Chisel is a powerful theme development tool that provides an easy-to-use interface for the generation of custom blocks and dashboard pages. This gives developers the ability to give clients the customized tools they need to properly manage their website/application, while substantially reducing build time.
'Tools' in the form of blocks and dashboard pages can be architected and generated via the Chisel Workshop. Forgot a field? No longer need a field? No problem! Chisel also provides the ability to load previously generated tools and re-architect them at any time.
Chisel offers a wide array of field types to choose from and introduces the concept of 'Repeatable Sections'. Repeatable Sections are fields, or groups of fields, that can be duplicated as many times as the user needs. Multiple Repeatable Sections may be used within a single tool and may even be nested all without having to write a single line of code.
Blocks are great for simple content features. Concrete5 provides us with a great selection of basic blocks. Chisel takes blocks to the next level by combining a variety of field types to make editing highly design driven content easy for the client. For example, an employee directory that contains a photo, name, job title, phone number, fax, email, etc. for each employee could all be managed through a single block. This lets the developer decide exactly how each piece of information should be displayed and the client doesn't have to jump through hoops to get these results.
Catalogs reside in the dashboard and are intended for more heavy-duty applications that contain a lot of data. Catalogs are customized forms that can be created infinitely. Each catalog entry will appear in the catalog list where they will be manageable by the client. The catalog offers edit, search, sort, reorder, duplication and deletion functionality for all entries. Examples of what catalogs might be used for are product catalogs, location lists, etc.
Settings pages are one-off forms and are also managed in the dashboard. These are perfect for site-wide settings such as theme settings.
Chisel aims to handle all of the behind the scenes logic while leaving the use/display of the data up to the developer's discretion. This being said, it is not intended for non-developers or novice developers and requires a mild degree of php knowledge to use.