New Functionality - Entity Creation, Views and ACL's

I have had a pretty good exposure to the Elgg API and I think it is a very robust Framework. The area where I think that there are room for improvement is providing non-developers the ability to do more without the need for developer assistance.

For example the Drupal framework provide site administrator to create content types without the need for developers, the site admins can create any entity they like from the admin area without the need for developer assistance.

In addition to this I would really like to see a interface where the site admin can create different displays of aggregated content rather than have to engage with a developer to do this.

Finally I think a greater depth of ACL roles, currently there is just admin and user, I would like to see more granularity with this. There is a plugin called roles that give you the ability to create new roles I hope I do not cause offensive to the dev's because it is quite a development achievement but this is very complicated to set up, it has pretty poor documentation and needs a developer to setup. I would like to see this incorpoarted into the core and the interface improved to allow non-techincal admin users create their own roles and permission structures.



  • In principle I agree with your wishes but a lot of plugins provide some of the things you require. Like plugins with built in roles attached to it. The mentioned plugin "roles" is indeed a framework of its own and as stated in the plugin notes it is intended for developers. So yes, you need a developer to make use of it.

    But the framework should improve and move up one level from dev to admins to be able to modify more things without plugins or development effort. Starting with the theme itself. Easy modifications like colors, logo, footer, topbar config, improved body layout, mobile support etc.. Secondly with an easy new form module, where you can design your own forms and simple actions like save attached to it.

    Even as a developer, it is quite a job to create a new form, because of all the views, actions, hooks, lists, pages, widgets, sidebars and access layers to implement. If you want to create a proces where users are required to interact, it even seems to become so hard that no public plugins are out there which provide a workflow which involves more than one user action.

    I know 1.9 gives us some more freedom to themes, but it still requires very much ground level work to build the house and facilitating the forementioned features would greatly improve the usability and extensibility of this great framework.

  • Yes I think you are right @gkanters I would defintily not expect the functionality I spoke of to be available on the next release but I think that ultimialty that is the direction in which the Elgg API developemnt stratergy should take. 

    In addition I think it is important also to look at some of the more popular plugins to be incorporated into the core.  So for example tidypics is a very popular plugin but it is not distrubuted with the core release.  You have to download and install it which requires dev effort.  Incorpoating functionality into the core would really help non-technical users.

  • I would rather see the core to develop into an actual framework and let the plugin developer and/or admins provide the user functionality (but more easy than nowadays). That makes live more easy for the core developers and have them focus to support easy extensible building blocks with little or no knowledge of programming at all  (just a logical mind) as their final goal. 

    In my opinion, they also should (as stated before) make the framework adaptable to the owner in look and feel and constantly moving technological improvements in screens and devices.

    Taking in popular plugins would shift focus to supporting that and gets us off the path of an open platform with easy extensibility and usability.

  • Elgg is closer to a framework like Symfony2 than a finished product like Wordpress. The core team's focus is on providing an API for developers to create plugins that allow end users to do things. @gkanters is right that the more content / feature plugins we pull into core, the more code we have to maintain that isn't related to making the API the best it can be. 1.8 and 1.9 actually removed content plugins for this very reason.

    This doesn't mean I don't think plugin devs should make these sorts of plugins--I know Coldtrick has released a few plugins that address this. I have, too, actually...

Feedback and Planning

Feedback and Planning

Discussions about the past, present, and future of Elgg and this community site.