Composer in 5.4.2

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How «composer» feature will actually work? Andrew, Frz, please provide some extra details.

I have installed latest version from SVN and tested it, from what i saw:
1) Every page type may have a composer mode
2) Composer mode is an alternative for incontext editing: page is added or edited via dashboard with a predefined set of attributes and blocks.

What's the real difference between "Default Attributes" and "Attributes to Display in Composer" in a practical sense?

How user will be transferred to Composer from incontext editing e.g. from news list page to composer editor of a selected item (single news)?

Will we be able to add some styles / move up and down attributes and blocks in Composer Publishing Settings?

jcd
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Mnkras replied on at Permalink Reply
Mnkras
sshhh its a secret ;)
Basically, its a dashboard page creator, if you looked at the new interface you would know what the attribute stuff is,

Mike
andrew replied on at Permalink Best Answer Reply
andrew
Good questions. Your understanding is pretty correct all around. Some answers:

1. Default Attributes are attributes that are shown in the properties window when a page of that type is added. They are a convenience but nothing more. You don't have to set them on a page. Composer attributes will be set and saved when a page is created/published, because they appear as part of the form.

2. In-context editing currently doesn't touch composer. For pages of types that support composer, there will likely be an "Edit in Composer" link from the sitemap - but from the front-end we aren't currently going to build an "Edit in Composer" button (although it could be possible.) We like the in-context editing approach; composer is more about building pages, drafting, writing, etc...

3. Styles really aren't on our radar for composer right now; ordering of attributes and blocks in composer, however, is something that currently works in kind of a wonky way and we will hopefully be able to address.
okapi replied on at Permalink Reply
okapi
Will composer atually do what the designer content add-on currently does? And - most important question for me - will the designer content add-on then become obsolet?

Michael
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
jordanlev
Composer does not do what Designer Content does (composer is for editing content, designer content is for creating blocks).

I assume this is somewhat related to your recent question on the Designer Content forum (http://www.concrete5.org/index.php?cID=158813... ) -- I just went and answered that so you can be further reassured that using Designer Content won't lock you into obsolescence.

-Jordan
okapi replied on at Permalink Reply
okapi
I'm glad to hear that. Thank you for clearing this up!

Michael
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
frz
Thats correct. Composer is very much geared for creating and managing
pages. Designer Content is all about strongly designed blocks...
Different needs.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
http://about.me/frz
dantheman replied on at Permalink Reply
dantheman
Hi there

I have literally no idea if this is the right place to comment on Composer as it stands. Sorry if it isn't.

I can see a lot of potential for Composer, it seems to me to be a flexible tool of great simplicity/beauty.

My suggestion would be that a new 'untitled' page is NOT created each time 'Write' is clicked. I say this because they quickly stack up in the 'Drafts' section without you realising they are there. So the rule might be 'only save a blank untitled if there is not one there already'. Something like that.

Thanks guys

Dan
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
frz
good point.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
http://about.me/frz
bottlefedbaby replied on at Permalink Reply
bottlefedbaby
Hi - am replying on this thread as I also have no idea where this comment should go. But after spending a day customizing some user help instructions for a client I have thumbled through the threads regarding Composer...
I have to say that I think it's a great feature, and that's coming from someone who used it only for the first time 5 minutes ago!
I can definitely see it being a great tool for adding blog pages

Thanks to all at concrete5 for continuously making well thought out and welcomed improvements

Now if you need a hand writing some plain english help instructions - just give me a shout!!
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
frz
please help write stuff and submit them as how-tos. We'd love it:

http://www.concrete5.org/profile/howtos/post...

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
http://about.me/frz
moosh replied on at Permalink Reply
moosh
Hi,

I think (for me), composer is useless...

Why?

Because it's just a duplication (inline) of "Add page" system in Sitemap...

It should be better to add a Draft/publish options (the only difference) in "Add page" functionality...

Just one question I have ask in my mind :
Why my client (or me) prefer use Composer than "Add page" ?
What are really differences ?

Thannks.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
frz
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/16451770

about 37 mins in we start talking about it.


If it doesn't make sense for you, don't worry about it.

If you're making complicated page types and want a simpler experience for your clients than incontext editing, it's actually pretty powerful. We've used it with great success... But yeah if you're comfortable with in-context editing for everything you may not need Composer
moosh replied on at Permalink Reply
moosh
Thanks you frz for this answser.

Ok, so I find that it is becoming difficult to edit with all the editing modes.

Some pages via dial, other in-context editing, other module via the dashboard ... the client will lose his head to remember it all no ?

I think is not the goal of C5, C5 = easy !
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
frz
I disagree. Composer doesn't keep you from editing with in-context
editing. It's just another way that may make sense for some people.
Honestly I think if this doesn't scratch and itch you have, don't
worry about it.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
http://about.me/frz
moosh replied on at Permalink Reply
moosh
Ok.

I will try to use it for few weeks to test it in depth ;-)

There is a documentation for how use Composer in page type ? How add content blocks type ?

Thanks
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
frz
Nope

Best wishes
Pecked out on an iPhone
abra100pro replied on at Permalink Reply
abra100pro
Releasing a new version with new features without documenting them doesn't make:
- mucho sense
- concrete5 look really, really professional (im terms of "enterprise professional")

The one (and maybe only) great thing about Joomla is its consequence documentation of every single bit, every knob, every checkbox, every setting, just: all. This saves tons of time. Finding out by myself discourages me right at the beginning of (and at the end of my 9hrs day in the office) using it at all.

Maybe you meant "nope, not yet, we're on the way within the next days", then why not write it that way. Maybe you meant just "nope" which would lead me to the humble thought "what a great product - what a pity".
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
frz
I meant it is a work in progress. It's got "beta" in the name, and there's only so much time in the day. We'll document it when it's done. It's in there because we had taken far too long to release a bug update to concrete5 and we wanted to address that. We also wanted developers who were inclined to experiment to have the option to tinker around with composer, so we saw no reason to pull it out. We're using it successfully for clients, and thought others might too.

If you're an enterprise client of mine, you'd get trained on what to do with it before you saw it.

There's a link to a video of Andy showing how it works above.

Joomla! is quite different from concrete5 in any number of ways, not the least of which is it has a revolving volunteer core team. If you feel like volunteering your time towards documenting composer, we'd be quite appreciative. ;) Short of that I completely agree that documentation is awesome and a thing worth spending money on making, certainly something we'd include in the big picture on composer.

Seriously guys:
A) "Composer Beta is different, I don't like different."
B) "Composer Beta isn't documented yet. I don't like things that aren't fully documented."

I don't mean to complain in return, but last time I got a hard time from the community it was about not being transparent enough about what we were working on.

I need a beer.
abra100pro replied on at Permalink Reply
abra100pro
:-) No harm done. I agree, there is a "beta" in the name. But see, while you're in the very core knowing all the bits and pieces it is sometimes hard to follow you(r) guys ('s speed).

It's just that when you have a hard time in the community it may be because of we're not able to follow you. I made a 44 minutes Online-Videotraining for c5 editors which is available for everybody (it's in swiss german though, for an english version deserves a teacher with an english mothertongue). So the will to volunteer and support is really there. I really appreciate you guys having set free concrete5 into the Opensource-World. It is a huge present to its (hopefully fast growing) community. But at the end of the day I'm living solely by the hours I was able to sell, which is where you help me with c5 but also with knowledge you already have and I don't.

I was watching the video at 37" and I have an idea of it by now. Gonna have a beer myself and then try it on a sample site.

Thanks and sorry, not meant to sound rude.

Cheers

Alex
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
frz
No worries at all. Just feeling cranky this afternoon as I try to
clean up this mess of an inbox. ;)

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
http://about.me/frz
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
jordanlev
I think @abra100pro's response had more to do with your terse "nope" answer above. I understand you have a lot of emails and messages to reply to every day so I'm not criticizing you for this, just wanted to point out that he may be reacting more to your reply than the facts of the matter.
Explaining that it's a beta and a work-in-progress and that it will be documented once it's final makes a lot of sense to me.

And I don't think there's anything to get defensive about, this is just all part of the ongoing discussion. I'm glad 5.4.2 got pushed out, and I think things are heading in the right direction, but things move slowly, and of course there will be bumps along the way.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
frz
Yup.

;-P

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
http://about.me/frz
Steevb replied on at Permalink Reply
Steevb
Ha,

@Franz

Image and attitude!

Reminds me of...

... A Bear with a sore head or is it...

...Shrek!

Could be either or both!

Sorry



@Jordan

It is becoming positively f******* Mountainous!


I feel sorry for Andrew...
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
jordanlev
Hey 55webdesign, not 100% sure what you're talking about ;)

But if what you mean by "it's becoming mountainous" is that there are a ton of new features to deal with, yeah -- that's a god thing though.

Franz's point about people chipping in for documentation also makes me want to point out that this could be considered a good thing by enterprising people -- it means there's a lot of opportunity for someone to provide tips and documentation, etc. Something I'm working on in the long-term myself (it's really slow going though)... but plenty of space for other people to have a voice in the community and make a name for themselves as well.

-Jordan
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
frz
Just to be 100% clear now that i'm -burp- in a better mood... We'll
totally make some how-tos on what we use composer for, why, and how..
It's just not a top priority at the moment.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
CEO - concrete5.org
http://about.me/frz
Steevb replied on at Permalink Reply
Steevb
Sorry,

Wrong place to moan...
DavidEgerton replied on at Permalink Reply
DavidEgerton
Some of you may also find watching this video
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/16451770...

Start from 40mins in and you will find its a good video overview of composer in the new version
Tony replied on at Permalink Reply
Tony
Moosh: "How add content blocks type?" Go to the dashboard -> page types -> defaults -> edit page, then layout your blocks, then click the blocks you want to include in composer, and go to composer settings (this confused me too until I watched the ustream demo). Wonder if this could somehow be made a bit more evident from within the composer setup screen? as is, it's a bit of a detour to figure it out.
Tony replied on at Permalink Reply
Tony
I finally had some free time to play around with composer this weekend, hooking it up to the Real-Estate package. Overall I'm digging it thus far. It was really easy to programmatically turn on composer for the real estate listing page types. One thing that does seem a bit funky is that it seems like it's creating a new page as soon as you hit that page, even if you don't add anything... looks like that allows for autosaving, which is a neat feature. But I'm wondering if there should be an auto clean-up routine that gets rid of orphaned page that haven't had any content added?
andrew replied on at Permalink Reply
andrew
Yeah, I decided to make it create the page on first visit because auto-saving without it was just a giant pain. A lot easier to just always be able to save on an object that exists. But you're right – some kind of flag that gets flipped if content is actually being bound to the page would be handy, so that pages that don't have any content on them get removed when listing drafts.
Tony replied on at Permalink Reply
Tony
yeah. I've got a dashboard page spitting out a list of everything with that page type, so it gets easily filled with stragglers when you hit "add new" & back.
Deladroid replied on at Permalink Reply
Deladroid
I started working on a new C5 site for a new client and also noticed the new beta Composer. I got excited because the client wants a blog feature, and from playing a little with the Composer, it looked like it was related to blogging (mind you, I haven't set up a blog via C5 for a client, and am wondering if it's already there).

Is that what it's main purpose is (I did read through a lot of this and other posts), or is it just for adding content to a page, dynamically via the dashboard?

PS- The test entry, and my test entry are there in a menu now (Check!), but the design needs adjusted (all centered, etc.). Do I have to adjust the page html? Use a page type template based off my design? I hope for documentation in the future too, but am in complete agreeance that there is NOT enough time in the day...
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
jordanlev
I think Composer could be used for blogs, but that's not the only thing. Really what it's for is situations where someone is adding content frequently and that content has a standardized way of being displayed. In other words, with Composer you have the benefit of a streamlined interface for adding new content (as opposed to having to go to a page and enter edit mode and add blocks), but you also have the drawback of not being able to customize and tweak the specific block layout and arrangement and styles on that page.
So this happens to be perfect for blogs, because blogs generally just have one template and you stuff a bunch of content into it (as opposed to something like a product information page or "about us" page, which is usually more designed and has things arranged in different ways). But it's also suitable for plenty of other situations as well.

At least that's my take on it.

-Jordan
abra100pro replied on at Permalink Reply
abra100pro
Jordan, it's a real benefit to have you here! I do not only like your posts from a personal point of view, I also find them always very helpful because you can explain things in an easy understandable but not too simple way. Specially cool, since English is not my mother tongue.

Thanks a lot!
jordanlev replied on at Permalink Reply
jordanlev
You're welcome!
And thanks for the nice compliment -- glad I can be helpful to people as I have been helped by others over the years :)
Deladroid replied on at Permalink Reply
Deladroid
Thanks jordanlev, you helped confirm my assumptions after playing around with it. I did end up figuring out how to accomplish a blog template using one of the existing theme's "blog_entry" templates. So I'm happy and am really getting deep into understanding more about C5.