Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

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fabio42
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Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by fabio42 » Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:47 pm

Hello everyone !
I'm stuck on one point and I can't make it through. I do need your help.
I have a website with many groups which correspond to school classes.

One of my class is called "2e1". I have created 2 students (student A / student B). I want the users to be able to publish in one specific CATEGORY (set through the menu item "create an article") which is called "Student posting", and I want them to be able to edit their own articles but not to publish them (only the admin - me - will do that).

In the USER MANAGER PERMISSIONS, the class (2e1) has "create" permissions set to "allowed"
In the ARTICLE MANAGER PERMISSIONS, the class (2e1) has "create" and "edit own" permissions set to "allowed" ("edit" is set to "not allowed" because I don't want them to be able to edit other people's articles but only their own)
They have rights to publish in one category "Student posting", and the CATEGORY PERMISSIONS are set to "allowed" for "create" and "edit own" as well. I have also created a menu item called "student posts" which leads to a category blog which shows the titles of the articles that the "Student posting" category contains.

When student A (or B) publish an article, they cannot view or have access to the article they have created. Indeed, if they click on the menu item "student posts", this will only list the articles created by the admin for example.
So, they can't edit their article at all !! :(

Now, if I change the setting "edit" of the CATEGORY called "student posting" to "allowed", student A or B will see all the articles (unpublished but also the ones published by the admin) and they will be able to edit them all !! :-\ It's literally driving me nuts that there is no "in-between" option to allow each user to publish their own articles and be able to ONLY edit their OWN articles and not other students' articles (or worse ... the admin's ).

So, where do I go wrong ? Can someone tell me what I must be missing. I've gone through all the Joomla ACL guides and I can't find a way out.
Thanks for your help !
Fabrice

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by Per Yngve Berg » Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:48 pm

Set the permissions "edit.own" and "create"

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by fabio42 » Sat Jun 12, 2021 7:51 pm

Hello Yngve Berg,
Could you be more specific please ? Set the permissions to what (allowed, deny, inherit) in what (categories, articles manager) ? As of now, "edit own" and "create" are in "allowed" mode ... what more can I do ?
Thanks for your reply !
Fabrice

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by Per Yngve Berg » Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:40 pm

Remove the "edit", to prevent editing of articles that's not your own.

Permissions are set on the category, not the component

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by fabio42 » Sat Jun 12, 2021 9:03 pm

So, If I understand well, you suggest :
in the articles manager in the permissions, for the 2e1 group :
create : allowed
edit : inherited (not allowed)
edit own : denied (the possiblity to set it to "inherited" is not suggested)

And in the category permissions for the 2e1 group :
create : allowed
edit own : allowed (but for the moment I can't because it is locked as I was forced to set the previous parameter to "denied")

I'm stuck once again :( ...

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by Webdongle » Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:38 am

Follow these step by step

1. Create user group '2e1 student A' with 'Registered' as Parent
1a. Create user group '2e1 student B' with 'Registered' as Parent
1b. Global config Permissions leave as 'Inherited' for both user Groups

2. Create Category '2e1 student A'
2a. Create Category '2e1 student B'
(The categories can both be top level categories or be children of a top level category. But not nested with each other).

3. In Category '2e1 student A' Permissions 'Allow' Create and Edit Own for user group '2e1 student A'
3b. In Category '2e1 student B' Permissions 'Allow' Create and Edit Own for user group '2e1 student B'

Users in user group '2e1 student A'
  • Will see everything in Category '2e1 student A' but not Category '2e1 student B'
  • Only be able to Create, and Edit Own for user group '2e1 student A' but not Category '2e1 student B'
  • When they create an Article it will not be published
  • When they edit an Article it will become unpublished
If you want '2e1 student A' and '2e1 student B' to only see Articles in their their respective Categories.
Create view/access level '2e1 student A' select in it user Group 'Registered' and '2e1 student A'
Create view/access level '2e1 student B' select in it user Group 'Registered' and '2e1 student B'
http://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/
https://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/updating-joomla.html
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by fabio42 » Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:49 pm

Hi and thanks for developing !
Seems like I was not clear in my first post. I took the example of two students (A and B) but I've got about 36 students by class (and 8 classes) so I cannot allow myself to create as many user groups and categories as there are for the number of students... (shuld have said that in the first hand !)
What I would like to achieve is to enable each student in one class to become writers who :
- are able to write and edit their own article in a specific category, but not publish them. So far, I did not manage that. Once student A belonging to the class called 2e1 has written his article, he cannot see it in the category in which it was published. That's what I don't get. He should see the article and be able to modify it (?). What is missing in the parameters to let him see his own article in the category ?
- are not allowed to edit the other students' articles from the same class in this specific category
- are able to view the articles who have been published by the admin in the specific category mentioned above (this works :) )
Your solution, webdongle, entails the creation of too many categories, which would become unmanageable over time.
So the question is : does Joomla allow such a system in its native form ?
Thanks for your time ! I'm kinda lost and find this quite hazy :-[

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by sozzled » Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:03 pm

fabio42 wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:49 pm
What I would like to achieve is to enable each student ... [to be] are able to write and edit their own article in a specific category.
I understand that (and @Webdongle's response addresses that question) even if this means that you have to create an ever-growing range of permissions.

fabio42 wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:49 pm
So the question is : does Joomla allow such a system in its native form?
Based on the answers in this topic, especially from @Per, no. Authors can be restricted to certain categories of articles; that's true. You can define access levels for specific categories and assign authors to have access to those categories, that's true. Authors can submit articles (but they cannot edit their own articles unless you give them that permission, as @Per wrote); Editors can edit articles (but editors can modify the articles of other authors). That's the way that J! works at the moment. It's probably the weakest part of the system.

If I understand you correctly, we need a system that allows

Authors: who can write but, by default, not edit any articles
|---- Authors with limited editing: who can write and edit their own articles
|----|---- Editors: who can edit other authors' articles but not publish them
|----|----|---- Publishers: who can edit and publish articles

This functionality does not exist out-of-the-box, sorry.
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by Webdongle » Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:08 pm

Had you have explained correctly then it would have saved me the time to give you the answer to your original question. To use for several individual users then https://extensions.joomla.org/tags/communities/
http://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/
https://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/updating-joomla.html
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by fabio42 » Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:35 pm

@sozzled : thanks, that's what I feared. Hope Joomla will offer this possibility one day, it would be great. I guess that's maybe a weak point in so powerful a CMS system as Joomla is at the moment.
@webdongle : sorry again for missing out a key point in my original post. The link you gave targets communities and social networking components, not content management. I guess I'll have to dig deeper into that to be able to refine my search for more subtle publishing rights.

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by sozzled » Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:01 pm

I agree with @Webdongle (that it's possible to do what you want but it requires some effort on your part).

This kind of discussion (and some of the opinions about the "weaknesses" built into J!, from the time of J! 1.6—thirteen years ago) has taken place on this forum before:
Many of these discussions offered similar advice to this discussion topic. Sadly, none of these discussions were ever resolved. I mention them because they give people some understanding about the complexities involved in using J!'s ACL system. There are other discussions about J!'s ACL system here: viewforum.php?f=719

The matter can be resolved but it requires some effort. There may be easier solutions but they are not part of what comes "standard" with the J! 3.x CMS.

*** off-topic ***
J! 4 has an improved "workflow" system but I haven't experimented with it and I don't know if it helps. J! 4 does not exist—in a stable, supported form suitable for production use—at the moment. J! 4 is still experimental.
*** end off-topic ***
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by fabio42 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:21 am

Thank you so much sozzled for all these enlightening links which I've all consulted. One of them suggests that there is a bug going on for authors not being able to see their article to edit it (which is what I described in my previous mail). Hope this will be corrected in Joomla 4 ! I wish Joomla had a more individually-grained ACL system alllowing for more powerful and diverse roles instead of being only role-based. I used to have an extension which helped me do what I need (students / classes) when I worked on Joomla 1.5 but now, this extension is deprecated. I know I could more or less accomplish what I want with "efforts on my part", yet, I also think this should now come out-of-the-box regarding the maturity of the Joomla Project.
*** off-topic ***
J! 4 has an improved "workflow" system but I haven't experimented with it and I don't know if it helps. J! 4 does not exist—in a stable, supported form suitable for production use—at the moment. J! 4 is still experimental.
*** end off-topic ***
Does this mean that Joomla 4 will bring new capabilities on that matter ? (I haven't found anything on the question anywhere so far)

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by sozzled » Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:32 am

fabio42 wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:21 am
Thank you so much sozzled for all these enlightening links which I've all consulted. One of them suggests that there is a bug going on for authors not being able to see their article to edit it ...
It's not a bug: it's a missing feature out-of-the-box. This problem can be solved; it just takes a lot of work.

fabio42 wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:21 am
Does this mean that Joomla 4 will bring new capabilities on that matter ? (I haven't found anything on the question anywhere so far)
Did you read the magazine articles?
  1. https://magazine.joomla.org/all-issues/ ... -to-expect
  2. https://magazine.joomla.org/all-issues/ ... ow-feature
No, I haven't found much on the internet that explains how to use the workflow feature, either. If you find something then you're better informed than me. :D
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by AMurray » Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:30 am

The J4 RC1 documentation (Workflow) is below: perhaps a starting point to get an idea of the feature?
https://docs.joomla.org/J4.x:Workflow (these things will probably change over time).
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by fabio42 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:53 pm

It's not a bug: it's a missing feature out-of-the-box.
Sorry, my eyes were caught by this point in the following thread called "authors can submit but not edit until article published" :
viewtopic.php?f=706&t=975216
in which you said "The main point, I believe, that's been overlooked is that there's a "bug" in J! 3.x"

Thanks Andy for the two links. It does appear that there's this new feature called "workflow" allowing admins to track their progress in the publishing process, but nothing seems to concern the ability to add more rights tweaking functions in J4 :'( , thus facilitating the implemntation of case-to-case permissions. We may have to wait for later versions, who knows !

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by Webdongle » Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:47 pm

fabio42 wrote:
Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:35 pm
...
@webdongle : sorry again for missing out a key point in my original post. The link you gave targets communities and social networking components, not content management. ...
@fabio42
Because you want individual user control over projects then you need a community extension. Or perhaps a project management extension https://extensions.joomla.org/category/ ... anagement/
The emphasis is on how users control the content not the management of the content itself.
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by Webdongle » Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:51 pm

fabio42 wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:53 pm
...
Sorry, my eyes were caught by this point in the following thread called "authors can submit but not edit until article published" ...
And there was me thinking they can.
http://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/
https://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/updating-joomla.html
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by fabio42 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:51 pm

@Webdongle
Well it can be a community but isn't it way too much sophisticated for what I need ?
I have browsed the content management / authoring section of the Joomla extensions and it seems there is just what I wish Joomla had in stock natively :

https://www.joomlashack.com/docs/shack- ... tributors/

This should definitely be a core feature ! ;)

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by Webdongle » Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:16 pm

If Joomla had every single feature that every user wished for then it would be to heavy. One of the advantages of Joomla is that it is flexible enough for special features to be added using extensions.
http://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/
https://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/updating-joomla.html
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by Per Yngve Berg » Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:44 pm

It do work in Administrator, so the only issue is display of articles in the Front-end.

Maybe you should use the back-end.

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by fabio42 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:53 pm

I don't want my users to have backend access. It's not user-friendly, and my users should basically only have limited privileges.

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by Per Yngve Berg » Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:02 pm

They will have the same limited privileges in the back-end as they have in the front-end.

Set login.admin so they can login. Make a menu item to list the articles. The rest of the admin will be blank.

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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by sozzled » Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:15 pm

I completely agree with you, @fabio. Allowing backend access is nonsense! It doesn't matter how one limits their access: you might as well say that J!'s entire author-editor-publisher model for frontend article management is kaput!

Forgive me for repeating what I've written before but there are dozens of discussions on this forum about the design of the author-editor-publisher model and people who struggle to make it work. This model was developed many years ago; the last major improvement was in 2011 with the release of J! 1.6 and the implementation of ACLs. There has not been any significant improvement in this area since then. From the information I've found, there will not be any significant improvement in this area in J! 4.

There are a couple of problems here:

1) Assigning authors to categories (i.e people can create articles—but not publish them until they're approved—but only within specific categories). OK, this can be solved with J!'s built-in ACL system. To solve this you need to create an ACL "group" for each category and then assign your users to those groups.

2) By default, authors can create articles but, after they've pressed the Save button, they can't view or edit the articles. There is a workaround (as @Per suggested before) to modify the allowable permissions for authors so that they have edit.own and create privileges. So there's a possible solution there.

However, in summarising what I've learnt from this forum, no-one has written to the forum saying, "Eureka! I've found the perfect solution!"

I don't remember writing that I think this is a "bug" in J!. Other people may describe it in those terms. I would characterise this as a design defect. J! was designed to work this way. ;D As you have probably discovered by now, there is no easy solution (and certainly it's not a solution to allow unregulated access to the backend of a website). I don't think this problem will go away in the near future.

There are third-party alternative products that may assist. I haven't used any of them.
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by sozzled » Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:47 pm

By default, authors have Edit Own and Create permissions in J! 3.x. See the screenshot below:
j3_authorPermissions.png
It's the same in J! 4:
j4_authorPermissions.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by Webdongle » Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:13 pm

Yes and it is 'Edit state' that allows a user in a group to Publish/Unpublish.
http://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/
https://www.weblinksonline.co.uk/updating-joomla.html
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Re: Frontend publishing for users : edit / edit own / view own articles ?

Post by fabio42 » Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:13 pm

This model was developed many years ago; the last major improvement was in 2011 with the release of J! 1.6 and the implementation of ACLs. There has not been any significant improvement in this area since then.
Absolutely 100% with you, @sozzled ! It's maybe high time improvements in the ACL should be brought forward. I know developers have been doing an amazing job at improving Joomla but it seems that some parts of the core part of joomla (what is was designed for) have been progressively left untouched and now need revamping/improving. When people address an issue or specify some lacks, and no solution has yet been found, time should come to address these issues instead of letting people rely on extensions to accomplish the promises that Joomla once held. And there's no doubt that joomla still holds lots of hidden secrets for the pleasure of their users !


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