Workflow and version differencing

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jbeall
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Workflow and version differencing

Post by jbeall » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:04 pm

Hi All,

Is there a way with Joomla to have the following workflow:

Content is already on website, and:

1) A writer submits an update to an article he wrote
2) Editor reviews update, and can approved, edit, or reject the change
3) Once editor approves change, it is visible on live website. Until then, the old version of the content is visible.

We also want the editor to be able to quickly see what has changed. Something like this would be ideal:

http://drupal.org/node/176051/revisions ... 683/221754

You can see that the highlighting makes it easy to see that it's was change to its.

I looked at the demo for the "front end article manager", but it didn't appear to be doing any moderation of content. While Bill could only edit his own blog, Bill's posts were immediately visible--we want posts to require moderation.

 
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Re: Workflow and version differencing

Post by jbeall » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:33 pm

Any thoughts on this? Is there a way to do this in Joomla?

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fatica
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Re: Workflow and version differencing

Post by fatica » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:39 pm

Version control can be done with our GPL extension
http://www.fatica.net/downloads/simple- ... oning.html

The workflow/staging/approval piece can be accomplished with
http://www.fatica.net/products/joomla-workflow.html

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Re: Workflow and version differencing

Post by jomolian » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:46 am

I watched the video and it's interesting. I haven't downloaded the workflow tool but the following is required for large scale use (the tool is perfect for small simple sites);

Managed lists of named versions (to coordinate the synchronised releases of staged content).
Managment of links across versions (links within named versions or to current versions).
Chararcter by character review (accept/delete) of mark-up edits.
Notification of workflow assignments via the joomla in-box.

Ian :)

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Re: Workflow and version differencing

Post by fatica » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:33 pm

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the ideas. This actually does exist:

>Chararcter by character review (accept/delete) of mark-up edits.

Thought its not previewed in the movie. The "Preview" button shown in the popup has a "diff" style view of adds and [strikethrough]deletes[/strikethrough]

Regarding these items:
>Managed lists of named versions (to coordinate the synchronised releases of staged content).
So, would you have a staging tag (name) called "Fall 2008 Product Launch", which, when approved all so-tagged staged content would go live?

>Managment of links across versions (links within named versions or to current versions).
I'm not sure what you mean on this one. Would this provide for hyperlinks (e.g. on the front end) to show prior versions of documents?

Thanks! I'm very interested in improving this tool for enterprise users.

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Re: Workflow and version differencing

Post by jomolian » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:33 am

Hi,
the video did show the visual differencing but you also need the ability to step through each change to accept or reject each edit interactively. You may already have this in there as well. If so, nice!

On the second one, versions, there's two related parts;
1) Named versions are metadata labels you can attach to files (e.g. March 2009 release) and use later on to coordinate the release of several files with the same label (maybe via a category search, selection, bulk publish). Within versions you have 'revisions' or the historical changes within each version. At the moment your system has one version and it records revisions. If you implement named versions it's best to only allow a couple of revisions as it can become messy. The whole reason for this sort of stuff is, you may be working on an article/update due next month but have to make a minor ad hoc change to the same article in the meantime. So, you need the ability to take the live article and edit it separately from the future version. Phew.
2) Normal links. When you're working on the abovementioned versions there's a problem with links. You ask yourself, do I want to link to a page on the live site or a page, in the same version, that hasn't gone live yet? There are several ways to do this but they all boil down to the link target existing somewhere where it can easily be found. That's where the versions come in because they help the writers quickly track down the link target by means of a shared label.

Let me know if this make sense or you need further clarification.

Cheers,
Ian

p.s. you can also hold content in a pre-publish workflow state too be bundled up and released together but it's not a pretty option.

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Re: Workflow and version differencing

Post by fatica » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:02 pm

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the clarification.
step through each change to accept or reject each edit interactively


I guess what I'm going for is similar to MS Word's accept/reject. Though the interactive per-edit approval/rejection is not in place (yet)

To this point:
The whole reason for this sort of stuff is, you may be working on an article/update due next month but have to make a minor ad hoc change to the same article in the meantime. So, you need the ability to take the live article and edit it separately from the future version. Phew.
You actually can do this with our software currently. Lets say you have article version 1.0 live and you edit and stage 1.1. Now, you need to edit 1.0 you can do that while still keeping 1.1 staged. You can even branch another staged version 1.2 while 1.0 stays live. Then you can edit 1.1 and make that live ad nauseum.

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Re: Workflow and version differencing

Post by jomolian » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:56 am

Yep,
that sounds about right. The ability to locate related future versions is probably the only thing missing then but I'll have another look at the plugin (as I have been know to miss things).

Regards,
Ian

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Re: Workflow and version differencing

Post by jbeall » Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:17 pm

It's not clear to me if I can set permissions on who can do what. I watched the video and reviewed your FAQ, so please forgive me if I missed it.

Here's what we want:

1) Writers can post new articles and make changes to existing articles, but they *cannot* make anything live without approval from an editor. So everything they do goes into staging.
2) Editors can make lives changes, or make changes that are saved to staging and not published live.

Can we enforce these rules via permissions? We're primarily concerned about forcing writers to go through an approval process.

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Re: Workflow and version differencing

Post by fatica » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:11 pm

Hi Joshua,

Short answer is "yes you can". You can set that all document edits coming from a particular user group (E.g. editors) will be staged automatically.

To do this,

If you make your "writers" Joomla "Editors", then set in the plugin settings that all changes are staged for the "Authors" group. Then your "editors" should be Joomla "Publishers" and in the plugin config be sure that only "Publishers" are allowed to review and approve staged articles.

P.s. we updated our FAQ per your questions.

 

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