What do you think of Pickle by Jason Schuller?

(Leland Fiegel) #1

Background: http://wptavern.com/jason-schuller-to-re-enter-wordpress-theme-market-with-niche-admin-designs

So Jason Schuller is a pretty well-known WordPress theme designer/developer. I’ve always thought he was one of the most talented in the WordPress space, so was kinda bummed when I heard he was losing interest in WordPress, selling Press75, and working on his own standalone apps…although I understood the reasoning behind it.

Well now, he’s back making niche admin themes that “scale back” WordPress according to the type of theme/website.

It’s an interesting idea, and something I’ve heard Jason talk about before, which is a key concept behind behind his own niche CMSs like Cinematico, Dropplets, and Leeflets.

I have to admit, I’m a bit undecided on this. Comments in the WP Tavern seem rather mixed. While I love the innovation and thought behind it, it’s hard to tell whether it’ll catch on or not.

People know WordPress, and while Jason’s admin experience would be more paired down, it may feel unusual and limiting to an experienced WordPress user. On the other hand, a brand new user may find it easier to catch on to.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

(Joel Warren) #2

I not a fan at all of limiting access in WordPress. If my client is confused by all the options available in the backend, I haven’t done a good enough job in training.

Saying that I think there is a lot of room for improvement that could come from a designer looking into improvements from the backend.

A good front-end editor will be the keystone, it’d be great if a client can view, edit and control their website while looking at it (rather than an abstract representation of it in a backend).

(Jason) #3

I think it’s an interesting idea. I wish it were easier to remove specific options from the admin-side that aren’t used by a theme to help clean things up. I regularly remove the default posts from the menu (no where else, though, as that can cause issues). I almost always remove the WYSIWYG and other standard elements in favor of custom meta-boxes and the like. So it’s safe to say I change up the admin-side on virtually every theme I make, but I leave the overall look and feel. I just modify it to remove stuff I know will be unused and add what I believe will make things more intuitive.

The only reason I disagree with this is because most of my sites function more like info-input in the back end (e.g. meta-boxes for describing a staff member in either a staff page or post type, depending), and then I dynamically generate the page based off of what they’ve provided. Most of my clients prefer the idea that they don’t have to “build” the webpage. They just do some data-entry in the admin-side, and the site dynamically handles itself. That way they can’t accidentally break the design (or just make it look bad), and mostly anyone within their company can do it as it’s simple and requires very little training. Widgets are never used.

But, I’m of course working in a niche of corporate clients, not artists and tinkerers who would want to play around with the design of the site. That’s perfectly fine. :smile:

(Nikhil Vimal) #4

Does it look cool? Sure. Will it catch on? No idea. I tend to agree with a few people that it won’t really catch on. The idea is great, but I think it could make it harder for a client, reeducation them with the new design. But I think web app developers can take a look at this and get a few cool ideas :slight_smile:

(Justin Tadlock) #5

I think a lot of people really missed the point in the comments on that post. What Jason is proposing is a bit of an all-in-one solution, particularly for setting up simpler niche sites. The point is that your site, both on the admin and front end, should only have the things that it needs. Everything else is just cruft and gets in the way.

Are you a mom-and-pop shop first testing the online waters? A good developer with something like Pickle could have someone like my parents running their own restaurant site in a couple of days. They wouldn’t require a lot of training.

What if you’re a small band just wanting to quickly put your music up and share your YouTube and SoundCloud profiles? Something like Pickle for bands would be awesome and allow you to get up and running without having to learn all the ins-and-outs of WP.

I don’t do client work anymore that requires setting up a site, so I can’t say a lot about that. However, I do help family and friends set up their own WP installs. The one thing I’ve learned is that everyone is different. Some people catch on to using WP without anything more than 5 minutes of my time. Others, I’m still teaching them a year later. It’s for this other group of people that I think this sort of thing would be a perfect.

With all that said, I don’t see this catching on with the rest of the WP development community. Maybe he can get enough business to continue experimenting and improving on the idea. Let’s see how it goes.

(Leland Fiegel) #6

Jason launched this here: https://pickle.pub/ …offering a hosted version, and self-hosted version.

Background story: http://wptavern.com/jason-schullers-pickle-theme-re-imagines-wordpress-as-an-invisible-cms

One thing worth noting, judging from the “Restrictions” outlined on the details page, it sounds like Pickle is not GPL compliant.

(Nate Wright) #7

Those restrictions seems to be gone from the page now…

(Leland Fiegel) #8

Yeah, somebody else noticed it too. It was apparently an oversight on Jason’s part.

Thanks for the heads up on the terms/licensing page which had not been updated. I had always intended for Pickle to be GPL licensed (I was one of the first adopters of the GPL for premium WP themes).

(Matt Medeiros) #9

Buckle in, we’re about to see a lot of this :slight_smile: