Quote from: identity at Nov 03, 2006, 04:03 AM
                A way to view files/documents in multiple ways would be great, but I’d be cautious about totally discarding hierarchial ordering... this is just a natural and organized way for most people to view and relate to things.

                I couldn’t agree more, and Jason has made it clear that we’ll get "best of both worlds" with what he calls Contexts (now that is a concept I feel will help me differientiate MODx in due time. And I am not even talking of how it spruces up my imagination for creating websites grin ). No worries there smiley

                Quote from: identity
                Reality, regardless of what you are selling, developing, providing, etc., is that the "best" doesn’t always win out. One may succeed in creating the best product around, that has every feature you could ever want, implemented in the very best way possible, and still be beat out by a product half as worthy. In the end, it isn’t about features, and in some ways, it isn’t about benefits, it’s about delivering solutions.... and the initial solution is how to tap into those features to reap the benefits.

                Now that’s so very true ! I have seen it time and again, be it about products or even... people. Best doesn’t always win out.

                Features. It sure is not about features in itself. I’d add it’s not about having more features than the competition. But it *is* about the ability to provide "features that fits" the client’s need. How does one achieve this ? It depends how standard the client’s need is. Most of the time, the client’s need will be composite : part met by existing solutions, the rest by either tweaking existing solutions or specific development of new solutions.

                The "standard" needs can be adressed by existing code. I think everyone will agree that being able to expand features is directly related to the availability of extensions for a given web application. In a year, MODx has known a constant growth and we now have a lot to work with, a look at the repository will show not only that there are quite a bunch of material to work with, and that those are regularly enhanced/improved.

                Which brings me to the "in-between" standard and custom needs, where MODx has an edge over the competition. I would say one of the great strength of MODx extensions is that they follow the same principle behind the application itself, e.g they are easily templatable and most of the time as flexible as the system they expand (offering quite a bunch of parameters and options). I mean look at Ditto or eForm or countless other extensions, not only are they completely templatable (which is a designer’s dream) but parameters make them really versatile tools which can fit client’s need without touching code really.

                The "custom" needs require writing some code. Here is where MODx also has a competitive advantage, since it’s really a framework built on top of core CMS features (and as Susan said, "the goal of the core team is to flip that on its head, and make MODx a CMS built on top of a core framework". I am no developper but I sure think having an API and dbAPI to work with certainly makes development not only easier but quicker (and now that is benefit for the developper *and* client, which translates into cost effectiveness and I guess easier code maintenance).

                Benefits
                I agree with you benefits is not what will make a client happy. At times, as people building websites we all feel a little misunderstood (at least I know I do) : taking the additionnal steps to build a semantically sound website, to respect web standards, to fine tune all the small details which make surfing a more enjoyable experience... this is all great but even when you break all this into a neat list of benefits like better SEO, cross browser compatibility, evolutivity and access to handheld devices... etc, clients are not that appreciative of the extra skill and time put into our craft. Still, there is one benefit which has their ears : money. Building websites quicker means cheaper and that, they get. I think it’s one of MODx direct benefit for customized websites.

                Delivering solutions

                You’ve said it, it’s "about delivering solutions".
                Most clients don’t care what’s "inside the black box" but only by what they see :

                1. how much does it cost (to build, maintain and upddate) ?
                2. how reliable and fast is support ?
                3. how fast is it delivered ?
                4. how does it rank in search engine ?
                5. how sexy does it look ?
                6. how easy is it to use to get the content updated ?
                7. how easy is it to expand ?
                8. how easy is it to plug into other web apps ?

                You asked : "the initial solution is how to tap into those features to reap the benefits"
                There is undoubtedly a few things we could do to make things even more effective, but right now I find MODx to be easy to pitch at client and it works.
                Now you’re talking about delivering.

                What exactly in the process of delivering a MODx powered website would you like to improve ? And before improving anything, how would you describe the steps of delivering ?

                Quote from: identity
                MODx is at a very interesting point in time.... lots of development at the core level, and the secondary level (snippets, modules, etc.). Excitement is shared by many about the future, and the present. The team wants to present the next greatest thing, and many posts talk about 1.0, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Of course, if the team had more resources, time, could spend less time dealing with the same questions over and over again in the forums, 1.0 might come sooner. And because this is in such a development stage, documentation can be hit or miss... in some ways documantation is excellent and I commend the efforts so far. But part of that reality isn’t about what MODx is going to do for anyone tomorrow, it is what MODx can do for you today.

                As Ryan said, this has been debated time and again.

                Could the team spend less time dealing with recurring questions ? Sure. Is documentation the answer. Partly. I think something we’re missing right now is a FAQ. I know I have built a FAQ on the french forum and it has helped, but a forum is hardly a convenient tool to build it.

                We have said time and again that MODx was not intended for the less savvy... but even setting this appart, you have to take into consideration that MODx is evolving much faster than any of its cousin CMS. Documentation, or FAQs, are thus moving grounds and would need constant rebuilding. 0.9.5 is a jump from 0.9.2.1 but this will be even more true of the next release.

                It all comes down to managing resources. Right now, the forum is the most efficient way to help people learn MODx. If you were there @Textpattern at the very beginning, the same debate took place a lot ! I was among the people building TextBook (the wiki documentation for txp), and at first it was just like the current MODx wiki. About the wiki : I think it’s a great tool to *build* the documentation. This does not mean we can not then publish the doc in other forms, like a PDF. But we’re not there yet.

                Given the orientation of the projet and what MODx will become, I think the biggest priority of the documentation, the one we should start with is further document the API and dbAPI. We have a decent editor’s and designer’s guide already which will no doubt be improved through the wiki’s contributor’s efforts.

                Quote from: identity
                (...) But much of the future, I feel, lies in how well MODx can help people get up and running, understanding, and putting MODx to work.

                I don’t quite agree with that.

                Right now, any decently skilled person (XHTML/CSS, understanding of dynamic pages) can learn MODx pretty fast without any additionnal resources being set up. It’s just a matter of digging into it, trying, asking question as you go along. I didn’t feel any difficulties learning MODx, and I am not even a php coder. I built my first MODx website just a few weeks after discovering it. Of course, I had an advantage coming fromm Textpattern which shares a similar templating logic, but nevertheless I wouldn’t say MODx is hard to learn.

                Now, getting the most out of it is another story, given its capabilities ! I am often amazed by what others do with MODx... and I learn a lot too, since most people share smiley The tips and tricks section is full of gems !

                To answer this, I’d say MODx future rather lies in giving us even more flexibility and power while not sacrificing on simplicity... I think that’s exactly what xPDO and 1.0 will take us. I understand the frustration of hearing about the "next best thing to come" but let’s be fair : MODx as it is has already much to offer, more in fact than any other PHP/MySQL based CMF around...

                Quote from: identity
                In the script world, no one is too impressed with what will be... I think we’ve all dealt with scripts that have been promising things for years. Not saying that is the case with MODx, but remember that it is perception, and as MODx grows and gains more attention, much of that perception will be quick and immediate, and quite possibly incorrect, but words spread quickly on perception regardless.

                I really don’t think we have a problem as to how MODx is perceived. At least not from our intended audience which enjoys MODx and craves for the next releases ! Now newbies expecting a web 2.0 version of Joomla have it hard : my, you have to get under the hood ! To them it’s a new story and the huge gap between the "all in one" pre-packaged CMS predominant philosophy and the all-flexible with total control over output philosophy is somewhat to hard to jump. Thus the complaints about documentation, about the hard to grasp concepts... which to us web people (or at least to me) has not been a problem at all when we (or at least I) jumped in.

                Quote from: identity
                I’m still hoping that the wiki will help address some of this "up and running" issue by serving as a "final and up to date" repository of information. I’m sure many a newbie has already spent countless time reading through forum posts 7, 10, or 20 pages long on this or that, only to find by the end that 1/2 of the issues, hopefully, that had been brought up are now resolved... hoping that we can remember which are which, but still feel no closer to actually understanding how to implement something, and in some cases, may still be trying to figure out just exactly what it is for.

                Are you talking about common tasks or more complex items there ?

                One thing which comes to mind is it could be a matter of "brain wiring" so to speak. We all have different learning styles. MODx perhaps require more of a right brain approach : e.g learning by doing, exploring, trying things out and learning as you go. The left brain approach is more like : please tell me what steps I have to follow to achieve this or that. Documentation is key for left brain dominant people. Of course we all use both part of our brain, and we need at least a bit of documentation to start with, but it might explain why people have different experiences learning MODx.

                Quote from: identity
                While it may seem like a bit of a waste to put more effor into documentation at this stage, I think it can pay off in the end. It will help more people get up and running faster, some of which may start creating their own solutions to add to the mix if they are capable, others may just help spread the gospel. It will also help free up the countless questions about how to simply implement this or that, which will hopefully free up everyone else to continue moving towards the future. In many cases, hopefully much of that documentation can simply be amended, updated, or otherwise for the future, rather than entirely scraped and pitched.

                I really do think we already have reached (or we will soon) the critical mass necessary to second the team’s efforts. We always had core users, but they are more and more numerous and it shows : more extensions, more templates, more people answering request for help... as we say in french, "la mayonnaise a pris" !

                On top of that, I don’t think we loose time answering questions. Questions are, in some cases, also opportunities for improvements...
                I also find that answering questions forces you to improve the answer, up to the point where you feel you can write a clean tutorial about the question.

                It does not mean documentation is not needed. Just that right now, at least for team members, efforts are best put elsewhere. We already have quite a bit of doc. Making it comprehensive would mean a huge effort which right now would not be the best of choices...

                Quote from: identity
                I think the team has done a great job, and I’m certainly not out to belittle the work or the effort. But I also look at how much time has been spent by myself and my impressions of others just in trying to figure some things out to get a better grasp on things. But mostly, I just want to raise the caution, as we all know, software is a constant "work in progress" and it is all to easy for the documentation aspect to be a perpetual "next release" since so much will be outdated anyway, that it never happens.

                Hmmm, that’s a valid point.
                But that’s assuming the improvements will be incremental, which, from what I know is not really the case : while MODx will keep its current philosophy, the code behind 1.0 is radical change, as it is totally rewritten. And this will also be true to a lesser extent of releases in between... it’s been suggested here and there, that the last releases of the 0.9.x branch will enjoy some fresh-new core code...

                Quote from: identity
                And coming full circle, the best apps will be those that provide the quickest and easiest solution, not necessarily those with the best features, and the first solution is understanding and implementation. I just don’t want to see MODx not receive the full grace of adoration and respect that I think it deserves... and will deserve.

                I most definitely agree with you there, and don’t worry MODx will get the praise it deserves cool

                In fact, I really do think MODx already provide one of the very best compromise between the speed and ease to build slightly to highly customized websites. Of course, there are some shortcomings like multi-language and user management, but for some projects it’s not that big of a problem.
                  .: COO - Commerce Guys - Community Driven Innovation :.


                  MODx est l'outil id
                • As a 90% lurker who has watched MODx for over a year, has two silly simple MODx sites, who loves things like Ditto while throwing old 33s and 8-track cassettes at it in mind-numbing frustration and who knows these types of threads recur (legitimately, btw), I am embarrassed to jump in, but not too embarrassed ;-). Prepare to be bored.

                  Learning MODx is hilariously confusing IF one doesn’t have a business or technical motivation to jump in head-first. I have no clue whether it will ever get better on that score. I am way more confident about a stable architecture with 1.0 than rich doc. Not saying it won’t, just saying the passions of OpenGeek et al for the former exceed the passion for the latter. What else is new. I consider that a good sign.

                  When developers are so excited that they can’t help racing ahead with coding because they see the possibility of doing stuff they have never done before, well ... there are worse things. If 1.X freezes that excitement and the creative chaos (a compliment), MODx will cease being MODx. You know, it will be Tattoo. Joke, okay.

                  I see MODx on the other-than-tech side as a powerful tool that is enabling a few (even if few > 50 or 200; I’d guess about 40 right now) professionals to get the jump on other CMS tools for their own clients - and sell competitive advantage to other clients, especially larger ones. Once mastered, the reports of productivity leaps and the ability to create-maintain more complex apps efficiently are consistent.

                  These few seem to be plenty-enough to keep the platform moving forward aggressively, to say the least. Oversimplifying (since it is clear they are also evangelists; also smart business), the rest of us are being given a free ride and ’come into the water’ invitation that depends entirely on their continuing to make bucks in their own businesses. I’m not sure MODx now (or ever) needs 1,000s of developers - great fun and confirmation of its quality, sure, and makes it easier to sell projects to conservative corporations but also a big problem. CF doc, training, public image (risks as well as benefits) and the ponderous weight of future success on the development process itself. If they don’t think so now, they’ll learn.

                  Please don’t misread me. I’m an outsider. These guys continually remind people of their desire for exponentially more MODx users. I believe them. Ryan T. and David M. in particular, but the rest of the core team as well, bend over backwards to make MODx intelligible to dumbos like me - while honestly warning that it ain’t easy.

                  If you’ve read this far, here is my bottom-line take on why the doc/training probably won’t ever get way better:

                  MODx is too flexible and powerful. Now, we noobs have to decide (and are, daily) whether that is wonderful or a show-stopper for us. Depends on who we are, what we do and, no doubt, our ambitions.

                  Take TVs and the discussion that kicked some of this off. Like most MODx features, it can be mixed and matched with other capabilities in a finite but brain-kicking number of ways - to suit you. Me. Ryan. David. OpenGeek. And all quite differently. I suspect there are fairly advanced users who would only partly recognize (or affirm) the way others are using different commands to achieve surprisingly similar results - the discussion about sections, sub-sections, hierarchy and semantics in this thread is proof positive.

                  It’s not that it’s all mush. No doubt, there are best practices and an underlying consistency to the architecture, data model, etc. But this flexibility-power is MODx’s inherent design point. It is almost orthogonal to producing comprehensive documentation. Which ’view’ of MODx behaviors should become the fulcrum of such documentation? Who picks? Why? They have a super friendly, competent doc-developer in Susan Ottwell but rotsa ruck to her.

                  Like almost all software but more than most, learning MODx has to be like exploring a virtual world computer game (a Civ or Sims or Warcraft or Second Life). The paths are finite but too rich to pin down linearly. Not only is MODx geared towards highly motivated professionals who can justify the learning curve because they are convinced they’ll earn more bucks soon (enough), but it’s oriented towards professionals with a certain temperament. I don’t see that changing; it shouldn’t change.

                  Hey, it’s just an analogy. The doc is better than it was a year before. But it tags behind cheerfully while the platform races forward, looking behind its shoulder to make sure the gap isn’t so great that creative chaos doesn’t become total noobie meltdown - even professionals need their hands held at various points.

                  Everyone has their story. I’m a semi-retired tech - poor(ish) but able to do this stuff as a hobby. I weigh steadily whether MODx is so cool I should make it a main hobby - but I don’t have the business motivation for mastering it that most here do (or might). A tool like Textpattern is almost always a better fit for me. I think.

                  But if I were a young Web professional, I would jump into MODx with all four feet. 100%. 200%.

                  I wouldn’t care whether it ever was popular per se. My gut (what else is new about life) says that the slowly expanding core team - I include the informal core team that provides extra snippets, testing, support, etc - can’t afford to stop using MODx or some descendant for years to come. And why should they? What tool would serve them better?

                  The cost to me wouldn’t be the risk of MODx coming to a halt, but (yes) the many hours of confusing frustration while I created my own mental map of this virtual CMS world, mixed with the thrill of realizing that I am being given the opportunity to decide for myself the kind of map I want to make. Too much power. Too much responsibiilty. Just enough competitive edge to zig-and-zag with all the Next New Things out there over the next decade.

                  These threads are repetitive but always necessary. I identify totally with those arguing for simple, consistent, clear order-of-magnitude improvements to the learning curve support. I’m certain the core team does too. But it ain’t gonna happen - not now and, I think, not ever. And if I’m wrong about ’ever’, it’s all about now or the soon-now as pointed out on this thread.

                  Bottom line, either a noob joins the core team itself (in principle; doesn’t have to be form) over some months, or doesn’t. It doesn’t take that commitment to do stuff in MODx. I said I have simple websites. But it does to ’get it’. Then, I’ll bet you will join folks sincerely promising great documentation and training ... ’soon’ while telling everyone how simple MODx is. Give me another sip of Kool-Aid. Heh. Yeah.

                  And the 0.9.5 beta manager is better. Compared to dreadful ;-).

                  Now, back to my MODx bat cave.

                  (While blathering, David M. posted his excellent, insider take. That’s a guy who knows his CMS stuff cold as a designer-user in the professional sense of that word. If - still appreciating TxP, EE et al - he says MODx leaves them in the dust, believe him.)


                  • RussLipton - you make some valid points about the docs, I have two weeks off at the moment and I`m using it to get modx up and running for a client, just starting to see some return for my time investment now, but initially went round and round looking for the information I needed.

                    Mind you as a designer I tend to be lazy and jump right in and hardly read anything, then wonder why its not working. I think lots of other users are the same.

                    I thought a lot of the posts were geeky weird questions, but now find myself reading them and thinking oh yea thats great!

                    p.s my old boss would never allow me time to get to grips with any cms system, I left my job thats why I have 2 weeks off, the next job should be better.
                      I made my first site with modx
                      ------------------------
                      http://www.shop-bright.com | Uk shopping blog
                    • David,

                      appreciate the comments, always insightful. And I certainly agree more than disagree, but also always keep an eye on where trouble can drift in if not kept in check... it’s all about marketing and sales wink

                      Yes, I think you can get up and running very quickly with MODx, so perhaps what I was leaning towards was more of the "getting the most" out of it, which again I think comes back to some of the documentation. But let me say that documentation here doesn’t necessarily have to be pages upon pages of a separate doc.

                      In many cases, this is simply more info in the snippets. I think it would help to setup a standard and encourage any contributors to follow a structure, which will make documentation of snippets easier to follow, more consistent, and also help insure that the necessary information is there.

                      Again, some of the confusion and frustration has come from snippets not having enough information, or finding that information was written "someWay" but actually needed to be used "SomeWay". As we all know, it is these little errors that create the biggest headaches.

                      I know I bounce between left and right brain modes, as I think most people do in this field... it is always a careful balance between technical and visual, reading, doing, seeing. That’s why I think some of the best addition to the docs may be more through examples... here is complete code and setup for X, here it is for Y. Then I think getting over the initial hurdles will be much quicker, which then elevates everyone to a higher level, which also helps all of us push the envelope... which of course pushes the core team to deliver and even more incredible product.

                      The challenge that I’ve had with many of the snippet examples is that they often cover the most basic calls, of which there is probably little question, but often don’t include some of the more sophisticated or confusing attributes, which also often have the least amount of any other documentation. So it leaves you wondering how to even do it, or not even realizing that the attributes you are looking for are already right there.

                      Admittedly, much of this is probably less about the core team development and more about the snippets and other development. Again, maybe much of this will settle once the next version or two is launched and out of beta.

                      And all this will carry back to the delivery and implementation. I can’t comment too much there as I haven’t played with it that much yet from a potential client standpoint. I agree that I think the sell in should be easy, hopefully especially with some of the simplifications coming into the manager area. But some of this comes back around to the documentation... and being able to know what you can and can’t do and understanding of how things work so you aren’t sitting in front of a client creating a list of "I don’t know if we can do that’s" which there will always be some of, and that’s fine, but not so good if you can’t come back with an answer until you are trying to implement everything. Again, this is where I think just a little more documentation and a few more examples will go a long ways.

                      But again, don’t get me wrong, this is more praise than criticism. I’ve lost track now, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve only been working with MODx for less than a month now, and in just a couple weeks I was able to take a nearly completed site created in Drupal (which I had also been learning for over 2-3 months, countless forum and doc reads, as well as two books) and completely reddid, added to, finished and launched, SiteByNite.com in about 2 weeks.

                      And again, this is from someone who is still new to CMS, new to dynamic sites, and new to PHP/MySQL... and if anything, much of the frustration comes back to myself as I don’t like not knowing how to do things and understanding things and don’t like to be "50%" there with anything. Which is also why I’m still pretty sure that MODx is the right place for me wink
                        | Identity Developments delivers SEO focused web design and web presence services
                        - it's not about websites, it's about your identity. |