Feedback: 4 comments
Info and download link (and a beautiful theme)
The primary use of hcg_templates is to import or export templates (in other words whole site themes). A Textpattern theme or template is made up of page templates, forms, stylesheets, sections, plugins, images, files, categories and links. Traditional copying and pasting of pages, forms and styles to and from a Textpattern installation is the most time-consuming part of the process. Hcg_templates does it in the blink of an eye! Hcg_templates makes the import and export of pages, forms and styles extremely easy and error-proof.
Existing Textpattern Themes
Not many of the themes at Textgarden or Textpattern Resources were created for hcg_templates. Theme authors, however, can convert their templates into hcg_templates format quite quickly so I hope many of them will do so. All that is involved is to install the plugin, choose export and rewrite their instructions slightly.
Theme Testing Made Easy
Any number of themes can be stored in the _templates folder. With the use of a prefix, themes can be tried and tested in the same installation with minimum hassle. Hcg_templates will back up the existing pages, forms and styles and import the new ones in their place. Images, sections and plugins can be simply added manually, although eventually there will be a limit as to how many are convenient to handle.
Web Designer Time Saver
Web designers will find hcg_templates a great help. Any existing design built with Texpattern can be exported and used as a basis for a new design. As mentioned above, this only takes a jiffy. With some planning and imagination all your favourite one-, two-, three- or four-column designs, for example, can be made into 'blank slate' themes, just waiting to be customized.
Ever needed to replace a word that's in a lot of pages or forms? By exporting these, transferring them to your local machine, doing a search and replace routine on all of them, then transferring back and re-importing, it can all be done quite quickly, much quicker than looking through every page and form and replacing them manually.
To be perfect, hcg_templates would also import and export sections, plugins, images and categories. Not being a coder myself, I don't know how difficult this is. It involves saving, activating, writing alt text, and selecting options so I imagine it could be done step by step with human input along the way. This isn't far from the process as it is now, so imho hcg_templates is a near-perfect plugin that everyone can benefit from using. Thank you, Bert Garcia, for a great plugin!
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Over time, I’d like to see the methodologies that are in hcg_templates be incorporated into a core module. Easing the task of getting started on a new site was always my intention, turning TxP into pick your theme ware, was not.
Thanks for bringing awareness.
I don’t find your mentioned exporting and importing plugins so good thing. As it takes credit from the original plugin developer. If it’s automated, people won’t never see plugin developers site, nor may not get the current newest version. Also, the theme users won’t get change to thank the plugin dev, nor see his site that can be someones way of earn money for living. Someones really live from websites, like I do, and by taking away those visitors would be same like stealing clothes. Same comes when turning free css templates to txp templates.
By this I don’t mean I stole money from people nor make plugins that cost. But visitor/link is way of getting interest and clients/job via web.
As hcgtv said, easing, not ware :)
That’s a good point about plugins that I hadn’t thought of because I am not a plugin author myself. If hcg_templates gets into the core, whether txp or xpt, the developers who put it there will also be plugin authors so automating plugin installation/exstallation is extremely unlikely.
Regarding themes, their authors usually ask for a credit link to their site to remain undeleted. There are always those who will abuse the system and it will be sad if someone imports other people’s themes but pass themselves off as original web designers. But for learning how a theme works in practice and for a blogging newbie to be able to get a TXP site up and running quickly, hcg_templates is great. But designers will get the most value from the plugin, like I implied in the heading.
The point is increased usability for all. There’s a reason why WordPress is so big. It’s simplified. For clients, WP is easy. And that’s often what they want. Ease of use. WordPress made the pie a whole lot bigger. And TXP doesn’t seem to be getting any of it. Maybe this is a move in good direction.
For the record, I prefer Textpattern.