The Trongate framework evolves at a fast pace. Sometimes it's difficult to keep up with the ongoing improvements and new features. As a matter of fact, some of the framework's very best features don't even get a mention in the docs!

Now, I feel that the framework is finally entering into - what I'd call - a settled state. New Trongate websites are being launched daily, business owners are using Trongate, and our framework is very well battle-tested. As a matter of fact, if you're thinking about starting a large-scale PHP project, I can exclusively reveal that there are no radical upcoming changes planned for Trongate. So, this is certainly a very good time to jump on board the Trongate fun bus.

Between now and July, the following things are planned:

New Documentation

Between now and July, we're going to be (completely!) rewriting our docs and also making them 100% open source by putting them on GitHub. In other words, you'll be able to contribute very easily! At the time of writing, about half of the documentation has been rewritten (although it's not yet published). The new docs are going to be more concise and more readable. They're also going to be comprehensive. The current docs only detail about 60% of what Trongate is capable of. It'll be nice to finally have one hundred percent coverage with our documentation. You should see the new documentation being rolled out shortly.

New Desktop App Design

The Commodore 64 inspired design of our Desktop App has served us well. However, it's about time we shook off the retro look and gave the Trongate Desktop App a brand new look. So, during a three-hour live stream I cooked up a new design for the Desktop App. You can view that livestream here. I'm very pleased with how this turned out and I look forward to integrating it with our existing app. Thankfully, the Desktop App (like all of our assets) was designed to be future-proof. So, when the new design comes along, users of Trongate will not have to install or uninstall anything.

New Learning Zone

I love the format of the Learning Zone, and I think it was a good idea to mix up text and video. However, I never quite got onto the 'Advanced' training and - truth be told - I was never entirely happy with the way that the material was being taught. The main mistake that I made, with regards to the (existing) Learning Zone was teaching people the "nuts 'n' bolts" of Trongate before moving onto the cool stuff (such as the code generators). I think this was an error. A better approach would have been to teach the cool stuff first and then to move onto the more technical aspects of Trongate later on. An even better approach would have been to give users a choice as to which pathway they'd like to take - specifically, "Learn Trongate With The Desktop App" or "Learn Trongate By Manually Writing Code". Rebuilding the Learning Zone will be a huge job, but I'm determined to do this and have it ready by August.

The Trongate YouTube Channel

Trongate is a team effort and we wouldn't be here were it not for our fabulous and glorious contributors. You can view them here. Nevertheless, even though Trongate is very much a team effort, I'm very aware of the fact that - until now and for the most part - I have been the one who has been in the spotlight. Most of the Trongate related announcements have happened on my personal YouTube channel and almost all of the Trongate tutorials have also been created by me and published on my personal YouTube channel. Whilst I enjoy the ego trip, I'm aware of the fact that it's very unhealthy for one guy to be seen as being the "guardian of the framework". So, the time has come for Trongate to really become seen as a community-driven framework. Personally speaking, I plan on working harder than ever - on Trongate. However, I'm going to stop posting Trongate-related content on my personal YouTube channel. Instead, all content related to Trongate will be published on the official Trongate channel on YouTube: which is here. To be crystal clear, I'm not going anywhere. However, I am going to be more 'behind the scenes' as we move forward.

My Personal YouTube Channel

As for my personal YouTube channel? I'm not entirely sure what to do! I know that I could post generic (non-Trongate) web development tutorials and perhaps do quite well with that. However, YouTube tutorials don't really excite me as much as they did in the past. I had always considered the idea of doing a sort of 'QVC' type thing on YouTube, and I can exclusively reveal that I've been approached by a company and asked if I'd be willing to present (i.e., sell) goods for them online. As crazy as it sounds, I quite like the idea! If it happens, it'll be a completely new challenge for me and it'll be a journey into the realms of selling physical goods. That - of course - would be completely new to me. It would also be a little bit scary. However, that's precisely why I am drawn to the idea! In any event, I'm sure it'll be a relief for people to know that I have no plans of turning my YouTube channel into some kind of political podcast. In truth, I'm really not sure what's going to happen with my personal YouTube channel, but it certainly won't be Trongate tutorials. It's right and proper that those are published on the official Trongate channel.

Contributors Wanted

If you have an interest in writing articles for Trongate (perhaps updating the news section of the website!) or perhaps even posting tutorials, then please do reach out to me. We want you on board! I recently wrote about 'The Age of Integrity' (for Trongate), and having a vibrant community where people are positively encouraged to participate is a key part of our new direction. Words like "inclusivity" are a little bit controversial these days. Nevertheless, I hope you'll afford me an opportunity to use that word today - but in an entirely non-political way. The fact is, I do want people to feel included and warmly invited. Also, I want you to know - straight from me - that I'm ready to endorse and encourage anyone who wishes to put out a Trongate Podcast or any other asset that involves the Trongate Framework. So, if you think that you'd like to get involved with the framework and establish yourself as a leader of our community, then please do reach out and get in touch. I'm encouraging you to do it! So, what are you waiting for? An invitation from the founder?

Macho love!