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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:57 pm 
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Joomla! Intern
Joomla! Intern

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:54 am
Posts: 91
Location: Ireland
Ability to lock articles & improve editor function
As the website super admin, I would like to have the ability to set permissions on articles that have been submitted to the website. I would like the ability to lock articles from further editing and control what functions authors and editors actually have.

white paper submission

1. A summary of the background of the issue

I have a website and i want to open registration and submission of articles to the general public, i know some of the people who registered but i won't know all of the registered users. So there is always a trust issue with people you don't know. Today i am friends with someone and i make them editor, but tomorrow we have a fight and this user has the ability to reek havoc on my website because i cannot control what content he can edit without demoting him to author, and this makes him useless.

Currently i have given editor status to about 8 people and some of them are taking finished published articles, they are renaming the articles, changing the content and putting them on the front page of the website. This is quite a serious issue as anyone with editor status has the ability to edit, move, rename and delete everything on the website including the front page article i have stickied as my main front page. They could also do a sneaky edit to and article and add a malicious link to and article that i thought was finished and i don't have to read it anymore.

If i demote people from editor status to author status, they completely loose the ability to edit anything on the website and i will have effectively lost a very valuable contributor to the website. So there is no happy medium between editor and author. We need more control over exactly what functions authors and editors have, maybe even the ability to create new ranks for users and decide exactly what functions each rank has.


2. An overview of the functional requirements

I am proposing more that one change here.

Change A. I would like the ability to take finished articles and lock the article from further editing by the editors on the website. In this way, if an editor for some reason wants to edit a finished article, he can ask me and i will unlock the article for him. But otherwise only super admin can edit this locked article.

Change B. I would like some kind of happy medium between author and editor. Currently authors can do little or nothing when submitting an article. An author had better get his article exactly right when he clicks the submit button because after that, the author cannot find, see, alter, change or edit anything about the article he just submitted. This makes the position of author absolutely useless. Just imagine if you submit your message on a phpBB forum and forgot to add a link or picture to the message or you forgot to check your spelling. Author's should be allowed maybe 1 or 2 hours to edit the article they just submitted.

3. Thoughts on how your proposal will affect change management

More about the current rules for article locks are mentioned in a forum post by "AmyStephen" here; http://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=304&t=175613#p841266

These changes will give the website super admin far more control over the content of articles, what editors can edit and allow better management of website content for websites with multiple authors and editors.

I do not have the ability to program php or anything like that, i only have basic knowledge of html. I have crawled the extensions website for something that give me some control over locking articles or changing author/editor permissions but i could not find anything.

John.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:08 am 
Joomla! Apprentice
Joomla! Apprentice

Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 5
Thank you for this white paper. I've been trying to do the very thing you are proposing here. The available extensions either cost money, do far more than I really want, or require other extensions like CB.

I don't mean to harp on what has already been said here and in the forums, but I think it is fair to say that managers of almost all serious websites want permissions to work this way. I can't think of too many scenarios where one wants published material to change dynamically (although wikimedia sites come to mind, but I don't think CMS sites are used for the same purposes generally).

For those few who need some other type of functionality, there could be some options in the backend to allow more liberal editing on that particular site, maybe even a legacy support mode if there were enough demand to warrant that much work for the developers.

Again, this is a feature that is badly needed and sorely missing from the core. I know I need this functionality, and hope this will be in for 1.6 and no later.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:39 pm 
Joomla! Intern
Joomla! Intern

Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:23 pm
Posts: 50
This would be very helpful and is much needed. It seems as if more and more users are using Joomla to build community based sites, and things like revision control and locking of items is becoming increasingly important


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