The Pages in the Attic

For more than half a year now, the content of this website is maintained in place by Scrivito developers and me. This ensures that all of our experience with editing content in place flows back into the application design and development process, which is, of course, extremely helpful if you don't get sufficient external feedback prior to the product launch.

At this stage, after the launch, editing content in place is fun for us, and we hope it's fun for you, too. If you feel that some feature is missing that would ease your work or make you happier, feel free to contact us.

One of the things I personally miss, currently, is built-in support for dumping content to a place where it is invisible to the public and not findable by searches. You cannot move a page from the working copy containing it to a different working copy because moving or copying content across working copies is not possible.

Why would I want to do this? Well, simply because the content is outdated or not yet finished, and I wish to publish all the other stuff I touched in the working copy right away. Sometimes, a complete page needs to be made invisible, at other times it's just a widget.

This could be partially solved by adding a visibilty flag to the page types involved, and taking account of this flag whenever navigation items are rendered, for example. However, as an editor working in place, you cannot tell immediately whether a page or widget is hidden from the public or not. There is no indicator for this state in the Scrivito panel or on widget handles simply because the concept of toggling visibility doesn't exist in Scrivito.

So, how did we solve this?

It was trivial. We created a folder named attic, way up the folder hierarchy, for temporarily storing content. The attic folder and its contents is accessible to authorized persons only, e.g. logged-in website editors. Also, the folder and all its direct and indirect descendants are excluded from searches.

This way, the only means by which the attic or its subpages can be accessed (after logging in) is by placing their respective CMS object ID into the URL. Therefore, after creating the attic folder, its ID needed to be conveyed to the editors so they could create a URL from it and bookmark it. The URL looks like this:

https://mycompany.com/b5aae26733f2c67e/attic

Actually, the last part of the URL is technically irrelevant because the server ignores it. However, it helps us to quickly find out where we are when we look at the URL in the browser address line.

We can now open the attic in a separate browser tab and transfer content between it and the tab or tabs on which the visible content is being edited. In the latter, we simply select Mark page for copying or moving from the page menu, then activate the attic tab, and move or paste the page there, again by means of the page menu.

For widgets, well, we could deposit them on a dedicated page in the attic, and record their origin using a link, maybe by means a separate text widget. However, we don't make use of this because text can be hidden by simply commenting it out in HTML editing mode.

Have you found a solution or workaround for a use case currently not covered by Scrivito? Share, if you like!

Happy editing!