Showing posts from 2009

eZ Publish Admin Prototype extension

Following on from yesterdays post on checking out the eZ Admin Interface prototype I've created an extension that can be easily downloaded, installed and enabled.
Download the extension from hereCopy to your extension directory and untar:

tar xzf admin2prototype.tgz

Enable it in your admin siteaccess by editing settings/siteaccess/site_admin/site.ini.append.php and adding:


Clear the cache
To disable, simply remove the settings from step 3 above and clear the cache.

Note: If you enable the extension via the admin interface (Setup -> Extensions) this will effect all site accesses including your front end ones. 

Things to check out in the prototype:
Lack of Shop and Design tabs - these are disabled by default in eZ Publish 4.3Hidden right menu. Click on the [+] to expandContent menu (Left Hand side under Content, Users & Media Tabs) can be variably sized. Grab the bottom right hand corner and drag to desired sizeDifferent co…

How to install the eZ Admin Interface prototype

The Admin Interface Refresh project has had a concept implemented that can be reviewed live with an eZ Publish install. This is a guide on how to get things working.

The new Admin Interface design is a prototype and it's constantly being refined so don't try this on your production servers.

Starting from a clean install of eZ Publish 4.2 with the the eZ Flow package (with content)
Change into the design directory
# cd designCheckout the design
# svn co
Edit settings/siteaccess/admin_site/site.ini.append.php and change the SiteDesign to admin2
SiteDesign=admin2Grab new menu.ini - this is required to display the left hand menus under Setup and My account.
# cd settings/siteaccess/admin_site/
# wget
Clear the cacheYou should now be able to view the new interface and it should look something like this:

To revert back to the original interface:
Remove the menu.ini from the ad…

eZ Publish Community Day to be streamed live!

The eZ Publish winter conference is a free conference being held in Geneva on 21st and 22nd of January 2010, with the Community Day being held on the 22nd.

If you are like me and can't make it there is some exciting news! eZ Publish's Community Manager Nicolas Pastorino has setup a Ustream account for the eZ Community and scheduled a event for the community day.

That's right the Community Day will be streamed live!

Show your support of this wonderful initiative by signing up to Ustream and RSVPing to the event! (Note that two events for they day one for the morning session and another for the afternoon one.)

The Ustream interface allows for a twitter channel as well as inline chat allowing participation throughout the day.  The twitter hastag is #ezwintercf.

If you know anyone interested in eZ Publish get them to RSVP as well.  It will be great to have as many people as possible participating!

If you have any experience producing an live event like this or can help out on…

eZ Publish Admin redesign - Some suggestions

I've covered two larger topics in other blog posts (Admin interface users & Dashboards) so in this post I'm going to cover a number of smaller suggestions I have for the Admin Interface refresh. 

Some of the items have been suggested by others and been added to the specification - I hope I've noted these.
Improve underlying HTMLDamien has already mentioned linking labels with their related input via the for attribute.  I wasn't aware that there was already an issue for this but I made a start of adding a Accessibility & Usability Improvements project that currently "associates labels with specific form elements, adds "required" class to required input elements to allow attachment of javascript validation".

The project looked at "fixing" the datatype edit templates and the modifications can be viewed in the CHANGELOG.

Specific changes I'd like to see in the underlying HTML are:
Labels linked to input fieldsLabels only used when a…

eZ Publish Admin redesign - Dashboard = OpenSocial?

In the preface to the current Admin interface specification the last paragraph caught my eye:
A overview of user task need a dashboard, where she can follow here own content, approval and other tasks she might do on a regular basis.
I recently saw a demo of the latest version of the bug tracking system JIRA 4.0 by Atlassian. It used an OpenSocial dashboard to allow users to customise their homepage to access and interact with information that was important to them.  The system not only displays JIRA widgets but any OpenSocial widgets (and those from other Atlassian products). You can check out a video of it in action here and more information on how Atlassian is using OpenSocial here.

What is OpenSocial? From the official site:
OpenSocial defines a common API for social applications across multiple websites. With standard JavaScript and HTML,
developers can create apps that access a social network's friends and update feeds.
Google personal home page is an example of an OpenSocial da…

eZ Publish Admin redesign - Think of the Editors!

It's been a while since I first posted about the Admin interface redesign that will be part of the eZ Publish 4.3 (due 30 March 2010).  Since that time there have been some great input (here, here, & here) from the eZ Publish community as well as a transparent and inclusive design process from eZ Publish.

I'd like to congratulate eZ Systems on their approach with this process and encourage any eZ Publish users to have a look at the specification and the prototype of proposed layout changes and add their voice to the process by commenting on the blog post.

In moving forward with any changes I believe that it's important to understand the users of the system and the tasks they are attempting to carry out. This allows for suggestions and potential changes to be "tested" against a rule of "How does this help [ROLE] complete task [TASK]?"

In my experience users of the Admin interface can be split into two broad groups:
Content editors, whose role is to …

Review - eZ Publish 4: Enterprise Web Sites Step-by-Step

It's been a while since there's been a eZ Publish release from Packt Publishing but the long awaited eZ Publish 4: Enterprise Web Sites Step-by-Step has finally hit the shelves.  Written by Francesco Fullone and Francesco Trucchia it spans 292 pages and details building a site using eZ Publish 4 from server preparation, eZ Publish installation, implementation and deployment. A imaginary magazine site is used to illustrate examples throughout the book.  A number of topics are covered that will help those new to eZ Publish get up and running.

The book is based on eZ publish 4.0.1 and while the current version of eZ publish is 4.2.0 the content is still relevant and there are several notes that refer to features and changes in newer versions.

Packt has provided Chapter 6 - Creating a Design as a free sample download (PDF). A chapter overview is available on the book site as well as a full table of contents.

This is a review of the PDF version of the book provided by Packt Publis…

eZ Publish Admin to get some loving

The current eZ Publish admin interface first appeared almost 5 years ago in version 3.5 ( released Dec 2004 ). At the time it was a massive improvement from the previous version. Since it's release there have been many advances in web technologies, javascript libraries and browser support.

When the eZ publish roadmap was updated in July this year it indicated that version eZ Publish 4.3 (due 30 March 2010) will include a redesign of the admin interface. From the roadmap:
eZ Publish Admin interface
Redesign of the current User Interface including :
More Ajax based usability featuresRevamped look and feelImproved management of Object StatesDashboardA good discussion of the admin interface occurred in the forums originating in Jan 2009 and was reinvigorated after the roadmap announcement. The thread is a rather long one and winds it's way around a number of topics (JavaScript libraries, projects/contributions site, admin interface) but is well worth reading. The issue of JavaScri…

Adding negative filters to eZ Find

I've been doing some work with eZ Find recently and have come across an issue that has also troubled others. While eZ Find includes some powerful filtering options there's no support for negative filters.

This can easily remedied by adding "NOT" as an allowed Boolean Operator and adding specific handling of NOT to the final query construction to ezfind/classes/ezfezpsolrquerybuilder.php. This small change allows NOT to be used in the same manor as the existing AND and OR operators.

An enhancement request has been lodged that includes the following patch.

diff --git a/classes/ezfezpsolrquerybuilder.php b/classes/ezfezpsolrquerybuilder.php
index 3c997dc..f30813c 100755
--- a/classes/ezfezpsolrquerybuilder.php
+++ b/classes/ezfezpsolrquerybuilder.php
@@ -852,7 +852,10 @@ class ezfeZPSolrQueryBuilder

- return implode( " $booleanOperator ", $filterQueryList );
+ if ( $booleanOperator == 'NOT' )
+ return ' NOT ( ' . …

Nominate eZ Publish for 2009 Packt Open Source CMS Awards

Image via Wikipedia Time is running out to nominate eZ Publish for this years Packt Open Source CMS Awards. Help to get eZ Publish into the final five by clicking on the links below and supplying your name and email! (The links auto select eZ Publish)
Nominate eZ Publish for Best Overall Open Source CMSNominate eZ Publish for Best PHP Open Source CMS

eZ Publish 4.2 to include Star Rating module

Prior to this years eZ conference I was approached by eZ systems to allow for my Star Rating module to be included in the eZ Publish distribution. All and all it was a pretty painless process that simply required the signing of the Contributor Licence Agreement (CLA).

The CLA is an interesting legal document as it doesn't specify the particular piece of software that it refers to. I was informed that this is by design as it's intended to be a general agreement where specifics are communicated seperately.

eZ Systems have created a new project for eZ Star Rating on the eZ Projects site where a number of improvments have been made, including:
Given it the eZ treatment, better comments, cleaned up code formatting
Removed references for full 4.x compatabilityChanged from xajax to ezjscore + yui3 for ajax callsMerged rating code from ezcore / ezyuiCode cleanup (cs & phpdoc and code name conventions)Added fetch operatorsAdded postgresql supportAdded internationalisationThe upshot is…

eZ Publish 4.2 User module to get workflow triggers

The upcoming eZ Publish 4.2 (due September 29th) will add a bunch of workflow triggers to the user module. Workflows will be able to be attached to the following views:
ActivationChange PasswordForgot PasswordPreferencesSet Preferences
This allows for custom workflow events to be run before and after each of these operations, resulting in a massive increase in the flexibility when interacting with users.

Some potential uses that come to mind:
Emailing users upon activationCreating user specific content upon activationEmailing users when they change their passwordAn effect of these changes is that code for these actions is isolated into a class allowing calls to be easily made from elsewhere. Prior to these changes to activate a user outside of the user/activate view you would have replicate code contained in the view. This will also make it easier to test.

I would have loved to see triggers added for login and logout but I suspect that would be a more involved exercise.

Unfortunately th…

PHPList extension upgraded for eZ Publish 4.x

Thanks to sponsorship by DB Informatics the PHPList subscription synchronise extension has been upgraded to work with PHP5 and eZ Publish 4.x

This extension allows for the addition of a Subscribe to list attribute to be added to the User content class. Users are able to subscribe or unsubscribe from PHPList mailing list by editing their profile.