Orchard 1.7 Miscellaneous feature team

Topics: Announcements
Nov 6, 2012 at 9:24 PM

This thread is to discuss the set of possible Orchard 1.7 features that are too small to be a full feature area:

  • Admin theming: making it easier to write admin themes. In particular, not having to copy all the files from the default theme.
  • Admin search: making admin search more accessible (always accessible search field on top-right) and extensible so modules can provide search results.
  • Admin navigation: let's refactor the admin menu to make it easier to organize. Let's also look at The Tree to see what we could integrate that would facilitate admin navigation. Finally, let's add tabs to content item editors.
  • Versioned widgets: work is already done by Piotr. Let's integrate it.
  • Localization improvements: non-Gregorian calendar support, and other improvements.
  • Taxonomy in core: this would replace tags (with a migration story)
Nov 6, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Could we add "Content Part description" to this list?

See workitem: http://orchard.codeplex.com/workitem/19095
Implemented in branch: http://orchard.codeplex.com/SourceControl/network/forks/sfmskywalker/ContentPartDescriptions/changeset/f6b3a3522790

Nov 6, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Edited Nov 6, 2012 at 10:10 PM

I was also thinking that maybe we could collect and discuss some general API improvements, such as adding a .AlterWidgetDefinition extension method (see http://orchard.codeplex.com/workitem/19001). The enhancements should be easy to implement and useful for the largest group of developers and of course not pollute the system. Personally I would like to see the AlterWidgetDefinition because I create a lot of widgets when writing modules.

Maybe other people have suggestions as well that we could consider.

Nov 6, 2012 at 11:54 PM

Yes, I didn't include it because well, it's done. Thank you for that.

Smaller API changes are welcome if they answer a common scenario. Just build it and make a pull request (even if you have commit rights, so we can comment).

Nov 7, 2012 at 3:01 AM
Edited Nov 7, 2012 at 3:17 AM

I maintained a site for awhile using IP.Board and they have a very nice admin search feature that searches across multiple areas of the admin. Sign up for a demo to test out here: http://www.invisionpower.com/demo/

I think something like that would be great in Orchard!

Screenshot: http://sdrv.ms/RHybrz

Nov 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM

If you include Taxonomy ensure that 1) the migration keeps in mind that we use tags in our projections 2) that last time I checked taxonomy is not useable when you have plenty of content (or users, as we do)

In general, for 1.7, I suggest you do ALL tests with a small AND large data set (talking 50k+ content items here) to ensure that all the new candy doesn't break down the site if you have more than a 'small' amount of content.

If some new feature is not compatible with this kind of amount content, that is ok as long as 1) you inform us about it 2) ensure that it is an optional NEW feature that doesn't replace an existing one (so you don't break existing setups with large amounts of content items).

My 2 cents for 1.7 (so far)

Nov 7, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I have a few things to ad:

As you can see, two of these four is already completely done, and AnonymOwnerPart's functionality is there in Comments as well.

Nov 7, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Also, if it werent the case yet, it would be nice for orchard coordinators to split up certain 'features' into tasks and publish this somewhere.

Then someone from the community could enlist himself on one or more tasks.

This way it would be easy to see what work is available, what is being worked on and what is already done.

Nov 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM
Edited Nov 7, 2012 at 7:24 PM

how can we call the DRIVER from client directly, such as $.ajax? like mvc controller to return partial view.

Nov 7, 2012 at 7:28 PM
Edited Nov 7, 2012 at 8:36 PM

EDIT: My bad, i didn't see that this was in the Features thread. I thought you were asking a question. 

Nov 7, 2012 at 8:27 PM

thanks for the quick reply. but this is not my point. i know this way.

but i want to  call the DRIVER  directly, because the driver was already there.

Nov 7, 2012 at 8:31 PM

another feature. how can we overide the placement for admin  by theme? (..._edit, for ex, <Place Parts_Tags_Edit="-"/>)

Nov 8, 2012 at 3:06 AM

@Piedone: if it's already done, it doesn't need to appear here. If the bug exists and is approved, just push it. Otherwise, open a bug.

Please rename to AnonymousOwnerPart. I don't understand why this is needed, but if it's done and approved, just push it.

Same thing with Queryable GetMany, tenant restrictions on module set, and in general anything that's done and ready to push.

@aimorchard: the tasks are broken down on Trello.

@infromca: please take those questions to separate threads, you're off-topic.

Nov 8, 2012 at 8:15 AM

I would be the last not to commit something already done, I wanted to discuss whether do others feel these features are suitable for 1.7 and if the implementation is good enough. But fine, I'll commit them then.

Nov 8, 2012 at 6:38 PM
Edited Nov 8, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Wait, maybe it has been approved but if it's not assigned to 1.7 it might mean we still need to talk about it. It's just not "closed". I am still not convinced by the necessity. That's why it's "Future version" aka "let's talk about it later".

Nov 8, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Which one are you talking about?

Nov 8, 2012 at 7:51 PM

I could agree with the GetMany() and the nested editor. Would need to review the code first, or maybe suggest implementations. The multitenant idea would be ok if it's just about showing it in the UI and checking in the controller, like it's done for Themes. Those are pretty big changes, please show me the code before pushing it. We can talk offline if it's already ready for review.

The anonymous part doesn't ring a bell.

Nov 8, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Why not a pull request? Those have comments and everyone can see them.

Nov 8, 2012 at 10:57 PM


Nov 14, 2012 at 8:36 AM
Edited Nov 14, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Versioned widgets: work is already done by Piotr. Let's integrate it.

Comment: What about version history management for widgets and content items? I know there's a module for managing versions:  module http://gallery.orchardproject.net/List/Modules/Orchard.Module.Iroo.VersionManager. 

The problem with that module is that the content item list is not usable anymore because all the versions of all items are mixed up. When you have localized content items it's even worse. My suggestion would be to combine those to single content items in the list. And have dropdown or some other UI box to selected which version and or culture of the content item you want to edit/view

Nov 17, 2012 at 3:08 AM

Sure, do it. ;)

Nov 24, 2012 at 9:42 AM
Edited Nov 25, 2012 at 6:43 PM

I'd like to add one thing:

Enabling/disabling multiple features at a time (and overhauling the current screen for that), as it was mentioned here. My ideas about it:

  • search would be still available of course
  • 2 layouts: category-grouped alphabetical (groups could be put in expandoControls) and alphabetical without groups -> choose with a radiogroup -> page reloads
  • Custom permissions-like checkboxes: one (disabled) to show the current state and one to change it (I think Bertrand meant this approach in the issue)
  • not sure, how many items would be in a row, maybe one would do it
  • display dependencies (still with anchor links, though I'm not sure that works with closed expandoControls)
  • display dependant features (queried with AJAX, displayed with anchors, showing their current state?) in a tooltip when rolling over some text, like "Show dependant features"
  • optional (using a checkbox?): display feature description in a similar way as the dependant features (from the ViewModel, not AJAX)
  • big red (okay, Orchard-y green) buttons at the top and bottom of the list to commit the changes
  • features would be enabled/disabled in alphabetical? order
  • display notification for successfully enabled/disabled features
  • detect and display warning for features that the user wanted to enable but were later disabled because dependency features were disabled (and vice-versa)

This may be a little over engineered. :)

Dec 5, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Hi all,

  • Marketing : having a central list of web sites using Orchard, in order to promote the platform
  • Modules gallery feeds : can you provide a feed for "Official" modules maintain by the Orchard Team, and other modules in another feed. There is more than 300 modules, some of them doesn't work with the latest version of Orchard. When you installed them, it just doesn't work and that a bad experience for our users.

Thanks to all for making Orchard a powerfull CMS, I LOVE it !

Laurent Beaudoin

Bliz - France

Dec 5, 2012 at 2:35 PM

@lbeaudoin, there is already a site like this: http://www.showorchard.com/

Making a list of "official" modules wouldn't necessarily help with that problem, as those modules created by the "official" orchard team could become outdated just like any other module. There are other features being discussed -- not sure what the current consensus is -- to try to solve this. Some of the ideas involve collecting information like "this module is confirmed to work on so and so version of Orchard", or "version X of this module is known to crash on version Y of Orchard". This is inspired by what Drupal is doing on their modules site. 

Dec 5, 2012 at 3:14 PM


1) Thank you for sharing the site ! I have submitted one of mine

2) You are right, nevertheless I "official" feed or the possibility to sort by Author may help. Let's see what will be implemented

Dec 5, 2012 at 7:00 PM
Edited Dec 5, 2012 at 7:00 PM

We simply can't maintain such a list ourselves. We are thinking about letting users flag modules with the version they've verified it to work with. WordPress is doing that on their own module gallery.

Dec 6, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Sure, I understand that

Dec 6, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Hi people, I have a couple of suggestions, I hope you'll like some of them:

1) A generic admin controller that would allow for easier back-end editing of specific content types, preferably even with the ability to put permissions on these
2) More concise definition of relationships between content types so this generic admin controller could show child relations in tabs with grids/projections
3) Allow for a more flexible way of specifying which admin menu's are available for which user roles, and this across installed modules
4) A more complete standard content editor than tinyMCE, more along the lines of CKEditor, but then better :)





Dec 6, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Oh yes, and a commercial model for people wanting to sell modules through the gallery :)



Dec 16, 2012 at 11:16 PM

Good idea flagging the modules with version tested, it should avoid  many problems.

Jan 2, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Please make blog and tag cloud localization an integral part of the CMS. The currently existing third-party modules are too flaky for production websites and/or support on them is poor. In a country like Belgium, localization is not something that might happen every once in a while, it's a definite requirement on a lot of websites...

Feb 1, 2013 at 5:16 PM
Can you make Placement.info more powerfull... Not only Match: Type or Url, but for example - attributes (class, ID etc. ) or somethings similar to extend its functionality

Sorry for bad English...
Feb 4, 2013 at 5:27 PM
@Timbioz How do you think it should work? It's close to impossible to add class/ID matching, as that information is not available during shape rendering. Shape is not actually aware of where it's being rendered, so retrieving the parent class/ID (I guess it's what you meant) of the wrapping element during rendering is not easily achievable.

But I agree on the general idea of extending Placement.info with additional matching options (eg. matching types with specific part or field, adding wildcards on types, logical operators, maybe user roles/permissions etc.).
Aug 28, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Aug 28, 2013 at 12:36 AM
I did. It works nicely, although personally I think the searchbox needs some styling so that it's less on the foreground.
Sep 5, 2013 at 6:59 PM
Here is a Wordpress plugin developed to have a preview of the next version of their admin :


It would be a nice inspiration.
Sep 5, 2013 at 7:36 PM
This is very Orchardy ;)

I also agree we should go this way, probably using bootstrap, which also have the benefit to standardize the admin experience for module developers.
Sep 5, 2013 at 8:21 PM
Sep 5, 2013 at 9:15 PM
Sep 5, 2013 at 9:26 PM
I like the layout and cleanliness (although I don't like how slow it behaves when resizing the screen; a bit sluggish). It's not unlike Wordpress' new UI. Using our colors and the metro UI could work pretty nice.
Sep 5, 2013 at 9:31 PM
Features that the admin should have :
  • Top bar : to be able to add shortcuts and new menus
  • Left menu : collapsible and responsive + see sub menu easily (+ icons)
  • Global Search form
  • Dashboard Widgets
  • Placement + Regrouping of parts in blocks or tabs (or columns also ?)
  • Integrated help
Sep 5, 2013 at 10:26 PM
Agree with Antoine. I would also like to reintroduce the right sidebar, which would collapse to one column with the main content on smaller displays.

Their menu has the second level appearing as a drop down on the right, unless for the selected section. That could be also done this way.

If there is a correct zoning in the theme, then any module could add specific elements in them, Like the top toolbar with a left and a right zone. Like search could be added this way by a dedicated feature.

The dashboard is a module in Orchard, which means it's only one step away from being able to provide a widgets like feature. Maybe a single content item of type Dashboard with parts that would be attached to it, using placement. The way Site Setting work. And admins could configure the dashboard by adding/removing parts to it.

It reminds me I need to pull the changes from Znowman for the tabs :/
Sep 6, 2013 at 12:21 AM
First thing I thought seeing it was "oh, Orchard 0.1" before the admin redesign :)

One of the default dashboard widgets should be a feed with recent activity.
Sep 6, 2013 at 12:21 AM
And I would go farther than just Bootstrap and choose a MVVM framework.
Sep 6, 2013 at 8:35 AM
Edited Sep 6, 2013 at 8:49 AM
+1 for using bootstrap and be able to use one of the dozen bootstrap admin themes available on wrapbootstrap or identical sites.
I would also appreciate to be able to organize admin menu items in various groups and areas (again see sales forces and ms CRM), hidding some of them I never use.
there also could be an optional upper screen sliding up/down help area to assist starting with orchard.
all this means global and personal admin UI settings. Last point the admin language should be user attached(personal) and independent of default site languages (I admin in English but my targeted users are not necessarily speaking English).
+1 for the dynamic dashboard accepting various widgets (ms CRM workplace with main numbers, last watched events - something to publish, some workflow step waiting, etc-)
Sep 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM
+1 for using bootstrap and choosing MVVM framework. It would allow using Orchard as it is as application framework for so many scenarios
Sep 7, 2013 at 3:53 PM
+1 for bootstrap, because we have several themes in the gallery, we can go further from there , and it will be faster, maybe the fastest
Sep 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM
I wouldn't mind seeing an MVVM framework and defo +1 for Znowmans tabs ;)
Sep 13, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Focusing on the "productivity" aspect of Dashboard seems also pretty important:
  • We thought about adding keyboard shortcuts on admin screens not that long ago. Eg. Ctrl+S for default "Save" action, Ctrl+F for searching etc. Possibly configurable via settings. Spike's latest addition of handling Enter key in Content Definition screens reminded me of that one.
  • Resurrect the idea of a web-based console for executing commands from Dashboard. I reckon it's been here a long time ago, but has disappeared since.
Oct 10, 2013 at 3:20 PM
Edited Oct 10, 2013 at 3:21 PM
Bootstrap has been adopted into the new ASP.NET templates which will ship with Visual Studio 2013.
Oct 27, 2013 at 1:18 PM
Edited Oct 28, 2013 at 3:53 AM
Are lacking in features for attaching images logo, replacing the text