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#1 2011-07-14 11:09:24

Destry
Moderator
From: Strasbourg, France
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 2,336
Website

Hidden (status) articles

Since there seems to be a lot of energy to clean up some long-standing ambiguities in the admin-side. Maybe it’s worth revisiting this one which is always an odd things to explain to clients—the hidden status article.

Quite simply, I propose one of two things for consideration:

  1. Remove it entirely (improving clarity of what remains), and rely on the pending status when something needs taken offline without deleting it. This makes more sense to me, because it implies there’s an action to take on the article too, besides just hiding it from public view. The action being that an editor has to evaluate the pending article and determine if it’s to be deleted or edited for republication. In this sense there’s no need for “hiding” content, which is just a dead-end action leaving articles easily forgotten and lying around uselessly.
  2. Change the behavior on the hidden status so that it means it’s hidden from search engines. I.e., it stays live, but only people with the link can see it, and SE spiders, etc. can’t index it. This behavior would be extremely useful!

As it is now, the hidden status is pretty useless. Personally, I’ve never used it, and it’s always a point of confusion when trying to describe it against draft and pending.

Last edited by Destry (2011-07-14 11:13:11)

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#2 2011-07-15 10:10:32

wet
Developer
From: Lenzing, Austria
Registered: 2005-06-06
Posts: 3,089
Website

Re: Hidden (status) articles

Option #1 must not happen, because I use the “hidden” state. #2 needs some careful thought (what about feeds? Is cloaking still considered harmful?)

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#3 2011-07-15 11:12:34

Destry
Moderator
From: Strasbourg, France
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 2,336
Website

Re: Hidden (status) articles

wet wrote:

what about feeds? Is cloaking still considered harmful?

Could hidden (cloaked, per option 2) articles be pulled out of the normal feed flow somehow? If so, then maybe it’s not conflicting in that case?

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#4 2011-07-15 13:19:48

Zanza
Plugin Author
Registered: 2005-08-18
Posts: 685
Website

Re: Hidden (status) articles

I’m curious! How does Wet use the status? May be inspirational, because I’ve never found a practical usage.

At the moment my proposal is that this status could become a way to serve content only to “registered” or “special” users (to define “special”). This need to be coupled with new tags on the front end and with some new options on the write tab. This could be beneficial for my usage.

I can imagine that the new option maybe password field, or user group selection. Just my 2c.

Last edited by Zanza (2011-07-15 15:25:54)

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#5 2011-07-15 14:32:06

Destry
Moderator
From: Strasbourg, France
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 2,336
Website

Re: Hidden (status) articles

Zanza wrote:

At the moment my proposal is that this status could become a way to serve content only to “registered” or “special” users (to define “special”). This need to be coupled with new tags on the front end and with some new options on the write tab. This could be beneficial for my usage.

Those are interesting ideas too, and not too different than cloaked, actually, but just extending the control a bit further with rights of access, or whatever.

Whatever the case, I think something could be done better (more useful) than what it currently is.

But I kind of like just a simple cloaked functionality too. Think about all those times where you need something public but not indexed. This makes it easy without having to use mod_rewrite, or a robots.txt file or whatever. Just a radio button click. Done.

Maybe we’re talking about changing the functionality of one, and adding one more new one? (As per Zanza’s interesting idea.)

Last edited by Destry (2011-07-15 14:33:38)

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#6 2011-07-17 01:45:45

hidalgo
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2008-02-05
Posts: 49
Website

Re: Hidden (status) articles

I use ‘Hidden’ to store retired articles all the time. Storing these articles as ‘Pending’ wouldn’t make as much sense to me.

Also, ‘Sticky’ can easily be utilised to hide articles from the normal flow. I use this for ‘direct URL access only’ all the time. Password protection or ‘no-index’ meta can conditionally be added to the page template for these articles.

Maybe a ‘Private’ status option could be added to make this easier, but ideally not at the expense of the current ‘Hidden’ status.

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#7 2011-07-17 15:05:01

Destry
Moderator
From: Strasbourg, France
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 2,336
Website

Re: Hidden (status) articles

hidalgo wrote:

I use ‘Hidden’ to store retired articles all the time. Storing these articles as ‘Pending’ wouldn’t make as much sense to me.

Under conditions of Txp for personal use, which sounds like is the case here, I can see how yanking articles with hidden would be convenient. (But then what do you do with those articles?)

But for client sites having multiple authors and publishing workflow—clients with publishing experience—it’s not a realistic function. These scenarios are not suited to stage-hooking articles offline to sit useless sight unseen, they need to come offline for a reason, and if they do come offline, there needs to be protocols for dealing with that content when it is. For content like job announcements and events, a “remove” date works good, but then the dead content still needs dealt with. But for other scenarios where content might be erroneous or dated for some other reason, a “pending” status is one good way of dealing with it; it implies an editor has to take action on it somehow, whether to fix and republish, repurpose elsewhere in the site, or simply delete from the CMS. Whatever the case, it doesn’t just sit in the articles list doing nothing.

From my standpoint, if Textpattern really wants to be a CMS used for bigger and bigger projects (and why not?), it needs to lean towards more editorial conventions. For multi-author projects like I’m talking about (and work on), hidden articles have no value.

Also, ‘Sticky’ can easily be utilised to hide articles from the normal flow. I use this for ‘direct URL access only’ all the time. Password protection or ‘no-index’ meta can conditionally be added to the page template for these articles.

If you’re saying that a sticky article prevents that article from being indexed by search engines, that’s something I didn’t know (though in retrospect it would make sense), but sticky articles have a very specific purposes per given section, and inventing different uses for them is probably not wise for multi-author publishing scenarios. And I think it’s probably overkill to make an entire page non-indexed when only an occasional article needs to be.

Maybe a ‘Private’ status option could be added to make this easier…

I’m not against adding a new option for non-indexed. Sounds good. Though don’t call it “private”, which will surely give the wrong meaning to people. I’d call it “Non-indexed” to be more clear/accurate of it’s function.

Wasn’t there a plugin that allowed you to turn off admin-side elements? Would it work in this case…hiding the “hidden” option? If so, that plugin just got a lot more important for me. But having a non-indexed option would still be useful.

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#8 2011-07-18 14:44:26

wet
Developer
From: Lenzing, Austria
Registered: 2005-06-06
Posts: 3,089
Website

Re: Hidden (status) articles

Zanza wrote:

I’m curious! How does Wet use the status?

In a nutshell, I use a Textpattern site as a Textile to HTML converter.

I write articles in “Draft” status, until they are completed. The converted HTML is then published on third-party sites, which do not have the convenience of a humane text generator, and once they are published over there, I switch my original content to “Hidden” to have it on record.

As Destry suspected, this is a one-man workflow.

Hidden articles may have no value for multi-author sites, but this does no imply that they don’t have any value for at least one Textpattern user. Even if this solitary user will be me…

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#9 2011-07-18 14:57:37

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 4,824
Website

Re: Hidden (status) articles

I think that both Robert’s and Destry’s arguments are valid regarding hidden status.

i use hidden on texts we are not certain that they came from the authors or those which we have copyright issues which need to be resolved before (and if) they go online.

Hidden can be used for members only sites and could be accessible only via passwords. I think that this would meet both arguments. It would also make more sense than having password protected sections as articles can reside in their appropriate categories/sections but they will only be viewed by those with sufficient privileges.


Yiannis
——————————
neme.org | neme-imca.org | hblack.net | LABS

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#10 2011-08-06 20:37:22

maverick
Member
From: Southeastern Michigan, USA
Registered: 2005-01-14
Posts: 744
Website

Re: Hidden (status) articles

I use “hidden” for record keeping purposes — notes, etc. as part of a ChMS set up.

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