Installation Instructions

Permalink
The installation instructions seem rather seriously lacking in detail.

Reading this forum gives me little hope that I will get it right.

The results of unzipping the download is a mess of duplicated directories, etc many of which are empty?

An FTP upload may well mangle files with strange unrecognized extensions.

I would like to try this package but hesitate for this very reason.

View Replies:
elyon replied on at Permalink
elyon
There's more information elsewhere on the site, but basically you upload everything to a directory on your FTP server, then load up the page in your browser.

You enter the database name and user, and then Concrete installs. Pretty easy.

The reason why there are so many empty folders is that Concrete can be extended with your own themes, blocks, etc. Concrete is set up to look for blocks in your blocks/ directory as well as your concrete/blocks/ directory, so it helps keep things clean and separate your own files and add-ons from the core components.

Then if you ever upgrade Concrete, you can upgrade the concrete folder without touching any of the add-ons you created.
NealAZ replied on at Permalink
Why are you are assuming that your users are telepathic?

I am a retired KA Test Engineer and QA Engineer (hated by many slackers that tried to skate past me). The provided installation instructions are pathetic considering your claim to have the easiest CMS to install and use in the world.

The installation instructions should be detailed and explicit. Do this, do that and do the next thing...

At this point I still have no clue about the actual detailed sequence of performing an installation of your package.

Your reply was vague and full of assumptions that I could read your mind.

Please remember I'm on your side unless this package turns out to be plastic promises.

If this thing actually performs as promised I can have a extensive review on Google News in some 20 seconds after posted...

BTW: What about all the obscure file extensions that an FTP upload will surely treat as binary and corrupt them? No mention or warning in the "installation instructions"?
sheila replied on at Permalink
I think the only assumption about users is that they have installed PHP/MySQL web apps before. (Hint: none of the file extentions are unusual.)

The instructions here,
http://www.concrete5.org/help/building_with_concrete5/installation/...
are complete enough for anyone in the business to follow.
aeroclown replied on at Permalink
aeroclown
As far as I can tell though I have been doing it for a while, its pretty straight forward. You unzip everything, move it as is via ftp, and hit the installer script. In the script it will show you what might need to be changed if you fail the checks.Most ftp clients are pretty robust, the era of mangled files is a pretty distant memory. Most clients are smart enough to figure out how to upload data. I used Filezilla without a hitch as an example.

the hitch is that the system is written for php5 and as of 5.3.3 I think it requires a recent version of php to be available. many hosts use slotting and you may have to use .htaccess file to remap the php extensions to the correct engine.

Most regular users are not technical users, they won't be installing software let alone a server side application, but I can certainly see your point in better documentation. I think that is something that is in the works, the developer has just focused more on building the core system.
Mnkras replied on at Permalink
Mnkras
as far as i know this is the EASIEST cms i have tried to install. all you do its upload all the files go to the page and put in the sql info.

Thats it!
ddrace replied on at Permalink
ddrace
VERY easy to install, but it does assume some basic knowledge that 99% or more of the general population doesn't have. But if the documentation for the intall was detailed enough to cover those 99%, I'm sure it would be well over 100 pages. So that's not very practical.

Not to mention the fact that no two hosting providers are going to have the exact same setup. It would be pretty much impossible to cover every potential hurdle.

That being said, there IS an option for those "not in the business" -- Host with Concrete5. I may actually try that myself one of these days.
GreenCyberDog replied on at Permalink
I agree with NealAZ. There should be more comprehensive step by step instructions written for those NOT in the business. The instructions and forum comments often appear to be written for users with some experience installing CMS packages and/or writng code. There are a lot of people who would like to find a package so that no knowledge of coding is needed. They just want to be able to throw up a site and be able to choose configuration options from a menu. With Concrete5, I find I often have to find a file to modify the code to get a feature I want or get it to work the way I want it to. A simple thing like replacing the site name with a logo should be an option, not a re-coding chore.

The instructions, help, forums should all be written are not yet up to that ease-of-use that a newbie needs. When you get there this package will rock. IMHO it still appears to be designed for people who have already had experience putting up web sites. Writing the instructions/comments so a very inexperienced user could follow them successfully would attract alot more users. It just requires a little more detail, less assumptions.
frz replied on at Permalink
frz
yeah we're gonna make hosting with us a whole lot easier.

you're right, we're not doing a great job speaking directly to the site owner today.
NealAZ replied on at Permalink
As I stated before I am not a newbie. Installation of a CMS package is not a given every package has it's special needs.

There are many variables and considerations involved.

Some reply's suggested I should know the steps because they knew them?

This effort is to benefit Concrete5 not me.

I'm very much convinced this is the greatest CMS package ever built and would love to test it.

My problem is that I still have no real clue about how to do an installation.

10 or 12 lines of text in the installation instructions could solve the issue and result in many many more users.

I have yet to be informed about how the unique file extensions often trashed by FTP clients on upload are to be handled.

The above issue should be included in the installation instructions as a caution.
ddrace replied on at Permalink
ddrace
I've installed C5 on several servers and haven't had any issues with my FTP client (or the server) trashing anything. What FTP client do you use? And which extensions are you referring to? I don't see anything unusual.

FTPing the files is the easiest part. I have run into some minor hurdles with PHP not having everything enabled that Concrete5 needed, but that was pretty easy to fix too. And Concrete5's installer will let you know about those issues before completing the install.

Good luck!
ghostrider replied on at Permalink
ghostrider
Yeah! There is no instruction for installation. Sometimes people assume that everyone knows the stuff. Anyways, installation is very simple:
1.You need a database, create it. Write down user, pass, name of the db, etc. so you don’t forget
2.Name your site and write your email
3.For the Server, usually localhost
4.And one more thing, for MySQL username, password and database, use the stuff you wrote at the beginning
frz replied on at Permalink
frz
http://www.concrete5.org/help/building_with_concrete5/installation/

and to the guy who did a "PRE-install review" of concrete5...

dude. you gotta be kidding me. how about I do a "PRE-visit review" of your blog?

(holds hands to temple)
I see a link farm where the goal is to create the most clicks for the least content possible..


Seriously.. wtf.

If you're so frugal you need to setup a webserver and CMS on your 486 in the basement, cool do that. But don't complain it's hard.

If you've got better things to do with your time than worry about server administration, pay us $15/month to host a happy version of concrete5... or pay bluehost/godaddy/hostmonster less for a shotty setup & no support.. either way, installation isn't an issue.

all I can take from this thread is we need to promote our hosting more.
ddrace replied on at Permalink
ddrace
Well put.
NealAZ replied on at Permalink
"The Customer Is Always Right" not always correct or smart but "right".

The onus is upon the provider/vendor to deliver on implied functionality or value.

Concrete5 is marketed to be the "greatest CMS" package ever designed. Whether it is free or not is of no serious consequence.

Claims imply responsibility.

Concrete5 implies it is the best CMS package ever created and so delivery of that functionality is expected by the "customer".

I was attracted by the Concrete5 self-promotions and claims and thus downloaded the package.

In this support "community" I asked some questions and actually got some appreciated valid and viable responses and support.

Then came the juvenile mush-mind put downs and personal attacks for daring to question the Concrete5 superior mentality?

If I was to remain in this "community", I would be seriously questioning such behavior.

Such activities reflect very negatively on Concrete5 whether sanctioned or not.

If you do a simple review of this thread you will find I asked some questions, got some appreciated replies and then was attacked, demeaned and put-down as a hack and idiot basically because I was an easy target.

Obviously Concrete5 has a sincere following that finds it to be useful. More power to them, it just didn't meet my particular needs.

I am exiting this "community" because I am not using the package and my further contributions would be invalid.
NealAZ replied on at Permalink
"The Customer Is Always Right" not always correct or smart but "right".

The onus is upon the provider/vendor to deliver on implied functionality or value.

Concrete5 is marketed to be the "greatest CMS" package ever designed. Whether it is free or not is of no serious consequence.

Claims imply responsibility.

Concrete5 implies it is the best CMS package ever created and so delivery of that functionality is expected by the "customer".

I was attracted by the Concrete5 self-promotions and claims and thus downloaded the package.

In this support "community" I asked some questions and actually got some appreciated valid and viable responses and support.

Then came the juvenile mush-mind put downs and personal attacks for daring to question the Concrete5 superior mentality?

If I was to remain in this "community", I would be seriously questioning such behavior.

Such activities reflect very negatively on Concrete5 whether sanctioned or not.

If you do a simple review of this thread you will find I asked some questions, got some appreciated replies and then was attacked, demeaned and put-down as a hack and idiot basically because I was an easy target.

Obviously Concrete5 has a sincere following that finds it to be useful. More power to them, it just didn't meet my particular needs.

I am exiting this "community" because I am not using the package and my further contributions would be invalid.
frz replied on at Permalink
frz
If we're gonna be all high and mighty, you're not a customer to me as you haven't spent a dime. At best you're a prospect and by your own admission not a very good one. People who choose to actually work with us tend to love us, go check out the testimonials athttp://concrete5.org/about/testimonials...

If you feel "attacked" it's because I'm willing to call it like I see it. I've never heard of such a thing as a "PRE-install review" and when I saw it retweeted across the interwebs I felt pretty attacked myself. I've pointed out in several posts now that evaluating something on the number of directories it has or the fact that some of them are empty (as you know on purpose) is pretty shallow. You have never addressed that, all you do is say I should be bending over backwards to make you happy because the customer is always right. If you wanna get all preachy about business responsibility, it strikes me as a emerging media mogul you owe your readers some real legwork behind your content creation. It's one thing for some guy in a bar to say "I don't like that thing." Fair enough, it's a guy in a bar and everyone gets an opinion. It's another when that person is standing on a podium and people are putting some weight into what they're saying as someone who has taken the time to create an informed opinion they should trust. You do that, and to me you've shed the mantle of "customer" and become "media."

concrete5 is no harder to install than any other open source CMS, if you had difficulties, I really don't have much I can say beyond "gee there's a lot of variables around server configuration." That's why we offer hosting. That's why Simple Scripts offers automatic install of our app and a dozen others. So yeah, while at a philosophical level I think it'd be awesome if it were easier to get apps to install and run on windows and unix webservers seamlessly, on a practical level, that's simply not the problem we're solving.

You took just enough time to misidentify that problem as ours as a CMS, and then point a finger at us in front of millions of people. That bothers me. If you were a prospect that came here looking for some honest help, you'd get it. Just as you did. Start throwing around poorly informed opinions in highly public venues, and yeah, I'm gonna point it out. I can only guess that you don't allow comments on that site of yours because this isn't the first time you've p!ssed off some other hard working people with some declaration of your views.

You're right, this conversation is over. I'm closing the thread. Best of luck.

To anyone else reading this thread - if you're building a site and you want help from a great community, you're in the right place.
NealAZ replied on at Permalink
1) I did install Concrete5 on one of my servers and it did something.

2) I was surprised that it only offered a "blog like" capability if I paid $55.00 for a seemingly beta effort.

3) I posted a 2nd "Post Install" review on my "useless rag" that currently is # 123,923 out of some 2,300,000+ directly counted and independently rated sites.

4) Concrete5 seems to have a niche value to a market that is unrelated to the implied functionality.

I wish the best to the Concrete5 community and its developers. Unfortunately this package presently has no practical application for eZine or WebZine CMS usage.

Note: I have refrained from directly addressing the juvenile nerdy asinine personal attacks and put downs previously posted.
frz replied on at Permalink
frz
apologies if we're talking about different things, I'm assuming this thread is connected to this article we saw on twitter.

http://americandaily.com/index.php/article/2263...

I thought it was pretty thin to look at a application as mature as concrete5 and dismiss it for having "a hodgepodge of directories many of which are empty?"

I guess this is one of those interesting "is blog media?" moments... On the one hand, of course I applaud the freedom of expression. On the other, I feel like that review is very poorly informed and shallow, and now it's all across the interwebs. Whatcha gonna do? Interesting.

Any rate, again, apologies if that wasn't you. Like I said we're working on some more hosting options so it should be even easier in the future.
ddrace replied on at Permalink
ddrace
And here's the post-install review:
http://americandaily.com/index.php/article/2274...

Neal, I will agree with you on one thing -- the documentation does need to be more complete and organized. I've had my share of headaches trying to figure out a few things. But I have to keep reminding myself that this is FREE SOFTWARE. It's hard for me to complain much.

And I take issue with many of your other statements, particularly the points relating to editing and theming. I find C5 to be among the easiest when it comes to those tasks, and I've used many CMS products.

Agreed, C5 is probably not the best choice for a webzine or blog right out of the box. Have you given Wordpress a try?
NealAZ replied on at Permalink
I have tried Wordpress and several other popular CMS offerings. Not by choice!

None of them are particularly advanced and specific server configurations are often a serious challenge. Some of them go wild with file types that standard FTP clients assume as "binary" and trash on upload.

As a point of interest, I have no issue with Concrete5 other than usability.

pMachine was excellent - much of the package got lost when Expression Engine replaced it even though it offers many improvements. As I have stated before, EE as downloaded is seriously lacking but investigation of the extensive documents and some simple hacking can make it a KA package.

Concrete5 appears to have great power but the user interface is a real challenge. And there seems to be no way to expand the installation via the documentation.

Perhaps the problem is because I went to school before "fuzzy education" was adopted?

"FREE SOFTWARE" is not without responsibility.

I have authored and posted a small library of "freeware" programs targeted pre-windows. In each case, I took pride in my work and spent a lot of time doing my best to make sure they actually worked and did what they were supposed to do.

Concrete5 has great potential, that potential needs to be explained and revealed to the user base. The constant ragging about let us host it is a real turnoff...
ddrace replied on at Permalink
ddrace
I agree, I haven't found the "perfect" CMS either. I don't believe it exists, and probably never will!

Some are better at certain things than others. I also like Drupal, but it's way too complex for most of the things I work on. I find concrete5 to have a pretty good balance. And I definitely see the potential, though it's far from fully-realized yet.

I've also been programming since the 6502/8080 days, way before Windows. Those may have been the good old days, but Moore's Law sure has been kind!

I think what c5 needs is a good wiki-style documentation. Any way I can help get that set up, Franz?
synlag replied on at Permalink
synlag
example:
http://wiki.psdtuts.com/w/Main_Page...
would love it!
ddrace replied on at Permalink
ddrace
Man, that looks nice.

I just posted something over in the Documentation forum about this too.

Synlag, aren't you involved in the German wikibook? I mentioned it in that post. It would be nice to have the English translation of that as a starting point.

Auf wiedersehen!
annekeh replied on at Permalink
annekeh
I'm just working with C5 and got a lot of answers from the forum, but i also miss good instructions.

A wiki is a very good idea and i'm happy to help with some input if the infrastructure is there.
bcarone replied on at Permalink 1 Attachment
bcarone
This is a continuous work in progress and is posted in the documentation forum or at C5mix.com. A couple of other developers asked to place this on their sites and its ok.

Documentation of any product takes a lot of time and coordination. It takes dedication and an ability to take technical steps and explain them for a non-technical person to be able to understand them. Even when your docs are baby step-by-steps, some users are just damn intimidated by computers.

If someone is going to review a product, they better have their ducks in a row (least in my opinion). To state the Concrete 5 is difficult to install is ludicrous. Instructions are simple, easy to understand and assumes the person installing has at least the ability to search the forums for help if it is needed.

Now I have been installing and working with stuff like Concrete5 for over 10 years and this product is by far the easiest. I even taught my 76 year old mother how to edit data in less than 20 minutes and she is no computer nerd.

Understanding the directory structure can be somewhat daunting at first but a search of the forum should help you out. I had to do that. As stated above, the separation of the user controlled folders from the root and the concrete folder with the core items in its own folder makes the system a little safer to use since you won't want to put custom items in the core concrete folder. Theming?!?!? Documentation in the HELP section of the site was simple for a person that does this sort of thing professionally. For a novice, just search the forums and you will see a plethora of newbs that have loved the simplicity of creating and editing a theme.

I won't get into paying or not paying for functionality. People need to eat. People need to play. If that is how someone wants to make some cash, tis fine with me. Nuff said (if you want to see the flames on free or not free, search the forums, plenty there).

Now the final paragraph! I am a volunteer helping with documentation. I have asked several times in the documentation forums on what topics people would like to see expanded on. Very few, if any, replies. A lot of people that come to the forums at this time are technically inclined people. So they post a thread, get a reply and are happy. If anyone wants specific documentation written, send me a brief outline on what you need and I will do what I can. The biggest issue will then finding someone to do a technical review so it is valid. But that is the most difficult part and can certainly be skipped, but that isn't always how I like to write my documents.

Anyway. That is my reply to this thread and I shall now go have coffee.
ddrace replied on at Permalink
ddrace
Wow, very nice work on the Beginner's Guide, @bcarone. I recently saw another one that a student (in Denmark, I believe) wrote that was also very well done.

So I know there are lots of people doing work on docs; it would just be nice if there were an official place to organize this stuff rather than the forums. In the forums, sometimes the best stuff is way down near the bottom (good case in point right here!) so it can be hard to find.

It would also be nice to have something like StackOverflow/Slashdot/digg, where people can vote questions & answers up or down.

Time for coffee here too!
synlag replied on at Permalink
synlag
I translated the docs at the help section to create the wikibook ;), so most of it is already done, but since 5.3.3.1 needs some rework.
The wikibook also doesn't cover all parts of articles in the help, but will get done it soon.

servus
rn
ddrace replied on at Permalink
ddrace
Yeah, I figured that out after looking at the English translation! Nice work.
aeroclown replied on at Permalink
aeroclown
I am still not sure what unique file types you are talking about. What ftp client are you using ?

I have installed all the cms systems you have listed, and countless others you are probably unfamiliar with. I have never come across these unusual extensions you speak of. I have installed these systems via, ftp, via ssh, and via sftp, even via scp, none of those had any particular problem with these mystery extensions you keep referring to.

I can agree that better documentation would be good, but frankly, honestly, if you can't build a basic web page, or you don't know how to operate a web server at all, there IS NO amount of documentation that will be enough for you out of the box.

Learning how to deploy and operate a hosting service is not something that is an onus on concrete. Most of the documentation assumes you are familiar with such processes because the software is provided to you in that context.

http://www.concrete5.org/about/get_started...

It says and I quote

Host Your Own Site
concrete5 is free and open source. Download the source, and set it up with your own webserver at no cost.


Hosting your own site has some pretty steep connotations and mis-conceptions. That doesn't say install it on your hosting services, it says install it on your own webserver. The two concepts are very different. They are not the same, and I might be making a semantic argument here, but it's the way I see it so feel free to disagree.
redhawk replied on at Permalink
Neal, IMO, if you have problems installing this package, you probably would have to have someone else set up the php and mysql instances for you because you lack the skills/authority.

Prolly should just hand them this package and the "basic" instructions and let them do it for you. Will take them an extra 5 mins, but heck you're paying for it anyway, right?
ddrace replied on at Permalink
ddrace
I think we should leave Neal alone now.