Extend the CMS with your own UI features? Yes!

Published 2012-01-26 in News by jondrusek

The year 2012 has introduced new concepts: Article versioning, basic organizational hierarchy and user-defined widgets in XUL-CMS. Minor enhancements and more to come.

Article versioning

More often editors need to keep several versions of articles. This has become standard practice in organizations where content needs to pass an approval process.  Using article versioning several editors can modify an article while only a particular version is published on the web. Version management is provided by a simple pop-up listing window.

So if you need to encorporate a simple publication process it is now possible. You can work on a new version of an article and have your lawyers decide whether it gets the green light, while the old version is sitting public on your corporate website.

Gui enhancements and new controls

  • counting textboxes

    Some textboxes can be set to display a number of characters written when focused. This feauture has been enabled for article title and subtitle, but potentially we may employ it in other cases too.

  • datetime start and stop for files

    Files listings and downloads can now be managed more efficiently. Publication dates and times can be specified, just like for articles or events.

User-defined widgets

The idea of user-defined widgets is not new at all. GUI designers, particularly in Content Management Systems run into a common dilemma. How to extend the functionality of a system and introduce new feautures and avoid long and complicated GUIs and widgets?

We have found the answer partly in the way Cyclone3 deals with user-defined metadata. We leave the metadata structure for the users to decide. This, of course, presents some drawbacks on our side and particular attention needs to be dedicated to proper data parsing and indexing.

So far metadata has been presented and edited as a two-level key-value table. This is ok for a technically skilled user and even then it is not the best way to edit data. To bring a viable solution, the site administrator can now specify and design additional widgets for a particular entity type. These widgets are loaded into their special place in the Details tab and saved as entity metadata.

Migrating away from views and plans for organizations

  • database views

    We are planning to entirely leave the concept of database views on account of them being slow and absolete for our use. All use of database views in modules is now deprecated. All views are marked for removal and will be replaced by standard select statements.

  • organization hierarchy

    It has been some time since events where made to be linked to each other in a master-slave relationship. By master slave events editors could divide a 3-day conference to 3 day schedules which would contain invididual 1-2 hour programme items. Now we would like to provide the same for organizations and provide users with encapsulation options for corporations, local companies and organizational units.


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