x4 - Alpha 1.0 Release (ETA: End of Jan 2013)

Status
Not open for further replies.

cPanelTomGreen

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Oct 23, 2009
51
3
133
Houston
I am excited to announce that x4 is now available on the demo servers and for download.

You can checkout our new portal for x4 at: cPanel Themes which includes links to the demo, the download if you want to install it, and the documentation for the project.

I want to remind everyone that this is a limited ALPHA release. We do not recommend you install it on customer boxes as it still has very limited functionality available. Please use it on test and development boxes only.

Please feel free to provide any feedback for x4 version 0.0.1.1 on this thread. We are eager to hear what you think.

Have fun trying it out, we had a lot of fun developing it so far.
 

XenomediaBV

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2009
60
0
56
The Netherlands
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
I just want to add my advice for this project:

The x4 theme looks clean, but the drawback is that the functional x3 overview is completely gone. That is because x3 is smaller and more compact. Another drawback is that the grey backgrounds and the overhead of table spaces in x4 makes my eyes go dizzy. The stats column is therefore very difficult to take a quick overview impression. These kind of layouts are exactly why I personally never liked Plesk for example. Plesk was always a unstructured bunch of functionalities in which a user gets completely lost. It is the x theme that made me a cPanel-fan back in 1999 because of the high usability level. Especially as a provider usability of a GUI is very important for both customers (user-friendly) and employees (time to deliver). A new theme is always nice, but it must be an addition and not a drawback. Just a nice looking theme is not as important as the purpose of the GUI itself. I do like the project for a new theme, but this is my opinion.
 
Last edited:

JamesThompson

Member
Oct 19, 2011
18
1
53
Sugarland, TX
cPanel Access Level
Website Owner
I just want to add my advice for this project:

The x4 theme looks clean, but the drawback is that the functional x3 overview is completely gone...
Miquel, would you mind elaborating on this? I am not sure I fully understand your meaning.

Currently, there is extremely limited functionality within x4. We are in the process of restructuring almost all of the content to make it more goal and focus oriented to allow users quicker access to completing tasks.

I would argue, that you are very much like myself, the current cPanel is easy for us to use BECAUSE we have used it since 1999. IMO, the current cPanel consists of a bunch of 'buckets' with things randomly thrown into them because they share a common label rather than a common goal or function. A first time user of cPanel mus overwhelmed at the number of choices and have no idea where to begin.

To your point of 'x3 is smaller and more compact' this is quite true. X4 is noticeably and quite deliberately not so compact. The goal in doing so helps us with several very important usability issues. First and foremost how people interact with the web has changed, more in the last 2-3 years, than the previous 10-12 years before that. Before this year is over, more people will be accessing their cPanel accounts and the internet from a mobil device of some kind more often than they will from their desktop. Have you seen x3 on a mobile device? It's not at all pretty and more importantly not at all usable. We HAVE to make cPanel usable for those devices as much as possible, and do so without sacrificing the desktop experience. Add to the 'mobile' issue, cPanel is used by, and delivered to clients and partners in 14 different languages, a handful that happen to read right-to-left as opposed to left-to-right as most if not all of the western world. cPanel has always tried to provide a quality experience for those LtR users, but with x4 we are making it another one of our focal points. That sort of flexibility requires a bit more 'room to stretch' so to speak.

I hope that answers some of your questions and concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks.
 

XenomediaBV

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2009
60
0
56
The Netherlands
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Hi James, of course I want too because this concerns all cPanel users. Therefore I do believe participation should be encouraged and my purpose is to be critical in order to verify the thoughts for this project. As a business analyst/functional designer that is what I do for a living ;o)

Currently, there is extremely limited functionality within x4. We are in the process of restructuring almost all of the content to make it more goal and focus oriented to allow users quicker access to completing tasks.
Ok, that goal and focus is the correct way to go so I agree on that part. Checked ;o)

I would argue, that you are very much like myself, the current cPanel is easy for us to use BECAUSE we have used it since 1999. IMO, the current cPanel consists of a bunch of 'buckets' with things randomly thrown into them because they share a common label rather than a common goal or function. A first time user of cPanel mus overwhelmed at the number of choices and have no idea where to begin.
I do agree with the fact "we" are "obviously" familiar with the current GUI. The "randomly thrown into buckets"-part is not entirely true since there is definitely some logic here which does make sense. However, I do agree that a proper functionalities "walk-through" for unfamiliar users can be an addition. But then it must also be possible to change the GUI into a "advanced mode" otherwise you'll end up hiding functionalities which is extremely annoying for familiar users.

To your point of 'x3 is smaller and more compact' this is quite true. X4 is noticeably and quite deliberately not so compact. The goal in doing so helps us with several very important usability issues. First and foremost how people interact with the web has changed, more in the last 2-3 years, than the previous 10-12 years before that. Before this year is over, more people will be accessing their cPanel accounts and the internet from a mobil device of some kind more often than they will from their desktop. Have you seen x3 on a mobile device? It's not at all pretty and more importantly not at all usable. We HAVE to make cPanel usable for those devices as much as possible, and do so without sacrificing the desktop experience.
Again, that is definitely a good upgrade which is on a lot of "want"-lists. And the most important part of what you are saying here is "do so without sacrificing the desktop experience". So I do support that part totally. The "mobile" devices are indeed growing and they become more and more an alternative for the "classic" desktop. However, building and designing websites is for most people still a "desktop" thing. The drawback of "mobile" devices is, what most people seem to forget, that it can be lost or stolen very easy and you'll have to struggle on tiny screens. It is a bit off topic but those people should question themselves how careful do they want to be with "important" data. So for that reason I believe most people will still use their "classic" desktop which is safe at the office/home and you can use your fancy big screen too if you have one ;o)

Add to the 'mobile' issue, cPanel is used by, and delivered to clients and partners in 14 different languages, a handful that happen to read right-to-left as opposed to left-to-right as most if not all of the western world. cPanel has always tried to provide a quality experience for those LtR users, but with x4 we are making it another one of our focal points. That sort of flexibility requires a bit more 'room to stretch' so to speak.
Well, that is a sure thing and it must be possible to serve that kind of flexibility.

Back to the dizziness: It seems that the different shades of grey make my eyes lose focus. I tested by switching between other sites (more white or another color), but somehow when I get back to the grey layout (which is also the case with this forum) my eyes respond with a zoom effect and seeing dots. Maybe I need a pair of glasses but it could also be that more people experiencing this. Something like this is hard to explain if not everybody is experiencing the same.

I hope you can use any of my comments for this project.
 
Last edited:

Infopro

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2003
17,076
523
613
Pennsylvania
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Twitter

JamesThompson

Member
Oct 19, 2011
18
1
53
Sugarland, TX
cPanel Access Level
Website Owner
Miquel,

Thanks for your response. It is indeed helpful.

I am willing to bet the dizziness your experiencing is because of the overwhelming 'washed out' look. With the icons in their current state (opacity down to 10-20%) there isn't any significant contrast on the page, so it looks like a big muddy mess. As the icons begin to repopulate (and ideally with newer ones) that dizziness should subside.

Thanks again for your feedback.
 

pasargad

Active Member
May 29, 2009
28
1
53
UAE
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
We have created a public demo server for you to test-drive the new x4 Theme!

Similar to the public demo servers for the standard cPanel product, you can come log in to https://x4demo.cpanel.net:2083 and explore the current state of the x4 Theme. While most of the cPanel features have not yet received their redesign and are not "up and running", we'd love to have you come take a look at the overall look and feel of the x4 Theme, and try out some of the new functionality, like:

• The improved Filter function
• Updated controls for the "sea of icons" - quickly collapse or expand your interface, switch from grid to list view, and show/hide icons
• Updated layout - to better support a range of display sizes from the desktop to mobile, the layout starts in 3 columns and will reflow to work with your display
• Mobile support - we've worked to greatly improve the cPanel home page experience in mobile browsers

Please come and try it out - sign in with user 'x4user' and password 'demo$123'. Once you've had a look around, please visit the x4 forums and tell us what you think!

Remember, that's https://x4demo.cpanel.net:2083, x4user/demo$123. We hope to see you soon!

Hello

I do commend of blow:

Code:
curl -O http://httpupdate.cpanel.net/pubftp/x4/x4_install.zip
unzip x4_install.zip
cd x4_install
./install
But after run ./install show error:
Code:
-bash: ./install: /usr/local/cpanel/3rdparty/bin/perl: bad interpreter: No such file or directory
why?
 

cPanelKenneth

cPanel Development
Staff member
Apr 7, 2006
4,607
79
458
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Hello

I do commend of blow:

Code:
curl -O http://httpupdate.cpanel.net/pubftp/x4/x4_install.zip
unzip x4_install.zip
cd x4_install
./install
But after run ./install show error:
Code:
-bash: ./install: /usr/local/cpanel/3rdparty/bin/perl: bad interpreter: No such file or directory
why?
The X4 plugin is only compatible with cPanel & WHM 11.36 and newer. In addition, you must perform the installation as the root user (or at least with root privileges).
 

XenomediaBV

Well-Known Member
Sep 3, 2009
60
0
56
The Netherlands
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
First and foremost how people interact with the web has changed, more in the last 2-3 years, than the previous 10-12 years before that. Before this year is over, more people will be accessing their cPanel accounts and the internet from a mobil device of some kind more often than they will from their desktop. Have you seen x3 on a mobile device? It's not at all pretty and more importantly not at all usable. We HAVE to make cPanel usable for those devices as much as possible, and do so without sacrificing the desktop experience.
Just an additional question:
Why not build iOS and Android apps instead?
 

JamesThompson

Member
Oct 19, 2011
18
1
53
Sugarland, TX
cPanel Access Level
Website Owner
Miquel,

The entire premise behind 'responsive' design is to allow content creators and developers to push content once, maintain one set of code, for literally hundreds of devices.

Taking your suggestion, any change made on cPanel "for the web", would then require an iOS dev, and an Android dev to go in and make those very same changes. Now in an ideal world, thats the same developer, but honestly how many developers do you know that like to make a single change 3 times? :) With Responsive design, the change can be made 1 time for everyone. Your premise also leaves out blackberry users (I know, I know.. there are still a few out there.)

cPanel with a responsive structure allows for a single codebase and a single cluster of content to be delivered on dozens if not hundreds of devices. An iOS app or Android app automatically restricts you to that particular platforms whims. As time progresses, and Apple and Google continually update those devices, the shear maintenance exponentially grows as well so that in less than a years time, you would need a dedicated team for each device to maintain and update cPanel for those platforms alone.

I hope that helps clarify the reasoning for a more responsive cPanel. Please feel free to hit me up if you have any other questions.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.