The road to Textpattern 5, revisited

A number of people have contacted us to enquire as to the progress of Textpattern CMS 5. We would like to take this opportunity to clarify the future direction of the project.

Textpattern CMS 5

Textpattern CMS 5 was originally conceived as a major rewrite of the codebase, based on the Spark/Plug PHP framework built by Sam Weiss, a former member of the development team. The rewrite within this framework would not have been backward compatible with the Textpattern 4.x branch, but would gain the advantage of a modern codebase free from the legacy code dependency built up over the years. All existing v4.x plugins would also need to be redesigned and rebuilt for v5.

In January 2012 Stef Dawson announced the details of the Textpattern 5 plans. However, members of our valuable plugin developer community voiced their concerns that this direction was unappealing—favouring incremental improvements and modernisation of the 4.x codebase over a total 5.x rewrite. After deliberation we too agreed that this route matches the development capacity of both the core team and third-party developers better.

Textpattern CMS 4.x

Once the decision was made to stay on the current codebase, we released Textpattern v4.5 incorporating a number of improvements originally planned for inclusion in Textpattern v5, and since that release development pace has picked up rapidly for our v4.6 plans and beyond—justifying the decision against a major rewrite.

In fact, more patch revisions have been made to the project during 2012 than in the years 2008 to 2011 combined, confirming our commitment to the future of Textpattern.


  1. Very important decision, thanks!

  2. I left a comment here earlier, I guess it must’ve been chomped by something. I said something along the lines of:

    As a lowly user/administrator of Textpattern, this post is useful and informative – thank you.

    Yeah, that does sound a bit spammy, come to think on it…

  3. Thank you for that update. I have only one site built with Textpattern (mine). Since I am not a PHP guru, I need a solution where users management is easy (and configurable, and not just for editing purpose but for permissions to access certain part of a site), content editing not too rebarbative, content types not limited (and not just placed in the limited side of the editing section), and multilingual features easy to implement and use (for the client point of view).

    I have also to persuade my clients that this CMS is here to stay. When I study all this with my limited knowledge, I sense Textpattern fragility and I prefer then other solutions (Concrete 5 being the big contender, which I am beginning to learn, followed by Drupal, powerful but somewhat cumbersome which needs constant maintenance).

    For what I see, I think Concrete 5 has a lot to show to you, faithful developers, in the usability department. I know it is based on a MVC schema and this road is no more the solution for you for the moment (as I understand it). And perhaps Textpattern will remain a simple and yet powerful tool for developers only (which is also fine).

    Please see this comment as coming from an average, jack-of-all-trade user, who knows a lot, but still a little.

    Anyway, I do hope a brighter future for it! Keep on the good work. I know you can do wonders.

  4. Waited for an announcement on this for a long time. I’m glad that Textpattern will get better either way. Probably will be a good idea to release “the rewrite” as a side project, if there was anything to release in the first place.

  5. Does this mean you guys might move the Textpattern repo over to github?

  6. Hi all,
    i did good experience with Textpattern and look forward to TXP5 !

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