Welcome to #IndieWeb Textpattern

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This site was born out of a realisation that there weren’t many resources available to help anyone who wanted to use Textpattern to power their IndieWeb website. I had fond memories of using (and developing for) Textpattern several years ago, while it was in its infancy, and thought it would be a good candidate CMS for many people who want something simple, light-weight, and flexible.

Goals

The goal of this site is to become a living “how-to” of integrating Textpattern with IndieWeb building-blocks. Some of this I know how to do already (or have a good idea of how to do it), whereas some of it will need some time, exploration, and probably some extra code.

In order to make the content as widely-applicable as possible, all articles will assume an unmodified, “out of the box” installation of Textpattern.

Why IndieWeb?

If you’re new to the concept, the IndieWeb is about empowering people on the Internet. Instead of relying on a suite of corporate services to let you create content, the IndieWeb encourages having your own website which is the home for all of your content, and your primary “identity” on the web. By using open source technology, your content can still be posted to other places, and you can interact with others through your website.

By having your own website, you control how your content is presented, you control what type of content you want to create, and you control what happens to it. No more using App A for pictures, App B for short posts, and Service C for writing long-form text. Your own website lets you collect it all in one place.

Why Textpattern?

Textpattern is a smaller, simpler CMS (content management system), which can be used to build all sorts of websites. It has a number of features which might be of interest:

  • Flexible Templating – Textpattern has a simple but robust templating system, which lets users define all sorts of customised “Forms” from inside the admin interface, and which can then be embedded anywhere in the site – whether it’s in other Form templates, or even in content!
  • Plugin support – The core features of Textpattern can be extended using a simple plugin system.
  • Simple content editing – Textpattern isn’t trying to be all things to all people. The writing interface is extremely simple to use, and makes use of Textile to provide formatting options. While primarily focussed on writing, other types of content can be created.

Challenges

While many IndieWeb features can be added to a site using simple markup and templating changes, some will require custom code, that isn’t part of the Textpattern ecosystem just yet. In particular, I foresee the following posing some challenges (in that they’ll require some sort of development effort):

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