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Showcase Website

Topics: General
Sep 7, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Hello all,

I've been reading through these forums to help me learn Orchard, and so far it's been great, a truly valuable resource. To return something to the community I've started an Orchard Showcase project. The site will be at It will have a nice bespoke design and will hopefully reflect the capabilities of Orchard, but, as it too is a site for the community, I wanted to get your opinions on the site.

What I'm looking for is ideas on features which should be included and how submissions are processed. Here is how I envisioned it so far:


Sites can be arranged by

Developer, modules used, commercial theme used (which ties into another project of mine), type of site (blog, commerce, government, commercial, education, news, etc.) and Orchard version used.

Each submission will feature

A link to the live site (duh), thumbnail, some preview images, developers experiences in developing the site, developers contact information, community ratings and community 'likes', modules used, themes used etc., Orchard version and... finally... user comments.

Featured submissions

There will be a featured submission every months or so, where there will be an in-depth interview with the developer on their experiences.

Submission workflow

I think the site needs to reflect how the true power of Orchard can be leveraged on both small and large sites a like. To do this I feel it is very important to closely regulate the submissions, by which every submission goes through site admins and is strictly moderated. How would you feel about this?

Before I bombard you with too much information, I'd like to open this thread up to your honest opinions on the project. What do you think to the plan so far, how would you improve it and do you have any feature requests?

Thanks for your time, it is truly appreciated,


Sep 7, 2011 at 10:42 PM

Hi Ryan,

Sounds like a great idea! This has been a common question lately. It seems as more and more people start checking out Orchard, they want to see a showcase of sites that have been built with it.

If you're planning to build the site in Orchard itself (sounds like you are) I have a module under development that might interest you. I'm calling it Orchard uSubmit. I haven't published it to the gallery yet because there are some things to tighten up and I haven't tested it enough yet. But it's a module basically designed to let visitors to your site submit content. They are able to submit a content item that includes a headline, an image and body content which is submitted and rendered as Markdown (including a wysiwyg Markdown editor). The submissions are not immediately published - the site admin needs to explicitly publish them from the dashboard.

It might at least be a good starting point for your site. Like I said, it's not on the gallery yet but you can get the code from here: if you're interested.


Sep 8, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Oh, I just saw that. Awesome. I was going to build something into, but that's even better. I think it would be useful to have a "return on experience" rich text field where people can explain what challenges they faced and how they resolved them. A case study of sorts. It would be cool if the list of modules used was something fairly structured, so that it's easy to pick in the list of gallery modules and builds good links (also make room for custom modules as those are extremely common).

When this is done, I would like to have a link right in the menu of the site (like the gallery today). I would also probably feature some of the sites in the home page feed, as relevant.

Agree that submission needs to be moderated. I volunteer to help with that.

@kevink: I want to see that Markdown editor :) Are you planning on releasing that as a standalone thing?

Sep 8, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Oh, and let me know if I can help in *any* way.

Sep 8, 2011 at 10:50 PM

Hi again, sorry for the slow reply,

@kevink Yes I'm planning on building the site :) I will certainly look into implementing your module, from what I can see it looks to be perfect for what I need. It would be a great environment to test the module out and refine it further (if needed). I appreciate you support, and I would certainly provide a link to this module if used either on a submission page or if I build a page on my experiences with building the site.

@bertrandleroy Wow I'm so pleased you like the ideas :) With regards to the user experience on the site with the submission work flow, the site will be running a premium theme we have coming out on a separate project, so I hope it will look nice and feel natural to use. I know your very busy, so I will try to bother you as little as possible! ;)

Going back to the list of modules, I think the same structure seen on the Orchard Gallery would feel most natural to users, modules being filed under the same categories etc., so I would be keen to use the same. Would it be possible for me to pull a list of all of the current modules from the Gallery site? Maybe their names, respective gallery page URL and the category it is filed under? Then I could keep the information on the site fully up to date. Or how would you personally go about doing this? (I may be taking an entirely wrong approach)

Thanks for your help guys, I really appreciate it,


Sep 8, 2011 at 11:04 PM

... oh and it would be great if you could add a link from the main project site. You could maybe add the featured sites in the homepage feed, I plan on calling those something like 'in the spotlight' which I hope will have extended case studies and developer interviews. You'd be more than welcome to help with the moderating process, I think it would be nice to possibly have more than one person deciding what content makes it into the showcase.

Sep 8, 2011 at 11:25 PM

It should be trivial to get the data you need from the gallery's oData feed. (of course, please cache that responsibly, we pay for that bandwidth :)

Sep 8, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Excellent, and good luck! I have thought a bit about something like that, but I'm pleased to hear somebody is more serious :-).

Sep 9, 2011 at 2:28 AM

@bertrandleroy We'll probably be able to release that module to the gallery pretty soon, at least as a version 0.5 beta or something like that.

@ryandrewburnett As Bertrand said, you should be able to use the oData feed to get the data about all the packages in the gallery. The root service is at Keep in mind that the feed is paged, so you'll only get back a max of 100 records at a time. As for the uSubmit module it would be great having another site using it so we can flesh it out more, figure out what needs to be added/improved/etc. Let me know if you have any questions or need any help with it.

Sep 15, 2011 at 7:22 PM

I uploaded the uSubmit module today: It still needs some work, but it's a good starting point. Let me know if you decide to use it and if you have any questions or suggestions as a result of using it.


Sep 15, 2011 at 9:11 PM

That look great! It'll save me a lot of time with this, as it's only in Photoshop at the moment. (We're going all out on the design) I expect to start taking submissions shortly, so it shoulden't be long before this is in use. I'll let you know how it goes after I've played around with it... Oh, and thanks for taking the time to create this. :)

Sep 15, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Thanks! No problem ... we were going to build this feature for another site we're working on anyway, so decided it would be a good module to put in the gallery.

FYI, I'm working on better image handling now. I'm stealing/borrowing heavily from Sebastien's ImageField module for that.  :-)

Sep 15, 2011 at 9:43 PM

That is going to be a super-useful module. I'd like to point you guys to the new rules module in 1.3 (which works, check it out) that should play very nicely with this for moderating that user content.

Sep 15, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Cool, I haven't had time to check out the stuff in 1.3 yet, I'll have to do that. I haven't put much into managing the UserSubmission content items yet. Moderating just consists of publishing the items at this point.

Sep 15, 2011 at 11:47 PM

Ideally we should only accept content submission from authenticated users, which mean a this kind of contributor should have an account. I think it's ok to ask someone to creat an account to be able to submit some content. Though it wouldn't prevent from a validation wokflow.

Scenario I have in mind:
- The admin creates a content type and adds a UserSubmitable part to it
- Users are automatically assigned to a specific role using the rules module (should be "Authenticated" for simplicity)
- The permission CanSubmitCode is added to the same configured role
- A generic /SumitContent/ASUBMITABLECONTENTTYPE route handles the rendering
- The content is saved as Draft, and the rules module can trigger some emails to warn a new content is available

Nothing really hard to do compared to what has been done, just more reusable

Sep 16, 2011 at 2:56 AM

Hey Sebastien, I see what you're saying but that wasn't really the scenario we built the module for. We built it for a failblog type of site, where we really do want to allow anonymous visitors to submit.

I do think what you're describing could be useful too though. In fact, I like the idea of letting admins create a content type and adding a UserSubmittable part to it. The problem I see with that is how do you build the form for the front end when you don't know the parts that are going to be on the content type? This is the problem with the Editor shapes only applying in admin (I don't have the code open right now, but I think they're not even shapes right?) For example, I'm borrowing some of the resizing logic you have in Contrib.ImageField because I couldn't just put an ImageField field on the UserSubmission content type and get the editor logic in a form on the front-end of my site. Unless there's some trick I don't know to do that.

Sep 16, 2011 at 3:05 AM

Well, if it was true the Profile module wouldn't work, isn't it ?

I assume that calling BuildEditor and rendering it on a front end controller should work.

Sep 16, 2011 at 3:17 AM

Hmm, for some reason I thought you couldn't do that, but I don't remember exactly why right now. I'll have to try it tomorrow.

Sep 16, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Okay, so it looks like you can at least render the editor shapes on the front-end. I figured this was getting off topic of this discussion so I created a new one here: