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[33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:25 pm
by severdia
1. INTRODUCTION
The Weblinks component in Joomla 1.5 provides a very basic level of functionality. In order to give Joomla users more flexibility in the display of link content, a few minor tweaks/additions can be made. Also, since the functionality is so limited, all Joomla link sections look virtually identical and is a tell-tale sign due to it's limitations.

2. SCOPE
With just a few minor changes, the Weblinks component can be used in a far more flexible fashion.
  • 1) The ability to show all categories with links on a single page. Currently, when a user wants to see the links, they have to click through the category they want to view. If a site only has one category or a small number of links in two categories, this is an unnecessary step for the user. The Mootools accordian would be implemented here in order to allow users to reveal the various categories. See reference example below to show how category headings are retained above each category of links.

    2) Move the dropdown showing the number of items to the parameters. Users won't care about being able to show only a certain number of links on the front end. Having this in the component parameters will allow the site admin to determine the number of links shown, which is more important than the user in this particular case.

    3) Add ordering to the menu item parameters. This is a no-brainer. Right now there's only a default ordering of items and there should be similar options to the display of content.

    4) Option to remove the numbers next to each link. Another no-brainer. Very few will actually want them so there should be a way to turn them off just like the link icons.

    5) Snapshot integration. Users love them because they give a tiny preview of the site before they click on it. There are a lot of options for site admins to use them in various ways. More info at: http://www.snap.com/

    6) Google Maps integration. It would be great if site admins could enter their Google API key and start using Google Maps right away for their links.
3. TECHNICAL IMPLEMENTATION
Items affected would be the core Weblinks component and the Weblinks menu item view. The Weblinks table would need to be updated to accommodate the above information.

4. IMPACTS
None known.

5. DEPENDENCIES
Due to core changes, this component will likely only work with 1.5+

6. REFERENCES
The Bookmarks component has a decent level of functionality but it's a usability nightmare. An example of it's implementation is here:

http://www.playshakespeare.com/componen ... temid,606/

It's not compatible with Joomla 1.5 and may never be so there's a sizable user base looking for a 1.5 solution.

Re: Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:51 pm
by endi
One addition: an interface for users to report broken links. This would be good, depending on what you use weblinks for.

And of course, in a scenery of hardlinked nested sets, weblinks could be just another file in the virtual directory tree, so categories could contain both links and content items at a time.

Re: Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:29 pm
by severdia
Ah, yes. I think "Report Bad Link" functionality would also be a great feature. Personally, I have so many links that it's impossible to make sure they all exist. :)

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:07 pm
by RoscoHead

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:43 pm
by RoscoHead
severdia wrote: Google Maps integration. It would be great if site admins could enter their Google API key and start using Google Maps right away for their links.
In looking at this paper, I'm wondering what functionality you would be looking at from the google maps API? Do you have an example of how the site admin would use it in connection with weblinks?

Thanks

ROSCO (dev team member)

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:37 am
by severdia
Heya Rosco,

I'll explain it from my own selfish point of view and you can "translate" that to something that works for you guys.

Right now, I use the Bookmarks component here:

http://www.playshakespeare.com/componen ... temid,606/

For my site, I have Shakespeare Festivals all over the world that, if people are trying to find one, can locate one nearest to them. I assume this would require entering in an address into the admin component for each link. That address may be a complete street address or just a city/state. There may be a globe icon next to each link that when clicked takes the user to the map (maybe in a litebox?) and allows the user to get directions from their current location.

More information on the Google Maps API here:

http://code.google.com/apis/maps/

Users apply for a key, which would have to be entered in the admin section of the component. It would also be cool if there was a menu view for the component that showed a category (or multiple categories) of links on a single map.

I guess if you wanted to get really fancy, you could get into the localization and AJAX loader here:

http://code.google.com/apis/maps/docume ... index.html

Naturally, the Google Maps could be used in any context where the site had a variety of links and either wanted to show geographical groupings or actual locations.

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:13 am
by RoscoHead
Ah I see, thanks. I'm thinking that's probably something most people wouldn't need, so may be better served by an extension, do you agree? The rest of your suggestions should be OK though.

ROSCO

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:29 am
by endi
There are indeed extensions for Google Maps, but we can't add them to the description, which is one line of text in a table. Maybe the point is the ability to choose between a "compact" view, the one we have today, and an "extended" view, where each link would have its own description page, including a description field supporting HTML formatting, plugins and so on. There you may also place all "advanced" features like report broken link.

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:07 am
by RoscoHead
Hmmm, that's extending the scope of the original suggestion quite a bit. I like the idea, and it could be something worth looking at for the future, but I think to make sure we get as much other stuff as possible done for 1.6 it may not be possible to include it in this round.

The report link will probably go on the current page, over near the hits.

ROSCO

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Sun May 04, 2008 1:15 pm
by Kampp
Please also include Creator ID and Date in the table so that it's possible to let users submit polls (component extension). This way the poll could also say "This poll was submitted by xxx on the xx-xx-xxxx".

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:06 pm
by ramon
Not sure if it'll make it,as I think the date is long passed, but you should think of including filtering options for all content views of Joomla!, not only Weblinks, but Category and Blog views of content.

This would allow the reader to search the section, category or blog view more easily.

Not really sure how difficult this would be to implement.

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:46 pm
by Kampp
Kampp wrote:Please also include Creator ID and Date in the table so that it's possible to let users submit polls (component extension). This way the poll could also say "This poll was submitted by xxx on the xx-xx-xxxx".
WOW... I don't know where my mind is with my previous statement! I still would like this simple enhancement in polls though.

I ofcause mean that there should be a Creator ID in weblinks so that it can say who submitted the link!
"This link was submitted by xxx on the xx-xx-xxxx!"

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:38 pm
by marshtric
This guy makes extremely useful extensions!!!

The native weblinks component that comes with joomla is very lacking. This component really makes the native com viable for use.

Only glitch, can't seem to get the show as new to work, and when cutting off titles, it seems to cut off at different character lengths, no matter what you set at backend.

Thanks though - awesome

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Sat May 23, 2009 5:04 am
by Moby58
Hi,

Was something like this ever completed?

I REALLY wanna get rid of the Item# at the front of each link.

As an aside, would really like to have weblink sub-categories too...

Re: [33]Minor Weblink Component Enhancements

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:56 pm
by atarr
You can get rid of those line numbers on weblinks today. Just do a template override.

Here's a tutorial on how to do that very thing:

http://joomlaforweb.org/blog/Template-O ... art-3.html