Yeah, we need someone who can basically do this. Brilliant photo by Ezu, via Flickr.

We’ve got some big ideas for the future of Create Digital Music and Create Digital Motion, and we need your help. Everything you like here now will stay. We’re just adding some carefully-chosen features around it, overhauling the community side of the site (createdigitalnoise), and making things work better. We’re looking for a web hacker/developer who would like to join the team and help take the site to the next level.

We need someone with strong PHP skills, experience with WordPress, and Apache and Linux server administration. If you’re interested, get in touch (choose “Editor” and talk to me directly).

We are not leaving WordPress. Nearly all of what you now see is sticking around. We’ve got some new stuff that you’re not seeing. One way to add features and improve functionality is to switch platforms. Another is to build on the platform you’ve already got, if it works. Capiche?

  • Peter, have you checked out Textpattern? That's what I'm using on my site, albeit I'm barely touching the possibilities. It's much more flexible than WordPress, and you shouldn't need to go hacking any PHP to get what you want. Most site concepts are possible using Textpattern, I'd be surprised if you didn't like it, most people do when they try it. Did you make CDM yourself or did you have some help?

  • I'm sure Textpattern has its limitations just the same.

    One thing about hacking WordPress by modifying/added PHP code is that extensive changes may be a pain in the future when WP gets critical updates which break your code. But I guess that's why you want someone with strong PHP skills and not some sloppy guy like me 😉

  • Kadmium

    You could try something like Drupal. It's extensible, and has a huge library of modules and features already built in. It's free, open source and PHP based.

  • Drupal and Textpattern I'm sure have their own advantages and disadvantages, but we're not switching platforms. We're really happy with WordPress, and how the blog itself works. We just want to build on the foundation that we have. Most of the work we're doing at this point is on the community side of the site and better developing navigational tools for archived content on WP. (We also have a weird character encoding problem with some older stories in the database, but that's a separate issue … and our fault, not WP's or anything else.)

    We're not planning on doing any big hacks to WP, either; just some basic work on integration, design, and some functionality. It is possible to use WP plug-ins and hacks without creating something that's easily broken, though. It's all about customization.

  • Drupal is more than most people need who end up using it. And it's cumbersome, from what I hear.

    For the forum, what enhancements are you looking to do? Just curious.

    Textpattern has limitations of course, but it's preferable to WordPress for many because it separates the PHP from everything else, you don't find a lot of people hacking Textpattern to get desired effects like you do with WordPress. This is taken from this thread: "…in Textpattern it’s just HTML and txp:tags, in WordPress there’s also PHP in the mix." So, you have to be a PHP hack to do cool stuff in WordPress outside the norm, while with Textpattern, you just use txp tags, which are simple to use for almost anyone.

    Anyway, sounds like you're set on staying with WordPress, and continuing to hack it to get what you want. Hope it goes well, have fun!

  • I'm perhaps being needlessly evasive. 🙂

    We're looking at bbPress for the forum in place of phpBB, and adding WordPress MU (=Multi User).

    I don't quite agree that you need to do PHP hacking to successfully use WordPress; what Textpattern does is impressive, but I think that thread overstates the difference, and that's not the reason we're in need of PHP skills. The txp:tags is nice, in terms of abstraction and reliability, but WP's solution isn't so bad. In either platform, if you want to go beyond the stock functions, you need to know PHP, period.

  • <blockquote cite="Peter Kirn">The txp:tags is nice, in terms of abstraction and reliability, but WP’s solution isn’t so bad. In either platform, if you want to go beyond the stock functions, you need to know PHP, period.

    Yeah if you actually have to write your own plugin to achieve the functionality you're after. Most likely it will already be done for you and available to download and install in seconds. Many amazing PHP plugins have been written over the years by a rapid community of developers.

    I just found this new article interviewing some of the big Txp guys who just wrote the first Txp book.

    I don't know. From what I gather, WordPress is great in a lot of ways, mainly for bloggers. There's this guy Paul Stamatiou who I definitely give a lot of respect, who uses a heavily modified version of WordPress. But really, his blog doesn't do anything out of the ordinary, and he had to hack it all himself with his knowledge of PHP, just like you're going to do.

    Everything on his site could be done using Txp and a batch of excellent plugins, and you wouldn't have to know any PHP. This includes the navigation stuff you're talking about, there are a number of great plugins for Txp that deal with navigation. If you're interested, peruse the plugin forum to see what's up and coming.

    Rather than rely on others to come up with a "template" or "modified" version of WordPress that matches closely what you're after, you can build it yourself with txp:tags, which are easy to pick up by anyone familiar with html.

    Excuse my evangelizing, best of luck finding someone with the advanced PHP skills you require.

  • In the first paragraph above, I mean PHP-based Txp plugins.

  • Interesting stuff, for sure, Andrew. But, suffice to say, we want to do some things that go beyond either what Paul did with his WP blog or what's possible using txp. It's a matter of perspective beyond that; I don't see anything on Paul's site that I don't know how to do in WP off the top of my head. That's after having spent a significant amount of time with it, of course, and Textpattern might well be a better choice for others. But we have invested that time in WP, for better or worse, and so we've gotten to know some of those things.

    Just as in music software, there's never a single perfect platform that does everything everyone wants. The stuff that tries often isn't terribly useful. At their core, both WordPress and Textpattern are built in PHP. If you really want to get deep into how they work, you need to get into things on the PHP level. We've already done that with CDM, and we'll be doing it again. We just want to add some brain cells beyond our own.

    You get to a point where you start imagining features that require some real development work, regardless of platform. I really like development, though, so I'm not complaining.

  • I got ya, looking forward to it! Quite impressed with the blog, by the way. When did it get started?

  • Hi Andrew. I did most of the WordPress coding (supported by the amazing authors of the myriad plugins we use). The current version of the site was rolled out probably 18 months ago now. Peter? Am I close? CDM has been going for quite a bit longer than that though, it started out running Mambo (now Joomla), which was horrible (and continues to be horrible, I just had a conversation today with a client who I tried to dissuade from using Joomla about 6 months ago, he went ahead with it and is now very regretful).

    You bring up some interesting stuff about how TXP works, but as Peter said, it's not really about the platform.

    There is no framework which will let you have things just the way you want to without any programming knowledge.

    Some are better than others for certain tasks, but unless your requirements are very basic, or you're happy to make compromises on how things work, eventually you're going to go "well that's nice, but I'd prefer if it worked this way", and at that point you need the programming hat.

    Which is why we need the programmer!

  • Yeah if you actually have to write your own plugin to achieve the functionality you’re after. Most likely it will already be done for you and available to download and install in seconds. Many amazing PHP plugins have been written over the years by a rapid community of developers.

    You could say this for WordPress too, or for Joomla, ModX, MovableType… WordPress has an incredible number of plugins available for all kinds of functions, but I still find myself going inside them and changing things, because the author doesn't quite do things how we'd like them.

  • Well, I think the point was that you had these nice plug-ins that *didn't* require PHP, which is an interesting feature.

    But yes, there's still a point where you have to know how to program if you really want customization, in any platform … by definition, really, because you may want to get beyond the abstractions no matter how full-functioned they are.

    CDM started in November 2004, in Mambo (now Joomla), and relaunched in WordPress in April 2006. The forums,, and all launched in June 2006.

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