Textpattern: Context in depth Page 1 of 8

Textpattern: Context in depth

Summary:

In-depth discussion of a key Textpattern concept

Context is a term that crops up often in Textpattern discussion and articles. “Context” has a special meaning in Textpattern (hereafter abbreviated “Txp”). It is, arguably, the key to understanding how Txp works. By extension, it is the key to understanding how to work with Txp and to get the most out of it.

This article aims to help all Txp users gain a better understanding of context. The focus is on how context influences content selection and information architecture, both globally and at the level of individual Txp tags. Txp beginners may find it heavy going, and may want to skim the more theoretical pages and skip ahead to the demo to get a feel for how context works in practice, then return to the theory.

There’s plenty for Txp experts to chew on as well. When I set out to write this article, I thought I already understood context rather well. I was wrong, and learned a huge amount in the process of trying to understand it well enough to explain it. The opening sections may seem obvious to experienced Txp users, but I encourage you to read through them, if for nothing other than my definitions of key terms.

There’s plenty of example code in the demo section, but most of the examples are not code recipes as such. The intention here is to “teach a man to fish”, not to “give a man a fish”. Just because.

The article assumes basic familiarity with Txp, and of course with HTML, CSS, and how websites work, all prerequisites to building sites with Txp.

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Posted 2011-01-07 (last modified 2011-01-18)