RFC: new plugin "PageFactory"

I’d like to announce a new plugin called “PageFactory”.
It’s in beta-state and I’d like to hear your comments.

Its purpose: simplify creation and authoring of web-pages.

Let me try to give you an idea of what this is about.

PageFactory is a Kirby plugin. But as the name suggests, it’s not just a screwdriver or a wrench. It’s more like a factory as it more or less has an entire tool-chain on board.
Which means, you can start editing web-pages right after installing the plugin. And that with quite a bit of convenience that might surprise you. SCSS, elaborate multilang support, built-in basic building blocks and lots more is all there ready to use.

You’ll probably ask: for whom might this be any good?
Well, the crux probably is: not for all that many reading this post. Why? Because most of you quite likely are professional fullstack web developers. So, why should you bother to use something you already have in place? Fair question.

So, as an attempt to answer the question anyway: for “casual webmasters”.
Meaning, people who are not professionals but want to develop web-pages anyway. Be it as a hobby or wanting to run a website for a sports club or neighborhood community etc. Everybody starts small at some point.

That said, I can imagine that PageFactory can come in handy at times even for professionals. Namely for rapid prototyping. It takes some 40 seconds to set up a fully operational website (provided you have a working webserver on your local machine). By editing just one .md file, you can control just about everything: styling, JS, loading libraries etc.

Next question: how can you try it out?

Some comments up front:

  • it’s understood, this plugin differs from “normal” plugins – it’s not a small and single-purpose plugin.
  • its complexity is considerable. Accordingly, maintenance will be more demanding than for a simple plugin. Not sure whether that can be accomplished by one person - quite likely it’ll require some additional people.
  • Thus, it’s a reasonable question whether all this is worth the trouble. We’ll see.
  • I sure think so, though. One of the main reasons: I get the impression that not very many “casual users” are using Kirby. The effort to get up and running is - well - not neglectable if you try to start from zero (unless maybe, you happen to be a highly skilled and experienced crack already).

Last question: why PageFactory?
Well, the project is not without a touch of madness - even to me.
In the beginning there was just a sense that “there must be a simpler way”. So, it started with a couple of innocent coding experiments, just to see how things could be done.
One of the driving forces had been my personal dislike for mixing HTML and PHP. To me, this is looking for trouble. And rather ugly on top. Far better to keep those apart as much as possible. And where unavoidable, we can turn things around in the sense of sprinkling HTML into PHP (using the heredoc syntax).

Now, I’m curious to get your reactions. Either here or directly to webmaster@pagefactory.info.

Wish you all nice holidays!

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