|This article relies on references to primary sources. (January 2009)|
|Original author(s)||Dean Allen|
|Stable release||4.5.5 / October 4, 2013|
Textpattern is an open source content management system originally developed by Dean Allen. While it is often listed among weblogging tools, its aim is to be a general-purpose content management system suitable for deployment in many contexts. Textpattern is written in PHP using a MySQL database backend. The current stable version is Textpattern 4.5.5.
Textpattern grew out of the system used to publish Textism, Allen's personal site, and an unnamed version was announced as available to alpha testers in 2001. In 2003, Textpattern was formally announced. The early alpha versions were followed by a series of beta releases which saw more widespread use, and which were themselves superseded by a series of "gamma" releases which expanded and refined Textpattern's capabilities. Since the final gamma version (1.19), Textpattern has been distributed under the GNU General Public License.
The next version, in September 2004, was Release Candidate 1 for Textpattern 1.0. In a somewhat unorthodox move, Textpattern continued to accumulate features as the second, third, fourth and fifth release candidates were made public. During this time the official development team expanded to include several talented contributors from the nascent Textpattern community: with Release Candidate 3 Alex Shiels and Pedro Palazón joined the development team, and Sencer Yurdagül was brought into the fold as Textpattern's release manager with Release Candidate 4.
The fifth release candidate, however, included a notice that no new features would be added before the 1.0 release, and two weeks later, on August 14, 2005, the first officially stable version of Textpattern was released. Due to the extended development process—many of the previous releases, even before the 1.0 candidates, were widely considered stable and mature enough for production use—this release was named "Textpattern 4.0" rather than "Textpattern 1.0".
The 4.2.0 release ("Textpattern CMS 4.2.0 released".), which was the next major release following 4.0.8, in September 2009 was a major update. The most notable new features were administrative-side enhancements and hooks for creating administrative plugins and themes.
The 4.3.0 release ("Textpattern CMS 4.3.0 released".) in November 2010 introduced new features and improvements, notably more advanced image handling, and administrative updates in preparation for modernising and streamlining the core code.
The 4.5.0 release ("Textpattern CMS 4.5.0 released: a hive of activity".) in August 2012 brought many improvements, including a new HTML5 public theme and extensive modernisation of the administration area of the system. The minimum required PHP version was increased as well.
Since the original release, all of the original developers have departed the project: Allen and Palazón in 2006, Shiels in 2007, and Yurdagül in 2009. As of October 2012, the current developers are Stef Dawson, Jukka Svahn and Robert Wetzlmayr. Core designer is Phil Wareham. Ruud van Melick is still active as "developer emeritus".
Textpattern offers a number of features and conveniences to designers, users, site administrators and developers, including:
- Ease of publishing using Textile, a text-to-HTML converter which permits users to publish content without learning HTML.
- Preview of both the final "look" of content and of its HTML.
- Standards-compliant XHTML/HTML5 and CSS "out of the box", with all layout in the default setup handled via stylesheets.
- A tag-based template system which allows the creation of reusable blocks of content and code, referred to as "forms", and a built-in "tag builder" to automate their creation.
- Tags can be used as values of other tags' attributes ("tags in tags").
- Tags can be used to set up variables in order to verify whether certain conditions are met.
- A privilege-based user hierarchy, allowing for an organized structure of writers, editors and publishers to work easily in concert.
- A commenting system, including several measures to combat spam.
- Built-in site statistics, including referrer tracking.
- Syndication of site content via RSS and Atom.
- A robust plugin architecture which allows the addition of features to any part of the system, including the administrative backend.
- An integrated link management system.
- An integrated image management system which allows the association of images with particular pieces of content.
- An integrated file management system which allows files to be offered for download.
- Separation of content from presentation with a concept of "sections" defined for presentation and "categories" for content organization.
- An arbitrary amount of custom data fields per article.
- UTF-8 publishing and support for many languages, including English, French, Italian, German, Czech, Japanese, Estonian, Latvian, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Catalan, Polish, Slovenian, Indonesian, Swedish, Icelandic, Russian, Arabic, and Greek (including support for polytonic).
- Unlike most other blogging software, Textpattern does not natively support Pingback or Trackback, for security reasons.
- Comparison of content management systems
- Comparison of lightweight markup languages
- Textile — lightweight rich text markup language and text-to-HTML converter.
- Official Textpattern Website
- Textpattern Development: Development timeline and source code repository.
- Textpattern Forum: Textpattern support forum.
- Textpattern CMS User Documentation: Textpattern documentation wiki.
- Textpattern CMS Tag Reference: Tag reference of all Textpattern tags (with code examples).
- Textpattern Plugins: Textpattern plugin repository.
- Textgarden: Installable Textpattern templates.
- TXP The internet magazine about Textpattern CMS and web related themes.
- Txp Tips: Collection of ready to use code snippets and examples of ingeniously combined tags.
- TXPQ Magazine: Articles and interviews relating to Textpattern.
- Textpattern Planet: Textpattern news aggregator.
- Textpattern Czech: Czech language Textpattern information site.
- Textpattern Russian: Russian language Textpattern information site.
- txp:tag: Textpattern Tags