[This is an ongoing work in progress 2015-11-06 16:33:50]
WordPress is an increasingly flexible platform for storing all of your stuff in a simple LEMP stack. It simply stores ‘post’ objects along with any and all associated meta. Additionally, it can be broadly extended with several thousand hookable actions and filters. Add in relatable objects with Posts-to-Posts and a generic REST-API and you have a powerful CMS.
WordPress as a backend system is extremely malleable; custom functionality can be added very quickly.
There needs to be an equally malleable frontend system for quickly building full and robust one page js applications.
Prism is this development framework, currently in the form of a WordPress plugin. Its purpose is to be a developer friendly, React and Backbone based framework for fast, REST-API centric WordPress application development. When developers are starting a new project, my hope is they start with Prism to quickly structure and scaffold their application.
Inspiration and ‘Tree’ Structure Pattern
Many desktop applications follow a similar user interface paradigm.
A three or four panel ‘TREE‘ displays application information in a top-down hierarchy with a left-to-right visual flow.
The top level ‘TRUNK‘ information is on the very top or very left. This is where you select a ‘branch’ of information to view. A ‘branch’ could be a collection of emails or mailbox (Starred in Airmail), type of media (Music in iTunes), or a specific task view (Projects in OmniFocus).
The middle level ‘BRANCH‘ information is populated in the middle panel. This is where you select the specific ‘leaf’ or ‘node’ of the application to view in full. A ‘leaf’ could be a specific email (Airbnb in Airmail), collection view (Recently Added in iTunes) or project (Getting Started in OmniFocus).
The end level ‘LEAF‘ information is populated in the far right panel. This is where you view then entirety of the end object. Typically this is a SINGLE ATOMIC ITEM of the application, but not always. This is the full email in Airmail, all ‘Recently Added’ albums in iTunes, or tasks of the selected project in OmniFocus.
Sometimes there is a fourth ‘META‘ panel that shows extra or additional information for the current leaf, such as the task meta information in OmniFocus.
It doesn’t hold up perfectly, but the information hierarchy flow is a consistent pattern.
Examples of ‘Three Tiered Workflow’
Here are more than eight popular OS X desktop applications that follow this ‘Three Tier’ tree paradigm.
And Google Wave
(Also 1Password, but I’m not posting that)