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I know it's been mentioned here just a few times before on the forums but I just thought I'd check to see if there were currently any plans for either a plugin or an addition to the core to allow clients a user-friendly way to create new pages and see them in a hierarchical page tree view in the back-end?

This kind of thing mentioned by TheJester12 would be spot on. The ability to have a collapsible (and preferably sortable by drag and drop) view of the static pages in a site is probably the best way to present content to clients who are generally more visual. The ability to show them this and allow them to create and sort their own pages would be a killer feature and would see me (and by the looks of it many others) use it as a default CMS for client work.

@nickdunn Was your rough and ready JS hack ever put to use? Is it currently compatible with the latest version of Symphony? It could be a useful temporary solution.

I know it's been a year since Symphony 3 was announced, is this feature likely to see it's way into the core of the new release? Or could it possibly make it's way into Symphony 2.x?

From a data handling point of view I love Symphony's approach. I also love the simplicity of the back-end, the almost endless possibilities of what you can build with it, and the absolute control you have over the planning and configuration of your site/app. I've even warmed to the use of XSL(T) for templating keeping it standards compliant, but just lacking that apparently simple ability to create a user-friendly static page creation process and visualisation is probably key from a client's point of view.

Failing that, is there a current best practice method of create static pages (with consideration to a nested hierarchy) to allow client to create their own without dabbling with blueprints or other developer only areas? Any tutorial you could point me to would be greatly appreciated.

For anyone interested, check out this video.

  • Will it be available anytime soon? I don't know.
  • Does it really work? Apparently, yes :)

I only use perian + quicktime, don't you have another format?

He only uses open standards, don't you have another video player? ;-)

I suggest VLC to watch it.

@nickdunn Was your rough and ready JS hack ever put to use? Is it currently compatible with the latest version of Symphony? It could be a useful temporary solution.

Nope, it was nothing more than a hack and I don't think I even bothered keeping the code.

For anyone interested, check out this video.

Alpacaaa that's interesting! Is this Blueprints > Pages we are seeing, or a table of entries? If the latter, how do you assume relationships between entries?

It seems to be a "pages" section located under "publish". That looks very interesting!

@alpacaaa Woah, now that's looking more like it. :)

Will it be available anytime soon? I don't know.
Does it really work? Apparently, yes :)

By that I presume it's something you've been working on but not actually used out in the wild yet? It certainly seems to work from the video. If you plan on releasing it as an extension then I'd certainly be very interested in giving it a try.

@nickdunn That's OK, it looked like an interesting option and I just wandered if you'd gone anywhere with it. Overall it does look like thing are moving in the right direction on this one but no-one's really run with it yet (with the possible exception of alpacaaa that is...?

Michael seen correctly, it's a section called Pages. I don't assume anything about fields or relationships, you have to define which field value is displayed in the rows and which select box link you want to use to build the hierarchy.

The ordering is managed by Order entries, which is a requirement for this extension to work :)

It has been developed for my company so I cannot release it just yet, but as you guessed, it has been in the work for some time now. BTW the code is a pain, be warned :D

G - Knee - US :) that looks great, seeing it working on a section is cool! Love the way the hierarchy expands and collapses... oooh... In what way is the code a pain?

@nickdunn
fair enough ;-) so much for limiting my number of installed apps...

@ alpacaaa

Cool!

In what way is the code a pain?

From a javascript ninja point of view, it could have been written much better. But it works and optimizing ahead of time has often proved to be a bad idea ;)

Pain or not it looks to be a very useful addition to Symphony and one which clients will get. I'm sure the optimisation will come over time.

Keep us updated on this one and if you learn of any potential release date then I'm sure you wont have any problems finding people willing to give it a try. Hopefully we'll see this released at some point in the near future.

From a javascript ninja point of view, it could have been written much better.

Hey mate, I can help you with that. Your work is awesome as always. ;)

Do want... From a relationship point of view, might it not be easier (and ultimately much more server-efficient) to implement the relationship treee using MPTT (http://www.sitepoint.com/hierarchical-data-database-2/)?

I started an extension a while back for a particular job and actually got the submission of the MPTT data working well (ie, when you create a new entry), but I stopped because of time constraints on the job. The two big things the extension is missing is a method of modifying the tree from the list view (which it looks like you have) and the creation of the datasource.

From a relationship point of view, might it not be easier (and ultimately much more server-efficient) to implement the relationship treee using MPTT

I have a half finished nested set (MPTT) extension floating around (locally), and by the look of the drag&drop implementation (looks like a jQuery plugin I saw somewhere) alpacaa implemented a MPTT as well. If nobody finishes his extension before october, it would be a good thing to join forces at the Symposium.

Maybe it would make sense to join forces on this? I have a lot of experience with MPTT (I've written Django and PHP inplementations elsewhere), but where I fell over here was in the creation of the datasources and the implementation in the list-view of the CMS.

Where's the Symposium this year? I'm moving to Vancouver in September - easier to fly almost anywhere from Van' than it is from Sydney.

Super cool guys, I hope this could happen.

Never heard of MPTT before... my extension works with a plain SBL field, although that means it gets difficult to rebuild the hierarchy on the frontend. I recall ekoes had some really nice thoughts about the matter.

How would you proceed?

Where's the Symposium this year?

It's in Cologne, Germany from September 30 to October 2.

How would you proceed?

The main parts IMHO we need are

  • a MPTT implementation to create, edit and delete (single and multiple) entries (with an AJAX API for reordering)
  • a special datasource for tree information
  • and a nice drag&drop list view.

So we should look what concept each of us has and how it's implemented. Then we can see if it makes sense to combine some parts. I'm happy to talk about it on IRC or similar.

What I have at the moment can be seen in this quick screencast. So there is no DS output or list view reordering at the moment.

It seems like there are some converging ideas, notably Rowan's Breadcrumb field and its companion Breadcrumb UI.

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