TXP Make

PHP in templates is so last decade

His Story

What, Who, When, Where and Why.

Nucleus CMS

Nucleus CMS was my first foray into the world of dynamic sites. It was 2004, the web was just getting interesting, and I was a freaking web publisher.

Nucleus introduced me to the world of template tags. Variables would be replaced in your “Skins” with content from the site’s MySQL database, the dynamicness of it all really intrigued me.


pMachine caught my attention in 2005, it was the foundation for Expression Engine. Liked what I saw in EE, they had template tags, I felt right at home.

One day on their support forums I got into it with some users, they were putting down Open Source, praising their closed source EE code. I told them to go write their own Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP stacks to use in their fucking project.


Textpattern was a what the hell let me try it moment. It grew on me, despite it being spartan compared to EE. Went live in January of 2006, I’ve never looked back, nor regretted the decision in the years since.

My only complaint has been the reluctance to incorporate “Themes” by the core devs. Never quite understood that one, Textpattern has an excellent parser, an abundance of elegant template tags, but let’s keep it our secret.


We all have a backstory, mine is laid before you. Spent the weekend researching Dean Allen, the person behind Textpattern. His 4 year eat, drink and sleep code binge, his reluctance to release his creation, and then his abrupt disappearance.

What came out of my Googling and Waybacking was content for an about page here on TXP Make and one over at TXP CMS. Shame that Textism is no longer live, history suffers for it.

Ah, what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah