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Why IPC is failing


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#1 Jimi Wikman

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 12:57 PM

As a long time webdeveloper and webdesigner that have worked with Wordpress for the last 5 years or so I see some issues with IPC and from the response I see here this is shared by others as well and this is why IPC is not more successful than it is, despite being an excellent product.

The biggest problem with IPC is that out of the box it does not behave like most database applications like Wordpress and article managers. The Articles feature would be ideal for blogs or content sites like articles, knowledgebases and so on, but the strange navigation issues makes it confusing and annoying rather than easy and logical. The archive system is an interesting way of handling things, but it does not work practicly and it does not mimic any system I have ever seen...and I have seen alot. This makes articles confusing and annoying to work with. The fact that you can only have one set of articles also makes this feature limited instead of inspire creativity.

Databases are awesome in so many ways and where the archive system for the articles fail, databases work perfectly. The big problem with databases is almost identical with articles, meaning that navigation is a pain in the...if you want to build anything but a list since the categories template is built as a list and it's not exactly straight forward to change that layout to a design like found for the articles.

In both cases the breadcrumb completely ruin the navigation experience to the point where its completely useless to use the wrapper, especially since the wrapper comes with a huge CSS file which you probably never will use and which will only make your website slow for no good reason.

Without good examples on how to add different designs and implement different functions for both the Articles system and the Databases IPC is failing in my opinion.

With a few good examples to work from and with the possibilty to remove the confusing navigation quirks in the Articles this would change dramaticly. Rework the breadcrumb issue so it makes sense and work on a separation of necessary code in the header so that the CSS is slimmed down for only what is needed for the wrapper with options to add more CSS individually in each file rather than dump it all in wether you need it or not...well, then you have a real winner here!

Wordpress has an equally complicated system if you want to diver deep into it, but there each function has it's own page with examples and I often return to those for ideas and examples to wok from and this is something I deeply miss for IPC.

Keep up the good work and I look forward to see IPC rise to new heights :)
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#2 Charles

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 01:57 PM

I really wouldn't say it's failing. It's one of our most successful applications actually :)

One must keep in mind IP.Content isn't even a year old. It's still being matured and refined as we get feedback. The next version is already in the works and we will start blogging about the enhancements in the next few weeks
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#3 Carl M

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 02:11 PM

It might not be failing - but im sure many might have purchased it and then never really used it - im a person in that camp it just seems far too difficult for an average user to use. :)
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#4 EBrown

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 02:15 PM

It might not be failing - but im sure many might have purchased it and then never really used it - im a person in that camp it just seems far too difficult for an average user to use. :)

I am currently writing my own documentation for future reference, I can send it to you if you would like. It goes fairly in-depth into some of the things you can do with IP.Content.

And as Charles said, it is pretty successful. Without it I would still be creating my first page outside of IP.Board. IP.Content makes life MUCH easier.

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#5 Charles

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 02:21 PM

Help for the novice user is a key goal in the next version :)
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#6 Carl M

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 03:06 PM

I am currently writing my own documentation for future reference, I can send it to you if you would like. It goes fairly in-depth into some of the things you can do with IP.Content.

And as Charles said, it is pretty successful. Without it I would still be creating my first page outside of IP.Board. IP.Content makes life MUCH easier.

Thanks,
EBrown


Yeah sure happy to take a look :)

#7 EBrown

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 04:11 PM

Alright. Well here it is.

If it seems like I bounce around a lot, it is because I do. My brain rummages through everything first, then dives in.

Thanks,
EBrown

Attached Files


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#8 Gabriel Petrelli

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 04:27 PM

It practically requires knowledge of coding/design, my IP.Content install has remained unused for this very reason. For those that can't code and need help developing a page in IP.Content, they can expect to be quoted ridiculous sums of money that there is no possible way the average consumer and hobbyist can afford.

In my honest opinion, IP.Content should default to a basic CMS on a fresh install, something like VbCMS for Vbulletin. Once installed the site admin has the option of changing the CMS to whatever they wish if they wish. The basic functionality should include the following:

- Use the forums chosen skin as the skin for the default CMS.

- Ability to automatically grab news/articles from specific forum sections, like the portal can.

- Post news/articles directly to the front page/cms.

- An actual CMS to default to on fresh install, throwing in some blocks and the article feature with the boards header/footer wrapper != a CMS.

- Other basic functionality, blocks, and features that you would find on a typical CMS, nothing complicated but enough to get started.

- Allow the basic CMS to be completely customizable, easily is key as anything complicated can present difficulties for someone such as myself.

Right now I am stuck with software that I essentially can not use unless I can find someone to design me a page, at a reasonable price that is affordable to an average consumer/hobbyist such as myself. I can't even sell my IP.Content license unless I sell my account along with all my purchased software, which I don't want to do since I like using IPB. I also might find a use for IP.Content someday, so I'm not exactly looking to get rid of IP.Content.
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#9 EBrown

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 04:49 PM

It practically requires knowledge of coding/design, my IP.Content install has remained unused for this very reason. For those that can't code and need help developing a page in IP.Content, they can expect to be quoted ridiculous sums of money that there is no possible way the average consumer and hobbyist can afford.

In my honest opinion, IP.Content should default to a basic CMS on a fresh install, something like VbCMS for Vbulletin. Once installed the site admin has the option of changing the CMS to whatever they wish if they wish. The basic functionality should include the following:

- Use the forums chosen skin as the skin for the default CMS.

- Ability to automatically grab news/articles from specific forum sections, like the portal can.

- Post news/articles directly to the front page/cms.

- An actual CMS to default to on fresh install, throwing in some blocks and the article feature with the boards header/footer wrapper != a CMS.

- Other basic functionality, blocks, and features that you would find on a typical CMS, nothing complicated but enough to get started.

- Allow the basic CMS to be completely customizable, easily is key as anything complicated can present difficulties for someone such as myself.

Right now I am stuck with software that I essentially can not use unless I can find someone to design me a page, at a reasonable price that is affordable to an average consumer/hobbyist such as myself. I can't even sell my IP.Content license unless I sell my account along with all my purchased software, which I don't want to do since I like using IPB. I also might find a use for IP.Content someday, so I'm not exactly looking to get rid of IP.Content.

You may find my above post useful, as that documentation goes into how you can make IP.Content integrate very smoothly into your forums theme.

Thanks,
EBrown
Thanks always,
Elliott Brown

#10 Enkidu

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 05:33 PM

I really wouldn't say it's failing. It's one of our most successful applications actually :)

One must keep in mind IP.Content isn't even a year old. It's still being matured and refined as we get feedback. The next version is already in the works and we will start blogging about the enhancements in the next few weeks


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#11 kwa11ace

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 07:02 PM

Ahh yeah, I'm on the "If I had known" group that regrets buying it. My issue is the way it was promoted you had the impression that this is a system that will fit into any board with slight modification and "wizards". It's simply not the case. Of course I have no issue with IPB bringing out a module that requires a good CSS/PHP knowledge but not everyone who owns a board has time to spend learning it or learning by trial & error.
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#12 tink

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 07:22 PM

I to am yet another buyer with buyers remorse although i did renew my license. To complicated for the novice. Looking forward to future less complicated versions.
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#13 rastaX

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 07:31 PM

There is a wide disparity between those who are capable of using this system and doing great things with it, and those of us who simply lack the ability to do much of anything with it. I have no html, css, php ability. Sure, I can cobble together some workable html, but I really have no knowledge of it. In spite of this limitation, I was able to take the vBCMS and knock out some pretty decent pages. I had used bfarbers portal for years, and quite frankly, that was all the experience I needed to understand and implement some decent sections for my site. I had weather widgets, a clock, video blocks and an Amazon store. With blocks from one to the other. This would have been great except it was more form over function. There was simply too many things that didn't work right.

I know there are some very smart people working for IPB. That is probably both an asset and a detriment. Coding can be a talent. When one is talented, it is sometimes difficult to step back and put yourself in the shoes of someone who struggles with grasping even the simplest concepts. Sure, I could scour the internet for tutorials, learn some basic stuff, build on it and develop some skills. But I have to tell you, right now, I have other priorities.

I had a pretty good looking setup with vB that I put a lot of work into only to find the usability to be lacking. I have a strong background with IPB and made the decision to eat my investment and invest once again here. I don't necessarily regret that decision. But after having my paid conversion stalled for over a month, and feeling too bewildered with IPC to attempt to redo everything all over again myself. I am a little frustrated. I know this company is the future. I know eventually my site will be everything I want it to be using IPB products. I know eventually IPB will produce the content creation product that even I can use. But that future can be as little as weeks or months, or as distant as years.

I am a patient fellow. I wish I could just up and learn the necessary skills to use this product. I will delve into it some more and I just might surprise myself. But for a person such as myself, this product is more intimidating than useful............
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#14 A Walk in Faith

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 08:42 PM

Ok, I know I'm gonna get smacked for this one, but I saw something in another topic and when I read it I happen to think... that could fit IPC as a description...

Here is the quote:

Wave didn't have enough direction and focus if you ask me. It had some neat ideas and concepts, but was too much a toolbox rather than an out of the box solution for the average user to really grasp.


Now, this quote on this Topic was talking about Google Wave.... and I know IPC is a work in progress and I have gotten it to work (simple site) for my site, but I believe it could be bigger, better and easier to use.

You guys keep doing the great job you're doing, but while you're doing that remember to 'dumb' it down for those of us that really want to use your products to their fullest but need additional help. :)

Jamie
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#15 mat206

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 09:10 PM

Jeez.. some negative comments. Personally, I think IPC is one of the most awesome releases to come out of IPS next to the forums. I feel like in a matter of minutes I can create something similar to a whole app. This was stuff that used to take a while to make done in minutes..

Now I will agree that it does take a little knowledge to work with the templates, but it gets easier over time. One of the best things that IPC could do would be to fully document everything. I found myself throwing <php>print_r($data['record']);</php> all over the place in blocks to get an idea of what stuff was actually in the record. And while template development includes some references to fields, the most complete is to use print_r.

IPC has a while to go, and it's definitely not a traditional CMS so I couldn't say it's as out-of-the-box as something like Joomla, but that's what makes it so awesome.. because it is extremely flexible.

#16 Jimi Wikman

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 02:07 AM

Jeez.. some negative comments. Personally, I think IPC is one of the most awesome releases to come out of IPS next to the forums. I feel like in a matter of minutes I can create something similar to a whole app. This was stuff that used to take a while to make done in minutes..

Now I will agree that it does take a little knowledge to work with the templates, but it gets easier over time. One of the best things that IPC could do would be to fully document everything. I found myself throwing <php>print_r($data['record']);</php> all over the place in blocks to get an idea of what stuff was actually in the record. And while template development includes some references to fields, the most complete is to use print_r.

IPC has a while to go, and it's definitely not a traditional CMS so I couldn't say it's as out-of-the-box as something like Joomla, but that's what makes it so awesome.. because it is extremely flexible.


I agree with you completely, IP.Content is awesome and it's not just a CMS, its a framework to build whatever you want.
Problem is that some aspects does not really work out of the box and there are not enough examples to work with for those that don't feel all that at home with PHP code.

#17 rastaX

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 09:30 AM

Jeez.. some negative comments. Personally, I think IPC is one of the most awesome releases to come out of IPS next to the forums. I feel like in a matter of minutes I can create something similar to a whole app. This was stuff that used to take a while to make done in minutes..

Now I will agree that it does take a little knowledge to work with the templates, but it gets easier over time. One of the best things that IPC could do would be to fully document everything. I found myself throwing <php>print_r($data['record']);</php> all over the place in blocks to get an idea of what stuff was actually in the record. And while template development includes some references to fields, the most complete is to use print_r.

IPC has a while to go, and it's definitely not a traditional CMS so I couldn't say it's as out-of-the-box as something like Joomla, but that's what makes it so awesome.. because it is extremely flexible.


I certainly didn't mean to be negative. But the truth is, this is simply not usable by everyone. A classic example of what people like me are up against was;

I found myself throwing <php>print_r($data['record']);</php> all over the place in blocks to get an idea of what stuff was actually in the record. And while template development includes some references to fields, the most complete is to use print_r.


What part of that didn't I understand? Not a bit..... :P LOL

This is the issue for us code deficient folks. I try to wade through the IP Content forums, and I just don't speak the language. I know this is a powerful product, and I wish I could tap into that power. But not really even understanding what fields, template development and the likes are, it is very difficult to find any footing with this product.

I look at the small fee I paid for this as a contribution to further develop it in the hopes that one day it becomes more user friendly while retaining all the power of which many speak. In the meantime, I will just take your word for it. ;) (and my apologies if I came off sounding rude or negative)
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#18 kwa11ace

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 04:31 AM

I found myself throwing <php>print_r($data['record']);</php> all over the place in blocks to get an idea of what stuff was actually in the record. And while template development includes some references to fields, the most complete is to use print_r.


LOL, that was the same bit I thought "he's just answered why this thread is here"
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#19 Jimi Wikman

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 07:05 AM

rastax and kwa11ace, besides from the click and move version you would like, do you think that having a number of examples would be helpful even if they are just a bunch of code? Perhaps if it comes with comments on what different bits do?

#20 RobertMidd

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 07:29 AM

It might not be failing - but im sure many might have purchased it and then never really used it - im a person in that camp it just seems far too difficult for an average user to use. :)

Yes, me being one of those people ... could never get the hang of it (first release) and not looked at the current version.

I am going to try and do something for my forums www.thingsamazing.com but cannot come up with any ideas yet.




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