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Previewing and editing new content

Topics: Administration, General
Jun 21, 2011 at 8:27 PM
Edited Jun 21, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I brought this up about 12 months ago... But since I've now got 3 clients to deliver Orchard sites for in the next few months I feel I have to raise this again.

The flow to author, preview and edit content is insufficient and onerous. One must.

1) Create a new page (& publish it live)

2) Click on the orchard logo in the top left to open up the font-end

3) Navigate their way to that page

4) View it and then click edit

5) Go through (2)-(4) for every edit they make.

Alternatively if the user is savvy then at step (2) the user can open a new tab and work in 2 windows. While this is ok once you get to step (4) it is not intuitive and something I would prefer not to train my clients to do.

(6) Furthermore I want to view my content without the "Edit" dotted box and link so that I can see my page as another user would. To do this I have to open up a second browser! Again as developer this is ok, but if you want to win non-technical people for this project, this is not ok!!!


Quick and dirty suggestions:

1) It must be very straight forward to: add a button or link on the "edit page" page to point to the most recent version of that page. At least a link with the message "Your Page has been created." when the page has been saved in the green box up the top.


More thorough suggestions:

1) Add a "Save & Preview" button that opens up the page after saving.

2) When viewing content, Add some form of UI in a corner of the window (bottom left, top left etc.) to toggle the editing boxes client side so no post back occurs.

3) Add a "Preview Draft" feature that allows the author to see their changes without publishing to the live page.

Jun 21, 2011 at 10:12 PM

All good feedback, no doubt, but this will not change until 2.0, unless someone implements a solution as a module.

Jun 22, 2011 at 5:44 PM
Edited Jun 22, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Who is Orchard v1.2 for... apparently not my content authors. How about v2.0?

> i am attempting to create a blog post with multiple photos in it.  

> i think orchard is frustrating because it is not intuitive, not user friendly (unless you are a programmer maybe?) and will require a lot of homework to learn how to use properly, not to mention the giving of feedback and the finding of bugs.

> i will try some of those remote post options and see if they make things easier, but for now status is still really annoyed.

> signed... my content author

Jun 22, 2011 at 6:12 PM

I should just mention here - the CKEditor module will use the current theme's stylesheet in the editor area, so it's much more WYSIWYG than TinyMCE, somewhat mitigating the need for a full-page preview.

The only problem is that right now there's no Media Picker integration; this is planned but I don't know when it'll happen; you have to copy and paste the <img> code from the media screen.

Jun 22, 2011 at 7:28 PM
Edited Jun 22, 2011 at 7:28 PM

I have already run into the img problems with CKEditor using it as an alternative to TinyMCE which is not suitable if you want to properly work with the HTML instead of the editor.

But I do not believe previewing in the editor is sufficient and mitigates the need for a full page preview... Under what circumstance after editing your content would you not need to see the full page preview?

Orchard has so many cool ideas/implementations in it, but The Orchard input is below par... It is the most core real world usage of the product!!!

Jun 22, 2011 at 8:48 PM

Of course it's not a total solution, although it hugely helps being able to see the styles as you type. For simple blog posts and things like that, you know what it'll look like in the end page. For me it's mainly when doing more complicated layouts with images and inset boxes where it starts becoming an issue.

What I find most frustrating about the current workflow is that when you publish a new item, it just stays on the editor screen and doesn't even display a "Click here to view your published content" message - that'd be trivially easy to implement on the published event.

Anyway using LiveWriter or other XML-RPC tools is by far a better solution, web-based editors have never been that great, a desktop application is just much faster and doesn't have the dangers like losing your work due to session timeouts. LiveWriter will also download the site's stylesheet and give you a full page preview as you edit. I know there's already a workitem to support XML-RPC for other content editing than just blog posts.

Jun 22, 2011 at 10:40 PM

Jonathon: no, 1.2 was not targeted at your content authors. As the release notes state, it's a bug fixing and performance release. We heard your feedback and are integrating it into 2.0 planning.

Jun 22, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Bertrand: Thank you. I care a lot about this product. I have and will continue to invest many days with it because it's awesome.

Jun 22, 2011 at 11:48 PM

And it's appreciated. Thanks for all the feedback.

Jun 23, 2011 at 8:20 AM

You can edit one view file and do what you need to add a link to view the page. I did this earlier since it doesn't make sense that's it's missing.

Add this snippet at line 4 or 9 in Orchard.Web\Core\Routable\Views\EditorTemplates\Parts.Routable.RoutePart.cshtml


<fieldset><a href="@(Model.ContainerAbsoluteUrl + "/" + Model.Slug)">View Page</a></fieldset>


And you're done. You'll have to remember to keep updating this file if you deploy new sites or update Orchard.


Regarding 6... You can do that easily as well, I did this one a few days ago. You can add a Content.ControlWrapper.cshtml and Widget.ControlWrapper.cshtml to your theme's view directory and just put


in each of the two files. 


Jun 23, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Perhaps submit that as a patch; I see no reason why that shouldn't be in core; except you want to change it to @T("View") for localisation, and because the content item is not necessarily a Page ;)

Jun 23, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Although - on second thought, it maybe needs some extra logic to hide the link if the content hasn't been published yet.