Textpattern is an open source content management system originally developed by Dean Allen. While it is often listed among weblogging tools, its aim is to be a high-quality general-purpose content management system suitable for deployment in many contexts. Textpattern is written in PHP using a MySQL database backend, and versions from "gamma" 1.19 through 4.0.x are distributed under the GNU General Public License; however, future versions beginning with 4.1 will be distributed under the BSD license. The current stable version is Textpattern 4.0.6
Textpattern grew out of the system used to publish Textism—the personal site of Dean Allen—and was made available to testers in alpha versions as early as 2001. The early alpha versions were followed by a series of beta releases which saw more widespread use, and which were themselves superseded by a series of "gamma" releases which expanded and refined Textpattern's capabilities. Originally some concern existed regarding licensing, but since the gamma version numbered 1.19 (released June 7, 2004), Textpattern has been distributed under the GNU GPL.
In addition to being the first GPL version of Textpattern, gamma 1.19 was the final gamma release; the next version, in September 2004, was Release Candidate 1 for Textpattern 1.0. In a somewhat unorthodox move, Textpattern continued to accumulate features as the second, third, fourth and fifth release candidates were made public. During this time the official development team, originally consisting solely of Dean Allen, expanded to include several talented contributors from the nascent Textpattern community: with Release Candidate 3 Alex Shiels and Pedro Palazón joined the development team, and Sencer Yurdagül was brought into the fold as Textpattern's release manager with Release Candidate 4.
The fifth release candidate, however, included a notice that no new features would be added before the 1.0 release, and two weeks later, on August 14, 2005, the first officially stable version of Textpattern was released. Due to the extended development process—many of the previous releases, even before the 1.0 candidates, were widely considered stable and mature enough for production use—this release was named "Textpattern 4.0" rather than "Textpattern 1.0".
Shortly after the release of 4.0 Dean Allen seemingly disappeared from Textpattern and no longer contributed to its development.
The stable of developers have changed as some have joined the team (Mary Fredborg, Ruud van Melick and Robert Wetzlmayr), while Alex Shiels has moved on, now employed by Automattic Due to perceived, and unresolved communication issues between select plugin writers and the Textpattern developers, xPattern has recently emerged as a software fork of the main Textpattern 4.0* codebase. These new developers intend to continue the development of Textpattern under a new name, with a community emphasis as their main goal, while development of Textpattern continues.
Textpattern offers a number of features and conveniences to users, site administrators and developers, including: