Clarity, Focus & Simplicity

by Jay Stephen Gilmore

Published on May 25, 2012

Today I want to address the recurring questions about Evolution and Revolution, a topic near and dear to many long-standing MODX users—including me. This subject has deserved certainty and clarity for too long. Both platforms absolutely have their merits and shortcomings. But, as the team in charge of the MODX brand and business, we had to weigh them carefully.

Arrow by Caleb Roenigk

Photo Credit: Caleb Roenigk

Having a clear understanding of where we are now, where we want to go, and how to get there is refreshing. It has been liberating for us to put a stake in the ground, proudly adopting Creative Freedom as our tagline for MODX—and even more so after finalizing our Vision against which we measure every decision we make:

Create amazing collaboration experiences for the people that build the web.

Our vision and tagline have helped us clearly articulate what we stand for when we discuss MODX, and people get it! More importantly, it helps them know if MODX is right for them or not. In talking to many people all over the world about MODX, I’m personally more confident than ever it will be one of the “Big 3” open source content management platforms. In reality, we’re gunning for the #2 spot (to start) amongst the big three over all, and the clear #1 when it comes to creativity.

Focus and the Next Phase of the MODX Journey

Lately we’ve learned the critical importance of focus while working on some exciting, soon to be released projects. Living up to our Vision and Creative Freedom is not a trivial task. It requires a lot of focused work.

Today, that means working simultaneously in three core areas: Promotion (Community, Conferences and general evangelism), Product (MODX Evolution, MODX Revolution) and Platform (MODX Cloud).

Platform and Promotion are starting to take off. However, the fact that we have two very distinct products at the core of MODX is a distraction to our ability to focus.

Evo vs Revo

MODX Evolution (Evo) is the horse that got us here, simple and much loved by those without a desire to earn their geek badge of honor. But its legacy architecture won’t let us do what we need to do in order to integrate completely with our Platform, and is too limiting for certain applications important to the ongoing awareness and adoption of MODX.

MODX Revolution (Revo) on the other hand has the right underpinnings to do the job. But it is admittedly a more complex platform to learn—though much less so than any other CMS with comparable features. When compared to Evo, the speed of the Manager and front end for smaller sites, the ease of customizing the Manager and creating custom functionality, and the permissions/roles system have left a lot of Evo devotees scratching their head.

We’ve also never provided a clear, well-documented recommendation on how to migrate from Evo to Revo.

Nothing is Simpler than 3.0

In 2013 we will release MODX 3.0. Note the distinct lack of any word between “MODX” and the version number. The MODX 3 release will also mark the official deprecation of both Evo and Revo, bringing the confusion as to what’s the official recommendation to a close.

Both legacy apps will continue to be supported with maintenance updates for broken functionality and/or security for the following year after the 3.0 release, and then only for security updates for at least a year after then. Probably longer, because hey, that’s the way we roll.

There will also be well defined migration paths for both Evo and Revo to MODX 3.0. If you have a site to start today, use Revo, as it will be a relatively smooth migration to MODX 3. Revo is also a core part of MODX Cloud today … and trust me, MODX Cloud is really cool—a game changer for folks that make a living off MODX.

The design and architectural philosophy for MODX 3 focuses on 4 areas:

  • Simple—from the data structures, to the way you work with MODX 3, it has to be simple, especially for the ultimate site owners. ACLs can’t be confusing, for instance…
  • Smart—we’re taking the best of Evo and the best of Revo and tossing in some new secret sauce for good measure. The planned innovations coming in MODX 3 will blow you away.
  • Sexy—the user interface and the user experience with MODX 3 will outshine anything, from any vendor. You will start seeing hints of what’s to come with MODX Cloud.
  • Speedy—from learning curve for new users, to how long it takes to serve pages (regardless of the size of the website), MODX 3 will fly.

Now, Back to Work

We have tremendously encouraging things happening at MODX. Our success at CMS Expo, far exceeded our wildest optimism, and yet it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I look forward to sharing updates and revealing plans as we continue refining the groundwork that’s been laid for MODX 3. We’re also going to actively solicit feedback and participation from the folks that helped make the amazing parts of both Evo and Revo.

Until then look for me around the country, and in a few spots overseas in the near future. And if you think you have what it takes to join a team that’s truly going to change the world, we definitely want to talk.

Millions Rely on MODX

In 2005, MODX could power a fully mobile-responsive website using HTML5 and CSS3, even though those technologies weren’t invented yet. And with MODX today, you’re ready not only for what you need now but also what comes next.

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