Content availability: implementing permissions

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By default, XirtCMS was built to show all published content to anyone, anytime. This however limited the flexibility of administrators who might want to schedule content publication or hide it from certain user groups. Furthermore, only limited items within XirtCMS had the option to publish/unpublish, as it required an additional column in the related database table and custom logic to update and use the values saved.

In order to overcome these limitations, a new structure is now being implemented using permissions: by default (thus on creation), any item that uses the new methodology will be hidden in the front end. Only after setting up a permission (or in short permits), the item will become visible. The logic for creation and checking of item permits has been made consistent throughout the application, allowing reuse of code and easing implementation. Furthermore, a permit will have a start and expiry date which enables administrators and content editors to schedule publication. In addition, in the near future permits will provide the option to set minimum and maximum access levels to limit publishing of content. Sounds like an improvement, right?

Implementation progress

At this moment, the core logic is almost ready and has partially been pushed to GitHub. Once ready, the focus is first on implementing GUIs for articles, menus (see below screenshot) and menu items so that the permissions can be managed easily. Once done, the same logic and GUI can be reused to adopt permissions for other items. At this moment, the aim is to have the new logic implemented before end of month which would be the completion of an important milestone required for the full release of XirtCMS 3.

Example publication GUI

NB. This article has been written entirely on a mobile phone using the XirtCMS responsive back end GUI. Despite some limitations and struggles requiring change (especially the WYSIWYG editor is not always convenient), this does show that the application is maturing.

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