Discussions on the interface

Archive of notes and cross input on Dev versions of Coranto (1.25.1 and Older)

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Postby perlman » Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:28 pm

I agree with you on your last statement, Parahead. I don't see any reason why you should be able to change the Coranto interface. I haven't seen any other systems or scripts who allow you this, and I don't really see a need for it.
If the interface is good and works great, then it wont be needing changes. Maybe colors, but nothing else.
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Postby msbzdragn » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:36 pm

perlman wrote:My thought about this is that we shouldn't need a facelift addon.
For the first, it is quite clear that there is something wrong about the admin section as people always are installing facelift and chameleon in Coranto.
It gives you a clue that changes are needed with the interface.

To be blunt (sorry!), you're wrong. I just took a look over the stats, which confirmed what I had guessed. FaceLift is only downloaded 8% as often as the current Coranto core file is. By far the majority of users don't use FaceLift. (Incidentally, even the most popular addon of all - WebWriter - is only downloaded 1/3 as often as the Coranto core).

You could argue that not every copy of Coranto downloaded is used, but then equally not every person who downloads FaceLift will like it and keep it. You could also argue that some people have placed FaceLift on multiple Coranto installs, but redownloaded the core - but equally you can argue that some people will have installed Coranto multiple times from one download, but redownloaded FaceLift multiple times. In the end, these errors ikely mostly cancel themselves out.

In reality, FaceLift is probably only used by 10% or less of our userbase, and probably 90% or more feel no need to change the interface. That means that by trying to force FaceLift's style into the core, you cause 90% or more of our users to have to relearn an interface they're comfortable and familiar with, to make 10% or less of our users happy.

That is NOT a good tradeoff, particularly when you consider that putting FaceLift into the core may break some existing addons - and if we break backwards compatibility, people are less likely to keep upgrading their Coranto installs, and more likely to switch to another CMS.

I support our making it easier for addons to do their job. Anything Parahead can do to make future versions of Facelift (or other competing addons that nobody's thought of yet) easier to link into Coranto, I support - so long as it can be done without breaking compatibility with existing addons, or decreasing Coranto's security.

I most definitely do not want to see a completely new interface shoehorned into the core, however.
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Postby perlman » Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:55 pm

Thank you for answering. Was hoping that you would write something here, since I are the one making the call here.

I don't want to force anything into Coranto if it isn't needed. And since you hold the stats, I didn't know how many who used Facelift.
I have used Coranto for some years, but only the last year or so have I been using it active. And the first year I used it, maybe it was more than that also, I didn't know the Facelift addon existed. I had been using several addons, but I had never heard of it. It was little over a year ago I discovered that I could do something about the interface, which wasn't as good as I wanted it to be.

Most people use it because it is the only one they know. Or that they just like it.
No matter what, people are used to it, and changing it will be hard.
But my thought is that it is needed.

It is a risk to do a thing that might get people to switch to something else, but you have to realise it: Coranto is slowly fading away. There are still many who uses it, but most people have started using some other CMS. I don't have any statistics to back me up, it is just how I see it.

And a CMS can't stay like it is forever. It has to change to follow the market. Maybe not radically, but small changes must take place. Here comes the color change, which I think is important. You can always have an option to select the classic Coranto theme, but if you want Coranto to stay more modern, a color change is something that has to be done, in my opinion.
And using a different menu system will absolutely help!
I use the facelift addon because it makes me work faster with Coranto, having the links in a meny to the left. Faster work, more pleased.

I know I don't have much to say in these matters, and that my thoughts aren't important, but I wanted to say this, because I want the best for Coranto, since I think it is so great and that if I can help make it better, I will do it!
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Postby SrNupsen » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:06 pm

I'll post my $0.02 on the subject as well.

Perlman, I don't agree with you that Coranto is fading away. This community, as any other that is based on voluntary work, will experience ups and downs. We recently suffered a major setback as you are probably aware of, but thanks to the major work effort put in by Parahead (with good help from plushpuffin), we have been able to release a new beta version.

If you look at the changelogs for the different versions, you will see a whole lot of new features added. So I don't agree that Coranto is staying the same either. My experience is that users who want the CMS they are using to look more fancy, basically just want their sites to look more fancy. But the whole point of Coranto is its flexibility, which requires you to understand what you're doing (unlike many other CMS'es), but in return puts you in full control. This has exceptions, ofcourse from time to time valid feature requests are posted, and I know that Parahead is always eager to implement them, provided that discussions show their usefulness.

The Facelift addon, as many other addons, will need some changes in order to work with the current beta release. When this is done, together with the Chameleon addon, you can make your Coranto admin section look almost any way you want. So no need to force one's taste onto others, everybody can pick the style they want.

Same goes for a lot of other addons: Some find them useful, others not. That's why they are called addons. I also happen to agree that the current standard color scheme is somewhat old fashion, but it's clear and readable, I've gotten used to it, and last but not least: I know that if I wanted to, it would take me a minimum of time to change it.


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Postby Parahead » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:13 pm

OK, based on msbzdragn's post and the other suggestions taken into account, this is what I am thinking would suit most people.

1) The left menu Facelift has introduced could be improved. However, it should be done as an addon, so some minor updates (read: add a new hook) that will make this possible will be added in the core. to make it more flexbile, it should be possible for the admin to choose exactly which links that should be presented in the menu.

2) The kind of headlines that Facelift introduce (Coranto Config/News Config/Addons) at the Admin Page makes it easier to find the link you are looking for. This is no big deal, will not impact addons so it can be added to the core.

3) Facelift presents the options in this fashion instead of the normal way. As with point 2, this is simple to make as an Yes/No option for in core and will not impact addons.

With the small list above I think that the best of two worlds will be achieved and make most people happy. The color schema I really don't have an opinon about. Feedback on this?
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Postby perlman » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:28 pm

If that's the best way to do, I totally support it!
I don't mind installing the facelift addon, I personally I don't need it implemented in the core, but I think that this will make Coranto appeal to more people. And Paraheads way is the best way to do this without destroying the backward compability.
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Postby Parahead » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:39 pm

perlman wrote:I don't mind installing the facelift addon, I personally I don't need it implemented in the core, but I think that this will make Coranto appeal to more people. And Paraheads way is the best way to do this without destroying the backward compability.
The main reason (as I see it) to implement some of Facelifts functionality in the core is that since it actually modifes some core subs to do its stuff, it is a source for problems. And to pick the good stuff that Facelift introduce it would basically make that addon obsolete. Of course, a new "QuickMenu" addon would need to be coded, but that would be worth it... And as you say, it will maintain backward compability!
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